More than twenty years ago, two friends joked about a bicycle ride to San Francisco. Today, one of them can say he made the trek.
“We were never able to go but the idea of doing it has always been with me,” said Doug Freson, an electrician at Ford’s Sharonville Transmission Plant. “So last year when the opportunity presented itself I just decided to start training.”
The only thing he knew for sure was that his first stop would be Lawrenceburg, Ind., a town about 66 miles from where he first began. Each morning he planned to wake up and scour the Web for towns and hotels along the way. If he was going to reach San Francisco and return home on time, he’d need to bike 80 – 100 miles per day.
On Aug. 15, armed with the clothes on his back, some water bottles and a few electronics, he began his journey westward.
“The overall trip was more physical than I had anticipated,” he said in reference to the challenges he faced. “I biked into head winds for a lot of the trip and in Colorado rode up a mountain for 23 miles. I had to bike 144 miles in one day after realizing the city I was going to didn’t even exist.”
When asked about giving up he said, “The thought crossed my mind but I’d make sure to sleep on it. I got a ton of encouragement from people along the way which helped to keep me going. Once I hit the Rockies I knew I could make it.”
And that he did. On Sept. 11, after 28 days and 2,650 miles he rode up to the Pacific Ocean and jumped in.
“Actually doing it was great but my favorite part of the trip was the people,” he said. “They’d give me their phone numbers or start following me on Facebook. They were just so supportive it was unbelievable!”
Freson isn’t sure what’s next on his agenda but for now he’s just happy to be home. In regard to how it feels to have accomplished this goal he said, “I’m thrilled to death I did it and I’m thrilled to death it’s over.”