Denver to Bloomington in 12 Days


Posted Thu, Nov 7, 2013

Mike Murphy reaches East St. Louis

EASY RIDER: Mike Murphy reaches East St. Louis.

ON THE ROAD — Recently my father, Michael Francis Murphy decided to ride his bicycle from Denver to Bloomington, Ind. He had a schedule that he set out to complete and stick to…but as we all know plans don’t ever go exactly to plan.

A few details before we get into it, that’s 1,100 miles if you take the highways, if you are on another type of contraption that moves you, like a bike, you have to take the back roads, which means the ride is about 1,400 miles.

I asked my father what motivated him to ride his bike all the way to Bloomington (where my sister attends college at Indiana University)? He said, because he wants to eventually ride his bike all the way across America. To this point, he has gone from Los Angeles, to Denver, to Bloomington.

I asked him what the hardest part of the trip was, which he took alone mostly because nobody is that crazy. His response:  “Finding good food.” Not exactly the answer I was looking for from a 57 year-old man riding his bike 1,400 miles.

During the 12-day bike ride, Dad says he traveled from small town to small town, meeting interesting people along the way. He found people to ride with along the way for 50 miles, then he would either speed ahead or fall behind that individual.

I figured after asking what the hardest part was, I would have to ask Dad what the easiest part? “The easiest part was falling asleep every night after I finished my ride,” he says. “I was burning 6,000-8,000 calories a day, while only taking in about 2,000, so keeping my weight up was also a little difficult.”

The trip was originally supposed to be a 15-day ride, so he could have ample time to rest and take his time getting to Bloomington. However, Dad decided to kick it into high gear and surprise my mom and sister in Bloomington three days earlier than expected.

While my father was on his ride, he blogged the entire way, telling about all of his stories and about what had happened that day on the road, whether it was riding past sunflower fields for miles, or meeting some quirky biker along the way, he filled us all in.

So would he do it again? “After seeing the smile on your sisters face when I got there,” he says. “I would do it a million more times.”

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About Sean Murphy

Sean Murphy is a freelance writer who attends Metro State College of Denver

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2 Responses to “Denver to Bloomington in 12 Days”

  1. Luke Whittaker Says:

    This would be a cool way to raise money for a scholarship or disaster relief, particularly if he still plans to do it “a million more times.” Cool story.


  2. Cherise Scrivner Says:

    WOW!What an outstanding story! You kept it simple, short and sweet! Yet I loved reading the entire story from beginning to end. Your fathers perseverance is inspiring and I love tales of people who actually push themselves and live life on the edge doing what their heart truly desires. You wrote about a great character and the way you put the story together really displayed your dads personality and character in a very great way.This story would be great from other publications!


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