Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Passing Through

On November 9, I drove into the lot at Park Road to begin a Wildwood walk with my camera. Just as I opened my door, I glimpsed an unusual bicycle exiting the park. "Hey!" I shouted. "Could I please take your picture?" The rider looked a bit surprised, but he stopped and said, "Sure." Getting my camera out of its case, I continued, "and I want you to go back down the path and ride back toward me." He looked a bit puzzled. "I want a picture of you in Wildwood Park for my blog and albums." "Oh, okay!"

He cheerfully did what I had asked and even gave me a big smile and wave as he got closer to the camera.

When he stopped behind my car, I took a closer look at all the "stuff" on his bike. "You aren't local, are you?" "No", he replied. "Where have you come from?" "San Diego." "California?"
                                                     Wow, that sure piqued my curiosity!
His bike was a recumbent but different from others that I had seen. Instead of a smaller wheel in front, both tires were the same size. "It requires fewer supplies for fixing flat tires and broken spokes when one size fits all," Mark explained.

Mark Doumas and his wife Sandy live in Tucson, AZ. He has a sister living in San Diego and one in  Newport News, VA. The couple decided to tour across the United States, starting at the Pacific Ocean and ending at the Atlantic. Their website title Sea2Sea,Sister2Sister pretty well summarizes what they had set out to do.
Mark also added another connection to his passage through our city. His sister Jennifer, the one in California, was born in Radford! Their dad was a student at V.P.I., and the family was living in Blacksburg.

Mark mentioned that he was very favorably impressed with Radford's network of bike trails so I told him about Pathways for Radford and their efforts and hard work in building and maintaining those bike-ways.

The couple had driven their car with bikes on racks from their home in Tucson to San Diego where they visited with family, dipped the back tires of their bikes in the Pacific and set out across the country. When they got to St. Louis, Sandy decided that she was tired of biking and that she would rather visit with her family there. Mark would continue on by himself, writing in an online journal that they had started at the beginning of their trip, and Sandy would be able to follow his progress.
Sandy later flew back to Tucson, drove back to the mid-west to pick up her bike that she had left with family, and continued on to meet up with Mark on the Blue Ridge Parkway. She biked with him and they enjoyed the fall scenery in that area. She then drove the car to Newport News and then finished biking to the Atlantic with Mark. One of  the last journal photos shows his front tire in the Atlantic Ocean on November 18 and smiles on all faces as they were joined by family on the beach.

Mark posted one of the photos of his Wildwood ride in his journal. You can see it by clicking this link and scrolling down to the 4th photo. Be sure to read his comment above the picture:

I had the excitement of sharing a bicycle tour across our great country as a result of a simple visit to Wildwood Park. What a great place!

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