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French Tourist Biking Across U.S. Passes Through FairburyFrench Tourist Biking Across U.S.
Passes Through Fairbury

July 2010 - As a young boy, Aurelein Alphe dreamed of becoming a truck driver and criss-crossing the USA in an 18-wheeler. Now 24 years old, his dream has come true. Well, sort of. Rather than a big rig, the mode of transportation is a borrowed bicyle, brought here by Alphe from his home country of France, to begin a journey to cross the United States from coast to coast, relying solely on the generosity and hospitality of the American people to help him along the way.

Dressed in gear sporting the name of his home province in France, Jura, Alphe began his journey in Seattle, WA on May 23rd and arrived in Fairbury on Tuesday, July 5th on his way to Beatrice, where he planned to spend the night. The goal is to arrive in New York City on or around September 5th for some sightseeing along the eastern seaboard before returning back to Europe this fall. He plans to celebrate his 25th birthday in Chicago with American friends who will meet up with him there.

French Tourist Biking Across U.S. Passes Through Fairbury, NebraskaA college graduate with a degree in City Planning, Alphe’s observations of American cities and towns may differ from those of the average tourist. The decline of small towns caused by the loss of population to larger urban centers is one of the things he has noticed along the way. In addition, the political views of those in rural areas seems to be much more conservative than those in urban areas, however, “regardless of political or religious views, we are all human beings and share many commonalities that transcend politics and religion,” said Alphe.

When asked about the highlights of his trip thus far, Alphe once again emphasized the warmth and generosity of the American people, particularly in the rural areas. Stopping at a gas station for snacks or to air up a tire is opportunity to meet new people and perhaps find a hot meal, shower and lodging for the night.

Alphe’s trip across the USA has not been totally unscripted, however. In addition to chance encounters affording him an opportunity to meet and connect with the locals, he uses the services of a global non-profit network called Couch Surfing to find locals willing to open up their homes to visitors passing through a particular region or city.

Alphe noted that the Jefferson County Courthouse was perhaps one of his favorite architectural finds since leaving Seattle and was particularly fond of the downtown square with it’s historical buildings and brick streets. After a few moments rest, armed with Rice Krispie Treats and a bottle of barbeque sauce, as my parting gift, it was time to press on towards Beatrice where he had a hot shower, a home-cooked meal and a couch waiting for him.

To follow along with Alphe on his journey across the US, check out his blog just click here. Even though the blog is posted in French, one can still enjoy the photos and follow his progress as he makes his way towards New York City.

“It has been a fantastic trip so far, the people I have met along the way have been so kind and generous.”

 
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