The Fourth Time June 4 2014
The world population clock shows that the world population is 7.2 billion people on earth. Interestingly when you search for how many bicycles there are the answers range from 1.1 billion to over 8 billion. Web searches tend to agree that over 2.5 billion people ride bicycles. So I am guessing that the low end of the estimate is wrong. However there are only four of five companies doing Coast to Coast North America tours. Each tour consists of 30-40 riders. This would put the number of annual Coast to Coast riders between 120 and 200. Add in a couple dozen self-supported riders. Therefore only 1 bicycle rider in 10 million does a cross country ride. When you look at the total world population only one person in 30 million rides a bicycle across North America.
Of course these statistics are only just estimates and obviously they are highly distorted by the huge populations in the third world. China alone has 1.5 billion people and 430 million ride bicycles. This makes China the largest bicycle riding nation in the world. I think that looking at these kinds of numbers give truth to the Mark Twain axiom “Figures don’t lie, but lairs figure.” Trying to guess the numbers is subject to some pretty wild guesses.
Seriously there are very few riders who have ridden across North America. In my Phoenix bicycle club there are over 100 members and there are only two of us who have ridden across the country. This makes me feel very special to be preparing to make my fourth journey. I also feel very privileged to be riding with some very good friends. These are friends who have made long distance rides and friends whom I have had the privilege to know for a long time.
I would like to invite you along on this journey. Read the journal, make a comment here or there, and let me know what you think. It is going to be an exciting trip.