Pedaling Across America

Don Skillman, Author Velo-News $9.95 (150p) ISBN 978-0-941950-15-2
In the spring of 1986, the authors, Oregon realtors, and Don's brother Bill, all casual cyclists over the age of 50, rode bikes from Oregon to Virginia Beach. During their 56-day journey they kept daily logs, and Don wrote a column for their hometown newspaper. This account of the trip, told in Don's voice, is illustrated with 15 maps tracing the route and amplified with appendices on training, safety, repairs, tools and equipment, clothing and gear weights. Averaging 74 miles a day, the Skillmans dealt with fatigue, wind, rain, snow, traffic hazards, resentful motorists, flat tires and annoying dogs. They often dined on large stacks of pancakes, and they met a variety of friendly folk. Despite a detailed, diaristic approach similar to last year's Journey on the Crest: Walking 2,600 Miles from Mexico to Canada by Cindy Ross, the Skillmans are unable to imbue their experiences with the sense of adventure, exploration and personal discovery that made the Ross odyssey so effective. While some cycling enthusiasts may find useful tips and hints, readers in search of another Blue Highways should pedal past this one. At roadside stopovers where such writers as Jack Kerouac and Ed McClanahan found poetry, the Skillmans only found pancakes. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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