By Dave Cooper
NoC ambassador to Cycling
In July of 1989, my friend Carol and I decided to follow a dream and ride our bicycles across America. We took leaves of absence from work, packed our bikes and gear into boxes, and flew to Seattle to start our trip. Carol brought her brown 18-speed Fuji from Massachusetts. My bike was an orange 15-speed 1970’s model Schwinn LeTour III, with fully-loaded front and rear Cannondale panniers, leather grips and a handlebar pack. It weighed a freakin’ ton.
After reassembling our bikes in the baggage claim area, we rode out of the airport and wobbled towards downtown Seattle to try and find an REI camping store. Pedaling around an unfamiliar downtown, we got turned around and ended up riding the wrong way against traffic on a one-way street before cutting across the street to the store, blocking traffic in the process.
A pedestrian looked at us and said, scornfully, “It’s people like you that give bicyclists a bad name.”