Bicycling Across America

This program is rebroadcast from March 28, 2014.

Biking coast to coast. It’s on a lot of bucket lists. Bruce Weber did it. He brings us his tale of 4000 miles.

Bruce Weber biked across the United States. His new book, "Life is a Wheel," narrates that journey. (Marcus Yam)

New York Times obituary writer Bruce Weber biked across the United States. His new book, “Life is a Wheel,” narrates that journey. (Marcus Yam)

If you’ve dreamed about bicycling across the United States, get in line.  It’s on a lot of wish lists, bucket lists, to-do lists.  Of course, most people don’t.  Coast to coast is a long way.  There are mountains and very wide prairies and wind and rain and eighteen wheelers out there.  But still, every summer, people do it.  Bruce Weber did it.  He’s an obituary writer.  And one day, all the writing about death and sitting around to do it just got to be too much.  He pulled out the bike.  And rode.  Four thousand miles.  Coast to coast.  Sweating.  Searching.  This hour On Point:  Life and death and bicycling across America.

– Tom Ashbrook


David Howard, executive editor at Bicycling magazine. (@davehoward99)

Bruce Weber, obituary writer for the New York Times. Author of the new book, “Life is a Wheel: Life, Death, Etc., and a Bike Ride Across America.” Also author of “As They See ‘Em: A Fan’s Travels in the Land of Umpires” and “Savion! My Life in Tap.” (@nytbruceweber)

Ellen Russell-Gage, dispacther in the Liberty County, MT Sheriff’s Department.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: One Man, Two Wheels, 4,122 Miles — “A man in the grip of a midlife crisis often gets himself a new set of wheels: a Porsche or a Jaguar or a Mustang convertible. But at 57, Bruce Weber, the author of the memoir and travelogue ‘Life Is a Wheel,’ opted for a different vehicle, a shiny red custom-made titanium bicycle, which he resolved to ride from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic.”

Charlotte Observer: Book review: ‘Life is a Wheel’ — “Unlike most of you, however, Weber has no spouse, no kids, no place of worship, no ball-and-chain cramping his style. A confirmed New York bachelor, he enjoys freedom to take an adventure most of us can only dream about: a four-month-long, coast-to-coast bike ride. Weber’s travel diary, ‘Life is a Wheel,’ originally appeared as a series of blog posts for the New York Times, where he has worked for more than 25 years. Not merely a chronicle of a 3,600-mile bike ride, it’s as much an exhibition of the cyclist’s emotional state, booby-trapped with lifelong anxieties.”

Minneapolis Star Tribune: REVIEW: ‘Life Is a Wheel: Love, Death, Etc., and a Bike Ride Across America,’ by Bruce Weber — “The title itself has kind of a rambling feel to it and aptly reflects the tone of the memoir. There are no revelatory scenes or great surprises along the way. There is equal space given to the cycling details of the ride, Weber’s reflections on his family and his life in journalism, and daily scenes of the United States, where he finds his sense of patriotism fired up. ”

Read An Excerpt Of “Life Is a Wheel” By Bruce Weber

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