Another cool John

Larned, KS. 5:17pm.

Before I took off on my night-ride last night, I ran into a kid named John.

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He came into the café where I was sitting – blogging – and he came in there with great energy. He had just ridden from the place where I am right now, Larned, but he had done so during the heat of the day. That wasn’t all he had done that day though. His last mile into Sterling marked his 140th mile of the last 24 hours! Needless to say, John was on a mission.

John is 18 years old and has just graduated from high school. He’s from Kodiak, Alaska – an island in the southern part of the state. During his senior year in high school, John made a short movie about Zombies which earned him a near full scholarship to a film school in Orland, Florida. He, by the way, also made a documentary about why Kodiak needed a new school – a movie project which in the end resulted in the city getting a grant to build a new school.

So, in November John starts his first year of college in Florida, on the complete other side of the north american continent his home town. Instead of flying there, John decided to ride his bicycle to school. 5700 miles in three months. Pretty killer. Among other things, he has so far endured an 11 day stretch of not meeting a single person on the road. He didn’t even see a car he said. This was in the interior of British Columbia, Canada. He had also been offered a room by a man who had pulled up beside him on the road. In the morning the man demanded $100 for offering John the opportunity to sleep in his rat infested spare bedroom. Creep!

Now, here’s the best part of John’s story: before embarking on this trip, he had never been off the Kodiak Island in Alaska. He’d never been to the mainland, never been in an airplane – nothing! And with that record, he decided, at 18 years of age, to cross the whole continent by bike. Pretty remarkable!

After talking for a bit in the café we decided to go to the community pool so I could cool off before taking off and John could cool off before going to bed. The great thing is – since John is from a very cold place (colder than Stockholm), he’d never been at an outdoor pool before going on this trip! He was super stoked on pools. I actually witnessed his first head first dive as well!

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Pretty good form I’d say!!

when we came out of the community pool, someone had dropped us off some gifts.

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What did John get? The book of…. John!!! Crazy!

Before leaving I had to make a little bit of fun of John’s choice of seat…

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No matter how comfortable that thing was I’d never put it on my bike 🙂 Different priorities I guess!

Here’s his full bike setup:

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I wish him all the best on his crazy journey! He’s a great guy and I’m sure we’ll be seeing some movies by him in the future. For anyone interested, here’s his blog: http://johnsamericabiketour.blogspot.com/

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