Going Somewhere: A Bicycle Journey Across America
Brian has a million vague life plans but zero sense of direction. So when he meets Rachel, a self-possessed woman who daydreams of bicycling across the States, he decides to follow her wherever she'll take him. Brian and Rachel soon embark on a ride from northern Wisconsin to Somewhere West, infatuated with the promise of adventure and each other. But as the pair progress from the Northwoods into the bleak western plains, they begin to discover the messy realities of life on the road. Mile by mile, they contend with merciless winds and brutal heat, broken bikes and bodies, each other and themselves—and the looming question of what comes next. Told in a voice "as hilarious as it is wise" (Cheryl Strayed), Going Somewhere is a candid tale of the struggle to move forward.
making-up-for-the-fight-we-almost-had sex, after Rachel fell asleep, I crawled out of the tent. Listening to the roar of the water, pulling sweet mist through my nostrils, I thought about the day, our first without the safety nets. I had to admit it hadn’t really been that enjoyable in the moment. It was only now that I could smile about the ugly highway and the meandering trail and my own idiocy, only now that I could construct the stories I’d eventually tell others. The stories I’d tell myself.
by no means the first or last guy to admire Rachel from afar, so sitting up there with her—with her—felt like the sweetest secret in the world. And I looked forward all week to Sunday afternoons, when we would finish our last gig, walk back to her house, climb into bed, and spend the rest of the day intertwined, drifting in and out of sleep. During the week, it was harder to find these quiet moments. Whereas I had little going on outside Soltura, Rachel’s days were ridiculous. Between her
propped myself on my elbows, plucked a few blades of grass, and tossed them aloft. They floated to the ground, landing just west of their point of origin. “Check it out,” I said to Rachel. “I think the wind is gonna be behind us today.” She smiled politely, as if I’d said I was going to be an astronaut when I grew up. She was getting used to these proclamations. “Rach? Can you feel it? We’re going to have a tailwind.” “Maybe.” She squirted out a dollop of Chamois Butt’r and stuck her hand in
Now Mom was touching the Lump. I recoiled, less in pain than embarrassment. “Mom, I’m fine.” “Does it still hurt?” she asked. “Mom, I’m fine.” “Do you want some ibuprofen?” My mom believed everything—headaches, fevers, racism—could be cured with ibuprofen. “I’ll be okay,” I said. “It actually feels like it’s a bit less swollen today.” This was a lie, but Mom seemed to buy it. She looked off at the steps leading to my room, then back at me. “I know this is going to be a great trip for you
every inch. I want to end this trip by remembering why I chose it. That I chose it. It was a sunny Saturday morning, and I was sitting at my favorite café, trying to squeeze in a few fleeting hours of writing. After three-plus years, my job was no longer energizing, just exhausting, and I’d been having bimonthly panic attacks about where it was taking me, about where I was going, and why, and why I could no longer answer such a simple fucking question. I was too scattered to really write, on