You & a Bike & a Road by Eleanor Davis. Koyama Press, 2017. 9781927668405.
Eleanor Davis started biking from her parents’ home in Tucson back to her home in Athens, Georgia, carrying only a tent, a sleeping bag, her clothes, and enough food to get to her next stop. When people asked her why she was doing this, she told them either, “My husband & I want a baby, so I figure I either do this now or wait 20 years.” or “My dad built this bike & I hate boxing and shipping bikes so I decided to just ride it home!” She didn’t tell them that she was having trouble with not wanting to be alive, but that she felt good when she was bicycling — that was true, too. She recorded her journey in black and white pencil drawings as she traveled.
Throughout the trip she pushed her body, biking up to 50 miles a day even though her knees really hurt. (She iced them when she could.) She saw amazing natural beauty, passing through farmland, desert, cities, and ghost towns. She explored a lot of our border with Mexico and witnessed the harsh treatment of people trying to cross it. She biked her way through both depression and euphoria. All along her journey she met kind people who fed her and inspired her to keep going. (The people she met in Alpine, Texas, were particularly amazing.) As she said early on in her trip, “I’ll push myself really hard until I get very strong. This has always been my only plan.”