I spotted the two shadows a half-mile or more away, approaching on the shoulder of U.S. 90. A pair of cyclists. As we got closer I crossed the road to greet them. They were traveling heavy: four panniers each plus a tent rack on the woman’s bike; the man pulled a trailer.
Georgia and Mark, aka freedompedalers, set off from North Carolina in August, headed south to Florida, crisscrossed the South and came full across Texas. They are heading to Phoenix, up into Utah and Colorado, over to Wisconsin and then west to Seattle They’ll be gone a year.
Every cyclist makes his own journey, but Georgia and Mark are unique in two ways. First, their trailer is a portable doghouse; they travel with two dogs. Second, they are in their early forties. Most long distance cyclists are adventurers in their twenties, exploring life’s options. A few, like me, have careers behind us. It’s rare to find people in the generative years out on the road. But here was Georgia, Mark and two dogs, hauling everything they own across the continent on a serpentine route.
We exchanged the usual mutual support and hailed the virtues of cycling life. Then they offered a new perspective to me. “Everywhere we go, people we meet who are in their fifties and older are so supportive of what we’ve done. They all wish they’d opted out earlier. The surprising thing is how many people our age and younger, even in their twenties, don’t understand what we’re doing. They say we’re missing out. We think they’re missing out.”
How will we live tomorrow?
“We both had jobs that required we control things. When you work toward an outcome you have a good chance of achieving it, but you’ll never achieve more. Now we don’t try to control things; we are open to whatever happens. As a result we receive so much more.” – Georgia