In 2001, amazing Jim Delzer, then of BIG SKY, Montana became the first person to cross the United States on a Kickbike. Jim, then 44 years old, a personal trainer, was followed by a car driven by his mother who radioed traffic information to him through an earphone he wore. He averaged over 100 miles a day on this trip which began in Long Beach, Washington! His journey on which he faced head winds, mountains and traffic, took him through Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Jim ended his trip in Long Beach, NY and his first act after his finish was to take a dip in the ocean! Jim, who made the Guiness book of World Records with his feat, is a friendly nice person who answers his emails. Very inspirational to all stand-up HPVers!
At present, Jim is living in California and singing in the choir at Shepherd's Grove church (formerly Crystal Cathedral) in Garden Grove, California, which appears on ION TV every week in the "Hour of Power" (check TV listings in your area). Jim has a page on the Shepherd's Grove gifts website.
Jim also is on Facebook!
You can read about his 2005 trip plan in the Power of One PDF.
Below is Jim's diary from his 2001 trip.
Start: May 29, 2001:
29 (Day 1) Long Beach, WA to around Camas, WA
COMPLETED 123.21 Miles at 11.8 MPH in 10 Hours, 27 Minutes
"Lots of climbing today, including one three mile hill that I thought would never end but I feel good - ready for more,..I only have to do this 31 more times"
30 (Day 2) Camas, WA to Biggs, Oregon
COMPLETED 90.68 Miles at 11.0 MPH in 8 Hours, 14 Minutes
"Met a lot of very nice people along the way already, it's also great to have my mom along - hope she stays with me for the whole trip!"
31 (Day 3) Biggs, Oregon to Walla Walla, WA
COMPLETED 138.29 Miles at 9.6 MPH in 14 Hours, 11 Minutes
"Today was brutal,..I battled 20 mph headwinds all day - and a long day at that with only one 2 mile section of downhill that I didn't even benefit from because of the headwinds,..it was tough - I'll make it a MUCH shorter day tomorrow"
June 1 (Day 4) Walla Walla, WA Hwy 12 to Pomeroy, WA
COMPLETED 65.14 Miles at 11.0 MPH in 5 Hours, 53 Minutes
"The winds were so intense and "sideways" today that I nearly got blown off the Kickbike a couple of times,....then to top it off the heat was hovering around 95 degrees,..that it made my hands sweat so much that I took off my gloves,...which ended up being a mistake because at one tired point in the ride I actually slipped off the bar ends, ended up on the ground and came away with some road rash. Just part of the battle scars I guess. Stopping at this point today was a matter of both regrouping and logistics. I would have had to go another 65 miles to find a town with accommodations and that was just a bit more than I wanted to go, though another 35 to get in a hundred would have been nice. Tomorrow I'll have a similar option for mileage and I'll see how I feel once I get out there. Tentatively want to get all the way to Kamiah, Idaho via Orofino."
2 (Day 5) Pomeroy, WA Hwy 12 to Lowell, Idaho
COMPLETED 129.41 Miles at 11.5 MPH in 12 Hours, 01 Minutes
"The weather was perfect today - quite a relief after a couple of rough days. No wind at all and the temperature stayed in the 60's. This allowed me go almost 30 miles longer than even my biggest goal for today. About the only challenges I encountered were sections of road with no shoulder and a ton of traffic. The three things I constantly keep in mind and may be my best advice for anyone else considering this are as follows; 1. Food 2. Fluids 3. "FROG" (Fully Rely On God)"
June 3 (Day 6) Lowell, Idaho to top of LoLo Pass, Montana / Idaho Border
COMPLETED 77.91 Miles at 8.1 MPH in 9 Hours, 32 Minutes
"Today nice weather would have been very welcome but no go - I had a 77+mile climb in rain, sleet and snow from Lowell, Idaho to the top of LoLo Pass right on the Montana border. It was moist, biting cold all the way. Now I can really relate to Dan Nielsen's challenges during his Colorado crossing. I wanted nothing more than a warm room so I locked the Kickbike to a pole in back of the summit rest area and hopped in a car to Missoula, where I'm spending the night tonight. We'll drive back and resume the journey tomorrow from the top of the pass. Just praying for better weather!. On a totally different subject I have to point out that my legs are growing bigger at an incredible pace. I can literally feel so much more strength and size in them each day. It's pretty amazing!"
