Moore cycles across America

Published 11:45 am Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Community Editor

Durwood Moore pedaled across the Sen. Ashley B. Futrell Bridge, exited the U.S. Highway 17 bypass, turned left onto U.S. Highway 264 and proceeded west before making a right turn into the Rosedale community, where he was greeted by a slew of family, friends and well-wishers April 13.
The celebration was a fitting conclusion to Moore’s two-month, 3,000-mile-plus, cross-country cycling trek from San Diego to Washington.
“It was wonderful,” Moore said, adding that he didn’t know his wife, Joan, would get such a crowd together for his arrival.
Moore could barely get off his cycle before he was mobbed by his four youngest grandchildren.
“You would have thought it was Christmas,” said Joan Moore. “They were hugging and kissing him.”
In keeping with a promise, one of the traveler’s friends was waiting with some cold beer.
“He couldn’t believe Durwood was doing it,” Joan Moore said. “He said, ‘When you get back, I’ll have a six-pack of beer for you.’”
Moore’s journey started in early February when he flew from New Bern to San Diego. From there, he followed the Southern Tier Route, mapped out by the Adventure Cycling Association. The route stretches from California, along the U.S.-Mexican border then to the Atlantic Coast of Florida. Hundreds of cycling enthusiasts take the 3,000-mile-plus trip every year. Before the end of the route, Moore turned north and cut through Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina to reach Washington.
According to an odometer fastened to the front of his cycle, Moore traveled exactly 3,365.4 miles — the longest cycling trip of the 71-year-old’s life.
At about 1,000 miles into his trip, the Washington Daily News caught up with Durwood Moore via cell phone. At the time, he said, the 3,000-mile-plus trek would be his last hurrah. Now, less than a week back from the trip, he’s rethinking that statement.
“It’ll be the last ‘long’ one,” he said, adding that a friend from Greenville wants to take a two-week cycling trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway in October. He hasn’t committed to that trek, saying that decision is up to his wife.
“If she says ‘No,’ I won’t do it,” he said with a chuckle.
Joan Moore was more hesitant about her husband taking the cross-country trip because he was alone.
“She didn’t like this trip because I was by myself,” he said. “It’s really not as bad as people think.”
Moore called his wife almost every night while he was away — sometimes with interesting stories.
One morning, he was coming out of Reidsville, Ga., on U.S. Highway 1, when he was stopped by a Tattnall County sheriff’s deputy.
“She asked, ‘Was I the first one to check on you?’” he said.
Then the deputy asked for his driver’s license to run a background check.
“I wish I had given her my retired Navy ID,” he said.
Moore’s license checked out, and the deputy sent him on his way.
His run-in with the law aside, Moore said he met a lot of friendly people during his excursion.
“Because of my bike, people wanted to stop and talk to me,” he said.
His vehicle can be considered a “sit-down” tricycle, featuring two, small front tires and a bigger rear tire. The rear tire supports a recliner seat, from which the rider pedals and uses two handbrakes on the front of the cycle.
“It’s just like sitting in a chair at home,” Moore said, adding that he bought the cycle three years ago to ease the strain on his back from cycling.
He bought a journal around the same time, and started writing entries in it on a daily basis for every trip he’s taken. And, from the sound of it, the journal will get a little more ink in it.
Asked why he’s keeping the journal, Moore said, “Maybe, someday, my grandkids will want to read it.”