Nick on the bike 2005: Oregon to Virginia
Home Journal Who am I & why am I doing this?

Who is this guy & why is he subjecting himself to all of this pain and suffering?

I'm just a regular kind of guy, trying to get through middle age; family man, geologist, president of a small business, Chairman of the Thomas Jefferson Soil & Water Conservation District, member of the landed gentry of Albemarle County, Virginia. There's a nice porch to sit on, a pond to swim there're a couple of BMW's and a Norton motorcycle in the garage. Life is good in Thomas Jefferson's back yard.

So what's with riding across the country (or riding across Albemarle county for that matter), on something you have to pedal, if you can just as easily (actually, a lot more easily), do it on an 850 Commando? Or a BMW R80G/SPD? (below, Nick & the G/S on the streets of Crested Butte, Colorado in 2001)

Well, it has to do with spirit of adventure and dealing with physical and psychological challenges beyond the norm. Pushing the life experience envelope beyond the zone of what is known & comfortable.

My home is in a little place called Burnley Station, which is about 15 miles north of Charlottesville, Virginia. This is about half way between Montpelier and Monticello, the respective homes of Presidents James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. We have a nice back yard (below), just like (sort of) Jefferson & Madison did. Same weeds & trees.

This part of central Virginia was also home to Meriwether Lewis and George Rogers Clark, two of the more extraordinary adventure tourists of the American past. I don't have presidential ambitions at this point in my life, but I do look to Lewis and Clark as kindred souls from another time, who, as I am, were afflicted with an innate drive to explore the unknown, pain & suffering be damned.

So there you have it.

The plan:

On the July 15, 2005 I am flying from Charlottesville to Eugene Oregon. I will then make my way out to the coastal town of Florence, where I will rendezvous with my bicycle and BOB trailer. As I write this, the bike & BOB are in the back of a FedEx truck somewhere in Middle America. The three of us (bike, BOB & me) will then make our way back home to Virginia along a route that goes through many of the places traversed by Lewis and Clark.