That wasn't the case for Teunis Schuurman.
The 52-year-old man from Vollenhove, The Netherlands, began the
second day of his 900-mile bicycle trek that started
in Lansdale and will end at the home of relatives in London, Ontario, and then with friends near Green Bay, Wis.
Schuurman paused briefly Monday morning to check a map along
Route 61 on the Saint Clair-Frackville grade.
He began Monday's journey in Kutztown and planned to travel as far as Frackville.
"Right now, I'm working on riding 50 or more miles a day,"
He was expected to depart from Frackville this morning en route
to Danville, before eventually making his way to Wellsboro, where he
will spend tonight.
The next few days will have him riding to Niagara Falls and then
into London, where will stay with his relatives.
After visiting for two or three days, Schuurman said he will hit
the road again, this time heading toward Michigan,
from where he will take a ferry across Lake Michigan to the shores of Wisconsin
and begin the final leg of the journey to Sherwood, Wis., just outside Green Bay.
Monday morning, Schuurman had a pleasant surprise in nearby Berks County.
"I stopped to eat in this place called Hamburg and a man there bought me breakfast," he said.
This is the reaction the cyclist has so far encountered on his journey.
"People have been very nice to me," he said. "I can't say I have
met anyone who has acted differently."
From the time he started, Schuurman estimated he will be in
London, Ontario, in about nine to 10 days.
That distance is about 700 kilometers - or about 450 miles - from Lansdale.
After his stay with relatives, he estimates in another five or
six days he will reach his final destination - Green Bay -
from where he will fly to Detroit, then New York City and home to The Netherlands.
Schuurman said he decided to trek through the United States and
Canada because he loves to travel and bike.
In order to keep in shape at age 52, he said he annually rides
about 8,000 kilometers
on what he refers to as his "Iron Horses."
Schuurman is no stranger to America.
He said this visit is his 29th trip across the sea.
"The next one will be a reason to celebrate," he joked.
America has become the European rider's second country in the
past 20 years.
He has visited 41 of the 50 states - a feat few Americans can say
they have accomplished.
Schuurman worked for almost 30 years at WLDelft Hydraulics before
"PATS GRAPHICS DESIGN"
in April 1997.
Being self-employed affords Schuurman the time to vacation in the
and take on endeavors such as this 900-mile trek.
Having the ambition and drive to pedal such a distance is one of
the main requirements to complete the journey, he said.
Attitude is another.