Lyndon State Student Cycling Across America… and Back


May 16, 2012

Jack Kerouac had a car and numerous friends along for his trip across America. John Steinbeck’s travel included a middle-aged poodle and a camper. Lyndon State College student Jamie Robertson has a cot, a tarp, and a Sterling Discovery LX bike with hybrid tires.


Robertson has mapped an ambitious route of 8300 miles—80 days of cycling, 15 of rest. He is carrying ample water, a calorie-specific daily ration of cereal, and SPF 50 sunscreen. “I burn easily,” the redhead says with a grin, “And I’ll find a local restaurant to eat at night and get to meet some people.”


Kerouac’s quest was a search for meaning in his life while Steinbeck’s journey led to musings about his beloved country and its people. Robertson’s rationale is multi-faceted. “My goal is to get to know myself better and to help motivate others to do what they love. I want to see what the rest of the United States is like. I want to show [that big] dreams can be accomplished.


“I want students to see what I’ve done and to be able to think of ways to improve themselves and our community.”


A biking neophyte, Robertson has been cycling in earnest since July 2011. An accident last year that left him with scars from nine stitches and five staples didn’t discourage him. “Some guy ran me off the road.” Robertson’s route follows mostly state routes and highways and secondary roads due to vehicle driver’s “mentality for giving bikers some road.”


Robertson is blogging and displaying photos on his Facebook page during his trip. He has planned an audio-video presentation after his return that “includes what I’ve learned, places I visited, and the [frame of mind] and motivation for each day.” He embarked on his journey at 8:30 a.m. on May 14 from the LSC campus. Friends, well-wishers, and LSC President Steve Gold were on hand to send him on his way.


Robertson, a sophomore, has dreams for the immediate and distant future, “I’d like to see LSC start a cycling club. If this goes well, I want to compete in races. ”


Like Kerouac and Steinbeck before him, Robertson seeks a larger audience in this venture. “I’d like to inspire people to inquire about attending Lyndon State. This [trip] can be a major milestone for both me and my fellow students by making this college more well-known.”


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