So I was driving from Raleigh back home to Sanford, NC today before noon. Saw a couple bikes on US1 (big, divided highway, 65mph), first thinking "what a couple idiots", but then noticed they had full on paneers, and were loaded down. Thought about stopping to tell them how close they were to Old US1 where they could ride virtually the same route much more comfortably, safely, and legally, but could not stop safely to do it, so I drove on and it went out of my mind.
Fast forward about 3-4 hours and I ran some trash to the dump in town, and when I came home I saw a couple guys resting on the side of the road in front of my house, with bikes. Pretty common for where I live, but as I got closer I realized they were the same two guys. I went the long way so I could stop, and I asked if they needed anything and the older guy barely spoke English, but finally he said he was OK. I asked him where he was headed, and in broken English he said he was going from Miami to Alaska. I gave him the thumbs up, and rolled my car into the carport. I cold see that they were needing some water, so I told him to come over, and I filled up his water bottle. Figured he had a pretty cool story, so asked him if he wanted a beer. He said yeah, and I told him to get his buddy, and we sat down and had a beer together.
Turns out they are first going from DC, to Miami, via Myrtle Beach, and Charleston, then accross the country; Vegas, LA, San Fran, yada yada yada, Anchorage. hoping to get done in about 10 months, which is good timing weather-wise to get into AK.
The older guy has biked in MANY (100+) countries and has written a couple books, but in Russian. He gave me a DVD of some of his movies (I will watch tonight).
I dunno, I thought it was pretty cool. Just an old guy, with a decent beer-gut, riding his bike and seeing the world. I don't think Alex (the younger guy) will make it, but I have little doubt that Vladimir will eventuall reach his destination, and continue the journey.
Kinda funny, but I'm doing a 6 hour "endurance" race tomorrow. Doesn't seem quite so big now...
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