June 18, 2013

Veteran cyclist embarks on 80-day TransAmerican tour, makes stop in London

By Carrie Dillard
Managing Editor

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Canadian Glenn Goodwin, 69, is working on his “bucket list.”

The veteran cyclist from Duncan, British Columbia, was about 687 miles (or 16 days) into an 80-day TransAmerica journey when he and his cycling buddies stopped in London, Ky. for a day of rest on Sunday, June 9.

Goodwin started touring in 1982 but has since “crossed Canada three times and been up and down the west coast twice, and up the east coast and across the U.S. four times.”

During his 2013 TransAmerican tour, he will travel from Virginia to Seattle, but leave the designated route in Idaho and head to Seattle through Washington. He is riding a custom built, Independent Fabrication touring bike, and pulling a B.O.B. trailer.  His goal is to pass through “small town America,” keeping to mainly secondary roads to avoid as much traffic as possible, in order to see as much of the country as possible.

“I did this route in 1997 with my old touring bike and old B.O.B. trailer,” Goodwin said. “The only reason I can come up with for doing it again is that I’m a sucker for punishment.”

Prior to beginning the trip, Goodwin competed in his first marathon, another goal he wanted to check off his bucket list.

“I ‘d been trying for many years to reach my personal goal of running my first marathon before I turn 70. Time was running out, in fact just under six months,” he said.

On May 5, he participated in and completed the BMO Vancouver Marathon. On May 25, he started the TransAmerican bike tour.

“I want to see how this guy is able to do the hills of the east and how much different the ride will be with all the new technical stuff we have in 2013.”

Truthfully, Goodwin, fellow Canadian Bill Brooks and Robert Simpson of London, England, weren’t planning on a “rest day,” but a forecast of rain Monday caused the trio a two-day delay in Laurel County.

“It was an unplanned stop,” Goodwin said.  “But we found an economical place to stay and took advantage of the amenities around the area.”

Inside his bike trailer, Goodwin said he has everything he needs to be a self-sufficient camper, but wanted a “nice bed” for the night. Sunday and Monday nights, they stayed at the Budget Host on west Ky. 80.

While in town, the trio ate breakfast at the BP London Auto-Truck Center. Goodwin said he thought, “if the truckers eat there, then it’s good food.”

“And it was great food,” he continued, so much so, they ate there twice.

The trio also visited the London-Laurel Tourist Commission, learning about London’s annual Redbud Ride and new cycling club from Rodney Hendrickson, co-executive director, who is also an avid cyclist.  Armed with information about Laurel County, they also couldn’t pass up the chance to visit the historic Sanders Café and Museum.

After leaving London Tuesday, the group headed west toward Liberty, then on to Campbellsville. By Thursday, they were in Glendale, approximately 140 miles down the road.

Goodwin also kept a journal 15 years ago during this same trek.

“I’m about a day behind the first time,” he said. “I’m not doing near the miles I was then.”

Still, the group averages about 60 miles a day.

Today, Goodwin spends about three hours every night updating his blog, entitled “Old Man on a Bike.”  He said he does it more for other cyclists than as a keepsake.

“Information for us guys on the road is really important,” he said.  “I do this to tell people what is ahead of them so they can plan. If they come to London, they’ll know what’s there.”

Even though he didn’t get a chance to visit Mike’s Hike and Bike on Main Street, Goodwin said he included the local retail business’ information in his blog for others cyclists who might need parts or who just wanted to browse while passing through.

He said Kentucky, as well as Virginia, presented the most challenging hills for cyclists, even more so than the Rocky Mountains.

“I want to keep challenging myself,” Goodwin said.  “I don’t know how many years I have left, but I’m very healthy now.

“I hope to continue doing this well into my 70s.”

Follow Goodwin on his journey at