As a self-proclaimed workaholic, Colorado West Investments owner Kevin Sanderford knew he needed some quality time with his daughter, Skye.
But they decided to do something a bit out of the ordinary. The father and daughter spent most of the summer riding a tandem bike, starting on the West Coast before finishing on the East Coast.
“It was an incredible experience to spend the whole summer with your daughter,” Sanderford said. “... To have that quality time with your kid, and no distractions, was pretty darn nice.”
He added this journey has now been checked off his bucket list, saying the ride wasn’t ultimately physically challenging, as much as it was “90 percent” mentally tough.
Sanderford and Skye started in Anacortes, Washington in June, before ending up in Bar Harbour, Maine, in August for a grand total of 4,244 miles.
Leading up to the ride, Sanderford had a personal trainer who helped him get conditioned. He said even though he thought he was in good shape, he found out from his friends, who’ve done such trips previously, that he should try a 400-mile ride before attempting a cross-country ride.
Meanwhile, for him, his longest trips were a 16-mile and 40-mile rides, he said.
Sanderford said, in the case of his daughter, Skye didn’t much training and, in fact, the fuel she ran on during the trip was “powdered doughnuts and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.”
They rode together about every day on a tandem bike pulling a small trailer with their stuff.
He said they rode about 65-80 miles per day with the most being 95.
The father and daughter team would take a day off every nine-10 days. The time off was usually based on bike maintenance or enjoying a new town that they haven’t seen before, Sanderford said.
He did say there were good days and bad ones.
Seeing such sites as Niagra Falls was extraordinary. But there were also moments like riding on the interstate, with a speed limit of 80 mph, in South Dakota while the rain was pouring down, Sanderford said.
“You don’t take off a rain day,” he said.
However, the best moments were provided the people they met along the way, Sanderford said.
He said they first started out riding with some friends before going alone for a bit during the ride. Though soon after, the Sanderfords met up with riders from Denver and Vermont, among others.
He said the people were incredibly friendly, as some nights they would invite him and his daughter to have dinner at their home before riding away.
Sanderford said he and a few bike riders have plans to meet up this next summer as the one from Vermont will come to Montrose while he’ll go out to spend time with a rider from Pittsburgh.
Their family was able to see them on a few stops as they met at three different locations during the trip.
Sanderford said jokingly the experience wasn’t a once-in-a-lifetime one because he promised his 7-year-old twins he’ll do the same with them when they’re around Skye’s age.
Andrew Kiser is the Montrose Daily Press’ sports/business writer. Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kpress.