When we decided to embark on a 2,600km cycling journey across the United States, I just assumed I was up for it. Even if we only had 30 days to complete it.
10, maybe 15kms was the furthest I had ridden in one go before this trip.
I had never patched a tire or fixed a chain.
I had no idea what cleats were, and thought a pannier was some sort of French pastry.
Like my four Australian counterparts, I was woefully naive.
I had no thought about what it might actually be like on the road. Optimism bordering on arrogance. The idea of training rides was easily brushed off as ‘overkill’.
One week into the journey and reality hit. 100 degree days, bike trailers overloaded with canned goods and instruments, a broken arm and bruised morale. Our journey was, perhaps unsurprisingly, about to fall apart.
Welcome to The Bikes of Wrath - an unplanned, highly disorganized journey across the United States.
Through a blistering Mojave desert, the mesas of New Mexico and nights spent sleeping in Walmart carparks, we encountered survivalist cowboys, Rocky Mountain Oysters, flat tires and endlessly, punishing days on the bikes.
We may have gone into this journey underprepared but what we learnt on that road will stay with us far beyond the blisters and broken bones.