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Junior takes cross country cycling trip No. 2

Rising junior Akhil Long made his second cross country cycling trip this summer, this time from Bloomington to the four Great Lakes near Michigan and back with the Indianapolis-based bicycle club deCycles Indiana. Last summer, he joined the same organization in biking with other youth 1,500 miles from Tucson, Ariz., to northern Montana over three weeks.

He said he decided earlier this year to take his second cycling trip as a “good way to take up the summer and see or do something I wouldn’t normally do.” The original route was to bike from the Alamo in Texas to the Gulf Coast of Florida, but safety concerns due to the pandemic led to the new route.

Akhil, joined by two friends from his Boy Scout troop, was able to see the Great Lakes Michigan, Huron, Superior, and Erie. His favorite site was the Tunnel of Trees along I-119 in Northern Michigan “because the trees covered the road and we had awesome views of Lake Michigan,” he said.

The terrain was easier to cycle on this route, he said, but he missed the scenery of the desert and the Continental Divide from last summer.

“And we had more winds, and there was less to see, which made it harder mentally,” Akhil said.

There were also changes to protect everyone’s health.

“We had to make sure we didn’t eat something somebody already touched, and we had to wash our hands more often,” he said. 

Overall, he enjoyed the trip and plans to continue cycling. In the meantime, he is looking forward to school starting soon and seeing his friends again.

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