Kym Louie '08 in bike helmet
July 12, 2023

Reunion cycle

2008 alum bikes across U.S. to visit Andover
by Allyson Irish

If there were a prize for the most physically strenuous journey to Reunion, Kym Louie '08 would have won this year. She biked 2,800 miles from her home in the San Francisco Bay area to Andover—a trip that took the avid cyclist more than three weeks to complete.

As Louie explains, “In 2020, I was registered to do the Race Across America as a solo racer, but, like everything else in 2020, the race got cancelled. Unfortunately, the crew I was hoping to work with couldn’t come together for the 2021 race, and by 2022 I’d decided the logistics were too complex to organize at that point in time.”

During the past few years, Louie began doing 500-mile ultra-distance races, which while long, do not require the same level of planning for food, lodging, sleep, and other necessities. This year, Louie wanted to up her game, and her 15th Reunion fit the bill.

“I was looking for something that would be a different and interesting challenge, but close enough to my established experience that I would have a good idea of how to approach it. About two months ago, I came upon the idea of biking to Reunion. I’d previously thought about doing a long ride, but I didn’t have any clear reason or destination. Reunion provided a great anchor point.”

Kym Louie '08 biked from California to Massachusetts in June to attend her Reunion. “When you take long rides like this one, you encounter the unexpected and you are exposed to completely new things. I love that.”

Louie enjoyed many highs and lows on her solo trek. Early on she rode through Utah with its stunning mountains, buttes, canyons, and cliffs. And she was “unexpectedly and completely enchanted by Michigan. “It was lush and beautiful,” she says. “I was so thrilled to be riding in the shade of trees again after all the open exposure of the Great Plains. The experience of riding on empty roads next to rows of trees surrounded by flowers felt so joyful.”

Alternately, Louie experienced some challenges. In Iowa, road conditions were so bad that she had to ride either on the road or on loose gravel shoulder. And in New York she persevered despite extremely poor air quality due to the Canadian wildfires.

Would she do another cross-country ride? Louie says “definitely,” but would like to try a different route.

Categories: Alumni, Magazine, Magazine Online

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