- Lynnea Salvo
- 72:27 year(s):day(s)
- United States (San Ysidro)
The oldest person to cross America by bicycle (N-S) (female) is 72 years 27 days and was achieved by Lynnea Salvo (USA), in San Ysidro, California, USA, on 18 October 2021.
Lynnea completed her first transcontinental bike ride at the age of 66:
"I did not know for sure if I was capable of doing it. Instead, not only was I capable, I absolutely loved the experience. I enjoyed being outdoors for weeks on end. I loved facing and overcoming the challenges – heat, hill, headwinds, cold, rain", she describes.
When asked how people react when she tells them she's completed this attempt, Lynnea says that the reactions range from disbelief to impressed. She says that many people say they would never consider cycling such distances - other's think she's making it all up!
We asked Lynnea if she had experienced any challenges during her attempt, and she said generally cycling the Pacific Coast is challenging.
"There were over 100,000 feet of climbing on this journey, and many of the climbs were long and steep. Some days, I had more than one major climb in a single day. However, the views I saw on the Pacific Coast were a great reward for the effort".
Another major challenge was an encounter with a wildfire. Lynnea could see the fire from her lodging, and the route she had planned for the next morning was completely blocked by the fire and the firefighters.
"I had to reroute and go over a difficult mountain pass instead. The pass was long, steep, and with narrow shoulders, making it dangerous for a cyclist. Traffic was heavier than normal because it was rerouted the same way I had to ride", she describes.
Lynnea unfortunately encountered further issues from equipment failure, having abuse hurled at her by a truck driver, to a member of her support team becoming unwell. We comment Lynnea and her team's resilience!
Sadly her older brother, John West, was lost in the Vietnam War in 1970 at the age of 28. Since 2015, in his memory, Lynnea has been cycling for peace. She made completion of a track of a peace sign the size of North America her cycling goal, and this attempt was a piece of that puzzle.