Taking A Walk

Walking Down US Highway 11 – Winchester, Virginia to Louisiana

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But How Do You…Logistics

October 5th, 2009 · 6 Comments

by Dwayne Phillips

The first question people ask me when I tell them that I am walking from here to there is, “but how do you do that? Do you sleep on the side of the road? Do you …”

Here is the method I have used for the past two weeks (Chattanooga to Tuscaloosa). I am alone for this stretch. I have a van and a bicycle. I use a method that I learned years ago when reading A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson.

  1. Put the bicycle at Point A
  2. Drive down the road to Point B
  3. Walk from Point B to Point A
  4. Ride the bicycle from Point A to Point B
  5. Repeat

I use a variation of this scheme.

  1. Park the van at Point B
  2. Ride the bicycle back up the road to Point A
  3. Walk from Point A past the van to Point C
  4. Ride the bicycle back from Point C to the van at Point B
  5. Move on and repeat

The key here is in step 3. I walk with the bicycle, i.e. I push it along while I walk.

Given all of this, I usually traverse a piece of road three times. That sounds boring, but it would surprise you how you notice something different each time.

This all allows me to sleep in a motel each night. I am not “roughing it” on this walk.

Some people have told me that walking while pushing a bicycle is a terribly hard thing to do. It doesn’t bother me much. I am becoming quite skilled at it. If ever there was an Olympic event concerning walking and pushing a bicycle, I would be in the medal running. Maybe we could have a professional league of bicycle pushers who earn millions of dollars. Maybe not.

Walking while pushing a bicycle is a pain at times in traffic. This usually happens early in the morning when people are driving to work. It also happens in cities in shopping areas.

Another part of this scheme is the actual bicycle riding. When I walk 18 miles in a day, I also ride a bike 18 miles. An 18-mile bike ride is not a major bike ride in itself. I know bicyclists who do 100-mile rides each day. Combine that 18-mile ride with an 18-mile walk and you have a lot of exercise in a day.

Here is a photo of my bike. I bought then some dozen years ago. I guess it is a trail bike or something. It seems to work well enough. I have had three flat tires in two weeks.

My Bicycle

My Bicycle

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6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Chris Sterritt // Oct 5, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson is a hilarious book… well worth reading.

  • 2 Cooler in the Parking Lot // Nov 28, 2009 at 9:31 am

    […] there wasn’t a sidewalk. I was pushing my bicycle while walking on the edge of the road. It seemed as if everyone in Alabama was shopping here. […]

  • 3 The Source of Walking Pain // Dec 6, 2009 at 1:49 am

    […] again late in September of 2009. I had to walk while pushing a bicycle and then ride the bicycle (see this link for the full explanation). The surprising thing was that I didn’t hurt. My feet didn’t have blisters and my […]

  • 4 Great Meals: The Southland Restaurant // Dec 22, 2009 at 7:37 am

    […] a road is great for driving a sports car, but terrible for walking – especially with a bicycle (see how I had to walk with a bicycle for three weeks ). It isn’t so much physically exhausting as it is mentally and […]

  • 5 Sometimes It Wasn’t Much Fun // Jan 9, 2010 at 11:05 am

    […] the bike into traffic – For part of the walk, I used a bicycle to go back and forth to my van (see the details here). This worked well, but it was not much fun when I had to walk the bicycle into heavy traffic. Two […]

  • 6 Flat Tires // Jan 10, 2010 at 2:14 am

    […] used a bicycle for a good part of the walk (see here for details). Two times I had a flat tire on my […]

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