OWOSSO, Mich. — Fifty years after graduating from Owosso High School, Lois Crawford isn’t slowing down.
In fact, the 68-year-old, along with her husband Doug, is on the journey of her lifetime — riding her bike from the couple’s home in Baytown, Texas, to Sault Ste. Marie.
They plan to finish their approximately 2,350 mile journey just in time for Crawford’s 50th high school reunion on Sept. 17.
“I’m probably in the best physical condition I’ve ever been in,” Crawford said. “Everything I want to do in life requires some degree of physical fitness. I don’t want to just sit around and play bridge.”
The couple started off their ride July 10 in the driveway of the home. As of Monday morning, they were in northern Indiana. They expect to reach Lansing on Saturday, where the couple will spend some time with Doug’s family before taking part in the Dick Allen Lansing to Mackinaw Bicycle Tour at the end of the month.
Crawford said they don’t plan to stop once they reach the end of the DALMAC, either.
“We are going to spend some time at Tahquamenon Falls and do some kayaking,” she said.
Crawford said she has always been an active person and it would not have surprised her high school self to learn of her current trek.
“I would probably have thought that it’d be a great idea,” she said. “I have always liked to move with a destination in mind.”
Because the couple tends to lead active lives, Crawford said it didn’t take much additional conditioning to prepare themselves for their cross-country journey. A typical week for the couple consists of biking 100 to 150 miles around their home town, in addition to swimming and kayaking, she said.
The journey did take some planning, though.
“My husband has probably been working on the route for a year,” Crawford said.
She said they were aided with maps and routes from Adventure Cycling, helping them decide where to ride, eat, camp and find hotels.
Crawford’s favorite part of the route was the Natchez Trace Parkway, a trail that begins in Natchez, Miss., and stretches to just outside of Nashville, Tenn.
“It’s just beautiful riding,” she said.
Though the weather was considered while planning, Crawford said they ultimately decided to leave in July to time the trip with her high school reunion.
“Most people thought we were crazy starting out in Texas in July,” she said.
But after riding through so much tornado damage in the south, the Crawfords are glad they weren’t on the road this spring when the storms hit.
Crawford said one of the best parts of the adventure has been meeting so many nice people.
“We have met such wonderful people,” she said, an aspect she credits to their bikes, which draw a lot of attention. “If we pulled in in a mini-van, nobody would talk to us,” she said.
Information from: The Argus-Press, http://www.argus-press.com