Boys on Bicycles

The year was 1973.  The tale started in New Orleans and ended in Key West.  The main players were four college seniors on an adventure.

One of them was a pre-med student.  Another was pre-law.  One was a history major and the last one wanted to be an artist.  They’d convinced their academic advisors that the best use of their January term was to cross the southern part of the United States reading literature of the region as they went.

Biking across the bayouPicture them setting off on their journey of discovery at a time when no one rode bicycles.  In six weeks, they encountered only one other person on a bike; a teenager in Alabama who pedaled ten miles with them before shouting out that he had to get home for supper and that he wished them well.


Their bikes were packed with tents, sleeping bags and books.  For clothes, each carried two pairs of jeans, three changes of underwear, two tie-died t-shirts, one cotton shirt and one jacket.  Their whole life for six weeks was compressed into what could fit onto the back of a bike.

Picture them, the college boys from way up north riding with their shoulder-length hair blowing out behind them and their beards growing thicker with each day, passing through the bayous of Louisiana and the small towns of Mississippi and Alabama.

Bennett was one of them.  (You met him in Adventures Happen.)  He enchanted me on our second date with his tale.  The spell cast by the four adventurers led to date three.  And four.

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