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August 7, 1988

by Belinda Brockman

Two years, two bikes, 20 tires, and a ton of blisters later, Hans Myors has seen America. The 32 year old native of West Germany became a U.S. citizen four years ago and wanted to become cquainted with his adopted land. So on May 6, 1986, he set out from Virginia Beach, VA, to ride the circumference of the nation.

"I wanted to go the perimeter of the United States", he said, "to see my new country and meet the people along the way. I just wanted to see what America was really like, from a bicyle seat."

Myors planned to be in West Palm Beach for a few days before setting out on the last leg of his trip--down to Miami and then to Tampa. He has already traced the nation's borders and coastlines. "When you have ben on the bike for 11,000 miles, you want to quit for a while," he said. "You want to unload everything and put it into a drawer rather than a bike pack."

Pulling out a wrinkled and torn map of the United States Myors ticked off the places that he had seen: Orlando, Tampa, New Orleans, Houston, Phoenix, San Diego, and San Francisco. And that was just the first summer. Seattle, Spokane, Glacier National Park, Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Toledo, Ohio -- the second summer. Erie, PA., Niagara Falls, Albany, N.Y., Biddeford, ME., Philadephia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. since May 1988.

Each American town and its wealth of memories is recorded in the journals he kept. "People for the most part have been really helpful and really friendly," he said. Like retired deputy sheriff Leo Souileau, of Opelousas, LA. Myors was riding out of town one day in 1986, when a car passed him on the highway three times. The third time, the car pulled off the road and stopped. The driver was Souileau.

The former lawman asked Myors what he was doing and told him to follow him back into town. They went directly to the sheriff's ofice. But from the sheriff's office, the two went to the town newspaper and the television station for interviews. The next morning, when Myors left Opelousas again, the former deputy had organized a 35-member bicycle escort for him.

And of course there was West Palm Beach's Jean Zeis. She first saw the cyclist at her mother's home outside of St. Augustine a few weeks ago. Also a cyclist enthusist, Zeis invited him to stay with her while in West Palm Beach.

Myors, who had spent a year in Ohio as a high-school foreign exchange student before moving to the United States in 1979, has worked as a counselor helping abused children and the homeless.

Throughout the journey, Myors averaged 52 miles a day. He stopped both Winters and worked. "I've met so many people," Myors said. "I never really had a problem with an empty food pack or an empty wallet."



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