NOB HILL--In what may be regarded as a sign of over-confidence, I ordered a new bike jersey from Adventure Cycling Assoc. It reads "TRANSAMERICA" across the front. The back has a big waving U.S. flag.
Now what would possess me to start off a 4200 mile bicycle trip across the U.S. wearing a shirt that indicates the trip is a done deal, a snap, and finishing is a certainty...just keep those pedals moving?
Actually, I am anything BUT confident. After all, I am a 65-year-old asthmatic with a bad ankle and dangerously delicate knees. And the biggest worry of all is that for most of the trip I will be riding solo. My friend Mike can only ride the first 500 miles or so with me.
Here is the story: the shirt is part of my bargain with destiny. It is my way of acknowledging all the risks and hardships that might stop me, and still I announce my intent. I do not take this trip lightly. The new jersey is my way of coming to grips with all that might befall me.