The Fort Scott Tribune recently ran a profile of Doug Dawkins, who is walking across the country, and who overnighted in Fort Scott. One of the paragraphs from the article jumped out at me:
In recent years there have been several attempts to cross the U.S. by foot or bicycle. However, most of these attempts involved a caravan of supporters and assistants.
Wow, could they be more wrong?
I can’t speak to the walking side of that statement, but as for bicycles, literally tens of thousands of people cross the nation each year, many using one of the established routes published by the Adventure Cycling Association.
The TransAmerica Trail, for instance, passes just south of Fort Scott, and is one of the oldest and most popular routes.
And from the touring journals I’ve read, the majority of cross-country cyclists travel unsupported, either camping or staying in motels along the way. I’ve never heard of a ride with a “caravan”.
(Perhaps the Tribune reporter is thinking of the annual Race Across America, which passes through Fort Scott, but is far different affair than a typical bicycle tour. It does feature support vehicles, staff, and officials.)
It’s tough to get a firm traffic count, as many cyclotourists travel alone, and don’t publicize their trip. But it’s certainly more than “several” …
Anyway, if you’re interested in learning more about Doug’s journey, you can follow his progress on his blog, at dougsrun.wordpress.com. He hopes to finish his trek by Christmas.
Way to go, Doug! Walking, running, or bicycling, making your way across the continent under your own power is a tremendous accomplishment!