Saw this article today and I thought it was novel what these love birds did together. Their 50th high school re-union was coming up so to get to the event, they decided to pedal across the United States! On a tandem bike! How magnificent I thought. I wonder if this is too sentimental of a story for the Bicycle Movies crowd, but here it is, the “soft side” of velo. I truly love this and I think of how my wife and I have trouble making time to take a simple walk on the beach together…so busy busy busy…tired tired tired. You know how it is. Kids, bills, the taxman. But Carolyn and Hank Peterson cleared the decks for an adventure of a lifetime. Now this is a couple really in ‘sync,” because if they weren’t how could they pedal across the big USA on a tandem bike. One thing’s for sure; Hank and Carolyn are a couple “wheely” in love, otherwise how could they stand each other for the duration of such an intense journey! (Although this smiling picture of them, IS from the start of the journey. I’d like to see the finish line photo!) Let these folks be an inspiration to couples all over the world; unite in your passions and find the adventure that’s waiting for you!
Bicycle Built for Two: La Jolla couple go tandem across the country for class reunion
By Ashley Mackin
When it came time for Hank Peterson’s 50th high school reunion outside Boston this year, he and his wife Carolyn wanted to make a “real” road trip of it and see the United States. So the La Jolla couple did just that — pedaling across the country on a tandem bike. “You see a lot a more when you are riding and get a lot more interaction with the people, and we do a lot of bicycling,” Hank said. “We’ve done trips and explored other parts of the United States, but this was by far the biggest trip we’ve done.”
Hank and Carolyn Peterson start their 9-month, cross-country journey at La Jolla shores Jan. 11 and ended up in Boston Sept. 14 for Hank’s 50th high school reunion. Departing Jan. 11, they had several spots they wanted to visit — and avoid — at specific times on the trip, Hank said. “We wanted to be in Houston in March for our grandson’s second birthday and then wanted to be outside Boston Sept. 14 for my reunion.” He joked that they wanted to be clear of the Mississippi heat by July.
So they planned a route using a map provided by the Adventure Cycling Association, which has mapped some 40,000 miles of bike routes across the country. They went from La Jolla Shores to Florida, and then up through Washington, D.C. to upstate New York (where Carolyn’s brother lives), before making their way to Boston.
Talk about a story to tell at your high school reunion!
Carolyn said when they completed the journey and told people what they had done, the Petersons would get half-attentive responses, but 10 seconds later, people would say, “Wait! You did what?”
The twosome has taken tandem trips several times over the last 10 years, including trips across Europe, Napa Valley and the Oregon coast. “The Oregon trip was the prototype for this ride in terms of what we would take as far as gear and clothing,” Hank said.
Determining they could not take much, they established a network of friends (other cyclists and people they’ve stayed with in the past), so they could mail a box of clothes and supplies from place to place. The box went from San Diego to Texas to Washington, D.C. to South Carolina to Boston.
How did all this wonderfulness get started: 45 years earlier Hank rented a tandem while they were on their honeymoon. The rest is pedalling history!