City Life

The Ride of a Lifetime

One man, one bike, 3,000 miles – Lorne Adrain is biking from Seattle to Providence to connect American communities

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On Lorne Adrain’s final day of rest before embarking on a 3,000-mile bike ride from Seattle to Providence – facing 6,000-foot peaks, Badlands and two months of riding dozens of miles daily – he stopped by the Seattle Department of Human Services to hear firsthand about the city’s efforts to reduce homelessness. For Lorne, a former candidate for mayor of Providence, founder of Social Enterprise Greenhouse and chairman of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education, biking across the U.S. requires exploring how other communities are addressing the same challenges that are facing Providence. It’s not a ride across the country, he says. It’s “Community Across America.”

The ride has been a dream since Lorne spent a summer three decades ago biking across Europe. He’s been a regular on the East Bay Bike Path in the intervening years but has never come close to testing himself with the demands of a nationwide tour. But with a high-tech game plan developed in part with the team at Providence Bicycle on Branch Avenue, including a solar charger for his phone, a long-distance-optimized bike and a steady supply of apps to connect him to clean beds and warm showers, he feels he has all the support he needs.

By transforming the solitary transcontinental trip into a social experience designed to bring distant communities together, Lorne sees his ride as an adventure not only for himself but for the friends, family members and supporters who will be able to track his every movement on GPS and through social media. A two-wheeled Kerouac, he hopes to inspire his children to never give up on their dreams and to return to Providence energized to begin a new cycle of his life. But right now, he’s taking it one rotation at a time. Follow his adventure on Facebook