"c2c", what on earth could that stand for? Well, "c2c" stands for "Coast to Coast" or "Sea to Sea", meaning a trip across America. These are terms used by bicyclist (among others) to identify the epic adventure in terms of traveling across America.
This idea first became popular (due to media coverage) in 1976 because of the 4000 bicyclists that cycled across America to celebrate the bicentennial of America. From this event the Adventure Cycling Association was formed and the rest is cycling history.
Cyclist now just refer to the trip as "going across".
Adventure Cycling Association sells detailed maps of several routes including a map of the original bicentennial route,
also the northern route,
and southern tier.
In the past I have written about John and Jerry
but Friday was the first cyclist I have met that was "going across".
Bryan was not using the bike maps but was playing it by ear and using a small road atlas for general directions. I met him on highway US64 that parallels I-40 across Arkansas, just to the south of I-40 from the western edge of the state until Conway (nearly in the center of the state) and then north of I-40 (moving farther north of the Interstate) for the remaining route to the eastern side of the state. Most of this road has a nice wide shoulder to ride on.
Bryan had been on the road about 45 days since leaving Oregon and mostly camping with a few motel nights mixed in, he was in no hurry and just heading east to the Atlantic Ocean. He works as a campground maintenance man and his campground was closed for the winter. He had plans to head south and hit US82 and follow it east. Again his bike was not the traditional touring bike but part of his equipment was top notch. Any bike in decent shape can be used for touring but a traditional touring bike is designed to carry the load and be comfortable mile after mile. His Ortlieb bags (panniers) are some of the most popular used by touring cyclist. His tire pump was another thing altogether. He was carrying a "floor type" tire pump.
While they do an excellent job, they are a little heavy compared to
this small and easily carried model.
Since Little Rock and crossing the Arkansas River can be a challenge, I helped him devise a plan to stay on US64 past Little Rock and showed him the route I thought (again, not always the same on a bike as in a car) would be best for him as he headed south to US82, mindful that crossing the Mississippi River can also be a challenge on a bike.
Bicycling across America would be physically challenging but the mental challenge would be even greater. As a teenager I hitchhiked all over the west and as a man I have taken many motorcycle trips but when on a bicycle you are hours away from changing what ever situation you find yourself in.