Page 24 - South Mississippi Living - June, 2022
P. 24

story by Gabbie Bowden photos courtesy of Adam Nguyen
As Adam Nguyen approached graduation from Mississippi State, he realized he wanted to do something out of the ordinary before entering the workforce. Always an avid biker, he decided to plan a transatlantic bike journey. For a year, he learned about long cycling trips, and he bought all the necessary supplies and equipment. After graduating in 2021, he finally set out on this adventure of a lifetime. “When you’re graduating, everybody asks “what’s next?” Nguyen says. “It felt empowering to tell people that I planned on riding my bike across the country.”
            Nguyen bought a one-way ticket to Virginia Beach and rode by himself, ensuring he’d have
the freedom to choose where he wanted to go. On his own, he also felt less pressure to keep cycling when he needed to rest. During the first month
of his trip, he took his time, giving his body the opportunity to get callouses in the right places and acclimated to riding all day. “After the first month, that’s when my body became a machine. I could just get on and go.” But to Nguyen, the journey was never about the physical accolades. “I just wanted to see America from the seat of a bike,” he says.
Over 118 days, he biked through almost every kind of terrain – mountain, prairie, forest, and desert. He especially loved his ride through the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. “On a bike,
from every direction you look, you’re immersed in the environment. It was hard to even think about the riding because my eyes were locked in every direction around me.” Often, after hours
of riding uphill through rugged passes, coasting downhill felt like a reward. “It was the closest I’ve felt to flying,” he says.
Nguyen relied on the help of family, friends, strangers, the wilderness, and his own ingenuity –
 24 | June 2022 | SOUTH MISSISSIPPI Living

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