Bike-packing across America on Silvios: Joy’s Story

December 9, 2016/ Guest

This is a guest post from Joy Kling about her all time favorite ride. She rode from coast to coast of the US with her husband Keith in 2014 on a pair of Cruzbike Silvios. We heard their story at the Cruzbike Ride Retreat in Portland and couldn’t wait to share it. They’re our heroes. Add this to the bike ride bucket list!

My all time favorite ride was our amazing tour across the country in 2014. We were both riding Silvios. I got mine just three weeks before we left, I had finally wised up!! Two very dear friends of ours drove us to Seaside Oregon where we began our journey after dipping our rear wheels in the Pacific Ocean.

Rear wheel in the Pacific on the Oregon coast.
Rear wheel in the Pacific on the Oregon coast.

We activated our SPOT tracker before we left home so our children and grandchildren could follow us online. Bev and Manuel were able to follow as well and dropped in on us every few days or weeks. We never knew when we would see them, but every time, Manny would jump out of the Sprinter, with outstretched hands, offering us “a cold one.” A cold diet Dr. Pepper was always appreciated! They hauled our extra protein powder and supplements with them, too, so we replenished whenever we met up. Everyone should have friends like Bev and Manny Cobos, they are so good to us.

The gear.

Winchester, Idaho.

Leaving the grasslands, entering the rolling hills heading east.
Getting ready to leave Sharon, Vermont.
Getting ready to leave Sharon, Vermont.

It took us three months to complete the ride. We enjoyed a rest day every week, and spent two days in Great Falls Montana visiting one of my brothers. Keith pulled a Burley Trailer behind his bike with the tent, sleeping bags and other gear. I had some banana bags on mine. (we have since devised a better way to travel without having the trailer. I guess we’ll just have to do it again to try it out!!). Here are some of the details from my travel journal:

  • It rained 31 of the 93 days, I prefer rain over heat but Keith didn’t like it much!
  • We had 21 flat tires (with the trailer we had two extra wheels)
  • We got a shower about every other day.
  • So often we were able to sleep in city parks for free.
  • In most cases the people were very kind and courteous. there were only a few cranky souls!
  • Our total ascent was 195,000 feet.
  • Highest climb in one day, 6,528 feet from Fulton to Boonville New York.
  • We averaged about 60 miles a day.

When we got to Bar Harbor, Maine, Bev and Manny were there to greet us. That was such an emotional time for me. Keith couldn’t understand why I was crying! He’s a typical man! We dipped our front wheels in the Atlantic Ocean. Then promptly shipped our bikes home.

Thumbs up in Maine, at the Atlantic Ocean!
Thumbs up in Maine, at the Atlantic Ocean!

Getting congratulations from a tourist in Maine.
Getting congratulations from a tourist in Maine.

We had a long awaited lobster dinner on the pier. Then Manny drove us to a Motel. They had a family emergency in Minnesota and had to leave us. So what we thought would be a vacation with our friends was short lived. We loaded their van with most everything we had with us except a change of clothes and our toiletries. We wouldn’t see them again for a couple more months. We rented a car the next morning, attended Keith’s family reunion at the Portland Light then flew back to Utah. I don’t know how much more vacationing I could have handled, I was so stinken homesick!! We have eight children 7 sons-in-law 31 grandchildren and even a few greats. All of them live within 25 miles of us. We have a very close knit family. We left right before school got out for the summer and it started up again two days after we got home. When we got off the plane The whole family was there, which I didn’t expect that at all, so the water works started up all over again! I was so happy to see everyone.
We read my journal together on our way to the Cruzbike retreat this year. It was so fun to relive the incredible adventure. And What an adventure it was! I had journaled every day we were gone. I’m so glad I did.

Tell us how you chose Cruzbike:

I was riding a Cat Trike Road and truly loved it. Keith had me try his Silvio, which I had no interest in AT ALL! It scared me so much. He was thinking of our upcoming three month ride and knew our trip would be so much easier if we were both on Cruzbikes. It took several tries before I could balance enough to even start peddling. I wasn’t loving it! But with Keith’s encouragement I kept at it until I could finally ride. We live next to a church parking lot so I rode around and around and around for a few days before I dared venture out on the road. After a few more days, in traffic, the feeling of being in control was finally real for me. and with my increased speed, I just had to have one! Looking back, I don’t know what I was afraid of! I’ve never looked back! the trike that I loved so much, and never wanted to part with was finally sold when I realized that I hadn’t even sat on it for over a year.

Tell us something interesting about yourself:
Keith and I met 48 years ago. Our very first date was a bike ride together, me on the handle bars!

Tell us what a Cruzbike moment looks like:
I don’t do the heat very well so I like to ride in the evenings. I love riding at night with my headlight on and tail light flashing. I enjoy the connection with our Creator while I ride. So often answers come to questions I’ve been pondering and feelings of gratitude fill me. I think the ease of the ride makes meditating so natural.

Advice to people learning:
Be patient with yourself, you’re going to love, love, love it!

This photo is from the 2016 Cruzbike Ride Retreat when we first heard Joy and Keith's stories of adventure on their Silvios. They're amazing!
This photo is from the 2016 Cruzbike Ride Retreat when we first heard Joy and Keith’s stories of adventure on their Silvios. They’re amazing!

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