From quiet country roads and dry deserts, to snow-capped mountains, a Mt. Juliet local is gearing up to bike across America.
“It’s an opportunity to do something that seemed exciting.”
Since 2004, Mike Payne has been using biking as a form of exercise. “I was old and out of shape,” Payne said. He enjoys knowing that his body is responsible for the bike’s movement, and biking has also allowed him to meet and exercise with many new people, some becoming great friends.
Payne, who will turn 64 during the journey, is not an amateur rider though. He has completed several tours and rides across Tennessee and Colorado.
His trip will begin June 19 in Astoria, Ore. and end on Monday, August 8 in Portsmouth NH. Payne will average around 80 miles per day over the course of the 50-day trek, with five rest days spaced throughout the journey. During these rests, Payne will sleep at hotels along the way, relax and gather energy for another leg of the tour.
“I may even visit the hotel pool,” Payne said with a laugh.
The trek will lead Payne through some of America’s, and parts of Canada’s, most well-known sites including Mt. Hood, Niagara Falls and Mt. Rushmore. Seeing the country from the cushioned seat of a bicycle is one of the primary reasons Payne began training.
With support from his wife, Debra, and his children, Payne has been training since October to prepare for the rigorous trip. His training is being led by professional biker and owner of Endeavor Performance, Todd Nordmeyer. Payne’s daily routines consist of working out, Pilates and of course, riding. Recently, Payne has been riding up to 30 miles a day.
Come June, Payne will be ready to ride from sea to shining sea, one pump of the pedals at a time.