Paul Neal woke up in Alabama on Thursday as he continues his cross-country bike trip – which started this week on the 50th anniversary of his ride from Rock Hill to the Pacific Ocean.
Three days into his trek, technology has not been his friend.
The addition of GPS was supposed to make this 3,000-mile ride easier for the 68-year-old Neal. On a Day 2 zig-zag across much of Georgia, however, it directed him up an impassably steep climb on a gravel road. In another instance, a local told him to turn left; the device demanded he go right. Neal, already a slave to technology, chose the latter and rode down a steep hill, straight into a dead end. By the time he reached his hotel outside of Atlanta, he spent much of the evening in a tub soaking his legs.
Neal made the first coast-to-coast trip when he was 18. He made a pledge in 1967 that he would ride the country again 50 years later if he finished the first journey. He left Thursday morning from Centre, in Alabama’s northeastern hill country, headed southwest below Birmingham. On Friday, Neal will take his first rest day before turning due west – straight toward California, with 2,500 miles to cover in between.
You can follow Neal’s adventure and read his daily posts at https://www.facebook.com/Paul-Neal-126102731290339/