Who We Are Member Spotlight: James Bogin
One of the biggest perks of working at MCBC is connecting with community members and hearing about their experiences, everything from how a daily bike commute turned their health around to epic bike tours across the States. Everyone has a story to tell. We wanted to find a way to share some of these stories and celebrate the many joys that bikes bring into our lives.
In this edition of MCBC’s Member Spotlight, we are thrilled to introduce James Bogin, a member of MCBC for almost 25 years. James is a resident of Larkspur and has a passion for cycling in Marin. He also enjoys cycling trips with Adventure Cycling, a nonprofit that publishes a magazine, produces bike maps, and runs bike tours. Last year, James embarked on a 3,100-mile trip from San Diego to St Augustine, Florida. Read about his cross-country adventure.
Over 59 days we had 51 riding days, 7 rest days, and an orientation day. We camped out for about 40 nights in various state parks, county parks, RV Parks, and KOAs. There were 11 motel nights, 2 nights at an Airbnb, and 5 nights in churches, including one night where we slept between the altar and pews.
There is a great deal of bonding amongst members on these tours as you spend a lot of time together. On my trip, there were 3 women and 11 men, ranging in age from 58 to 76. We had retired teachers and lawyers, an oceanographer, a couple of engineers, and a retired handyman. I’m retired from a career in finance.
The average daily mileage was 62 miles per riding day. Dogs chased us sometimes in Texas and Louisiana and that was scary. It’s hard to say what was the best day, the trip was more of a continuum than a series of extremes. In the 7th week there was more rain in the forecast in Florida, so instead of camping I found a beautiful, reasonably priced Airbnb on a 14-acre estate with room for 14 guests, and that was a high point for many. The toughest day was 85 miles with 6,700 feet of climbing out of Mesa, Arizona. But we did end up with good scenery and an excellent bar with $3 tacos.
It was fun and otherworldly to be in some random town in some state, on a bicycle, and tell someone you were cycling from California to Florida. To some, it sounded absurd, ridiculous, or crazy. To others, we were on a great adventure. We rode on Interstate 10 for about 30 miles in Arizona and Texas. It was safe but noisy, but it was surreal to be at a rest stop and think, “I’m at a rest stop on Interstate 10 on my bicycle.” It’s also fun to ride down the highway entrance ramp like a car.
Having the time, money, and health to take this trip was a privilege. On a bike, one experiences the vastness of the US. A bike is slow enough that you develop a real understanding of the country’s topography and geography. Although you need a certain degree of physical ability, the trip is as much a mental experience – you have to want to do it in order to do it.
Have A STORY TO SHARE?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if we should feature you or someone you know!
MEMBERS MAKE IT HAPPEN
Join James in supporting Marin County Bicycle Coalition. Become a member today!