Bicycle Travel

US 76 cuts east-west across the USA, a vetted trail for long distance bicycle travel. The route and the name both originated during 1976, the USA’s bicentennial year. It was also the year that a dedicated group of cyclists, many of them gravitating around Missoula, Montana, set the goal of celebrating the bicentennial by the not-so-simple expedient of riding across the continent. It was decades before the internet. Even without its networking and research capabilities, they mapped the route and motivated thousands of cross-country cyclists to join in a coordinated start, and the challenge.

US 76 ran, and continues to run, through Buckhorn, Kentucky. That’s where I met author and playright, Jerry Buck Deaton in the Summer of 2018. Jerry was camping at a nearby lake for an extended weekend with a friend, visiting from England. They invited me to pitch my tent nearby, swap stories, and share a meal or two. Jerry was born and raised right there in Breathitt County. He lived in Buckhorn in 1976 when the BikeCentennial was born. Only thirteen-years old he remembers a steady string of bicyclists riding through town, three or four every hour. He spent the entire day watching and waiting for the next rider to appear, daydreaming about what his future might hold.

Information about Jerry’s books, plays, and PBS television productions can be found at: http://jerrydeaton.com/

My time in Buckhorn, Kentucky was another demonstration, that “just saying yes” on a solo bicycle adventure is as important as carrying drinking water, or a tire pump and inner tube. You can never know. It is impossible to predict when, who, or how, you will be rewarded for it. But, you can count on the opportunity.

US 76 has evolved into a well traveled cross-country bicycle route. The core group of cyclists who established the Bikecentennial went on the create a nonprofit that has maintained the accessibility of this route to ordinary cyclists like me; someone with the time and the will to commit to the challenge. Their detailed maps and more about their mission can be found at: https://www.adventurecycling.org

Icarus and the Wing Builder

We have known how to fly for centuries…

Long ago, a famous inventor and builder created working wings, showing us that it could be done. His name was Daedalus and he made two pair, one for himself and one for his son. It was an elegant rite of passage.

The legend tells of the father and son flying away together, out over the sea on a beautiful warm day and, the story of tragedy and loss that Deadalus told when he finished the flight. But, did anyone else actually see Icarus fall? Nonetheless, we seem to have collectively decided to stay on the ground ever since. There was so much more to the story that Daedalus did not tell. It is an ancient mystery whose time has finally come

This full length novel completes the myth, telling the true story of what really happened in the sky that day. It is a story of rites of passage, discovery, and the power of wings.

An Alternative History and A New Mythology for the 21st Century

The book is available in print wherever fine books are sold. It is also available in E book format on Amazon.com at:

and in audio format at: http://goo.go/EKySso

Are You Still Listening?

1969 Stories & Essays

1969 was a pivotal year for the USA. For the nation it was a time of remarkable achievement, civil unrest, and moral confusion. Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. It marked the high-water year of an escalating and undeclared war. The NY Mets won the World Series. Woodstock happened. And, for this writer/poet, it was the beginning of my senior high school year.

I grew up in the heartland of the country, just another kid from the industrial city of Akron, Ohio. My hometown was a few miles down the road from KSU (Kent State University) and the small town of Kent. My Dad, a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War. Both my parents wanted Vietnam to end, but with honor. I graduated from high school in early June, 1970, just weeks after the shootings at KSU, the bloodshed and the deaths perpetrated by members of the Ohio National Guard. Those times were like living inside the pieces of a broken mirror, still held together by the wooden frame. It was fertile ground for my coming of age story; one that would take decades to write.

On this fifty-year anniversary of 1969, I am joining with seven other veteran writers…journalists, freelance writers, and social and political commentators…to add my story as part of a diverse collection of eyewitness accounts, personal tales, and uncommon confessions commemorating that historic year. The book is entitled: Are you Still Listening? 1969 Stories and Essays.  Companion authors and witnesses to this transformative decade are: Brent Green, Carol Orsborn, Ph.D., David Cogswell, Bob Moses, Jed Diamond, Ph.D., Greg Dobbs, and Richard Adler.

For those who experienced 1969 firsthand, this book can stir memories and invite reflection about a momentous year. For those who were born after, the book reveals truths concerning a rebellious time and an engaged generation that believed it might change the world.

Many touch points from that decade seem to be cycling back with intensity into the present day. The Beatles gave their final public performance on the rooftop of Apple Records in London in 1969. I truly hope that 2019 offers this nation and the world another bite at the apple in terms of resolving them.

Robust Resilience

by Rob the Bicycle Poet

This third half of life...
            it is
            the sweetest part.
The time that adds...
           while
           it takes away.
The time for
           finding your voice,
           and telling your story.
For the inner man or woman
           to come into alignment 
           with the outer, just the same.  
Not with words
           borrowed from Mark Twain
           or Shakespeare.
Tell the ones
           that come
           from your heart. 

I believe in the power of truth and beauty
            to guide us,
            along an ascending path.
The pace is measured,
             Not easily observed, except,
             for glimpses in retrospect. 
Watch out for the test,
             sometime in midlife.
             Because the path doesn't end.
Not even when the Sirens scream (Seductively beckon),
            Slow down, (Get out of the way.)      
            Think about retiring.         
But the body knows better, 
           "Better use it.
            Or lose it."
And, the heart beats on,
           Opening wider,
           Ready to receive...
Because the soul understands, 
           the time is at hand,
           to create something that lasts.

So it was that this poetry began,
           with a timely rediscovery 
           of the bicycle.
Today, taking a break
           at your bicycle speed
           might alter the course of your life.
A moment on the flowing tide which,
            when taken at flood,
            can lead on to renewed vitality.
Happiness doesn't come
           with fortune or fame.
           Health is just as elusive.
These fruits are sweetest in the pursuit. 
           And for that, the bicycle can be
           Your best friend.


January 2019