@ Bob Austin was likely the only person to ride a bicycle down the West Coast in the summer of 1961. If he wasn’t, he is surely the only one to do it alone, at the age of 16 and in 14 riding days. And he is surely the only one to have repeated the ride a half-century later.
In 1961, Bob kept a diary of his high-speed Odyssey. That diary, written in blue ball-point pen on a pad of complimentary Union Pacific stationery, survives and serves as one of the two main sources for his book. The second main source is the daily blog of his 2011 ride, as posted on blogspot.com.
The bulk of the book is organized into 19 sections, representing the number of days Bob took to do the repeat ride in 2011. Fourteen of the sections include the 1961 diary page corresponding as closely as possible to the 2011 day’s ride. The closing sections of the book are an account of the months and early years following Bob’s 1961 ride, how it impacted him emotionally and physically and how it chang