Friends pedal from Coast to Coast

Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 9:57 AM EDT
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FRENCHVILLE , Maine (WAGM) - Two St John Valley Bicyclists left their comfort zone.. John Raymond and Phil Roy are frequently seen pedaling around the Valley and earlier this year traveled to San Diego California to begin a 3100 mile bike ride to St Augustine, Florida.

John Raymond:” Basically a bucket list, but it turned out to be more a pilgrimage for us. It was a time to spend a lot of time alone biking. Think about where you were from, where you going, and where you are now. It was a good way for us to reconnect with ourselves.”

Phil Roy:” What would you think of going cross country on a bike? That was never on my bucket list since I retired, but it took the top spot. I said hey, that sounds interesting.”

During the trip one would pedal while the other would drive their camper. Most days they would take two shifts apiece on their bikes enjoying the scenery and the solitude. They also relied on each other for moral support

Raymond:” About halfway through I had the idea saying I am exhausted. It was more a mental exhaustion than a physical. We took a day off around San Antonio and visited friends. It sorted of boosted us up. Phil was always there to help support it.”

The trek was mapped out for them by on an app by an Adventure Cycling organization.

Raymond:” We took what they call the Southern Tier. They have a GPS guided trail that goes all the way from San Diego to St Augustine.”

Both agree it was quite an adventure as they were able to pedal through some beautiful parts of the Country.

Raymond:” We saw a lot of it in a different way other than driving it. We were riding it we were a part of it and many times we were the only ones on the road.”

Roy:” A trip of a lifetime. For me it was good both physically and mentally. I feel a lot better. Thanks to John, he was the one who thought about it. When you are with a good buddy it is even better.”

Roy and Raymond also raised some money for the American Cancer Society

Raymond:” Phil lost a brother to cancer and I lost my wife to cancer. We were able to raise over 1300 dollars for the American Cancer Society.”

Raymond is an organ donor and used the ride as a way to show that donors can lead a normal life

Raymond:” It’s a way to prove to a lot of people who are considering donation of organs that you can live a very normal and doing spectacular things even though you have given an organ. I was an organ donor of a kidney, and you can live a normal life even with that.”

The two are now back on the roads in the St John Valley promoting the sport and planning their next great adventure.

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