End of the Winding Road
Second of a two-part story.
By Ted Kanemitsu and Lisa Davis
The following is the ending of Ted and Lisa recounting their Trans America Bicycle Route journey last year.
This route basically follows the settlement of the early pioneers as they made their way west. History stared us in the eye as we visited numerous historical sites along the way. We met direct descendents of settlers who have live on the same land since there were still Indians living free. I never realized how little I knew about American history until this trip. I knew more about Kamehameha than I knew about Lincoln. And you’re right, it is embarrassing. It seems that Lincoln did a lot more than just make it on to the face of the penny and the five dollar bill.
Of course there were some scary parts to this journey as well, tension did get pretty high on occasions. I recall sitting in my tent one evening in Kentucky during the worst thunder storm in history. Well, that’s how it felt to me at the time. I knew without a doubt that my life would end that night, no questions asked. The next morning, I asked the camp manager what he thought of the horrendous thunder storm. His reply? “Oh, that’s about normal for this time of the year.” I guess I’ve lived a sheltered life.
Then there was this car that rear-ended an SUV no more than twelve or fifteen feet next to me. Talk about an eye opener. And this was less than a half hour into the ride on the very first day. I also caused a pickup truck to swerve off the road on a winding and hilly climb, nearly catapulting the driver off a cliff when a bus tried to pass me from behind around a blind turn in the pouring rain. The bus didn’t even stop, leaving me to assist the victim.
I was also hit on the head by a piece of coal from a passing truck going 90 miles an hour on a two lane road with no shoulder, thank God for helmets. And did I mention almost being attacked by a bear in the middle of nowhere? He could have been on top me in less time than it would take for me to spell my last name backwards. Then there was the encounter with a rattle snake that I thought was dead, only to have it raise it’s head near inches from my leg as I almost rode over it. Apparently they like to lie on the road to warm themselves up in the morning and evening hours. And beer bottles. It’s a good thing people don’t practice throwing beer bottles at cyclists, or we would have probably been hit ourselves. These are but a few of the near misses we faced. Any way, there is no doubt in my mind, that the Lord was working over time making sure that Lisa and I were safe.
During our adventure, I had managed to take over 5,000 pictures. 5,387 of them to be exact. These will stay with me for as long as I live. I have written a coffee table book on our journey. It’s the only one of its kind in the world, I think. I would be more than happy to share it with anyone who is interested in taking the time to look it over.
After it was all said and done, and the immensity of the whole thing set in. The realization of what we had accomplished sunk in. Yes, it was a big deal. The thousands of miles ridden in preparation, as well as the amount of time and money invested, truly made for a worth while experience. In the end, we traveled a total of 13,055.5 miles via various modes of transportation from the time we left Molokai in May, till our return three months later.
An experience like this changes a person. It changes the way we see things. It reminds us of how fortunate we are to have what we have, and to be able to live in what I consider to be the most beautiful place in the world. We take for granted what God has given us, and complain way too much about little things that don’t even matter. A mountain is only as big as you make
it. And with enough desire, and willingness, we are able to accomplish just about anything. Including, riding a bike across America. We took one day at a time, and stopped often to enjoy what the journey was all about. In the end, it left us wanting more. Thank you so much for sharing our journey with us.
Mahalo Molokai, for all your prayers and support.