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    Posted May 29, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Visited all 50 states?

    50 States On A Bike!

    This is not my story, but our brothers'. Our brother Michael, an avid cyclist, visited all 50 states over a 21 year period from 1976 to 1997. I don't know at what point it became a goal, he had been keeping track of his travels and by 1990 had only been to 11 states. However, over a course of 4 years from August '92 to August '96 he visited 38 states, bringing his total to 49. #50 was "conquered" in June '97 when he visited Alaska. When he got there he called home and pronounced "the eagle has landed". Our parents were in tears and we were all proud.

    This was all done before the age of the internet, planned with paper and pencil from printed maps and books, numerous visits to the library and probably a small fortune of dimes at a copy machine. After careful planning Mike would either plane or train to a starting point, travel over a set number of days while spending nights at various hotels and motels, then flying or training home once he reached his destination. On his trips he would take plenty of pictures (film camera, not digital), keep a journal of all he'd seen and experienced and collect a state magnet from each state that he visited. He would then wow us with pictures and stories from his trips. In a way, we all saw the country through his eyes.

    Once he had completed all 50 States Mike set out to cover any state capitals he'd missed. Unfortunately, that goal was not attained. In April 1998, after having just visited his 39th state capital, Mike was struck and killed by a driver under the influence of drugs while en route from Indiana to Kentucky. Our current goal is to preserve the memories of his journeys digitally to share with the entire family and future generations.
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