Wisconsin Dad and Son Bike Across Country, Gain Internet Fame


Sam and Chick Westby have pedaled more than 80 miles in the direction of the east every morning for the previous 42 days.

This summer, a father-and-son team from Fort Atkinson set out to ride across the country and encountered an unexpected internet celebrity.

Sam started posting video summaries of the daily rides to Instagram and TikTok in an effort to inform friends and family about the journey. He was surprised that the videos were popular; now, between the two platforms, he has more than 70,000 followers.

Sam stated, “I’m amazed at the response.

The Westbys pedaled an average of 86 miles each day on their journey from Pacific City, Oregon, to Atlantic City, New Jersey, which they finished on July 12.

The Westbys traveled 3,626 miles by car from Pacific City, Oregon, to Atlantic City, New Jersey, finishing their journey on July 12.

A Long-Planned Bicycle Tour Across the Country

Sam learned about bicycle touring on a four-day family bike ride in Door County when he was nine years old. Sam grew up biking around southeast Wisconsin.

He said, “We camped every night. “I had the best time ever,”

While a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the younger Westby continued to embark on bike adventures. He and Chick pedaled more than 1,000 miles around Lake Michigan.

For a few years, they had discussed trying to go across the country, but last summer, they sorted out the logistics. Sam, who is completing a PhD at Northeastern University in Boston, requested time off from his adviser for the unusual expedition. Chick had recently retired after more than three decades of teaching high school science.

Sam remarked, “It’s always been at the back of my mind. “Since the 1970s, my father has been on the road. He seized the chance because he had never traveled the entire United States.

The tweet below confirms the news:

The two started out from Oregon on June 1 after months of route planning, which included extensive road scouting on Google Street View. However, not before dunking their bikes in the Pacific Ocean.

Climbing to Loveland Pass in the Rocky Mountains, which is located at 11,990 feet on the Continental Divide, was one of Sam’s favorite parts of the tour’s early going. Pedaling hard in the lowest gear, the pair ascended for nine kilometers straight to their highest point of the journey.

Sam also remembered with nostalgia traveling on the more deserted roads of the Midwest.

“That’s the kind of riding I grew up doing with my dad in the south-central Midwest, south-central Wisconsin area,” Westby added. “Getting outside where there aren’t many cars and it’s simply calm and peaceful is something I appreciate about biking in general.

The journey wasn’t without its challenges. Sam acquired a habit of obtaining flat tires as a result of the Westbys spending extended periods of time pedaling on shaky and narrow roadway shoulders. He had eight flat tires by the time he arrived at his father’s house on day 33 of the journey.

β€œHe might be a little more cautious where he chooses. I’ll kind of just ride through a gravel patch on the shoulder where he’ll avoid it,” Sam said.

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Roadside Reports, and Adoration for Casey’s

Sam took on the position of a video editor on the trip in addition to bicycling, spending nearly an hour each night in camp editing their films from the day and creating a vlog for his viewers.

Sam’s narration, which was consistently approachable, upbeat, and perceptive in a way that viewers can identify to, was a strength of his content. Before filming, he claimed to have written a script, guiding it by any particularly intriguing or novel aspects of the day.

β€œI think it’s been a great source of entertainment,” Sam said of the videos.

The Westbys were introduced to fresh chances by the reports from the road, particularly in the food industry. Since they were biking so much and burning so many calories, many of their posts were about the food and beverages they were consuming, which attracted the interest of various marketers.

When the two reached the Midwest, they frequently featured the pizza from Casey’s convenience shop, which became something of a recurrent character in the films as they traveled from Nebraska to Ohio. Sam was a loud supporter of Bolthouse Farms smoothies in the early days of the trip.

“Casey’s got a big response, everyone loved it,” Sam added. “We kept going to more Casey’s, and Casey’s started commenting on my posts, and then they sent me a message, and eventually they sent us some Casey’s money,” the author said.

Sam also used his newfound platform to collect money for the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a charity that turns abandoned rail lines into footpaths and bicycle lanes to increase accessibility to the outdoors.

Sam found that the generosity of the people they encountered along the way was just as memorable as the bike itself as the highlight of the trip.

Everyone we’ve encountered in the entire United States has been incredibly gracious and friendly to us, he said.

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Louis Ebert

Louis Ebert is a talented content writer with a passion for creating compelling stories and informative articles. With years of experience in writing, Louis has honed their skills in crafting engaging content that resonates with readers. As a content writer for Focushillsboro.com, Louis explores the many facets of life in Hillsboro and the surrounding areas. From delving into the latest trends in local business to highlighting community events and leaders, their writing offers a unique perspective that captures the essence of the area.

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