Boulder’s own Ryan Van Duzer and Ali Geiser — two months into their new love — set off from the Pacific Northwest coast in early July for a cross-country bicycle trip.
Both had not been in long-term relationships recently and this trip — they dubbed #LoveCycles — provided a crash course in love and relationship. When you have to be together everyday all day, especially in the sometimes stressful bike-packing life, things get real, and they did.
Half way through Ryan, who chronicles this adventure (and many others) on his YouTube page, paused editing and pushing out videos to focus on Ali and the relationship. For anyone who’s edited video knows, it is time- and energy-consuming.
Making enough time for your partner — that’s one of the big lessons Ryan learned.
“Once we started pedaling, things got real, real fast,” Ryan told me via email. “In past relationships, I’d run away when things went south, but on this ride, we really took the time to work through issues.”
But, 3,500 miles and three months after setting out, they hit New York City last week. They’re both now in Boulder. And still together!
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We made it! It’s an incredible feeling to have moved our bodies across the entire country by bicycle. 1,000 of our 3500 total miles were dusty ol’ country roads and rail trails. NYC seemed impossibly far when we were getting lost on the country roads of Oregon, but looky here, we’re in the big Apple. Thanks to all of you for following along and sending love. Now…we sleep. Thanks so much @trekbikes for supporting our dream. The Checkpoint bike is the real deal!
Ryan’s favorite moment?
“While it’s hard to pick out one favorite moment, I REALLY enjoyed our two days camping with a bunch of Harley biker dudes in the tiny town of Mackey, Idaho. They welcomed us into their family and we got to experience a bit of motorcycle culture. The rodeo they put on was incredible, lots of goofy games, including barrel racing on Harleys, and plenty of general debauchery. We’ve been in contact with many of them since we pedaled onward in early July, and hope to see them down the road somewhere.”
If you’re thinking of testing love on a bike-packing adventure, Ryan and Ali have some advice, at least for the easy stuff — the gear:
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I had originally planned to ride across the country alone, again. Trek was on board to sponsor my solo adventure and I woulda happy danced my way across the USA like I have many times before. But along came Ali… – We met in early March and fell madly in love. It came as a surprise to both of us, and we gladly embraced the overwhelming feelings we had for one another. As summer approached, I couldn’t imagine leaving her for three full months. To make a long story short, I asked her to join and she said yes. Trek sent out another bike. – Ali signed onto this crazy idea with very little notice and almost no time to train. She rode a bike that put her body in a completely foreign position. On our second day, we rode 70 miles in the rain on busy highways. I know it scared the crap out of her, but she kept smiling and put flowers in her hair to add sunshine to the situation. We rode to the brink of twilight on multiple occasions and setup camp in the dark while continually swatting mosquitoes. – She quickly adapted to a diet of cold beans and day old corn tortillas. Her knees hurt everyday, but she popped Advil and kept on pedaling. The strong winds in Idaho nearly knocked her tiny frame off the road and she got severe food poisoning in Wyoming (thanks Texas Roadhouse). – She charmed an entire camp of Harley bikers, learned how to sing in Swedish, befriended a camp of Austin boys on Ragbrai, bathed in dirty farmers ditches, hid out in city parks, fell off her bike a few times and always got up laughing. We slow danced to Eric Clapton in the emerald forests of Washington, rode a giant Ferris Wheel at the Wisconsin State Fair, had a pizza picnic while gazing at fireflies in a stranger’s backyard, herded cattle in Wyoming (on horses), watched Tom Cruise kick ass at a drive in movie, and made out in the corn fields of Iowa. *continued in comments…
Feature image: Ryan and Ali in New York City. Credit: Ryan Van Duzer, Instagram.