Special to the Enterprise
Stephen and Penny Koerner’s 1,700 mile journey may have begun in Sarasota, Fla. late last month, but the couple’s love of seeing the world from the seat of a tandem bicycle began long before, they said, as the two stopped for a rest, lunch break and repairs in Nahunta on Monday.
The couple, retired attorneys in their early 60s, have been sight-seeing the towns of America on a custom-built tandem bike since 2006 when they took to the roads of Colorado Springs, Colo. for a 950 mile ride to Mankato, Mont.
Since then the two have set out on three more tours and are in the middle of yet another.
Nahunta marked the mid point of the Koerners’s daily trek from Folkston to Jesup along Hwy. 301 and just over mile 500 of their overall trip to Greensboro, Ga.
The distances don’t seem phase the two who have done much longer tours – as long as 4,400 miles from Oregon to Massachusetts – but they do make for interesting memories.
And that’s what it’s all about, Penny explained.
“It’s not the destination; it’s the journey,” she said.
Stephen makes sure to keep a daily journal of their encounters, pitfalls, finds and even cultural oddities each day with a blog on the website CrazyGuyonaBike.com – an international site dedicated to bicycle touring.
So far their tour – Dawdlin’ Through Dixie as it is called on the site – has brought the two in touch with interesting locals along the Florida portion of the trek from friendly if not slightly inebriated squatters, kind small town inn owners, suspicious townies, fellow bicyclers with a heart of gold and at least one mud truck tire sales woman.
Of course not every day is great for riding but they do if they can. Other days they have to stop and wait for the weather to clear, which has given them some time to meet locals and learn more about the area. Other times flat tires or mechanical problems are an issue.
But somehow the two, with their tandem bike and a one-wheeled trailer full of bags have managed their trips without too much strife.
Because even the worst of days add something to thousands of memory-laden miles.