Bikers break from 2,058 mile route in Linden
Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 19, 2007
LINDEN &8212; A gang of hardened athletes ended their day yesterday afternoon by setting up camp at George P. Austin Junior High School. The group of bike riders had just finished a 60-mile trek from Coffeeville to Linden that had take eight and a half hours to traverse.
Not the first or near the last of such lengthy hauls the group would face on its 2,058 mile journey from Mobile to Owen Sound in Ontario, Canada, the bikers, though fatigued, seemed accustomed to such strenuous rides. This, of course, could be because of the group of 17 riders all but two ride regularly as a hobby and sport, Alvin Justelieu, one of the leaders of the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route from Baton Rouge, said.
The many of participating bikers that have decided to try their hand at the long and strenuous trek across are as salty in the ways of the distance bike as Justelieu. Steve Hayford, from San Diego said the experience has not been to terribly taxing on him thus far, and this is not his first time to take such a long trip.
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The group, which is the first to ride the newly created route by Adventure Cycling Association, is made up of similarly driven members for the large part, barring two bikers with less experience than the rest. Hayford said bikers that don&8217;t properly train for such an undertaking won&8217;t necessarily fail, depending on their grit and determination, but they will feel the strain more the first several weeks.
Age is not a factor for those on the trip either, as the oldest rider is a 77-year-old man named Harvey King. King happens to be a double Ironman and just completed a bike trip in Vietnam before coming on the underground route.