June 4 (Day 7) Top of LoLo Pass to Missoula, Montana
COMPLETED 45.68 Miles at 12.4 MPH in 3 Hours, 40 Minutes
"I didn't have a whole lot of choice but to take it easy today. Twelve inches of (freshly plowed) snow and chilling temps gave me no great ambition to go any further than Missoula from the top of the pass so I cautiously navigated the 45 miles and decided this would be a good day to regroup and prepare what will be an approx 115 mile day to Butte tomorrow and another long day (Butte to Bozeman) Wednesday. Both days will include plenty of tough climbs"
5 (Day 8) Missoula, Montana to Butte, Montana
COMPLETED 125.87 Miles at 9.8 MPH in 13 Hours, 14 Minutes
"Another day of 10-15 mph headwinds,...what's the deal with this?,...isn't the wind supposed to blow west to east? It sure hasn't done that the past few days! It also rained on and off all day - it was 33 degrees when I left Missoula this morning,..so all in all another challenging but satisfying day,.....I'll tell you what,..if somebody else tries this they better not wimp out and go the easy way down south (grin)!"
June 6 (Day 9) Butte, Montana to Bozeman, Montana
COMPLETED 88.05 Miles at 11.3 MPH in 7 Hours, 44 Minutes
"What a beautiful day! The wind at my back for a change - It was a sweet ride - I really got into a nice rhythm and was able to FLY! I had a TV interview when I got into Bozeman and tomorrow I'll do one for a newspaper at the start of the ride."
7 (Day 10) Bozeman, Montana to Columbus, Montana
COMPLETED 105.14 Miles at 12.0 MPH in 8 Hours, 41 Minutes
"Another incredible day with the wind at my back for nearly 65 miles of the 105 I covered. I felt really strong with a solid kick,....so I was able to fly over Bozeman Pass,..which a few months ago seemed like a major challenge. It's really great to have these ideal conditions in between the more challenging weather days- it really makes it all worth it."
June 8 (Day 11) Columbus, Montana to Custer, Montana
COMPLETED 98.92 Miles at 9.2 MPH in 10 Hours, 39 Minutes
"Today was the longest distance I've covered with the trailer attached full time since I'm totally solo now. The worst part was 20 miles of chip rock followed by another 20 miles of grooved pavement - not a lot of fun but still very satisfying. Tonight the weather is bad - high winds, rain, lightning and I'm staying in some sort of a makeshift "doublewide" hotel - the only accommodations in town. I think there's a good chance that I could be going for a ride in that room tonight if these winds keep up. With over 1,000 miles completed I'm now 1/3 of the way through the journey,..feeling strong and I'll start closing in on North Dakota tomorrow."
9 (Day 12) Custer, Montana to Miles City, Montana
COMPLETED 92.12 Miles at 8.6 MPH in 10 Hours, 38 Minutes
" After surviving a night in the Bates Motel I was anxious to get out of town. Not only was the motel scary there was no food available in town so I went to the only bar in town and spent a considerable amount of time talking them into making me a sandwich, which ended up being the only thing I ate until noon today when I was several hours into the ride. The headwind curse is also back again. Many times today I faced gusts of 30 mph, which nearly stopped me dead in my tracks but I can't do much about it so I just keep kickin' along!"
10 (Day 13) Miles City, Montana to Wiebaux, Montana
COMPLETED 105.92 Miles at 10.6 MPH in 9 Hours, 59 Minutes
" I want to start by thanking everyone who prayed for calm winds because there wasn't a hint of a breeze today. I felt very, very strong all day even with the temperatures in the high 90's. I'm now just a few miles from the North Dakota border so I'll have a shorter day tomorrow with a goal of Dickinson and another 100+ mile day when I head for Bismarck on Tuesday."
