Cross-country bicyclists pass through 2011.06.29

Written by David Green.

Four cross-country bicyclists took a small detour into Lenawee County earlier this month on their way to Oregon. That’s because one of them wanted to log a visit with his grandparents.

Travis Vernier, grandson of Hershel and Mary Helen Love of Sand Creek, started his journey with three college friends in Times Square, New York City, in late May. They expect to finish the trip in Portland, Ore., by the end of July.

They travel 50 to 80 miles a day, depending on weather and terrain, and had reached South Dakota last Thursday.

Each rider carries about 35 pounds of gear, clothing and food. The boys planned to camp each night but have often ended up as guests with families or at churches.

They continue to face physical and mental challenges on the 3,700-mile journey. In Pennsylvania, for example, Vernier experienced a tire problem that required him to stop and pump up his tires repeatedly over 20 miles of mountainous terrain.

In a Southern Nazarene University  news story, Vernier said last week, “from the natural beauty of the Appalachian mountains, to warm hospitality of the Heartland, experiencing America on bicycle has been an amazing and unforgettable experience.”

Vernier and one of his companions are students at Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Okla., near Oklahoma City. The other two travelers graduated from SNU this year.

Travis is the son of Morenci native Nick Vernier and Sand Creek native Kay (Love) Vernier.

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