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Messages - m610

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Bikecentennial / Buel and Patsy McMurphy
« on: August 03, 2023, 01:03:44 pm »
Did any of you ever meet them? They welcomed riders coming through Sterling, Kansas. People would camp in their front yard. I found them on Find-a-Grave, so it is too late to thank them in person, but we could all leave a thank-you note.


Bikecentennial / Re: My 1979 Journal (partial)
« on: July 28, 2023, 05:30:13 pm »
I finished "Middle Leg", and that completed my account of that tour I did so many years ago. All three sections combined ended up being 22,000 words, so I guess a lot of memories really did come back to me once I started writing and reviewing the maps and my photos. I wish I had more photos, but oh, well.

I highly recommend doing something like this, to preserve your memories, impressions, the whole experience.


Bikecentennial / Re: Looking for the original maps and books
« on: July 26, 2023, 08:44:14 am »
Here (attached) is the map of my route from NC to CA, as best as I can figure from my notes and memories. NC to IL is from my journal. CO to CA is from a recap I wrote soon after I landed in CA and it includes my route hitch-hiking after injuring myself trying to get over Monarch Pass. The middle third was difficult to reconstruct but I'm pretty sure I got it right. I have clear memories of certain towns, so I mostly just connected those dots.


Bikecentennial / Re: My 1979 Journal (partial)
« on: July 25, 2023, 12:27:52 pm »
Thanks. It was really fun reading it again and I've shared it with a few friends who liked it.

I am currently working on "Middle Leg", a description of my ride from Carbondale, IL to Pueblo. I don't have notes to go by, nor do I have my original Bokecentennial maps, which would have really helped. I did jot some names and addresses down in my notebook, and that helped. I have a few photos, but not much, and I have a couple of business cards. But mostly I have been relying on Google Maps, which naturally will not show me the same towns and roads that existed in 1979, but it has been valuable.

The one thing about this is the more I researched my route, the more questions I asked myself, and the more answers, by which I mean memories, came out of it. I'd say this has been the most fun part of the project.

As far as memories go, some are more trustworthy than others, but as I kept digging many of them got sorted out. For example, after putting a lot of time into a route I thought I had taken in western Kansas, where some memories fit while others clearly did not, I found I was off-route and was too far south of my actual route. Once I made the correction a lot of details fell into place. And using street-view I could verify the bar where I stopped after rolling into town at 10 PM and the aluminum picnic tables in a park where I met a traveling sign painter and his dog.

I still have a few vivid memories that I cannot square with the maps I have, so I'll just write them in without linking them to specific locations.

I've been at this for a few days now and I am finding it really amazing how much of the trip I can remember. I'm sure that if you sat down to write up your adventure, a flood of fond, and not so fond, memories will come back to you.


Bikecentennial / My 1979 Journal (partial)
« on: July 23, 2023, 12:16:49 pm »
I thought I'd share it.

Reading it now I really wish I would have kept a journal for the whole trip.

I barely changed a word as I types this out.

I'm working on a write-up for the rest of the trip, using other notes, photos, and Google Maps to help me piece it all together. It is amazing how much of the trip I remember. I am unsure of many of the more mechanical details, but the scenes, the feelings, and the people I remember well.


General Discussion / Re: Your best single piece of advice
« on: July 23, 2023, 11:19:35 am »
Definitely keep a journal. I kept one for my 1979 tour but stopped updating it about one-third of the way through the trip. The few photos I have are helping remind me how the other two-thirds went.

So, also take lots of pictures.

I have a bunch of business cards from bike shops, people I met, and bike shops I visited. I even have one from Lazy Louie Bicycle Camp. Priceless.

I also have the names and addresses of people I met. I sent them all a card when the tour was over.

Bikecentennial / Re: Looking for the original maps and books
« on: July 23, 2023, 02:06:17 am »
Correction: "I met the McMurphys in Sterling and stayed in the dorm at the college that night. "

General Discussion / Looking for the original maps/guides
« on: July 23, 2023, 01:50:53 am »
I posted in the Bikecentennial section, but it seems to be about dead. I won't repeat my whole post here, but briefly, I am trying to write up my 1979 ride from NC to CA, a good portion of which was on the original Bikecentenial route. My copies of the guides are long gone and having a set would greatly help me sort out many of the details of my journey. Google Maps helps, but a 1979 Google Maps would be more helpful. ;)

Anyway, I can't find copies on eBay or Amazon. Does anyone know of another source? I'll check our local and university libraries, but I'd really like to own a set. (I have the guide for the easternmost route.)

Thanks, Mike

Bikecentennial / Looking for the original maps and books
« on: July 23, 2023, 01:42:33 am »
In 1979 I purchased the whole set of maps and guides from Bikecentennial and set out from Goldsboro, NC for Sacramento, CA. Obviously, I did not need nor use all of them, and unfortunately, the ones I did use have been lost. I mailed each back home when I no longer needed them, and after that, they disappeared.

Now, 40-some years later, I am typing up my journal entries, and for the sections where I had no journal, I am reconstructing my trip from memory, which surprisingly, has not been difficult.

The difficult part has been retracing my route. For the purposes of what I am writing, I don't need to include the details of my route, but I'd like to. Plus, being able to zoom in on the terrain or town helps jog the memory. Google Maps has been helpful, but there are sections where what I remember and what I see on Google Maps do not agree. In these cases, being able to see the Bikecentennial guides I had with me would help greatly.

The part of my ride that I am working on now is from Modoc, IL to Springfield, MO. I well remember riding through those mountains, which were probably in the Mark Twain National Forest. I also remember camping along that route. But I don't know for sure which road I took or where I camped. I do remember that there was a stream and a waterfall at the campground, and kids were jumping 10-15 feet into the pool below. The only campground I see on Google Maps is nowhere near water and waterfalls.

I remember staying at the Lazy Louie Bicycle Camp and talking to Louie for quite a bit. Anyway, so I have that point on my route reconstruction, but the hilly part that came before, and the campground, elude me.

After Springfield I rode through Kansas, starting with Pittsburg, then heading north for a bit, then west. I met the ??? in Sterling and stayed in the dorm at the college that night. After that it was west on a really deserted highway, then riding an amazing 155 miles that day before rolling into Garden City, made possible by an early start and for once, light winds. I'm sure you remember the winds in Kansas if you were traveling east-to-west.

I'm still trying to reconstruct my route through western Kansas, and being able to see the original maps would help greatly.

I can't find the original guides on eBay or Amazon. Does anyone know where I can get copies?

Thanks, Mike

P.S. The photo is of me in Crossville, TN. I had just crossed into the central time zone.

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