A Monologue with the Æther

Nearly Twenty-Five Years Ago

2 September will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the day I awakened and decided to ride my bicycle from Norfolk, Virginia to San Francisco, California. It was one of those rare late summer days which wasn’t miserably oppressive with heat and humidity in southeastern Virginia. I awoke to a brilliantly bright morning, and as I lay in bed, I thought, I’ll move to San Francisco; then I thought, I’ll ride my bicycle to San Francisco. And that was that, unlike my plan to hike the entirety of the Appalachian Trail, I would see this through. Had I stayed in southeastern Virginia and remained in my job, I would most likely have either been offered a position with the company up at our headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland or been made manager of the Yorktown, Virginia location that would open in a few years. However, it was the prospect of the former occurring which I believe was the impetus of moving forward with my bicycling-across-the-continental-United-States plan. Frankly, the idea of moving to the Washington DC environs disturbed me more than the idea of riding a bicycle across the US.