June 16, 2024

Pedal-powered nomad cuts through town

Tony Adams and his trailer pedals west on Highway 34 just outside of Creston. The 700 lbs trailer, which Adams calls his "house," contains all of his belongings.

With a 700-lbs trailer connected to a bike powered entirely by his own strength, Tony Adams spent his Tuesday slowly making his way west across Highway 34 before eventually coming to rest in Creston.

That morning, he started in Thayer and traveled with his trailer 16 miles in a single day. It’s nothing new for him, as he’s been traveling like this for 24 years. His goal is to make it to 50 years, breaking the Guinness World Record for longest time on the road. Despite recently turning 59, he doesn’t think he’ll be stopping anytime soon.

Every day, Adams wakes up and pedals, making it a little farther across the country. His trailer he tows behind his bike is not just storage, it’s where he sleeps at night. A propane stove, kitchen and coffeemaker complete what Adam calls his “house.”

On the side, the phrase “Google Tony Adams Cycling” challenges onlookers to do their own research on his journey. Sixty newspapers have covered his travels since he began in 1995. His current trip, which brought him through Creston, has lasted 13 months.

His journey began when he traveled from Oregon to Las Vegas in search of a lost brother. Packing all his belongings, he set out with his bike and trailer. Adams said the first person he asked for directions when he arrived just so happened to be his brother.

After that, Adams started touring the country, witnessing Niagara Falls, scaling the Rockies and traveling to both coastlines. He always begins and ends his journeys in Boulder, Colorado. Through intense heat and below-zero temperatures, he’s seen it all.

“I’ve been hit by a car four times,” he said. “Two were a hit-and-run.”

Adams said in terms for people like him, this is the cheapest way to see the country. He’s never owned a car or been married. Despite being technically homeless, he found his own way to see the country.

The biggest concern Adams had with Creston was wondering if there was a Wal-Mart in town. His phone broke three days before, and he was looking to get a new one. He uses his phone for directions and to play music so he can keep a steady rhythm with his pedaling.

Adams’ bike is powered entirely by him, no motors involved. “All pedal power,” he said. Road conditions can sometimes prove tough for him, figuring out how to navigate highways and roads not built for this type of travel. He replaces his tires every three months.

His travel plans are to head back home to Colorado to celebrate his 60th birthday, and then head to Washington to take a ferry up to Alaska. From there, he’ll take a cruise to Hawaii, ending his journey to see all 50 states.

Nick Pauly

News Reporter for Creston News Advertiser. Raised and matured in the state of Iowa, Nick Pauly developed a love for all forms of media, from books and movies to emerging forms of media such as video games and livestreaming.