Is it even possible to explain why I did this? Do I even completely understand why I did this? I could answer in the style of Sir Edmund Hillary and simply say "because it was there", but there is more to it than that.
Where to begin?
Life is short. Like many people I carry around a mental list of the things I want to do with my life before it is over, but it seems like I rarely stop and take the time to do the things that would mean something to me. I'd increasingly felt like life was passing me by, that I was too focused on the here and the now, and that I'd lost sight of the big picture. I decided that the time had come to cross something new off my list of things to do. More importantly, I decided that the time had come to make a change in my life.
But why this?
I guess you either get it or you don't. You either understand why one would do something like this or you don't. Of all the people I've shared this with, I've only had one person who simply couldn't understand why I would do this. It is an adventure, it is an accomplishment, it is a goal to strive for that is within my grasp. It is crazy enough that almost nobody does it, but sane enough that thousands of people have done it. It is a bug that got planted in my ear years ago, and I'm finally letting it out. It is simply what I decided to do.
But why then?
Ah, that is the big question. The best answer I can give is that it had to be then. I badly needed a change in life, and was afraid that if I didn't make it soon I might never make it. I'd had a few goals stay tantalizingly out of my grasp for so long, that like Aesop's fox I'd started to think that life was full of sour grapes. In short the life Iíd built for myself wasnít making me happy, and I didnít know how to fix it.
The only way I know how to examine my life is to step outside of it, and this trip became a vehicle to carry me "outside". By only taking that which is essential, by leaving everything else behind, by simplifying my days to riding and thinking, I ended this trip with a better vision of what I want to do next and what I have been doing wrong.
No matter what other people think about all this, the fact is that I'm did two really great things. First, I took an incredible bike ride across the country. Second, I looking at myself in a way that I havenít in a long time. These were both worthwhile endeavors by my accounting.