Kerstin, Katie and Lauren of the Localmotive Bike Tour were the recipients of this year’s Bicycle Touring Pro travel scholarship and the girls are just now setting off on their three-month long journey by bike across the United States.
Along the way, Kerstin, Katie and Lauren will be stopping to talk with Girl Scout troops in the areas they are passing through and sharing with the young girls they meet along the way the importance of eating locally grown foods and getting regular exercise.
As the recipients of this year’s $800 dollar travel scholarship, I asked Kerstin, Katie, and Lauren to write something up for the readers of BicycleTouringPro.com, so that they could share just how they are feeling now that their epic bicycle tour across the United States is finally underway. This is what the girls had to say…
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After almost two years of planning, the time has come for us to leave on our TransAmerica Bicycle Tour. We have been so busy planning, it wasn’t until about three days ago when we were all on the phone that Katie burst out “I just realized…we are biking across the entire country!”. It really is just starting to hit us because, while others balk at such a trip in its entirety, we see it in day-long segments: 40, 50, 60 miles at a time. While the distance is impressive, it is the day to day experiences we hope we will appreciate.
Already it had been so rewarding to have explored the Cumberland Valley in central Pennsylvania, where our college is located. We have been able to see so many new streams, forests, and farms just by hopping on our bike and making our way beyond the usual college student’s territory. This, we hope, will be how our tour across the country will be. We hope to see the land and people in a way that would not be possible with a car or plane trip.
Of course, we are not without worries and questions. Are we bringing enough gear or too much? Will we be able to walk after a week of riding this much? Will we be caught in one of the seemingly frequent tornadoes? (Our hearts go out to those who have been affected by the terrible storms in recent weeks). But again, these questions will be answered day by day and there is only so much planning we can do.
Perhaps that is one of the most appealing aspects of a long-distance bicycle tour. Unlike with the fast-moving world around us, where we can easily drive another 100 miles if we need to or almost always have instant Internet access, a tour might require more patience and acceptance of the unknown.
That being said, we are psyched to get on the road and see what is ahead. Thank you to all of those who have made it possible to get even this far.
– Lauren, Katie, and Kerstin –
To learn more about the Lauren, Katie and Kerstin and the Localmotive Bike Tour, please visit the girls’ website at: www.localmotive2011.wordpress.com