Back in September, musician Peter Mulvey set out on his bicycle along with a few other dedicated individuals to bring his music 1100 miles across the northeast United States. Now that he has been home for a while we caught up on how the tour went and more importantly, how he held up after such a lengthy journey in just seventeen days.
I asked him -- What was it like biking across 1100 miles of the United States? Peter was happy to oblige my curious questions and I hope everyone enjoys learning a little more about this talented guy’s environmental dedication, regardless of how modest he is about the accomplishment.
Is this the longest bike tour you have done so far?
By far. The first two bike tours were under 500 miles, this one was over 1,100.
Was this the first year you had company for the entire ride?
Yes- there were five of us almost the whole way, Brianna, Heidi, Josh, and Andy. The camaraderie was great.
How did you get yourself ready to do such a long ride?
Pretty simple- I rode 800 miles in June and another 900 in August. Luckily my work hours are flexible enough that I had the time.
How did your fans respond? Were they taking photos of the bike?
I didn't usually bring the bike to shows- it was usually back at the hotel. Really, in some ways the biking part of this wasn't that big of a deal- it was fun to talk about, and joke about, but in the end I was just commuting to work like anybody else, except for the high mileage.
Did you get a chance to sight see at all along the journey?
Of course. Especially on a recumbent, you can't help but sight-see. You're sitting back, looking at everything. We didn't have any slack time, though- when you have 140 miles to go, and you know it will take from sunup to sundown, you really can't just follow a sign that says "Scenic Overlook 4 miles Thataway."
What is one thing did you wish you could have carried with you on the bike but didn't?
A book. I wouldn't have had time anyway, but it felt weird to travel without a book.
Is this something you plan to do every year?
Until they stop me.
How far around the country are you willing to go?
Next year I'm interested in combining rail travel with bicycling. I figure that's a fresh new concept. Maybe it'll catch on in, say, Europe.
Most importantly, how do your legs feel now that it is done?
Well, they feel strong. My knees hurt a little bit during the mountain climbs, but overall my body held up very well.
What was your greatest challenge riding so far (geographically speaking)?
The Green Mountains in Vermont and the hills in New Hampshire. That was tough, especially on a recumbent.
What was your greatest accomplishment of the journey?
Just doing it. It's one thing to say, in the winter, "I'll be biking 1,100 miles this September." It's another thing to actually do it.
To pick up any of Peter’s CDs feel free to visit his website.