b'OriginsI am convinced many great moments, historical feats, andfill in the gaps. Emilie asks for a leave of absence from work. (Her awesome adventures begin with a bet.contemporaries think shes crazy). We get a friend to sublet our So it is with Dominic and Emilies bike trip.Upper West Side apartment for the summer. Over Christmas dinner in 1989, we are visiting EmiliesThe Bet motivates us in the planning, but it also encourages sister Irene and her husband Don and tell them that we plan tome to properly document the entire journey. As we move across bike from Seattle to New York the following summer. We hadthe country, we mark our route with a highlighter on each state completed a three-day trip in Maine a few months before and feltmap. When we cross over to the next state, we mail the map of we were ready now to cross the entire country by bike.the state we have just completed to Don and Irene. I keep a little Irene sat there listening, nodding her head, not quite sure if wespiral steno journal in my handlebar bag. Each evening, I jot were joking.down the date, the origination and end points for the day, and I had been dating her sister for a little over a year. We werethe distance. We make sure to send plenty of postcards to our pretty serious, but Emilie was a career woman with a successfulfamilies from notable locations. job at ABC Sports in New York City. I was working on myMonths later, when our journey is over, Irene sends us the masters degree from Columbia University, having just completedmaps and postcards as does my mom. I place these items along a two-year stint in the Peace Corps in Africa before that.with photos and negatives in a cigar box and stow the box away in It was a wacky idea and we didnt really have any of the detailsa corner of our basement. worked out.Twenty-five years later, while cleaning out the basement, I Don doesnt let this slide. He tells us we are crazy; that therescome across this cigar box full of artifacts. And over the course no way were going to make it. In fact, hes willing to make aof the summer of 2015, I recreate our bike trip in a blog, posting a bet that we cant do it. We bet Don that if we make it across thestory of each day from the journey on the 25th anniversary of that country, by bike, he will come to New York and pay for a night onday.the towndinner, a Broadway play, the works.This book memorializes those writings and our bike trip, and is So with this bet in mind, Emilie and I begin making plans.a testament to a tremendous journey I shared with my girlfriend I buy suggested route maps from Bikecentennial for a fewEmilie, now my wife of 30+ years. critical parts of the trip, expecting to purchase state road maps to'