David Roderick’s Supine trans-U.S. Trek

February 26, 1999

David rode a recumbent bicycle for 94 days, going from coast to coast (Portland OR. to Portland ME) for a total of 4,230 miles. He extolled the virtues of his “Bike E” recumbent bicycle (which he christened “Michael” to cater to the Archangel Michael for guidance on the impending trip).

The rider thought the seat to be more comfortable than any house chair, the visual aspect to be excellent, and he experienced little pressure on the hands. The recumbent is a bit slower on uphill pull and averaged 10 miles/hr. on the flat. The bike was on display and many potluckers tried it on for size at the end of the program.

A noteworthy aspect of the trip was the hospitality experienced throughout the trip from young and old alike. David was often invited to dine and or offered a place to pitch his tent. The uniqueness of his vehicle and the obvious vulnerability of one traveling by bicycle perhaps contributed to this quality of the experience. He even appeared to be treated with more respect than anticipated by cars on the road; he tried to avoid freeways as much as possible.

The program ended with a video which recorded David’s initiation into skydiving — from an altitude of 10,000 ft.! Perhaps he tried this as an antidote for having experienced such prolonged roadway proximity. Will this “cordless rapelling” from such an altitude become one of the achievements counting toward becoming an Obsidian Chief (or perhaps as a new classification — Great Chief in the Sky)?

Bep Fontana

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