UPDATED December 8, 2021

BY The TDA Team

IN TDA's Great American Roadtrip

no comments

UPDATED December 8, 2021

BY The TDA Team

IN TDA's Great American Roadtrip

no comments

Memories Of The 2021 Great American Roadtrip


The 2021 Great American Roadtrip was a great success. The route was beautiful, the weather was fine and the riders and staff bonded together like a big happy family. We asked the cyclists to send us their favourite memories from this amazing journey.


Pedalling across the American southwest we enjoyed these incredible ‘big sky’ landscapes with their spectacular sunrises and even more spectacular sunsets. The beginning and end of each day was a gift.” Brian McCloskey (USA)






Cool mornings and chilled nightfall were softened by our resident Fire Starter, Richard. Huddling around those soothing flames with our gang of intrepid explorers was a wonderful way to start and finish each and every day.” Karen McCloskey (USA)




We were coming out of our rest day in Truth or Consequences headed toward Aguirre Springs, just shy of 100 miles (158 kms). I was riding with Kate and Neil from Alaska, a hardy couple who knew how to keep a steady pace. We were riding through a country mixing old and new myths passing alongside the Rio Grande. On a service road running along the Interstate, lost in the detritus of the sprawling outskirts of American cities, we pass a sign marking the place where Pat Garrett was shot. Farther on we come to The Space Murals Museum with its odd collection of space exploration knick-knacks and oversize paintings of smiling astronauts. Then things took a turn as we headed into the Organ Mountains; 40 kms of climbing into the wind. As we turned off into the entrance to the Aguirre Spring Park, we thought we’d be close to the end. No. There was another 15 kms to camp on a narrow, winding road with gradients of up to 9%, The wind freshened into fierce gusts of up to 40-50 km/h. I put everything I had into fighting my way up the mountain, moving at a snail’s pace. But it was glorious to face the wind, to be alive in it, surrounded by spectacular cliffs hovering over us like ancient giants frozen in time.” – Tom Perlmutter (Canada)


Actually my favourite part of this trip wasn’t the bicycling itself. It was the cold evening and morning campfires around which riders collected warmth, traded stories, and became the community we are today. Campfires and informal bistros were orchestrated by Richard Morneau. I consider him the rider with the greatest positive impact on our group’s morale and community spirit. Cheryl Yates was riders’ (and TDA staff) go-to informal nurse for injuries and ailments. I saw her drop everything to help someone in need. Every Roadtrip needs a Cheryl! During the second half of the Roadtrip, I feel Richard, Cheryl, and I evolved into a cycling trio, riding like goofy fun-loving teenagers. Usually we picked up different riders to join us before or after lunch. This made the rides so enjoyable.” –  John Karwoski (USA)



In Truth or Consequences the Indian family that owned the Travel Lodge made us a traditional meal which was fabulous. I loved the nature campsites and climbs out west. Seeing the starlit sky every time I got up in the middle of the night to pee which felt like they were close enough to touch. Even freezing in my tent and wearing all my clothes in my sleeping bag was fabulous. And the campfires in the morning and evening to keep us warm while waiting for coffee or dinner was amazing. And the Bistros which we had on days in the hotel was a blast. People bought drinks and food and it was another great way to socialize. And to top it all off, we had a staff that can’t be beat.” – Rita Tellerman (USA)


I enjoyed the cycling, the scenery, the stops for coffee and calories, the random conversations with people along the route, and the deeper conversations as I got acquainted with the other riders. When I think back to a moment where I felt really good, I remember our camp along the Nueces River by Camp Wood, Texas. We had a lovely day riding and set up camp along the river. It was a sunny warm day and it felt really luxurious to swim in the river, which had a mild current, enough deep water for a swim and a perfect temperature to cool off and relax those tired leg muscles.” – Peter Millikan (USA)



One of my favourite memories was made while riding along one of the many beautiful farms in New Mexico. A couple of majestic horses spotted our bikes and decided to race along side us at a full gallop. Just beautiful. Just one moment from a long list of memorable moments on an exceptional bike ride across this beautiful country.” – Pixy Elliot (USA)






The highlight of the trip for me was visiting the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. Their World Heritage Site designation is well deserved. The Big Room cavern is mammoth, which I explored on a self guided tour, has many unique stalagmite and stalactite formations.” – Bill Wilson (Canada)





Great people, cold mornings by Richard’s campfires, delicious food and good music from Yanez, beautiful scenery, oh, and did I mention the great people?” – Susan Rankin (USA)



All the riders wanted to extend their appreciation to the talented, hard-working staff on the Great American Roadtrip for making these special memories possible. (Below from left – Micah Markson, Yanez Novoa, Henry Gold, Emily Currie, Sheelagh Daly, Ryan Rice, Coby Werlin)

Great America Roadtrip staff


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