By Patrick Slack, Staff Writer
Dean Fesette has seen a lot from the seat of his bike. At 73 years old, he will finish circumnavigating the United States this summer.
But his path, and that of 10 other cyclists making a cross, led to a new experience over the weekend: a part in the Bowlus Fun Day parade, July 6.
“This is the first time (we’ve been in a parade), so it’s fun,” Fesette said.
The group hadn’t originally planned on staying in Bowlus.
But when making a cross-country trek, travel plans need to be flexible, Fesette said.
Stops are planned based on “the mileage every day, basic rest stops where we’re going to be,” he said. “But of course, there are so many variables when you’re doing this. We didn’t expect to stay here in the church parking lot. But it worked out. The people in this town are very, very nice and they allowed us to camp here for a night.”
The journey began in Anacortes, Wash., June 1, where the group dipped its tires in the Pacific Ocean.
From there, maps provided by Adventure Cycling guided the team through the first portion of its expedition.
Once the team reaches Osceola, Wis., it will use the North Lakes Bike route, which will lead to a ferry ride across Lake Michigan, followed by a quick jaunt into Canada, then a return stateside back into New York.
The group is planning to finish its trek in Bar Harbor, Maine, around Aug. 20.
Entering the Bowlus stop, the group had averaged about 56 miles a day, but had recently been logging between 65 and 70 miles.
Most nights the team will camp out, with occasional motel stops reserved for times of inclement weather.
The group has 11 cyclists from across the country, six male and five female, including one from Scotland who joined the group in Montana. The husband of one of the bikers drives a camper alongside the group carrying the tents and gear.
The ride will cover approximately 4,066 miles in 81 days.
The group is raising money for Dolphins Cycling Challenge and the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. People wishing to donate can do so at ridedcc.racepartner.com/DCCV/DeanFesette.