11 (Day 14) Wiebaux, Montana to Dickinson, North Dakota
COMPLETED 71.79 Miles at 12.4 MPH in 5 Hours, 46 Minutes
" Another awesome day. For only the second time I have felt the power and beauty of a tailwind. It's such an uplift - just nice, smooth kicking,...the way it was meant to be. It feels good to cover 70+ miles in less than 6 hours. Within the next couple of days I'll be at the half way mark so it'll all be downhill after that ;-)"
12 (Day 15) Dickinson, North Dakota to Bismarck, North Dakota
COMPLETED 99.9 Miles at 8.3 MPH in 12 Hours, 29 Minutes
" I have to tell you that today was a day I wanted to just stop. It was the most miserable day weather wise that I have ever participated voluntarily in anything. Some of you in the western US can probably relate because its suddenly snowing and raining throughout the region. The wind is still the worst factor though. If I had it on my back then all the moisture wouldn't be that big of a deal. You can see by my lousy average pace that it just wasn't a good day. The 20 MPH headwinds all but stopped me again. I struggled to maintain optimism and had those "why am I doing this" thoughts running through my head all day long. I really had to dig deep but once again, at the end of the day it just feels great to have survived another day. I do have to say that if what they are forecasting comes through tomorrow that I will seriously consider making a very short day of it,..but we'll see."
13 (Day 16) Bismarck, North Dakota to Bismarck, North Dakota
COMPLETED 1.0 Mile at 12.00 MPH in 5 Minutes
" I would have been a fool to even attempt going out there today so I decided to do a symbolic mile just to keep the consecutive day streak alive. I knew today would be all but impossible but I knew it could be really big trouble when I saw one of those giant flags in front of Perkin's restaurants standing straight out,..FACING WEST. I'm really hoping that at least the wind decides to take a break tomorrow,..but no matter what I'm going out there to at least attempt to stay on schedule."
14 (Day 17) Bismarck, North Dakota to Jamestown, North Dakota
COMPLETED 100.02 Miles at ? MPH in approx 11 Hours (details later)
" Glad to be back at it again. Luckily not much wind today but the rain was relentless. This rough concrete out here has been wearing down my tires pretty quickly. I've forgotten to mention that cows just love Kickbikes. They all stare at me as I cruise by,..... or am I just getting paranoid ? ;-)"
15 (Day 18) Jamestown, North Dakota to Fargo, North Dakota
COMPLETED 97.07 Miles at 13.4 MPH in 7 Hours, 30 Minutes
" If there's such thing as a perfect day,...today was it. The weather gods were with me today with a 20 MPH tailwind that allowed me to average 13.4 miles an hour. A few days like this would really be incredible."
16 (Day 19) Fargo, North Dakota to Staples, Minnesota
COMPLETED 114.76 Miles at 12.4 MPH in 9 Hours, 22 Minutes
" What a treat - a dream day to say the least. Zero wind and smooth, clean road shoulders made it a wonderful ride. It was clear as a bell and 55 degrees in the morning, followed by cloud cover and rain later in the day,..but without wind the rain was really no problem,...just nice and refreshing."
17 (Day 20) Staples, Minnesota to Elk River, Minnesota
COMPLETED 111.47 Miles at 11.3 MPH in 9 Hours, 48 Minutes
" Just a nice steady day,..a little rain and shifting winds but it was beautiful. Nice to be in familiar territory. Tomorrow I'll have to navigate some back roads again to get to Minomonie, Wisconsin."
18 (Day 21) Elk River, Minnesota to (west of) Minomonie,
COMPLETED 91.6 Miles at 10.1 MPH in 9 Hours, 01 Minute
" A totally mixed bag of good and bad weather today. I started out with an incredible 40 mph tailwind but that lasted only 10 miles,..when the skies opened up and let me have it,..big time! That combined with 50 mph bursts of wind coming from all sides had me doing a tightrope act for the rest of the day. My average is still below my desired 100 miles per day so I'm going to chip away a bit over that each day if the weather allows,..hopefully getting in 110 tomorrow on route to Black River Falls via Highway 12,..though the sky looks a bit ominous tonight!"
