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Man Biked Home for Thanksgiving

Man Biked Home for Thanksgiving

Posted - Nov. 27, 2003 at 2:24 p.m.



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Sandra Yi ReportingIt's a busy travel weekend as families gather for the holiday. While many are taking planes, trains and cars, one man embarked on quite an adventure to get to his parents' home.

Sam Skrocke literally went the distance to be with his family this Thanksgiving. The 27 year old from Lake Tahoe, decided on a whim to pedal his way from Reno, Nevada to his parent's home in Draper. That's a trip of more than 500 miles.

What's even more amazing is Sam is an amateur cyclist. He has never biked such a long distance and only bought a bike a month before leaving for his trip last Thursday. People who know him joke he's too ambitious for his own good.

Sam Skrocke: "The timing in most peoples’ eyes probably wasn't the best, but I enjoyed every toe numbing mile of it."

Jackie Skrocke, Sam's Mother: "He's just kind of this off the wall character who would do anything if it was an adventure and as long as there was something he could control in it to make it somewhat safe."

Sam biked U-S Route 50, called the loneliest highway in America. He started his day when the sun went up and ended before dark. His days were short. The bitter cold temperatures made the days even shorter. Sam averaged only 75 to 80 miles a day. He says it was so cold he had to wrap his feet in cellophane to keep from getting frostbite.

Sam Skrocke: "My biggest challenge of the whole trip was getting out of my sleeping bag in the morning. Sometimes the temperatures were in the single digits and when it's that cold, you really don't want to move."

Sam pedaled 380 miles and made it just 30 miles outside the Utah border before a blizzard stopped him in his tracks.

Sam Skrocke: "The last valley in between Connors Pass and Sacramento Pass is 17 miles wide. I could only see a third of the way across the valley and it was completely white out."

The storm became too dangerous; Sam had to call his parents to pick him up. His mother says she was relieved but proud, nonetheless.

Jackie Skrocke, Sam's Mother: "I read a story one time about someone who was a mountain climber who died, and the first question the wife asked was, 'Was he on his way up or was he on his way down?' and I kinda felt that way about Sam. If he was on his way down, that would be great, that he had accomplished everything that he wanted to do, and that's how important it was to him."

But she says what's most important, the family is together. And that's what they're grateful for this Thanksgiving.

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