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Mid-State Couple Pedal a Tandem Bike Across the Country


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  A mid-state couple are peddling their bicycle built-for-two clear across the nation.

Murfreesboro residents Martha and Larry Tolbert began their journey eight days ago in Washington D.C. They hope to finish the nearly 4000 mile trip on the Pacific Coast in about eleven weeks.

Martha Tolbert says they’ve been preparing for the adventure for quite some time.

“We ride our tandem bike a lot. We usually do a tour every year, but probably only a week to ten days in length, so this is significantly longer than anything we’ve tried before. He (Larry) has always wanted to do it and this seemed like a good year.”

The Tolberts covered about 400 miles in the first week.  Martha says they’ve endured a lot of rain and mud so far, but also says the ride has been made easier by what she refers to as “trail angels.” A stranger helped out when a broken chain left them stranded on the side of the road.

“A lady rolled her window down and said, ‘You know you’re only a half a block from a bike shop,’ so just little things like that. It’s kind of neat. People are really nice. You get to meet and see some really nice folks.”


The Tolberts began Wednesday's ride just outside of Pittsburgh. They hope to average 60 miles a day, depending on the terrain. Martha says they’ve been riding largely on un-paved bike trails so far, but they’ll be on highways for most of the remaining miles.

“I just think we’re kind of ready for some smooth road surfaces; looking forward to some good weather hopefully. It looks like the sun is shining here today, so that’s a good sign.”

Larry Tolbert has his own law practice in Murfreesboro. Martha Tolbert is a financial analyst at Middle Tennessee Medical Center. You can follow the couple’s cross-country adventure online at larryandmarthasbigride.blogspot.com.