Couple’s goal – Traveling around the world by bicycle
Special to the Chronicle
Many folks have a dream that they hope will become real “someday;” however, for many, “someday” never comes. Recently, though, a husband and wife team spent a night in Shepherdstown as one stop on a journey to make their dream come true.
Mike and Linda Stuart are from Concord, New Hampshire and love to travel, especially by bicycle, and have taken vacations in the past using bikes to travel in both Europe and the United States. At the end of each vacation they wished they could continue to travel when they came home, and for the past 15 years have been planning on bicycling around the world when they retired. After taking early retirement from her teaching job and his work with an insurance company, Linda and Mike put their plan into action.
To make their dream come true, they sold their house and all of their possessions and purchased two rugged touring bikes. On Aug. 3 they loaded up all their possessions (80 plus pounds per bike) and everything they needed for the journey, and left Saratoga Springs, New York on the first leg of their trip to see the world. They then rode through the Finger Lakes in NY, the “grand canyon of the east” in Pennsylvania, and picked up the C&O trail in Cumberland, Maryland. On Aug. 31 they arrived in Shepherdstown.
Weather permitting, the couple usually pitches their small tent and spends the night on the trail, but with the threat of bad weather Sunday evening Aug. 30, they decided to seek shelter with a roof, rather than the stars, overhead. The Stuarts stopped by St. Agnes Church and inquired where they might be able to spend the night. While all they were looking for was somewhere they could simply unroll their sleeping bags protected from the elements, a local couple from the parish opened their home hosted them for the evening and night. After breakfast the next morning they set off for Harpers Ferry on their way to D.C. and to visit friends in Virginia. Their immediate plans are to reach Florida by Christmas, continue traveling through the United States until the fall of 2015, and then bike through Mexico, Central and South America to complete their first milestone on their world-wide adventure.
If you would like to follow Linda and Mike’s adventures on the road, Linda provides daily entries on her blog (website: crazyguyonabike.com; search for “Gone4aRide”).