Last summer my friend Tom Callanan rode from Kalamazoo to Martha’s Vineyard–921 miles–in eleven days.

Was he young? Not really (55).

Was he an experienced biker? Not really–prior to this trip he just rode in the evenings for an hour or so.

Was he crazy? Well, maybe. But at least he lived to tell some great stories about amazing characters he met on the road and about the inner journey that changed him. I highly recommend that you read his story here.

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Shirley Showalter


  1. Kathleen Friesen on June 12, 2010 at 12:24 am

    This is a wonderful read from beginning to end. From a writing standpoint, the pacing, language, and stories have the rhythm of a good bike ride. (Disclaimer: My longest rides are only 15 miles, not to be compared to 78+ miles.)Beyond the formal structure, I connected with the content – right from the start, “…the best reason for doing the trip was to discover the reason for doing the trip.” There is much worth reflecting on here.I've already passed the link on to friends who will engage in further discussion. And, I encourage others who encounter this through Shirley's blog to take the time to read and savor this memoir.Thank you for pointing us, your readers, to this memoir!

  2. shirleyhs on June 12, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Thanks, Kathleen, I am glad you took the time to read this wonderful story. Tom has distilled a lifetime of experience into one essay. I agree that the pacing, the voice, and the way in which he illustrates flow in telling his story are exceptional. I am honored to call him friend.

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