June 6th marked the day Wend editor-at-large Rick Olson departed from Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado to embark on a four-month, 5,000-mile bicycle tour of the National Park-to-Park highway. While on the tour, Rick is interviewing people Livin’ the Hybridlife. He’s on a bike ride that began in Seattle and will end in New London, Connecticut.
Notes from the road…
Leading up to the biggest trip of my life, I was slated to go it alone. I was a bit nervous to say the least. In the midst of planning, I met up with Cali for a beer, since I hadn’t seen her in over a year because she was embedded in Iraq. Catching up, I mentioned my bike tour. When she asked who else was going, I told her no one.
A few days later, I received a phone call from Cali, telling me she wants to join the trip.
The rest was history.
Leaving Boulder, CO the first day of our tour, neither of us had ever rode fully loaded, or wearing clipless pedals. Nor had we ever pedaled more than 60 miles in one day. But we both enjoy misadventure, and we got plenty of it.
Cali, or White Truck, I cannot begin to explain how appreciative I am of your willingness to dive in headfirst with me and see where the road takes us. I know for a fact this trip, or the first half at least, would not have been nearly as much fun or odd without you.
Come home safe from Afghanistan, and when you conjure up a trip that’s a bit over your head, remember that I owe you one.
- Rick Olson, Wend Magazine Editor-at-Large
About the Playground Tour
The Playground Tour, which was named after the “Playground Trail,” a 5,000-mile tour of twelve National Parks west of the Rockies that was taken by a group of Americans in 1920. Their mission was to generate awareness and support for better roads to facilitate easier access to recreational areas.
The Playground Tour is an attempt to recreate this tour by bicycle. The mission is to raise money and awareness for the United States Bike Route System. Rick is teaming up with the Adventure Cycling Association and will be observing and documenting the difficulty of travel and roads conditions for cycling throughout the ride.