Family vacation — on bicycle

Parents want to teach their daughters about dialects, nature, science and how to achieve a dream.

February 16, 2010|By Joseph Serna

Imagine the money they’re saving on gas.

With no fanfare or cheering section to greet them or to urge them onward, a Kentucky family push-bike riding its way up to Alaska quietly passed through Newport Beach on Monday afternoon.

The Harrison family, Bill and Amarins, with daughters Cheyenne, 6, Jasmine, 4, and Robin, 3, rode up Pacific Coast Highway on their five-person, yellow tandem bicycle. The family, determined to show their kids all that North America has to offer in the way of sights, culture and foods, set off from Renfro Valley, Ky., last August in a trip up to Fairbanks, Alaska, by this summer.


“We love travel, we love simple green living, we love challenges, and we love being together as a family. We have put all this love together in a bicycle trip to Alaska,” the family’s website,, states. “On the trip to Alaska we want to share our family’s journey with others to demonstrate how to live a dream despite the economic, social or educational climate.”

It’s a 7,000-mile journey that has had its share of obstacles, mainly bike-related, Bill said outside a local McDonald’s. On Monday afternoon, the family was spotted riding through Newport Coast with Robin in the rear, sleeping. They stopped at McDonald’s for a bite before setting off again. The family started in Kentucky, rode down to Florida, then headed west, passing through Mississippi and Texas on the way to Southern California.

From Newport Beach, the Harrisons are going north through Canada to Alaska, all under their own power.

The trip is completely fueled by community support. People across the country are donating money, clothes and equipment for the Harrisons’ journey.

On the family’s website, the Kentucky natives outline all they plan to teach their daughters along the way, including geography, language dialects and science through nature.

The group has nicknamed themselves the “Pedouins,” a play on the word Bedouin, a desert tribe culture from the Middle East.

A Pedouins, the site says, signifies “a member of an adventurous family traveling on a tandem bicycle across the continent using a tent as their humble abode.”

For more information on the family or to track where they are, go to

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