A leisurely cross-continental ride
Published 7:53 pm Monday, March 23, 2015
Two young bicyclists passed through Suffolk on Monday after setting out from Bakersfield, Calif. at the start of July.
Marcus Peck, 23, and Christina Lange, 35, met working behind the scenes at a teachers’ conference in Palm Springs.
Peck said when he told Lange about the trip he was planning, “she said, ‘I’m coming!’”
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Before taking to the road together, they’d only known each other four days.
Averaging between 20 and 88 miles a day on the Western states’ much quieter roads and 16 to 45 in the east, according to Lange, they’ve battled snow and ice, “stealth camped” at Walmarts and gas stations, and ran the gauntlet on one particular Massachusetts highway they later learned local drivers call “suicide lane.”
They also say they’ve learned the peace of mind and sense of potential life can offer those who step outside the cubicle, and have met countless kind and interesting people from all walks of life.
“We’ve met so many warm-hearted, hospitable people,” Lange said.
“We spend a lot of time dreaming our dreams, when we really just have to cast off and do them,” Peck said.
“The time we have now, every minute of every day, is ours to be able to spend.”
Peck said they first planned to ride to Vancouver and across to Boston, and then take the train home.
But with no deadline, they’ve been detouring to check out places of interest. The road has taken them through California, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and in and out of Canada a few times.
Among places they’re planning to hit on the return leg are Florida, possibly Cuba, the Gulf Coast, Utah and Colorado.
“There’s a large cycling community, and they have maps and routes for what we have done,” Peck said.
“However, most of what we have done is very unorthodox.”
Suffolk — where they stopped at the Plaid Turnip to escape the cold — wasn’t on the itinerary until Lange spied the Great Dismal Swamp on a map. “I wanted to check that out,” she said.
They went to Bacon’s Castle on Sunday, then took a wrong turn and wound up in Smithfield.
Between them, Peck and Lange are raising money for four charities: Amman Imman, increasing water access in Niger; Filipino Youth Coalition, working with at-risk youth in San Jose; Rock Out to Knock Out RSD, raising money for reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a painful disease affecting the nervous system; and Together We Rise, improving the lives of foster children.
For more information, visit www.vagabonditinerary.wordpress.com.