Bikers journey cross-country; make stop in Donaldsonville

Allison B. Hudson

23-year-old Sarah Strain from Bayville, New Jersey, and her friend 19-year-old Walter Kolenda from North Brookfield, Ma. began a new journey in their life on Nov. 2, 2010. These two friends had always talked about biking across the country, and finally put action behind their words. The two left the Catskills in New York on their bicycles and headed to their final destination of San Diego, Calif.

The two only do about 60 to 70 miles a day, so they will not tire themselves out.

“The best part apart our trip is that we meet really friendly and interesting people and we get to see a lot of things that we would have missed if we traveled by car,” said Strain.

“The best part to me is that we get to see beautiful parts of the country,” said Kolenda.

They headed down the Atlantic Coast to St. Augustine, Fla. Continuing on their journey, they stumbled upon Donaldsonville. Having a little time to regroup and enjoy the scenery inside of McDonald’s restaurant, they were noticed by a few residents in the community. Residents Nick Porto and Dave Dubreuil noticed the two and began to ask questions. After sharing their journey, Dubreuil decided to take notes and share these two young adults story.

The two departed from Donaldsonville on Thursday, Jan. 6 headed west through Austin, Tx.

“We camp mostly every night, and occasionally nice people invite us to stay in their homes,” shared the two. “We stay mostly on back roads and in more rural areas for safety purposes.”

Although this trip seems is not your typical daily adventure, the two are led by excellent maps and very thorough addenda’s provided by the Adventure Cycling Association, even including construction signs and change of phone numbers for businesses in various areas that would be of help to the two cyclists.

Being that the two have had talks about this journey for nearly two years, the two worked during the summer and saved as much money as possible, and received Christmas money from family for this trip.

The two have about another three or four months before reaching their San Diego, Calif. destination, but the two plan to fly home when they do.

The pair mentioned that so far their favorite places were pedaled through are the Pocono Mountains, St. Augustine, Fla., New Orleans, and Donaldsonville.

“The people in this town are great,” added the two.