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The Carthage Press
  • Biker passes through Carthage again on journey across the U.S.

  • He is a traveler, but he is far from weary.
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  • He is a traveler, but he is far from weary.
    On his way to Phoenix, Ariz., Ari Gold, 53, stopped in Carthage on Wednesday, June 18 hoping to see a friend he made four years ago on a similar journey. This biker says it wasn’t out of his way – he started in Wesport, Mass., on May 14.
    A way to travel
    Gold has been trekking on a recumbent Vision R40 cargo monster tricycle; made with American steel that carries 120 pounds of gear. He says Route 60 is not “flat” as some have described to him.  
    “It can go 30 mph, and 35 seems like terminal velocity,” Gold said of his bike.
    Why travel
    It all started with a bizarre opportunity.
    Gold, originally from Chicago, was working in Las Vegas when his company went out of business. He found himself unsuccessful in finding other careers, and sadly ended a marriage. A friend put things into perspective.
    “’You have a rare opportunity,’” Gold recalled what the friend told him. “'You have no ties to this area, you have the freedom to do what you want to do.'”
    Gold realized he wanted to see the world – but how do you travel with no money?
    “I had a bike that hadn’t seen daylight in 15 years,” he said.
    He sold all of his belongings, and strapped the essentials to living to his bike. He traveled 15,000 miles across the United States from September 2009 to September 2011.
    “I had the time of my life,” Gold said. “My goal was just the route, and everything else fell into place.”
    It was in 2010, Gold rolled into Carthage and met artist Jim Bilgere at the Carthage Crisis Center.
    “He was working on a mural,” Gold recalled, “and I said something like ‘you missed a spot.’”
    They hit it off.
    Last week when Gold was passing through the area again, he was disappointed his friend was out of town, but he remembered how kind Carthage had been to him.
    Meeting People
    Traveling with the goal of seeing the world, and a sense of humor, Gold's bike has a sign that reads “Bike to Australia.”
    Three years ago, Gold’s bike broke down in Wesport, and a lady pulled over and asked, “how are you going to ride your bike to Australia?” Her name is Pamela Frothingham, and they still share a relationship together. She is flying to Phoenix, where they will meet up at the end of Gold's journey.
    Page 2 of 2 - That was the best – The worst encounter Gold reported happened in Florida when a driver threw a beverage at him on the road.
    He feels that’s a pretty good record for as many miles he’s traveled and for as many people he’s met.
    “I enjoy people the most,” he said. “There is one place near Sparta that is very impressive. It used to be a railroad but now it’s a bike path through these tunnels – it looks like something from Lord of the Rings. But compared to people, it falls short. The camaraderie you get from getting to know someone, you get to see the world through their eyes, share some laughs, nothing compares to that. And better than anything manmade, nature is the most impressive.”
    What's Next
    Upon arrival in Phoenix, Gold plans to share his innovative ideas; one of which are his mirrors he has strapped to his hands. For his mode of transportation, they have come in handy on numerous occasions.
    He also hopes to share his life with Pamela, as well as see the rest of the world.
    After a short pause, Gold said “but that could all change.”
    “I’ve gotten used to stepping out of my comfort zone with the new places I’ve been and the new people I’ve met,” he said. “I’ve faced homelessness – this is better than the alternative. It’s always worked out. There’s no excuse for starving to death in the U.S. There’s food pantries and soup kitchens, people are usually interested in your story and will sometimes buy you a meal, and I’ve worked for my dinner.
    “I’ve had a lot of time to think about my life, lots of soul searching, and some people would give anything for that,” Gold concludes. “They’re just unwilling to let go of the world.”
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