If ever there were a way to prove it's the journey and not the destination that wins out, perhaps the Great American Road trip is the answer. Or, in this case, maybe it's our Search Brigade: A Great American Bike Trip if you will. The cross-country trip is a part of the lexicon of adventure and has fueled the imaginations of millions ever since it became logistically feasible. For Steinbeck it was his discovery that "I did not know my own country" that persuaded him out into the great wide open. For others it was just the fantasy of making their way across the map conjuring up rich images of diverse landscapes and interesting characters to come. Whatever it may be, it has been calling us for years. This year we answer. It seems everyone we talk to has a different image of what the road across America looks like. Some think of it as destinations like the grand canyon or Mount Rushmore, others just want to find the perfect roadside diner with the perfect neon sign sitting frozen in time somewhere in the dusty heartland of America. Others think of the people, the plains, the tumbleweeds, the grasslands, seedy truck-stops, the mountains, sunrises and sunsets, campgrounds and air-streams, cowboys and cactus, and on and on. It just might be whatever you want it to be, and that's fine with us. Perhaps that's the beauty of the trip and why so many people yearn for it.
For now, this is just an intro. to our Brigade diary, so we aren't going to jam it all in here at once. There is much more to follow, but here are some simple truths about what is to come for us this summer: We will ride roughly 7,000 miles over 100+ days as a rolling Brigade out and back across this great country. We leave from New York City on June 1st and will return to the same spot from which we left. We hope people will ride all of it, but we welcome everyone to ride as much or as little as they wish. Join us for the summer. Join us for a day, a week, a few miles, whatever. We will have a spot-tracker on the group so you can see our progress and you can plan to join when possible. For those in for the long-haul we will announce the daily route each morning with the night's camping/lodging plans for that evening clearly marked. Each day you can ride with the group at a moderate pace, or go as fast or slow as you like. We will regroup each night and set out again in the morning under the direction of our ride-leaders. Average mileage is often dictated by the proximity of the next night's camping destination, but expect to cover somewhere between 65-90 miles per day. You will need to be self-supported, but you will have the assurance that a group of cyclists is always with you or close by should you need a hand.
These are the basics. Start dreaming and planning at the same time. The Brigade rolls out shortly in Search of the road and what we consider a rite of passage for any cyclist, adventurer, or dreamer. The path is out there. It spans from one coast to the other and we are going to ride it in both directions. Please join us. If you've ever longed to ride cross country...this could be your chance. See you all soon.
-Search and State