It takes guts to ride a bicycle or tricycle cross country, but it takes even more to do it solo, all by yourself … especially if you’re a … girl. Boys do it solo and it has its challenges, but girls have to think about all those evil predatory boys out there lurking in the bushes alongside the road. I’m a boy who wishes to bestow kudos upon a girl I met mid August, pedaling solo from Bend, Oregon to San Francisco, California!
Casey Campbell is 25 years old, and when I met her on the Umpqua River at Susan Creek Campground on Oregon Highway 138, she had been out on the road for two days, having ridden gravel and dirt Forest Service roads to get from Bend to Lemolo Lake on 138. Casey wild camped in the proverbial middle of nowhere, in the high country woods alone, miles and hours away from the nearest help of any kind, simply sleeping in her sleeping bag and bivvy sack on a small tarp (no tent). She has learned the need to travel fast and light.
How did she learn this key element of overland cycling at such a young age? Well, Casey has been working for a few years as a wildfire fighter, repelling out of helicopters in remote backwoods forest fire scenarios, where she has all she needs to survive in a small belly bag worn around the torso and waist. This is one tough gal we’re talking about here, and to her, this solo bicycle trek is child’s play compared to the high danger and risk encountered while annihilating wildfires caused by summer lightning strikes in the high country.
Casey rides a Salsa brand bicycle, running a triple crank up front, just like a trike. It is heralded by some as the ultimate multi-use touring bike, and considering what she had ridden over to reach Highway 138, I am inclined to see their point. I wish you all the best my new solo biker friend – live life like there’s no tomorrow!
UPDATE SEPTEMBER 10, 2014: I was contacted today by Casey (this post was created prior to when you are reading it right now), and she informed me that her ride from Bend, Oregon to San Francisco, California was successful, without incident, and required 9 days of pedaling to complete. That is an average of 87 miles per day! What an incredible rider this gal is! The 783 mile trek was one of high adventure, especially when she pedaled dirt forest roads from Bend to Highway 138, and it will appear here on TA and also Crazy Guy on a Bike.