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Across America by Bicycle
Cover of Across America by Bicycle
Across America by Bicycle
Alice and Bobbi's Summer on Wheels
Borrow Borrow

Biking from Oregon to Maine is no small feat, especially for two newly retired women who carry everything they need for three months, powered only by the strength of their legs and a desire for adventure. Alice Honeywell and Bobbi Montgomery invite readers to follow their ride by bicycle across the United States, as they face scorching sun, driving rain, buffeting winds, equipment failures, killer hills, wild fires, and even a plague of grasshoppers.

As Alice and Bobbi pedal along their 3,600-mile journey, they test and deepen their friendship, defy their aches and pains, experience the vast and varied beauties of their country, and discover the challenges and satisfaction of a scaled-down lifestyle. And, they encounter unfailing generosity from people they meet—from the prayers of a North Dakota woman for their safekeeping, to the offer of a house in Michigan, to invitations for dinner and a place to sleep at stops all along the way. And there are incidents to laugh over, too, such as the bewildered woman who asked them, "Well, but where do you pack your dresses?"

Ride along with Alice and Bobbi as they embrace retirement with gusto and live their dream.

Winner (Gold Medalist), Travel Essays, Foreword Magazine's Books of the Year

Biking from Oregon to Maine is no small feat, especially for two newly retired women who carry everything they need for three months, powered only by the strength of their legs and a desire for adventure. Alice Honeywell and Bobbi Montgomery invite readers to follow their ride by bicycle across the United States, as they face scorching sun, driving rain, buffeting winds, equipment failures, killer hills, wild fires, and even a plague of grasshoppers.

As Alice and Bobbi pedal along their 3,600-mile journey, they test and deepen their friendship, defy their aches and pains, experience the vast and varied beauties of their country, and discover the challenges and satisfaction of a scaled-down lifestyle. And, they encounter unfailing generosity from people they meet—from the prayers of a North Dakota woman for their safekeeping, to the offer of a house in Michigan, to invitations for dinner and a place to sleep at stops all along the way. And there are incidents to laugh over, too, such as the bewildered woman who asked them, "Well, but where do you pack your dresses?"

Ride along with Alice and Bobbi as they embrace retirement with gusto and live their dream.

Winner (Gold Medalist), Travel Essays, Foreword Magazine's Books of the Year

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About the Author-
  • Alice Honeywell, a retired editor, is a writing consultant in Madison, Wisconsin. She is a member of Dane County's Bombay Bicycle Club and has led a number of tours for the Sierra Club's National Outings Program and other groups. Bobbi Montgomery, a retired English teacher, supervises and trains teachers throughout Ohio. She is a member of the Gears4Beers Cycling Club and Cincinnati Cycling Club. The authors are dreaming of another cross-country bike trip, this one from north to south, border to border.

Table of Contents-
  • Preface

    1 Leaving the Midwest

    Wisconsin and Ohio

    2 Through the Columbia Gorge

    Oregon and Washington

    3 Over the Western Mountains

    Idaho and Western Montana

    4 Across the Northern Plains

    EAstern Montana and North Dakota

    5 Through the Upper Midwest

    Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana

    6 Along Lakes Erie and Ontario

    Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Western New York

    7 Over the Adirondacks and Across New England

    Eastern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine

    Reflections

    Appendix

    Equipment

Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    August 15, 2010

    Two retirees undertake a daring cross-country bicycle trek from Oregon to Maine.

    Though their idea may have seemed outlandish to onlookers and some family, Honeywell, a writing consultant, and Montgomery, a former English teacher, boldly embarked on a 13-week, 3,600-mile journey beginning in Astoria, Ore., and ending in Bar Harbor, Maine. From day one, narrator Montgomery writes of the many initial minor mishaps that spurred an "on-the-road policy" agreement between the two 50-somethings, which covered things like braking too abruptly and double-checking rest-stop locations to prevent injury and forgotten belongings. The authors faced many challenges, like navigating heat-baked western Montana, encountering fires in the northern plains, sleeping in tents, eating freeze-dried food and battling allergies. Pedaling at ten to 12 miles per hour, the impediments mounted, but a variety of local "road angels" generously offered travel assistance along the way. Whether crossing a windswept bridge over the Columbia River, navigating inaccurate maps or narrowly skirting oversized logging trucks and treacherous traffic, the authors logged 60-70 miles a day, even as family concerns loomed (e.g., Honeywell's husband fell seriously ill prior to their departure). Incredibly, their shared confidence never waivered. With periodic rest days, rendezvous with their husbands and motel/diner-food pit stops, both intrepid women held true to their intent not to race through the experience but to "absorb" the American landscape. Photographs pleasingly accent the chronicle along with final chapters detailing each woman's poignant closing reflections, an inquisitive Q&A and their separate pannier inventories. Told with panache and a wholesome, modest sensibility, Honeywell and Montgomery's voyage became a supreme exercise in patience, determination, self-sufficiency and unwavering friendship. And the daring duo isn't finished—a north-south, border-to-border trip is in the works.   

    Exhilarating fun and good motivation for armchair adventurers.

    (COPYRIGHT (2010) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

  • Library Journal

    September 1, 2010

    Bicycle touring travelogs generally fall into two basic types: those that describe the riders overcoming physical hardships and the hilarious mishaps of their epic journey, and narratives about the inner growth of cyclists as they tackle the seemingly impossible. Writing consultant Honeywell and retired English teacher Montgomery present a book that falls into the latter category, as they document their three-month trip biking eastward from Oregon, mostly on the Lewis and Clark, Northern Tier, and North Lakes cross-country bicycle routes. They explore what it means to live the pared-down existence of loaded touring as they pedal slowly enough to enjoy the beauty of the country. Honeywell and Montgomery also discuss their equipment, time management, and the ever-important aspect of all cycling journeys--locating and consuming lots of food. Without the major drama that many long-distance cycling trips engender, this book makes riding 3600 miles seem doable for anyone willing to hop in the saddle. VERDICT Readers will find this an easy and inspiring read, but it's lack of serious crises may disappoint those who thrive on high adventure. [Ebook ISBN 9780299248833.]--Sheila Kasperek, Mansfield Univ., PA

    Copyright 2010 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    University of Wisconsin Press
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