19 (Day 22) Minomonie, Wisconsin to Black River Falls,
COMPLETED 105 Miles at 11.8 MPH in 8 Hours, 53 Minutes
" A very enjoyable, smooth ride today,..excellent weather and reasonable temperatures kept me just rolling along at a very nice pace. I may shoot for Madison, Wisconsin tomorrow if everything clicks like it did today"
20 (Day 23) Black River Falls, Wisconsin to Lake Delton,
COMPLETED 87.77 Miles at 10.8 MPH in 8 Hours, 06 Minutes
" After recalculating my timing I decided to stop short of Madison. This will make it easier to stage myself for arrival in Chicago on Saturday, rather than late Friday - Chicago is not the place to be on the road on a Friday as people get into that weekend party and drinking mode. I'd rather sneak through early Saturday while they are sleeping in ;-) . Today was another day of comfortable cruising. I figure I have almost exactly 1,000 miles to go to the finish but it looks like the goal of averaging 100 mile per day now seems to be slipping away. I'm not concerned about it at all - the bigger plan is still intact!
21 (Day 24) Lake Delton, Wisconsin to Janesville, Wisconsin
COMPLETED 88.73 Miles at 10.5 MPH in 8 Hours, 26 Minutes
" Maybe I shouldn't have said anything about Chicago traffic or drivers because it couldn't be any worse than what I experienced today. I think I gave up at least three lives in close calls with crazy drivers. I can't believe that after 23 days of uneventful, cooperative road sharing they were after me today. The small shoulder and narrow two way roads didn't help either,..but it's unbelievable that they nearly took me out on so many different occasions in one day. Sure hope that stops soon. The stats were nearly right on with yesterday's so at least I'm consistent, regardless of the attempts to prematurely end my journey ;-)
22 (Day 25) Janesville, Wisconsin to Elk Grove Village,
COMPLETED 89.2 Miles at 11.1 MPH in 8 Hours, 0 Minutes
"This lack of shoulders on the road is extremely dangerous - several more very close encounters of the car kind today,..so I'm getting outa this area as quick as possible. Other than that the weather has been great and the kicking is still steady. Tomorrow I'm heading towards La Porte, Indiana"
June 23 (Day 26) Elk Grove Village, Illinois to La Porte, Indiana
COMPLETED 98.07 Miles at 10.8 MPH in 9 Hours, 04 Minutes
"I successfully navigated through Chicago. Only one slight mistake that added 4 blocks to the day. Once I got into Indiana it was back to three foot shoulders on the road - thank goodness. I want to give a special thanks to a special lady that pulled over in front of me in Indiana today and made a generous contribution towards my expenses - it was really a blessing to have this happen - it really made my day!"
June 24 (Day 27) La Porte, Indiana to Kendalville, Indiana
COMPLETED 90.03 Miles at 10 MPH in 9 Hours, 00 Minutes
"A fairly uneventful day - just easy cruising on nice new pavement. Tomorrow it's into Ohio full steam ahead via 6 through Edgerton. At this pace I should be reaching Long Beach, NY between July 2nd and 4th."
25 (Day 28) Kendalville, Indiana to Bowling Green, Ohio
COMPLETED 88.70 Miles at 10.1 MPH in 8 Hours, 50 Minutes
"Today was great. I was greeted at the border by fellow Kickbikers and Ohio residents Joe Jung and Doug Estep. It was so nice to have some company. They stayed with me for about 35 miles."
26 (Day 29) Bowling Green, Ohio to Brunswick, Ohio
COMPLETED 102.80 Miles at ? MPH in 11 Hours, 25 Minutes
"It was another crazy traffic day. I'd have to say that dealing with the mental aspects of fighting cars all day is much more fatiguing than anything physical. I'm also not sure what's going on all of a sudden with people's attitudes but perhaps people in and around Brunswick have an aversion to adults on scooters because after crossing nearly the whole country without a single negative comment I got cursed at three different times within the last 5 miles of coming into Brunswick. Tomorrow should be a shorter day as we head towards Youngstown, near the Pennsylvania border."
