Miami to D.C: the longest trip

Noelle Knight and Michael Muench after their big trip. Photo by Sophie Mitchem

Noelle Knight and Michael Muench may look like ordinary college students, but what they did earlier in July was extraordinary. They biked 1400 miles in 17 days from Miami to Washington, D.C.

They biked 80 to 85 miles on average per day throughout the trip with an average speed of 12 miles per hour. And neither Knight nor Muench had much conditioning prior to their expedition. “We bike 20 miles to school and 20 miles from school,” Muench explained, but that’s very little when preparing for a 1400 mile biking trip.

They kept their energy level high by stopping at various fruit stands, Subways, and buying food at Publix. Cliff bars and bananas were crucial parts of their diets. Knight and Muench had to make sure they were getting all of their vitamins and had to eat the hugest dinners, just to maintain proper order and strength within their bodies. They drank from a backpack contraption with a straw that they would fill with water, put on their backs, and attach to their mouths with straws.

Staying comfortable while riding was a nearly impossible feat. Knight and Muench wore tight pants and had padded seats. To add to the load, Knight and Muench brought three pairs of clothing each, they had a tent, sleeping bags, cell phones, and even brought pepper spray with them for safety. With very few supplies, they have both confessed to spending their nights in the most unusual of places. They spent one night in a shed in front of an ACE hardware store, and slept one night underneath an awning.

On a lighter note, while they were sleeping in the middle of a park, the sprinklers came on, and  Knight and Muench found themselves in water. That was the second time their tent flooded. Other than the weather and various odd events occuring, Knight and Muench met very decent people. One woman at a fruit stand simply gave them a watermelon when they ran out of money and an African American man and Austrian woman even offered to take them in when Knight and Muench traveled to Conway, S.C. As it turns out, the man and woman were a couple from Miami just like Knight and Muench.

The couple rested only three of the 17 days. They spent this time in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., St. Augustine, Fla. and Charleston, S. C. Overall, they felt the journey was fun and also the hardest thing either one of them has ever done. They would do it again and would like to spend time in Maine and travel through the East Coast.

3 thoughts on “Miami to D.C: the longest trip

  1. Valerie, that was a very interesting article and well written. It’s nice to read about kids doing something positive. You have a bright future ahead of you.
    I would love to read your poetry some day. Congrats on being published and I wish you much success!
    Your parents must be so proud of you as well as everyone at St. Andrew’s!

  2. great job valerie
    tell your dad to let me know where
    i can read your poems,,,,again, really great article,,,,,,

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