Crossland Cycling is a blog intended to help and inspire people to bicycle for fun, fitness, travel, and adventure!

Greg Hoffman works for Hewlett-Packard as a software developer and is a member of Ozark Greenways’ Sustainable Transportation Advocacy Resource (STAR) Team. I’m inspired to promote cycling for fun, fitness, travel, and adventure. You can reach me at greg.hoffman@crosslandcycling.com.

I have been riding bicycles practically all my life and don’t intend to stop anytime soon. As a teenager, my friends and I pedaled around Suffolk County on Long Island, where I grew up. The pinnacle of that personal cycling era in the mid-1970s was a weeklong, self-contained ride from our Central Islip neighborhood through Connecticut and into western Massachusetts. During this summer of cycling, we started dreaming about a cross-country bike tour and began planning it for the summer of 1979, the year we would graduate from high school. As fate and youth would have it, our lives took different paths and we were barely in touch after high school, let alone riding bikes across the United States together. As my high school years came to an end, so did my cycling. Though life took me down many winding roads during the eighties, not a single mile was pedaled.

Soon after my thirtieth birthday while living in Stephenville, Texas, I was enjoying a beautiful fall day when a desire to ride returned in a way I couldn’t ignore. I paid a visit to the nearest bike shop, 30 miles away in Granbury.

I found the world of bicycle technology advanced since I last rode my ten-speed Motobecane. I left the store with a twenty-one-speed Schwinn Crisscross hybrid. On this bike, I was back into riding! On this bike, I found out how out-of-shape I was when just a few hilly miles had my heart pounding, lungs gasping, and thighs burning. Before long though, I was riding a thirty-mile loop around southern Erath County, and not so sure how long I’d keep this up. It was fun, but didn’t come as easy as when I was a teenager.

Throughout the nineties, I rode more and more. Now I was living in Spring, Texas, a northern suburb of Houston, and added a Specialized Sirrus road bike to my collection. I rode my first MS150 – a two-day, 168 mile supported ride from Houston to Austin, Texas – in 1992 and again in ’94 and ’99 (and 2011). I rode solo and with friends around parts of Harris and Montgomery Counties, and a few rides along the Galveston seawall to the Bolivar peninsular. This is the decade my two sons grew into their teens, and we did a fair amount of road and mountain biking together. As a volunteer EMT with Cypress Creek EMS, I rode on their bike medic team in 1999 and 2000.

One typical day at work in 1998, I was helping a user with a computer problem when I noticed one of those inspirational poems hanging on his cubicle wall. It was titled, What If? As in, What if you actually did the things you really want to do. In the middle of this long list of things people might want to do but often don’t, was “Bicycle across the United States.” At that moment, I decided I was going to do it! The dream from long ago was alive again. I wasn’t sure when, or how—but I was going to do it!

So I would end the decade riding a new Cannondale T2000 touring bike, planning and training for my dream ride from the east coast to the west. After almost twenty years, I got back in touch with my high school friend, Frank, and he wanted to join me.  “I’m going with you too,” said my oldest son Mike.

On May 28, 2000, the three of us left from Brick, New Jersey, planning to reach the Pacific Ocean in Florence, Oregon by early August. Although Frank wasn’t able to ride the entire summer and Mike and I ran out of time in West Yellowstone, Montana, it was a summer to remember for three guys who love riding and exploring the roads of our land.

Soon after the big ride, I moved to Garland, Texas, on the northeast side of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, and started exploring the area on my bike. Over the next several years, I rode another MS150, countless day-trips around Garland, Richardson, Plano, Sachse, and McKinney, and some multi-day camping trips to Ray Roberts Lake, Eisenhower, and Bonham State Parks.

Since 2007, I’ve been living and riding in the Ozarks of southwest Missouri. The hills are steep and seem endless but we get used to it and, like the weather, they become part of the cycling adventures.

3 Responses

  1. Oh wow… how interesting. An example of how people can accomplish what they really want… all it takes is to make a decision… like Nike’s slogan : “Just do it!”

    Doris


  2. Great to learn more about you, Greg. You have wonderful enthusiasm and a fantastic commitment. And, you are having lots of fun. Keep up the good work.


  3. fine job riding the TABR2017 Greg. Keep on , ride smart and eat well.



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