Steve Godfrey is making a long journey by the seat of his pants literally.
Traveling on his road-proven 21-speed Trek bicycle, Godfrey passed through Lawton Friday evening as he crossed 750 miles and week two into an expected 5,000-mile journey through the end of the year to raise awareness and money for the Lance Armstrong Livestrong Foundation through his "Bike Tour de Life: 5000 Miles thru OK/KA/MO/KY/TN/AR, Sep-Dec. 2012." By the end of the year, Godfrey, a New Orleans native, will have traveled almost 10,000 miles on two wheels pedaled by his two legs.
Godfrey spent Friday night with a person he calls a bike tour angel from Fort Sill and will begin his long slog northward with his next major destination being Weatherford. Thursday night was spent on a comrade's porch in Amber the homeowner was out of town for a job so no one was there to let him in, Godfrey said. Snuggled in his back pack and resting on a porch swing, he said he had a good night's rest.
The trip began when Godfrey arrived in Oklahoma City via a rental car stuffed with his bike and Burley bike trailer on Sept. 2 . The route will take him about 1,000 miles through Oklahoma before he gets to Wichita, Kan., (hopefully) by Sept. 27. The path will continue through Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and finally Arkansas, if all falls into place, Godfrey said.
And if there are bumps in the road, he said he'll roll with them and keep on pedaling.
Godfrey, 40, said he's made a living on his bicycle since June 1995 when an old Mercury Zephyr he purchased one month before for $300 promptly broke down. He got his bicycle and delved into the hustle-bustle world of pedal-pushing food delivery in New Orleans. He also became politically active around this time and merged that consciousness with his developing enthusiasm-turned-lifestyle for cycling.
"A large chunk of my life has centered around being constantly on a bicycle, a phenomenon that began as a budgetary solution to my lean and difficult first days of living in New Orleans biking still makes plenty of budgeting sense for me to this day as food delivery was big in the French Quarter and biking helped me to get work as well as lower my transportation costs," Godfrey said. "Now, bicycling and its innumerable public safety/space, health and environmental benefits has become a personal cause and mission for me to champion."