It was a cold night when the 400 pound man entered the gym. He waddled up to the front desk, trial membership in one hand, oversized sweat clothes in the other. After filling out some forms, he staggered to the locker room, changed, and headed towards the stationary bicycles. Seven minutes later, he was gasping for breath, sweat running down his chubby face. After a brief rest, the fat man lifted some light weights and asked some questions of one of the trainers. He in turn was asked a question.

“What are you going to do once you’ve lost all this weight?”

“I don’t know. Travel probably. I’ve not been able to travel.”

“You should make it some big thing, a really long trip.”

“Like cross country on a bike?”

The trainer laughed. “Yeah. Now that’s a big reward.”

A few minutes later, the fat man left the gym. The trainer walked over to the old man at the front desk. “What do you think of the new guy?” he asked the trainer.

“He’s a nice guy, but I don’t give him three weeks here.”


I was that fat man, and that promise I made to myself is now going on eight years. I’ve twice planned trips, and I’ve never been able to make them happen. For me, a cross country trip by bicycle means taking two to three months of my life and turning riding into my daily job. It also means giving up my job and residence, putting everything I have into storage, and finding the money to not only support myself on the road but pay my bills in my absence. And there’s the little matter of what do I do with my life the day after I stop riding.

So for now my Pedalwest Destiny is pushed back again, at least to 2015. But I’m keeping it in mind as a long range goal. For now its a dream deferred. But it IS a dream still.