13,000 miles by bicycle around America

Starting near Washington, DC, and finishing 13,000 miles and almost 11 months later in Vermont.

Starting near Washington, DC, and finishing 13,000 miles and almost 11 months later in Vermont.

From October 5, 1980, to August 20, 1981, I was engaged in a 13,000-mile bicycle trip around the United States. I recently finished transcribing my journal from this trek and posting it on a blog I set up just for that purpose. I am calling this site 36 Busted Spokes Later, because that’s how many wheel spokes I had to replace during the journey.

This was really a thrilling experience for me, as I had never read those journals before, besides occasionally referring to an entry for a specific detail. Making this transcription (as well as rewriting and appending information where applicable) gave me the feeling of traveling through those days all over again. There were so many details in the pages of the journal that I hadn’t recalled until reading them, others that I’d forgotten about completely. On the other hand, I have many memories of the trip, fun and interesting events, that I somehow inexplicably never recorded.  I’ve added those events, filled in other details that are appropriate, and tried to edit the entries to make them more entertaining and readable.

The entire exercise was great fun. I am very happy I did it, glad to have it complete, but a wee bit sad too. Just how I felt when I concluded the trip.



  1. Fantastic, Steve. A dream for most of the rest of us. I’ve just read the entries for Yosemite (one of my favourite spots in your country) and really enjoyed them – noting that when we visited ten years ago, the park was markedly less crowded than twenty-plus years before. No other person was visible when we walked to Mirror Lake (the image of which I still have as the welcome-screen on my ‘phone). I look forward to reading all the rest of the journal.

  2. Hugh, Very kind comments. Thank you. Yes, Yosemite was a zoo when I was there (I haven’t been back yet, but maybe one of these days). But it was the first major holiday for vacationing Americans, Memorial Day, so that may account for it. I envy your experience!

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