Mr. Sorn pedals his way across America

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On May 6th, retired Math teacher, Mike Sorn biked from Los Angeles to Boston completing 3,420 miles in only 50 days. If you think that’s nothing “Try biking from Cambridge to Duluth, turn around and do it again 25 times!” Sorn described.

Mr. Sorn’s training regimen began in the summer 2016 until December 1st, when Minnesota’s cold, long winter came around. After that, he continued training inside on his stationary bike, then went back outside in late February. Racking up 1,700 miles outside and 900 miles inside.

Before his big trip, he had biked in two 500-mile rides from Minneapolis to Chicago and over 15, 300-mile rides for M.S.

For 20 years Sorn had the dream of biking cross country and spent 6 years researching companies that could take him those 3,000-plus miles. Some riders were even going as far as the Atlantic Ocean!

Averaging 85 miles a day, with only 1-2 stops to grab water and energy bars from the support crew, Sorn’s shortest day was around 40 miles and his longest day was a whopping 117 miles! Along those miles, he saw sights of the Arizona mountain passes to the Sedona switchbacks, and the Vermont mountain streams and an Amish horse and buggy in Ohio!

Although his family thought he was crazy at first, they soon became the support system he needed along the way. He also met two new friends, Harry and Tony from Liverpool, England. Harry and Tony stuck with him along the ride, pushing him to keep going and changing a tire when needed. During the trip, he had five flat tires.

Biking all that way was no easy task, Sorn did climbs for 4, 6, 9, and even 12 miles! But that’s not all. He faced a 96-mile trek with 22 mph head winds with gusts of 35! With the help of his friends Harry and Tony, they pushed him to finish that day. At that point he knew he could face the rest of the ride to Boston without a problem. Posting his trip on Facebook he received many encouraging, supportive comments from students, former students, teachers, and family. “I can’t let these kids down.” he thought as he pushed himself to finish.

Facing more challenges then he thought, Mr. Sorn biked for 2 days up 153 hills straight. He also biked the switchbacks in Sedona and climbed 6 more miles in Vermont. “I could hear the rushing water of a mountain stream on the other side of the road! It was so relaxing. That was beautiful.” Some of his most memorable moments were finishing first one of the days and eating pie in Dover, Kansas. “I would go back just so I could have another piece of pie!” Sorn stated. The others in the group saw what an amazing rider Sorn is, and presented him with the ‘Most outstanding rider of the group’ poster. Sorn then gave that poster to Harry and Tony for all the help and support they gave him along the way.

“Coming into the hotel the last day knowing I made the trip was an incredible sense of accomplishment–that’s a tremendous feeling–” Sorn’s son, David, and daughter, Laurie, watched him finish his journey. He was quite surprised to see them there as they congratulated him. “When you get there it’s a good feeling.” Sorn described.

“It’s amazing what you can set your mind to.” Sorn explained. He completed his 20-year dream of biking cross country. He made something of his goals and in the end grabbed some chocolate shakes from McDonald’s to ease his aching muscles.

“I hope you all have dreams. I had this dream to do this and it took me 20 years to reach it but realize that your dream won’t happen in the next couple of days or weeks. If you dream it, and you really want it, and you work for it, you can attain it. What I always tell my students–If you get the chance to sit out or dance, I hope you dance,” Mr. Sorn continued. “I got to dance.”

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