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Bridger Valley resident finds resolve in a 37 year bike ride

Posted: Wednesday, Oct 23rd, 2013

Dana Stone sets off on June 2, in Scott City, Kan., to finish the bike ride over 37 years ago, a ride from California to New Hampshire. COURTESY PHOTO


Pioneer Reporter

Dana Stone, a retired Mountain View resident, recently finished his goal of riding his pedal bike from California to New Hampshire, a trip that started in late Jun. 1976. “I guess it has always been something I thought I should do,” Stone said.

Stone set a goal to ride his pedal bike on the Bicentennial Bike Trail, a trail that runs from California to New Hampshire, with a group of friends in 1976. They flew to the west coast with the intent to ride across the United States as a group.

When asked the pertinent question of why one would want to do this, Stone said that he was very young and foolish at the time.

Traveling about 100 miles a day the group made it to Garden City, Kan. where one of the members became sick and Stone had to cancel the remainder of the trip.

Throughout the following years Stone talked occasionally of finishing the trip but with family events he was unable to make big steps towards his goal.

After retiring from the Wyoming State Forestry in December, Stone set a date to finish what he started over 37 years earlier.

On Jun. 2 of this year, Stone’s daughter Jessica and wife Naomi drove him to Kansas and dropped him off in Scott City, near the location his first trip ended.

Not only was Stone working on the completion of a 37 year old goal, he was riding his original 37-year-old bike that gave him plenty of trouble along the way.

Just three days into Stone’s trip his bike got a flat that was un-repairable and he had to hitch hike thirty miles to a city to purchase a new tube. After the replacement, Stone went on his way making it 100 miles on his new tube before another flat.

While trying to make the repair with a small hand pump he had packed with him, the pump broke and Stone had to walk to a nearby farmhouse.

“I asked the farmer if he had any air, he said, ’absolutely.’ He was old fashioned like I am and we aired up my tire with an old hand pump while we stood next to an air compressor,” Stone said.

Afraid of traveling on without a reliable hand pump Stone asked the farmer if he could purchase the borrowed hand pump. After Stone insisted he pay something the farmer negotiated a five-dollar deal, and strapped the monstrosity of a hand pump onto his back and continued down the road.

“I traveled mostly solo but I met some great people along the way,” Stone said.

In Mississippi, Stone had to have a new crank put on the bicycle and at one point a whole new rear axle.

Stone was traveling roughly 50 to 70 miles a day during the beginning of his trip and worked up to 100-mile days during the last few weeks. He lost 25 pounds during his adventure.

Stone was able to visit family members along the way, including his brother-in-law in Pennsylvania, his sister, who met him in New York, and another sister in Connecticut. Stone’s nephew met him in Amherst Massachusetts to bike the last 50 miles.

Stone arrived in Greenfield, N.H., at roughly 9 p.m. on Jul. 5.

For the complete article see the 10-18-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 10-18-2013 paper.

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