Here are the most common questions I was asked during the ride:
Where did I stay each night?
I did not camp and had no camping gear with me. I stayed in hotels/motels and with people that I met along the way. The people were somehow related to the story that I featured in their town and the arrangements were usually made in advance.
How far did I travel each day?
On average I cycled 200 kms or 125 miles each day. In total I completed just under 7000 kms (4350 miles) in 35 days.
Did I have anyone with me? A support van?
No, I went entirely alone – that is half the adventure. There was no vehicle following me.
What did I eat?
My main sources of food were: 1) Subway 2) McDonald’s milkshakes and fries 3) bananas, apples and granola bars from grocery stores and 4) pizza at night delivered to my hotel room. I had almost no time to sit down at a restaurant since I had to update the website each night, in addition to biking almost 9 hours each day.
Is this the first time I’ve cycled this far?
No, in 2009 I cycled solo and unsupported across Canada, from Vancouver to St. John’s. That trip totalled 7450 kms in 46 days or about 160 kms a day. I also started cycling in 2009.
Did I ride at night?
Yes, occasionally I rode throughout the night if I felt the conditions were favorable and my energy level was high enough. I used bright lights and only rode at night on roads where I knew there would be next to no traffic.
Did I take rest days?
Not really. There is one day labelled a rest day on the stats page, but even that day I started cycling around 9pm and rode through the night. So there was never an entire day where I didn’t ride. There were a couple of short days though, around 50 kms long.
Isn’t it frightening to be alone?
Aside from my time spent on the Alaska Highway, my cell phone always had reception and so I was always one phone call away from help. I am also very vigilant with drivers and watch nearly every car approach me in my mirror to make sure they move over.
What was the hardest part?
I faced horrible headwinds in both North and South Dakota that really tested my patience. The heat in the U.S. was also made it very tough to stay on schedule. It was one of the hottest summers on records in the southern U.S and I sure felt it.
How many tires did I go through?
I used the same two tires the entire trip, though I had six flats which required me to change the inner tube. I brought one spare tire with me, though I never used it. I rotated my tires about half way through the trip. Both tires were extremely worn by the of the ride and were not rideable after. I threw them out once I got home. The rough road of the Alaska Highway was the main culprit for the wearing of the tires, while one day in Missouri I got three flats from staples on the road, which I couldn’t see or avoid.
How did I find the ‘good news’ stories?
They were all pre-arranged well in advance of the start of the ride. I used the power of the internet to find the stories and simply made a lot of phone calls and sent a lot of emails. Lucky for me, there were at least 30 kind people who responded and were glad to participate. If it wasn’t for these people there would have been no Campaign for Good News.
When will my next long bicycle ride be?
Not for a long time. It takes almost a year to plan a bicycle ride like this, with the campaign component. I will likely do some shorter and much more leisurely bicycle rides in Europe in the years to come but nothing as long and gruelling as this ride.