The Pedaling Astronomer Project originated as an astronomy/bicycling-outreach/education effort focused solely on the August 2017 Great American Eclipse. When I set out in May of 2016, I did not intend to pedal beyond that event.
But the project’s impact exceeded my wildest expectations – plus it was ridiculously fun! – so I continue on with the simplest of plans: Keep pedaling throughout the USA, sharing views of the Sun, Moon and planets with all I meet.
What I hope to achieve through the project is equally simple: Show – don’t just tell – that both astronomy and bicycling are fun, accessible and well worth pursuing.
Given that astronomy was my passion, it’s no surprise I’d be an avid cheerleader for it. But bicycles? I didn’t see that one coming.
In one of those pinch-yourself moments long ago, I asked daughter Rachel, “What did I do before astronomy?” She answered, “You worked, Daddy-O.” Sad words hers. Now, I imagine asking the same of bicycling and hearing, “You drove, Daddy-O,” which would be sadder, still.
I’m not saying you should have the same enthusiasm for astronomy or bicycling that changed my life so much for the better, but have you tried either lately?
Anyway, after the long COVID pause, I’ll be back on the road in the fall of 2021, pedaling west through communities the Big and I have yet to visit. And there are so many of them!
I’ve pedaled the Big a bit more than 50,000 miles now, more than half of which were directly related to the project, and more than 50,000 folks have viewed celestial wonders through her exquisite little telescopes. So, one new guest per mile? Not bad, that!
The project will continue at least through April 8 of 2024, the date of the next Great American Eclipse.
I’ll be 70 that year. Sheesh!
To support the project … well, you know what to do.
There are currently no special perks for supporters, but I’m working to provide you direct access to my daily travel journal and more ways to keep in touch.
Meanwhile, please know that I do sincerely appreciate your help here. I’m overly frugal and bike travel is marvelously inexpensive – some companies even provide equipment I use – but still, the project often costs more than I can afford alone.
And whether or not you're able to support the project financially, I welcome you to contact me directly via the email address linked at PedalingAstronomer.com.