About Us

We’re Jim and Shawn and we’ve always wanted to ride our tandem across the United States!  We downsized, sold our house, and moved into a small apartment in preparation for the big year.  In the spring, we may just quit our jobs and hit the road!  This blog is where we’ll share our journey.  We’re gonna take the backroads, explore, stop at a few breweries and you might even find us singing duets to stave off bad moods.  So stick around– it’s gonna be a fun ride!

About us:  We’re looking forward to celebrating our 33rd wedding anniversary somewhere along the way this summer.  It’s been a riot sharing our lives and raising 3 beautiful children to adulthood.  Each of the 3 of them have flown the nest and are soaring on their own life adventures, loving life and making a living as engineers. We’re so proud of the adults they have become and now without the financial responsibilities of parents and homeowners, we’ve simplified our lives and set out to take a gap year of bicycling and exploring.

ABOUT Jim (written by Shawn):  Jim is a fun-loving, young-at-heart, easy-going guy.  What I love most about him is his patience and easygoing nature that belies his strength and determination.  He has been a fitness nut ever since I met him my sophomore year at Michigan Tech.  When we were dating, I remember he told me he was going to run a marathon someday.  I thought it was quite a lofty goal, as it seemed to me that only Olympic athletes do that – and then a year after we were married, he did!  His lifelong goal was to qualify to run the Boston Marathon and at age 50, he did just that!  At the age of 50, he ran a personal best time – running faster at 50 than at age 23, which was his previous best.  He is my inspiration and I hope I can keep up with him this summer!  😉

ABOUT Shawn (written by Jim): Shawn is the love of my life and my best friend.  When I first met shawn she had a Montgomery Ward 10 speed bike, she had it at school and told me she used to ride her bike to her summer job – about 6 miles from where she lived.  I was so impressed!  She was the first Bike commuter I ever knew!   She has had a dream about riding across the U.S. ever since she followed  some hometown bike riders on a 1976 ride on the Bicentennial trail – now I’ve glopped on to her dream and we’re gonna do it!  Shawn is the descrambler for my cluttered mind!  She’s our list maker and chief navigator.  She has a constant smile that I love and makes everyone feel at ease.  Her smile makes me smile and that makes us a good team!

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9 thoughts on “About Us

    Sheila said:
    June 1, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    I already know you two, but decided to read what you had to say about yourselves. I love you two soooo much. It’s wonderful that you found each other, as you complement, motivate, inspire and complete one another. God Bless you all the days of your lives.

    Jacqueline O'Neill said:
    June 21, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    My husband and I, Bill and Jackie O’Neill, met you this afternoon at the Caribou Coffee shop in Oakdale, MN. What a wonderful conversation, though way too short. It was so inspiring hearing your “dream trip” stories and knowing years ago we shared those same stories, only toured on a Gold Wing motorcycle. We rode from Virginia Beach, VA to Vancouver, BC. I have read much of your blog since I’ve gotten home and Shawn, you are a prophetic writer. You describe everything about life so perfectly, in an inspiring and positive way. I must comment though on the one blog where you wrote “we have to spend some time knitting…..” My jaw dropped and I thought, YES, I LIKE HER! LOL I am an avid and manic knitter and, after seeing your yarn store pic, made me feel right at home. So, hubby must knit, too. I have wanted to teach my husband but he just isn’t interested. Oh well . . . . . . . he never complains about my “fever.” Continue your adventure carefully and faithfully; I’ll be reading your blog along the way. Thank you for sharing today. God puts people together in His way.

      rathbike responded:
      June 21, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      Thanks Jackie!! It’s fun running into people and sharing our adventure! We actually both take turns writing the blog, sometimes we trade off a paragraph at a time. I’m glad Shawn taught me to knit. It’s a fun way to pass time and you get something practical out of it! I wear my hand knitted socks for biking and love em! Thanks for your kind words and stay tuned! We may need some advice through ND!! Jim

    Jacqueline O'Neill said:
    June 21, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    How ironic Jim. When we were talking to you and Shawn, I did notice your socks and said to Bill, “it looks as though Jim must have a friend who knits.” Little did I know. Yes, will keep in touch via your blog.

    Susan Erickson said:
    June 22, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    My husband, Eric and I also met the two of you at the Oakdale coffee shop as did Jackie. We were blessed to hear first hand your commitment and joy on this adventure…both inspiring us to live our dream. My hubby purchased a new bike for me at the shop next door for my 67th birthday today and we talked about you often throughout our day of biking. Love your blog!!! I will be following you and keep you in my prayers for a safe and wonderful journey. Great talking with you both. God’s Blessings as you live your dream to the max! Sue

      rathbike responded:
      June 22, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      Hi Susan! That’s great to hear! If you rode today, I hope you beat the rain. We are eating lunch waiting for the rain to clear. Thanks for you nice note!!

    Kim Rafferty said:
    June 22, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    I have never met two people so completely perfect for each other! I absolutely adore you both!

      rathbike responded:
      June 22, 2014 at 11:20 pm

      Thanks Kim! We adore you too! And that’s a great reason for us to get together in the fall! Artprize!

    Beki Franchock said:
    July 15, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Thanks for sharing your adventure! God speed! Go Tech!

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