Every so often someone unexpected pops into the world that not only inspires, but completely humbles you. I had such an experience this morning.
Typical Monday. Computer starting slow, coffee pot even slower. Looking over the week's schedule. Phone rings, it's Cindy the Receptionist, "Eric, there's a guy here riding his bike across the country." Ok, great. We get a lot of cross-country riders stopping in for a tour and it's always great to meet them and hear their stories but it's a Monday morning and things are not moving like they should and my 7 week old didn't exactly sleep like I had hoped last night. "He's visiting the 48 continental states by bike." Whoa, that's a little different than a cross country ride. "He's riding an FX." WHAT?! Ok, now I gotta see this.
For those not in the know, FX is a very popular hybrid line of bikes that we carry. Mostly relegated to fitness riders and cul de sac cruising, I can't seem to think of anybody that I had heard of riding one to every single state.
Welcome to Wisconsin, Josh Cunningham! Wisco would be Josh's 28th state visited (We were the 30th state to join the Union) on his year long journey. He left August 27 of 2009 from Nebraska and traveled to CO and from there went south and west for the winter. When asked how he planned his trip, Josh smiled and said "All I knew is that I was headed west out of town." You gotta love that.
If you think riding your bike to every state is nuts check this out. He mentioned the idea of the trip to his Mom on a Sunday. He left 3 days later on Wednesday. No training. 3 days to prepare.
From Waterloo, the plan is to ride to Milwaukee, take the ferry to Michigan and then around the horn to Maine, back south to DC and then straight across back home to Nebraska. Here's Josh's route. Follow the blue/green line from the Southeast corner of NE west to CO and then southeast. You can follow Josh virtually here.
Trek 7.5 FX - 110 lbs with gear
Surly Front and Rear Racks
2 small cans of gas for a stove
1 solar charger for cell phone
A whole bunch of crazy-ass determination and soul
For the whole list click here
Scariest part of Josh's journey: He was riding through Florida during Hurricane Ida and was lifted off the road and depsosited 4 feet to the side of where he was riding.