I met Tito today on a ride, coming north on Highway 101. I slowed down to chat and found out he was on his way to Alaska. He had started from Argentina 14 months ago and was headed to Los Angeles to meet his sister who was flying in for a visit. Tito is from the northern coast of France and apologized for being French. “Nobody is perfect” he said, laughing as he said it. I assured him that I, as an American, was not any better. I’m sure Donald Trump would call me a “loser” but hey, we both had a good laugh.
Tito was riding a Surley bike which is an American built bike out of Wisconsin. I was surprised and asked him where he got his bike. He ordered it from the internet and outfitted it at the bike shop where he worked as a bike mechanic. He was wearing running shoes and using flat pedals with a half toe-clip to hold his foot in. When I pointed out his shoes, he said it was just alot easier day in and day out to have regular shoes. He was really loaded down with front and rear panniers and a big bag across the back rack.
I figured it would take him about 3 weeks to get to Vancouver so I told him that it was pretty cold up there come February. He laughed and said he was going to take it slowly up the coast, stopping in towns and cities for several weeks at a time. His plan was to be in the Pacific Northwest this spring.
I asked how the trip had gone so far. “It has gone well” he replied stating now that he was in the United States he had to get used to a totally different society. “Yes, we have many more cars travelling a much higher speed”, I interjected. He agreed but commented on something that he really appreciated now that he was in the United States. “Your bike lanes are fantastic”.
By Mark Lathrop