Going Somewhere: A Bicycle Journey Across America

Going Somewhere: A Bicycle Journey Across America

Brian Benson

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 0142180645

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Brian has a million vague life plans but zero sense of direction. So when he meets Rachel, a self-possessed woman who daydreams of bicycling across the States, he decides to follow her wherever she'll take him. Brian and Rachel soon embark on a ride from northern Wisconsin to Somewhere West, infatuated with the promise of adventure and each other. But as the pair progress from the Northwoods into the bleak western plains, they begin to discover the messy realities of life on the road. Mile by mile, they contend with merciless winds and brutal heat, broken bikes and bodies, each other and themselves—and the looming question of what comes next. Told in a voice "as hilarious as it is wise" (Cheryl Strayed), Going Somewhere is a candid tale of the struggle to move forward.

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bathroom, I saw a flannel-clad man ride by on a John Deere. Hines Park was getting a haircut. Rachel sat up and stretched. It had been a cool night, and she was covered head to toe in the blindingly white long underwear she’d picked up before we left. The first night she donned the outfit, we’d discovered it glowed in the dark, and now, even in the low light of morning, there was a powdery aura about her. With the form-fitting fabric, its snow-white radiant glow, and her long, flowing hair, she

own, including a four-thousand-mile journey that put ours to shame. They were bike-trip sages, and total sweethearts. By sunset, when Rachel and I retreated to the tent, I was full and content and barely thinking about the Lump. The next morning, I woke feeling like I had swallowed sandpaper. Shit. Rachel and I wandered into the house to find Donn, a doctor, getting ready to head to work. I raised my hand to my neck, where the Lump was doing its thing, being red and gross and painful. The night

tore through my head, setting off sirens. I squeezed the brakes, spun around, told Rachel I wanted to check out the beach. I didn’t say why, and she didn’t ask. She just rode beside me as I followed the impeccably smooth pavement into the lakeside parking lot. By the time I waddled up to the sign near the beach, I knew where I was. I was here. At the sea caves. And though I didn’t need to read the sign—didn’t want to—that’s exactly what I did, aloud, to Rachel, who had been staring at me staring

doing that googly Muppet thing, but in a decidedly bad way. Cookie Monster on methamphetamine. “You two,” he said, “best get off the road.” So much for hello, I thought. I didn’t know how to respond, so I just cocked my head and asked, “Yeah?” “Yeah. You know there’s a rodeo tonight? Done anytime now. There’s about to be a bunch of drunks on the road.” “Huh.” Pretty reasonable advice, I had to admit. Back home I’d have never dreamed of riding busy roads in the wake of, say, a Monday-night

pedaling, not a pilot but a passenger, just kicking back and appreciating the wind-tickled grasses and the distant, silvery splotch that appeared to be a lake and the gnarled cones of rock that were now rising around us like inverted tornadoes. It was one of those days when I felt I could actually see the land changing. When momentum felt like something I could photograph. As we approached Choteau, a faint spot of gold stained the gray sky. “Do you see that?” I asked Rachel. She did. And

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