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Lost Creek bicyclist has never made a road trip he didn't like

by Gail Marsh

ASST. CITY EDITOR

We have a lot of people who stop by the newsroom to talk about what they've been up to or what interests them.

One man stopped by this week who has done something few people have attempted -- he's bicycled across the United States, from California to Florida, in a little more than a month's time.

Whether you know him by name or not, you may have seen Daniel Frazier of Lost Creek in one of the local parades. He's the one on the 21-speed bicycle often towing an exceptionally long aluminum trailer. He's ridden in Lost Creek, Buckhannon, Philippi and Weston, just because he enjoys it.

But back to the road trip. Danny said his reason for attempting the 1989 cross-country trek was simple.

"As a racer, there's always going to be somebody better or faster than you. I wanted to do something different that not many people had done," he said.

The first thing Danny did to prepare for the trip was ship his bicycle and supplies by bus to California. He followed by Greyhound a few days later.

"I started from downtown Los Angeles, there at the bus terminal, with a three-foot trailer loaded with all my supplies," he said.

He left Los Angeles on Oct. 23, said he chose autumn because the weather would be cool and dry. The 37-year-old carried 11 changes of clothes, camping gear and some snacks, he said.

He said he stopped often at restaurants to eat, whether hungry or not, because he was never sure how far down the road the next town would be.

Danny said the best scenery was through Arizona and New Mexico. He biked during the day and, when possible, slept on the ground at night in order to save money.

"I only had so much money to last me and so much time to get it done. I thought it would take me about 36 days, and it did," he said.

His hardest going? Probably around the bigger cities, like the Dallas-Fort Worth area where he had to take the back roads to avoid heavy traffic. His scariest moment happened near Phoenix.

"I stayed underneath a bridge at night and found out it was in the path where coyotes crossed," he said.

Danny averaged about 77 miles a day, with his highest one-day total about 108 miles in New Mexico. He crossed into Texas, into Louisiana at Shreveport, and eventually stopped in Jacksonville, Fla., on Nov. 28, with 2,587 miles behind him.

Would he do it again? Under the right circumstances, he said.

"I'd like to take my plain, old bike across the U.S. pulling one of the big trailers. I'd probably need sponsors, and it would all have to be mapped out to get the clearance on the roads," he said.

Since that trip, he's taken a lot of shorter ones just to sight see, like the one to New York City. I watched a video he shot while there, with a lot of footage from the Brooklyn Bridge. On that trip, he went with a friend who drove his pickup truck, while Danny traveled behind.

"It's really safer to travel close to the truck, because other drivers may not see my bike, but they'll see the truck," he said.

Traveling close to the rear of the truck also gives Danny the advantage he calls drafting, no wind pressure because of the shelter of the truck. He said it increases his speed and cuts down on the work he has to do.

"The faster I go, the less peddling I have to do and the easier it gets. That's what I enjoy the best," he said.

Assistant City Editor Gail Marsh can be reached at 626-1447 or by e-mail at gmarsh@exponent-telegram.com.

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