Two Epic Bike Treks
Young riders pass through county on their way south.
Jun 21, 2007 By Walter Ryce

Sometime this week, likely somewhere on Highway 1 between Carmel and San Simeon, two bikes will pass each other heading south.

One such bike belongs to Erin Lizzo. On May 23, the 26-year-old Boulder, Colorado native pushed off from Seattle, Washington on a 1,400-mile bike ride to Mexico. This Monday and Tuesday she traversed Monterey County.

She’s taking the coastal route, camping or staying with friends along the way, taking pictures and blogging about her experience at She’s also going it alone, she says, because, “I want to go at my own pace, to have freedom.”

Lizzo says her inspiration for the long coastal ride is simple. “Every two years,” she says, “I get the craving to go on a new adventure.” She also says she prefers to see the world from her perch on a bike rather than from behind a windshield. A peek at the photos of majestic Western landscapes on her blog show that she has seen quite a bit of beauty so far.

“I like riding my bike,” she says without a trace of irony.

On May 3, unknown to Lizzo, 20-year-old Canadian college student and avid bicyclist Michal Brichacek launched himself from Anchorage, Alaska on his Cannondale touring bike, on his way to Panama. That’s a 7,500 mile ride. He zipped across the Peninsula on Wednesday.

Brichacek has devoted his bike trek to raising money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which funds cancer research and survivor support systems. Like Lizzo, Brichacek is chronicling his adventures on a blog,, where people are invited to donate to the Foundation. He was not aware of Lizzo or their impending meeting on California’s coastal highway, but his faster pace ensures it.

It is a pursuit, of sorts, but not a race. Lizzo and Brichacek are each chasing something that only they can see.

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