Pedal Prayers Logo

MAY 16, 1988
BY Tony Zona


Seven years after arriving from his native West Germany, Hans Myors, decided that he wanted to tour his adopted country and meet the people.

Two bicycles, 24 tires, and 8,500 miles later, the 31-year-old social worker is nearing the end of a around-the-country bicyle odyssey that began three years ago in Virginia Beach, VA. He passed through Erie county on his third and final leg of the journey that will take him through the New England and Middle Atlantic states and back to Virginia by the July 4th weekend.

"I've only heard of about 10 people who have ridden a bicycle all the way around the country," he said. Myors, an avid sportsman who "fell in love with the United States" as an exchange student in Findlay, Ohio in 1973-74. During that time, he took a 1,000-mile cycling tour if the Midwest.

Myors moved here permantly in 1979. He first lived in the Atlanta area and in the Orlando, FL. area. He celebrated becoming a U.S. citizen by hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Canada.

In 1986, he was living in Chesapeake, VA. and working as an office manager at a shelter for the homeless when he decided to bicycle all away around the U.S.

Heading south along the Atlantic Ocean, he passed through Florida and across the southern coast through Louisiana to the Southwest and south-California before stopping for the winter in San Francisco.

"I had quite a lot of adventures the first year," he said. "I was greeted by the govrnor of Texas in Austin and went on a VIP tour of the Johnson Space Center. I had a few misfortunes - I got hit by a car door in New Mexico and I was roobed by three illegal aliens south of South of San Diego.

After traveling 5,353 miles in 79 days, he spent the winter in San Francisco working as an outreach case worker with sexually-abused children and doing research for a book about sexually abused male children.

Once May 1987 rolled around, Myors knew that it was time to get rolling again. "It's like the birds knowing when to migrate at a certain time of year," he said. "When May comes around, it's warm enough, and I know that I've got to get on my bike and go."

His first bicycle, a Japanese made 12-speed had worn out and a San Franciso gentleman gave him the bicycle that he is using now, a rare MGB Crescent touring bike made in Sweden.

He traveled from San Francisco to Seattle and then headed east on the Northern Tier Bike Trail which runs close to the Canadian border. Cycling through the upper peninsula of Michigan, he arrived in Toledo, Ohio, after spending 65 days traveling about 3,000 miles.

In Toledo, he lived with a church pastor and his wife and got a job for the winter with the local Private Industry Council. He hopped on his heavily-loaded bike last week and departed on the third leg of his journey.

"It's going to be my home for the next couple of months, so I have to be equipped," Myors said, showing a reporter the 50 pounds of equipment that he carries: clothes, sleeping bag, tent, five days' food, first aid equipment, spare tires and inner tubes.

He is planning to travel 50 to 70 miles a day between now and July, traveling through New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine before heading south along the Atlantic coast and back to Virginia.

Then he swears, he's through. "I'm putting up the bike for a while," he says. "I have a possible job waiting in Washington, D.C. and I'm going to stay put for a few years."

But he knows there will come a day when he hears the call of the open road again. "Nobody has ever cycled through every state capitol in the United States in one continuous loop," Myors said. "This has been attempted. It's about 15,000 miles. People have tried, but they gave up. Maybe I can be the first.



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