Coast-to-coast in 52 days
MAREN VICK 11,312-feet up, atop Monarch Pass at the Continental Divide in Colorado.
For most cyclists, a “long-ride” means three or four hours in the saddle. For Maren Vick, 22, it meant 52 days on her road bike to complete a route that started in San Francisco and ended in Portsmouth, N.H., – 3,872 miles in all.
Vick signed on for the grueling ride with the touring company America By Bicycle, riding along with ABC Chicago news anchor Paul Meinchke and 10 others. Meinchke produced an hour-long documentary of the ride, which will screen in a one-time showing this Saturday, Jan. 12, at noon at the Sebastiani Theatre.
All are welcome to attend, and while the screening is free, donations to the Sebastiani Theatre Foundation are encouraged.
The effervescent Vick, who was raised in Sonoma and now resides in San Francisco (where she is a spin instructor), will introduce the film and be on hand to answer questions after.
The Sebastiani was among the many sponsors who made her cross-county trip possible, so she is doing her part to contribute back to the theater that she says, “shaped my life.”
Growing up in Sonoma, Vick participated in camps and danced in “Witchie Poo” shows every single year until she finished high school. She told Meincke about the theater, and specifically recounted memories of dancing to “Singing in the Rain” there when the riding group was stopped for two days because of rain. The song ended up in the final film.
The bike she rode cross-country was a going-to-college gift from her father, who then accompanied her on an 11-day ride from Sonoma to Oregon state, with her mom driving along in a car as support. “That was how they brought me to college,” Vick said.
More recently, she drove cross-country with her brother from Boston to California in just four days, and that was when she got the idea to do the trip on a bicycle. “The whole time I wanted to slow down and see everything,” Vick said. “It was on the Mississippi I realized I wanted to cycle it.”
It took her a year to put together funding for this trip, which she calls a “very personal experience.” The film chronicles her experience and that of the other riders, including climbs over the Sierras and the Rockies and 10 straight days of 100-degree heat in the Midwest. “On the news, they were saying don’t go outside,” said Vick, “And we were cycling eight hours a day.”
Vick hopes that people who see the documentary will realize that they can make a similar journey if they want to. “People say, ‘You’re lucky you did this now that you’re young, there’s no way you could do this later in life,” she said. She was the youngest in her group of 12, though. “When people say, ‘There’s no way I could do that,’ our group defies that.”