1993 was a year of great change in my life. For the first time ever, my wife Amy came along for the trip, driving our truck camper with our four-year-old daughter Megan on board. We visited the Badlands, Mt. Rushmore and the Corn Palace on the way out.
For the bicycling part, I rode alone. The route went in a more or less southeastern direction.
We’d been hearing for some time that the Midwest was being inundated with torrential rain, though fortunately it had been to the east of where we were. However, with concerns that our basement might be flooded, we ended the ride in St. Cloud, MN.
Shortly after our return home, Amy and I separated. I pretty much quit riding. But I didn’t want the journey to end in St. Cloud, so that autumn I used whatever conditioning I had left to ride from St. Cloud to my home in Wisconsin Rapids over two consecutive weekends.
Coming out of Neillsville, Wisconsin, I thought I was on the final day of my ride. As such, the familiar sights on the approach to home, positioned as they were in the framework of what I was about to accomplish and what I’d been through to get there, brought out fairly powerful emotions. When it was over, I parked the bike outside the door of my apartment for one last photo.
Psychologically, the ride was finished for me at that point. I had ridden 2,373 miles in 34 days. Being able to say I rode from the West Coast to home seemed satisfying enough.
Photos: A foggy, chilly September morning on the Red River trail coming out of Menomonie. I rode with my spare socks over my hands to ward off the damp chill. Mist obscures the trail ahead. A family photo at Breckenridge, on the border between North Dakota and Minnesota. Finding my way from the end of a trail to a nearby road. Posing in Neillsville with Chatty Belle, "the world’s largest talking cow." Parking the bike at my apartment on what I thought would be the last day of my ride.