We were inspired by the hundreds of entries we had for our 50th anniversary sweepstakes. Thanks to everyone who submitted their favorite ride! Our randomly selected winning entry comes from Ken Y., an avid bike packer from Richmond, Virginia.
Ken’s favorite ride is a 100-mile leg (from a 6,000 mile trip) he calls “The Short Long” between Glen Ulin, North Dakota, and Buffalo Gap Campground in Sentinel Butte, North Dakota. At first glance there’s nothing remarkable about the route, which goes in a fairly straight trajectory. But if you’ve ever been a long haul tour, you might be familiar with those moments that cement themselves in your mind. About the ride Ken explains:
“It was one part of the loneliest sections of the journey. At times it felt like it would never end, but it was also one of the most peaceful. There was only one logical direction you could choose, and that was forward. The decision was made for you. No distractions. just feed the body and keep moving. A form of therapy you can’t just find anywhere.”
Ken, who has never traveled with ExperiencePlus!, received the news as he entered the 10th month traveling via bicycle across the United States. He was headed from Marfa, Texas, to Big Bend National Park in Southwest Texas.
“On this journey I have stopped along the way and worked to further fund my travels as well as intimately experience the spirit of places I otherwise may have only a passing impression,” he says. “My next major destination will be working on Mackinac Island, an island in Northern Michigan that only allows bicycle and horse drawn carriages.”
Ken says that winning a Bike Trip Across Italy feels “serendipitous” as he wasn’t sure where he would head after Michigan but now believes his future route is plotted.
Ken will join us in 2022 on a late September tour from Venice to Pisa. He is trading in his second spot for a flight to Europe for him and his bike for additional touring adventures. Congratulations, Ken. We’re thrilled to have you join us on a tour that has been a springboard to continued bicycle travel for many an EP customer across the last 50 years.