EATON — Al Price may be 70 years old, but that did not stop her from cycling across from Wyoming to the furthest parts of Canada.
Price is originally from Eaton, though she now resides in Idaho. During her most recent trip, she found herself visiting her family and resting in Preble County between bouts of adventure.
She cycled from Dubois, Wyoming to Eaton, before going north to the Detroit area into Canada. She road from Burlington, Canada into Ottawa. There she met with friends who cycled with her to Montreal. They took a train north to Jonquiere, where they road in various areas of Quebec, finally ending up in Newfoundland.
Her trip will last six months.
She left her home in Idaho on April 25. She rode by herself until she got to Ottawa, where she met up with friends and strangers — who then became her friends — alike. Not all of the time has she been cycling, as she also has been visiting with friends and families.
However, her trip is not yet over. Starting on Sept. 9, she will begin her trip home. To get one more adventure in, she will be traveling Route 66 from Chicago to California on her bike.
To Price, there is nothing like seeing the world on her bicycle. It is an experience, she says, like no other.
“I’ve always liked to ride. I never really had a bicycle as a kid, it wasn’t until I left home that I had a bicycle. I really love to ride long distance, self supported, and just go. You get to see the world, smell the world. You see so much more on a bicycle, you really do, so much more than you ever see in a car,” she said.
“People see you when you’re out and you get to meet people. It is like you’re a magnet. People want to talk to you, see where you’re from, where you’re going, what you’re doing and why. They can’t fathom that someone would be out there by themselves riding across the country. I explain what I’m doing and why, because it is fun and it is something I’ve always wanted to do.”
“This is the third time I’ve gone across country and the second time by myself,” Price said. “I went across country in 2014 and I had such a good time, meeting people and seeing parts of the States, so one morning when I was home, I rode into town early in the morning and it was just like when I went on that trip. I decided 2018 would be the time I would go again.
“My original goal was to just ride across country, but I had a friend who set up this trip in Canada, so I decided to join them. I have always wanted to ride Route 66 and I didn’t want to go through all the big cities, so I’m actually doing Route 66 with a small group. They’re handling all the food and accommodations and I just have to ride my bike.”
She loves riding by herself, because she can go as far as she wants to, for how many miles she wants to, without anyone else dictating her speed or direction. She noted, it is hard to find places to eat and stay, but that is part of the fun as well. She also got nervous about leaving her bike places, because if she lost her bike, she’s lost her way home.
As for her trip home, she says she’s not nervous at all.
“Yesterday I had to take my bike in for maintenance and I was able to go shopping for stuff I needed, so I am ready. I’m excited. Whatever you take with you, you carry all the time. When I left, there was still snow on the ground. I had to take cold weather clothes and I shipped my warmer stuff here and traded out my cold stuff for warmer stuff,” she said. “I will be riding in October, so it will be colder, but you have to pare down. You cannot take a change of clothes for every day of the week. You have to do a lot of laundry.”
“I love getting the opportunity to see the countryside and not having to rely on anybody else,” Price said. “I guess I’m a very independent person. I don’t have another trip planned anytime soon. I would like to do another trip and I’m very seriously considering Australia, but I would do that in our winter, which is their summer. But I won’t do that for a couple years.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH