Across America on the Yellow Brick Road: Cycling into a New by Virginia Mudd

By Virginia Mudd

Think examining a “Cycling better half sought after” advert in a bicycling e-newsletter for a cross-America motorcycle journey, answering it, and environment off months later with a girl you simply met for a 3,500-mile, 60-day trip from California to Washington, DC. Taken from Virginia’s magazine this tells the tale of 2 twenty-nine 12 months previous adventurers who satisfy a typical dream. She recollects exhilarating roads and landscapes, tedious miles, peaceable occasions, frightening reports, own struggles, impressive encounters with humans, and the unfolding of a trip of an entire life.

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I felt guilty and miserable—but proud that I had been able to follow my strongest desires and stick to them. I said my goodbyes to family in Los Angeles and went back north to tell my older two brothers and my father. At age twenty-nine, I was only slightly more than the Little Sister to Tom and John that I had been when we were children. Despite warm feelings between us, I was often impressed and intimidated by them, or felt put down by their patronizing or sexist attitudes. I wasn’t at all looking forward to their questions or their analyzing my motivations for taking this trip.

However, I argued with myself, since I honestly didn’t know what his reactions would be, it wasn’t fair to start out on the defensive. The best approach would be to share my excitement and the extraordinary opportunity I had to fulfill my dream. I was apprehensive, but also eager. We met at the train station and loaded the bike into the car. I tried to listen attentively to his workday tales, but I was only half-there. I was waiting until just the right moment to announce my news. I held my secret until we were seated at a fountain-side table for two and had ordered our cheese enchiladas.

I proudly named it “Little Silver” and rode it everywhere I could. The more I rode to fulfill my obligation to save energy, the more I came to enjoy bicycling in and of itself—the exercise, the speed that was all my own, the sense of independence and freedom. I was convinced that bicycling was the superior means of travel, by far the most energy-efficient mode of human transportation. I was so convinced that I sold our green Volvo sportswagon, a car we both loved driving, proclaiming it unnecessary.

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