Biking 3,000 miles across America. My athletic achievement of a lifetime.

When my daughter asked if I would bike across the US with her, I jumped at the chance. I had no idea what lay ahead.
Bike challenge.

Would I be able to bike from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Atlantic Ocean?

Terror in the night Many nights I woke up at 3 a.m. and my bravado gave way to fear -- of trucks running us down, injuries, arguments and the enormity of the project.  Was I up to this?  Would I be able to get in shape?  I was in my mid-fifties after all. I hadn't competed in an athletic event for 25 years. After my daughters were born I slowed down. When the dog got old, I quit jogging and when the dog died my workouts dwindled. I let go of the "athlete" within me. For several months I didn't tell anyone about the bike trip and I wrestled with the idea in my mind. Slowly I made a firm commitment to myself. When I shared my thoughts with my husband he asked, “Are you sure?” I could see he was frightened about our safety. That was six months before departure day. I immediately jumped into action. Planning helped a lot. First I bought the specialized bikes and bikers maps.  Next I engaged the professional services of a high performance (triathelite) trainer who put me on a rigorous training and nutrition schedule. Slowly I built up my endurance and confidence, beginning with slow rides on flat terrain, and eventually pedaling 50+ miles in a day; day-after- day. Next I started to tell all our friends. My daughters believed I could do it and so did the super guy I married 25 years ago. I had to believe it myself. One day as I looked in the mirror, I realized something had changed. Of course I'd lost about five pounds.  As the person in the mirror stared back, I said out loud, "Hot damn, you're an athlete now." It felt good to work out, be disciplined and move toward fulfilling the athletic zenith of my life. I relaxed and began sleeping through the night. Later we contacted the National Osteoporosis Foundation and found a sponsor. We raised $1 per mile we rode for Bone Health education. $52,000 total in three months. When you can discipline yourself...Remember:  There is more strength and discipline within you...than any obstacle you many have to overcome.Mother/daughter challenge to raise money for Osteoporosis Charity          

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Category: Adventure, Girlfriend Getaways

About the Author ()

Marybeth Bond, National Geographic author, writer. Twelve books, explored overed 100 countries on 7 continents. Featured guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and founder of She has been featured over 1,000 times on TV, radio and print. She is a Contributor to National Geographic, Yahoo Travel, Travelgirl Magazine, CNN, CNN Airport Network. Speaker, spokesperson, author, travel expert, Marybeth, the Gutsy Traveler walks the talk. She's an adventurer; biked 3,200 miles, two months across the USA, traveler to over 100 countries. Media travel expert for CBS News, CNN, ABC, NBC, NPR and National Geographic.

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