A Las Vegas man who set a Guinness World Record in 1999 for the longest bike wheelie journey of 2,839 miles is attempting to break his own record. On Wednesday night, Kurt Osburn traveled through Liberty County, Texas, on a coast-to-coast ride that began at Santa Monica pier, Ca., on Oct. 12 and will end in Cocoa Beach, Fla., on Dec. 1.
“The last time it took me 74 days. This time I am doing it in 50 days,” said Osburn, during a break from riding Wednesday night outside a convenience store in Liberty.
Osburn, who works as a personal trainer, is averaging around 70 miles per day, though weather has caused him to log only 30 miles per day on this trip.
“San Antonio was my halfway point. I thought it was home-free from there, but then I got into Houston where the weather was cold. Fortunately, we were prepared for it,” he said.
Osburn is accompanied by two drivers – one pulling a custom-made, see-through contraption that shields Osburn from the elements on three sides, and the other driving an RV that the crew uses to rest at night and prepare meals.
As he is burning calories at a much higher rate than most people, Osburn says he is constantly eating to prevent more weight loss. The journey has already trimmed 14 pounds from his already-lean physique.
“My knees are hurting and my hips are hurting. I’m pretty beat up actually, but I am excited to keep going. Texas has given me a run for its money,” he said. “As I came into San Antonio, I started hitting all those rolling hills. That was tough.”
Having made this trip once before, Osburn was mentally prepared for Texas.
“I knew it was going to be the hardest part. It’s a third of the trip. I’ve enjoyed it but now I am ready to depart Texas and see Louisiana,” he said. “I will say that Texas has the coolest people I’ve ever met. I’m not just saying that because I am in the state. They are some of the nicest people.”
Osburn funded the trip out of his own pocket and is riding to raise money and awareness for multiple causes.
“The one that is near and dear to me is Fit America. They get kids active. When I was growing up, PE classes were normal. Now they have taken it out in many places. That’s bizarre to me,” he said.
Jack Lulane, known as the Godfather of Fitness, was Osburn’s childhood hero.
“He inspired me to do these crazy world records,” he said.
To keep up with Osburn’s daily progress or to learn more about his motivation for the ride, go online to www.wheelieacrossamerica.com.
By Vanesa Brashier, firstname.lastname@example.org