Part 1: In October, our group of cross country riders reached the coast of the Atlantic and completed an incredible 3,784-mile journey by bike. Among them was one of the most accomplished women’s long-distance runners in U.S. history, Lynn Jennings. The three-time Olympian and world cross-country champion took on a new challenge this fall and embarked on a 47-day journey from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine. Get to know Lynn firsthand as she writes about her experiences on the open road across America and stay tuned for more entries soon.
For as long as I can remember I have been happiest moving outdoors with birds, forests, flowers and any kind of water. For years I moved through the world on two feet testing my limits and my willingness to endure the training to be the best runner in the world. Being a world-class runner is not for the faint of heart and somehow I came through it all intact and still kicking and with my love of the outdoors all the stronger.
When I discovered serious cycling in my forties, I found an even better way to move through the world — so many places to cycle, so much time to be on a bike. I fully embraced, as Henry James wrote, “Try to be one on whom nothing is lost.” The very notion of traveling the world on two wheels means moving through one environment after another with eyes, heart and mind wide open.
Portland to Portland 2022 was the ultimate expression of so much of what I hold dear. Being brave enough to try something new and challenging. Being willing to train hard and strong for 8 months to prepare for it. I was ready for anything to happen. I had this sense that I would thrive no matter how challenging it all was, that beautiful days and tough days would combine to create an unforgettable adventure. Improbable as it seems, I was certain I would be in my element every single day.
Sharing my experience on Portland to Portland 2022 will, I hope, show how we are always capable of more than we think, we are always more resilient than we think. I was the best version of myself every day on this trip and I can think of nothing better than inspiring someone else to give it a go.
Stay tuned for more from Lynn.