2 Baldwin County friends 2,212 miles into epic bike tour across United States

By Melanie LeCroy
Lifestyle Editor
melanie@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 5/18/22

Two Baldwin County friends have traveled 2,212 miles in 55 days (as of May 10) on an epic bike tour across the United States.Kristy Eubanks and John Boyle dipped their rear tire in the Pacific Ocean …

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2 Baldwin County friends 2,212 miles into epic bike tour across United States

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Two Baldwin County friends have traveled 2,212 miles in 55 days (as of May 10) on an epic bike tour across the United States.

Kristy Eubanks and John Boyle dipped their rear tire in the Pacific Ocean March 18 in San Diego and plan to dip their front tire in the Atlantic Ocean in St. Augustine, Florida. The duo stopped at the
Louisiana state line to wave goodbye to the big state of Texas May 8. Eubanks said they hope to cross the Mobile Bay into Fort Morgan May 18.

Eubanks and Boyle are currently riding the Southern Tier route that runs 3,177 miles through eight states from California to Florida. They are relying on the Adventure Cycling Association's mapped route. The group publishes maps with bike routes all over the United States. The maps include information about each town along the route with hotels, hostels and campgrounds. The Warm Shower Organization is another resource the duo is relying on. The nonprofit is a resource for cyclists all over the world and connects bikers with people offering hot showers, yard space for camping, shelters or even couches.

Gulf Coast Media caught up with Eubanks and Boyle on their journey across Louisiana. They have averaged 40 to 60 miles a day throughout their trip but are looking forward to increasing that now that they have reached flatter lands.

While the trip is far from over Boyle said the highlight for him so far has been the people he has met. For Eubanks it has been the surroundings good and bad.

"Because of being on a bike, I hardly have missed a thing. Good and bad. From the wildlife and flowers to all the trash on the side of the roads," Eubanks said.

The duo has encountered a few low points.

"The first state park where we wanted to stay was full and we had to backtrack over 11 miles for shelter," said Boyle.

The lowest point so far for Eubanks was trying to make it to Silver City, New Mexico after an exceptionally long sweltering day of climbing mountains.

"It got dark very fast, so we had to pitch our tents behind someone's storage unit outside the city. The day was amazing it was just after dark it got pretty miserable," Eubanks said.

They both agree that the mountains have been the biggest challenge. The day after day climbing for several weeks really took a toll on the duo and made getting to the flatter land close to home much sweeter.

The Southern Tier route has taken Boyle and Eubanks through small towns and past beautiful vistas. They said one of their favorite places was Jacumba, California because of its view and atmosphere. The small towns and historic cities along the way have also been a highlight. But there have been a few crazy encounters as well. For Boyle it was being chased by dogs but for Eubanks it was being chased by a herd of cows. Yes, you read that right. She says she has the video to prove it.

Two strangers who met through bike touring have been living out their lifelong dream for the last two months. The things they have seen and experienced have been eye opening and they want to encourage everyone to experience it.

"People should take the time to rediscover America's small towns and the characters in them. Their lives will be, without a doubt, enriched," said Eubanks. "Take time to go for a walk, a run or a bike ride. Get outside and take in your surroundings. The sights, the smells, the sounds. Take time to really look around. You will be amazed at what you see and learn. You will be better physically, spiritually and emotionally."

Read more about  Eubanks and Boyle here. 

Follow along on their journey or see where they have been by visiting their Facebook  page Kristy and John's Epic  Adventure along the Southern Tier 2022.

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