by Dave Warner
America by Bicycle once again made a stop in Little Falls on their 3,800-mile trek across the entire country. The first of two groups came into the City on Friday and left out early Saturday morning. A second group plans to come through on August 8th.
The tour is a 52-day itinerary with 47 days of riding. The groups start in San Francisco and end up in Portsmouth New Hampshire. Riders typically are between 50 and 70 years old, either retired or semi-retired and for most, the ride is sort of a bucket list item.
Jim Benson, one of the riders from Lincoln Vermont and an employee of America by Bicycle said “We provide the vehicle, the avenue for them to do that. From towels to food, to on the road support, route directions and logistics. We get them from point A to point B.”
Nobody in the first group that came through has done the cross country ride in the past. “We sometimes have repeat riders. They’ll do this route and then cross America North, or they’ll ride across the country with us and then do rides like Maine to Florida, or up the Mississippi from New Orleans to Minneapolis,” he said.
For most riders, this is a one-time thing because of the cost and two-month time that it takes to accomplish the ride. “It’s a pretty big endeavor,” said Benson.
The first group didn’t have any female riders, which is unusual, so they have taken to calling themselves ‘The Band of Brothers’. “It’s been a little different,” he stated.
Wind heat and humidity have been the biggest things to deal with and one day of rain coming out of Buffalo really caused problems for the group. “We had 30+ flat tires. We couldn’t go two miles without getting a flat. It was little pieces of flint coming up out of the road surface that was penetrating even the toughest tires that we had, including the Kevlar ones. It was a weird combination. I’ve never had that happen before,” stated Benson.
He continued to say that rainy days are always a problem, but that this was very unusual.
The group has four days left in their ride, three which are pretty tough for the cyclists “especially going across Vermont and New Hampshire,” he said.
If you’d like to know more about the group, you can visit their website at https://americabybicycle.com/