Brothers make cross-country trip on bicycles

Feb. 25, 2011 at 7:05 p.m.
Updated Feb. 24, 2011 at 8:25 p.m.

If Merriam-Webster's Dictionary needed a picture to illustrate the meaning of the word endurance, then a picture of the Roe brothers would do the job.

As of Friday afternoon, brothers Joshua and Israel Roe were 1,560 miles into their cross-country bicycle tour.

"You get to see the country a lot better than anyone would in a vehicle," said Israel, 21. "We're right there on the road, seeing everything firsthand rather than zipping by and seeing it at a glance."

He added, "It's been absolutely amazing."

The Roes made a pit stop at Bill's Bikes in Victoria on Friday for maintenance.

The brothers, who named their trip One Revolution after the technical term for a pedal stroke, started their cycling trip on Jan. 9 in Ocean Beach, Calif.

They hope to arrive at their final destination of St. Augustine, Fla. by March 20.

Joshua, 29, a cross-country cycling veteran, has been biking for the past eight years. He did a cycling trip by himself from the brothers' hometown in South Shore, Ky. to Florida.

After plans fell through for the brothers to take a trip to Ireland, they decided to pedal across America instead.

"I'm glad we're able to do it together," said Joshua, who described himself a bicycle mechanic and professional traveler. "It's rare enough that brothers even get along, let alone being able to get on bikes and pedal 3,000 miles together."

So far, Joshua said they have made good time, traveling 50 to 65 miles on slower days and between 75 and 80 miles on good days.

They stop every 500 miles for bicycle maintenance and whenever they want for entertainment.

"We stop wherever we find a good microbrewery to check out, or culture or a bike town," said Joshua.

Strong proponents of supporting locally owned businesses, the Roes have stopped mostly at mom and pop establishments.

"If we stop at anything that's chain, corporate or conglomerate, it is a gas station to fill up our water bottles."

Bill Yeary, owner of Bill's Bikes, was pleased the cyclists chose to stop at his shop.

"It feels great," said Yeary. "Anybody who rides a bicycle is interesting, whether they know it or not."

With their tent, sleeping bag, food, clothes, Kindle and Frisbees packed on their Surley Long Haul Trucker bicycles, the brothers have also stopped to admire the scenery.

"I really liked this wall of moss growing over a cliff into the ocean in California and the sunsets in the dessert," said Israel.

The Roes said they hope their trip will promote bicycle awareness in bystanders, encouraging them to create more bicycle-friendly roadways and use cycling as a means to get in shape.

"I just heard something on the radio about obesity and these programs," said Joshua. Really, it is as simple as just getting on a bike."

The brothers, who planned to leave Victoria sometime Friday evening, said their next stop would be either Houston or Port Lavaca.

While Israel's journey will end upon arriving in St. Augustine, Joshua will continue on with the second leg of his journey.

He plans to ride his bike to Georgia, and then walk from there to Maine along the Appalachian Trail.

When asked about his adventurous spirit, Joshua said, "It doesn't take a lot of money to do things in life. It just takes desire and the wherewithal to do it."

He added, "Life's too short not to live."



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