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The Road to Portland

Back in 2010, Jack and friends rode 5800km across North America, from New York to Portland, via St. Louis...


In the Summer of 2010 two friends and I rode across America, from New York to Portland Oregon covering a total distance of 5800 kilometres. The journey remains the most remarkable experience I have ever had on a bicycle.

We set off from New York on the hottest Forth of July for fifty years and it remained hot enough to melt the rubber off a back tyre and the tape off our bars all the way to St. Louis. Intense humidity and biting insects chased us north west to the relative cool and expansive beauty of the high prairie. Here a scarcity of water and an abundance of rattlesnakes became our everyday concerns. Our route crossed Wyoming and Idaho in the wheel tracks of the Oregon Trail and we arrived in Portland after eight weeks on the road.

Every now and then I surprise myself by recalling a tiny forgotten detail; usually one of the small everyday realities of living on a bike – the joy of crossing from one sheet map to another, or a bubbling coffee pot on the stove.

For a few seconds it’s as real as when it happened.