27 (Day 30) Brunswick, Ohio to Hermitage, Pennsylvania
COMPLETED 76.2 Miles at ? MPH in 8:00 Hours Flat
"A screamin' hot and humid day nearing 100 degrees and 90+% humidity. 40 miles of rolling hills. Sorry for the guesstimates on time and average. My cyclometer died a couple of days ago and I haven't had a chance to retrieve all the info off the GPS. I'll try to catch up with more accurate info ASAP and hopefully I'll find a shop open where I can pick up a new cyclometer. They're usually closed by the time I roll into town"
28 (Day 31) Hermitage, Pennsylvania to Brookville, Pennsylvania
COMPLETED 84 Miles at approx 8.4 MPH in 10:00 Hours
"Wow, I never knew this state was so hilly. Today I criss crossed I-80 via 58, 318, back on 58 to 38, 208 then 322. Hot and humid again. My mileage as of today totals 2,881 miles in 31 days. Tomorrow I'm heading to State College, followed Saturday by Danville,..then perhaps I'll roll into Long Beach, NJ, the final destination on Monday evening. I can feel it now!"
June 29 (Day 32) Hermitage, Pennsylvania to State College, Pennsylvania
COMPLETED 85 Miles at ? MPH in 9 Hours, 45 Minutes
"Even more hills today and what will probably average out to be the slowest average pace of the entire trip,...but no complaints,..especially considering that when I get to Danville tomorrow I'm only about 200 miles from the end of the journey..and tomorrow will also feel great when I pass the 3,000 mile mark!"
30 (Day 33) State College,
Pennsylvania to Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
COMPLETED 87 Miles at ? MPH in 8 Hours, 30 Minutes
" A nice tailwind allowed me to surpass today's goal of Danville. I am in Bloomsburg and it feels really incredible to have passed the 3,000 mile mark. Tomorrow I'll shoot for (at least) Stroudsburg near the New Jersey border. I'm still contemplating the final day's route on to Long Beach on Long Island. I had my uncle call local bike clubs but they had no suggestions for surviving that final stretch, especially during rush hour."
1st (Day 34) Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania to Stroudsburg,
COMPLETED 77.5 Miles at ? MPH in 8 Hours, 00 Minutes
" The rain and wind caught up with me again today so it was a bit of a struggle but nothing really bothers me that much at this point. After a little more research on the final route I've decided to split it up into two days because it looks like 120 miles total to Long Beach from here and that kind of distance combined with the stress of navigating NYC may be too much for one day and I'd probably be so fatigued that I couldn't enjoy the moment,.....so tomorrow I'll shoot for Ridgefield, New Jersey and rest up for that final push on Tuesday."
2nd (Day 35) Stroudsburg, Penn to Ridgefield Park, New Jersey
COMPLETED 84.7 Miles at ? MPH in 9 Hours, 00 Minutes
" It feels good to sit here in a hotel room just 30 miles from the goal. I am so ready to get there so I'll get an early start so I have plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the day once I get there. A special thanks today to Barbara from Randolph , NJ for helping me out with some much needed directions today. Okay,..let's get this finished up!"
3rd (Day 36) Ridgefield Park, New Jersey to Long Beach, New York
COMPLETED 41.8 Miles at ? MPH in approx 5 Hours
Unofficial Total Time in Days, Hours and Minutes
35 days, 4 Hours, 44 Minutes
" IT'S OVER!!! It was actually quite enjoyable going through the big city.
I just made it a fun challenge to get through there faster than any cars possibly could. I found the head of the beach patrol to certify my arrival,..then I took a quick dip into the Atlantic. I did get some pictures but they'll be delayed for a couple of days because they weren't digital. I am so incredibly pleased that I've arrived. Now a few days of fun and relaxation in NYC,..then it's back home. Thanks so much to each and every one of you that has kept up with all these updates. I promise to catch up with all the emails once I get back!"