I am truly flattered by the response to this website. In my wildest dreams, I couldn't have imagined the breadth of interest in this website or the volume of e-mail I received over the course of this bicycle trip. There has been press coverage in the Lansing State Journal; the Williamston Enterprise, the Fairbanks Daily News Miner, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Miami Herald, MacWorld Germany, Internet Australia, American Libraries, USA Today and hundreds of other periodicals.
Biker keeps trek alive with book
By Chris Golembiewski
Lansing State Journal
Ed Noonan has put his tiny hometown on the world map -- using the World Wide Web.
The retired lawyer and city councilman rode 6,011 miles across North America on a 2l-speed touring bike in 98 days last year. No one else has made that trip -- from from where America's pavement begins 44 miles north of Fairbanks to where it ends in Key West, Fla.
It's also a most unusual way to raise $10,000 for Williamston's library building project.
But those aren't reasons Noonan's gained notice from Korea to Germany to Atlanta and Australia.
It's because he filed dispatches from the road to the Web through a laptop computer.
On the Internet
Ed Noonan's Web site for cyclists: www.voyager.net/taiIwinds _____________________
He's helped launch a whole new level of armchair travel in the cyberspace age. Noonan's Web site, Tailwinds, has logged more than 1 million visitors around the globe.
"I was awestruck by the response to what I was doing," he said.
Without a publisher or promoter, Noonan communicated with the world in serial fashion, like a soap opera, that had computer users following for months. It was interactive -- people gave him advice about biking and what to eat on the trip.
He logged more than 600 pages and 1,000 photos onto the Web page from the road.
With the world out there watching, "it was me and myt ent in the night, sometimes with a flashlight in in my mouth," Noonan said.
One e-mailer later wrote: "I wanted to let you know just how much I have enjoyed following your adventure for the past five months -- from the seventh floor of an office building in downtown Seoul, Korea. Strangely, I have the feeling that one often gets when you finish a particularly good book: satisfaction and a bit of sadness that it is over."
But Noonan, 54, is not stopping. He's keeping the momentum going.
By next spring, he plans to publish a book with 98 chapters and more than 250 photos.
Noonan and his wife, JoAnn Hegedus, Williamston's librarian, returned to Alberta and British Columbia in Canada and to Kentucy to take more pictures. The digital camera on the trip didn't provide sharp images.
By summer, he hopes to have
ready a CD-ROM -- like a book for computers -- on the experience. The CD and his own Web site provide encyclopedic journeys.
Instant Internet links to other Web sites take readers off on tangents he encountered on the road. If you want to know more about Florida's 1,000 remaining black bears or the Japanese kudzu plant that is blanketing the South, you get details instantly.
A California professor Noonan met on a group ride along the Alaska Highway portion of his trip is using Noonan's Web site in a graduate school journalism course.
"It gives students an idea how imaginative they can be in using the Web," said Bob McDermand of San Jose State University.
"The Web is a marvelous educational tool. He's linking his hobby, and raising issues - bike access -with fitness, the technical aspects of riding bikes," he said.
If you have ever been tempted to hit the road and just keep on golng, read the TAILWINDS home page first, which contains the 600 page play-by-play (literally) of Ed Noonan's odyssey. He packed a laptop and digital camera and chronicled his 1996 ride from Alaska to Florida. By the way, he is planning a trip from California to Nova Scotia via Michigan and Boston in the summer of 1997, so stay tuned. www.voyager.net/tailwinds/general/index.html
(Rated 3 Stars on a 4 Star scale, as one of the best 9 bicycling websites)
© Yahoo Internet Life 1997
Y O U R G U I D E T O T H E B E S T O F T H E W E B. The Cyberider Cycling...
August 2, 1996
Cycling Tour Picks Up Fans On The Web
By Art Kramer
He could have started a raffle, held a bake sale, maybe a car wash. But when Williamston, Mich., needed to raise money for a new library, Mayor Pro Tem Ed Noonan looked for a big idea.
As big as North America, it turned out, when the 53-year-old retired attorney decided to pedal his bicycle from Alaska to Florida this summer. You can follow the fund-raising odyssey -- he's recruiting by-the-mile pledges -- on his .
Along with 40 pounds of biking gear, tents, cooking utensils and such, he's lugging a 13-pound mobile computer lab on his Cannondale. An Apple PowerBook, Casio digital camera and accessories give Noonan, an accomplished Webmaster, the capability to document the journey in text and pictures. Now if he'd just remembered to whip that camera out when a grizzly bear blocked his path near Banff, Canada, on July 11. Rattlesnakes in Montana's rocky hills had been Noonan's bugaboo, but his wife, Williamston librarian JoAnn Hegedus, had feared a grizzly encounter.
"That was my biggest worry, I just hate to think about it," says Hegedus.
A passing motor home scared the grizzly off the road.
The site overflows with scenic and adventurous photos and folksy stories of the people Noonan has met along the way.
He's attracted an enthusiastic following online -- from all over the world -- as the serial nature of his travelogue has hooked readers. . . .
"It's better than a soap opera, because it's real and nobody knows what's going to happen next," Noonan reports by e-mail. He may go on after Florida, becoming a sort of cycling Charles Kuralt on the Web.
Hegedus thinks that's going a bit too far.
"We'd better discourage him from doing that," she says. "I want him home.
Copyright © 1996 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Pedaling through Atlanta on his way from Alaska to Florida, Ed Noonan brakes for a quick chat. The Williamston, Mich., [city] councilman is raising funds for a new library . . . by chronicling his road adventure on the Net -- and some 7,000 readers are cheering him on by e-mail. [Photos by] Curtis Compton/[AJC]Staff
October 23, 1996
Cyclist's quest travels well on the Web
By Art Kramer
When Ed Noonan bicycled - down the Alaska Highway in May, bound for Florida, he feared either his portable computer lab or his body would give out before he crossed the continent. But 5,400 miles later, as he pedals past Atlanta, both are holding up.
Fans from Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Germany and Canada are among more than 7,000 cheering him on by e-mail, helping Noonan, 53, through occasional pedaling doldrums, he says. . .
Tuesday, he departed Stone Mountain bound for Key West. He calls the ride, which he chronicles on the World Wide Web, a fund-raiser for a new library in Williamston, Mich., where Noonan is a [city] councilman. But Noonan's yen for adventure is at least as much of a motivation as the few thousand doilars he's raised.
"I enjoy taxing my physical abilities," says Noonan. "It's not .an adventure unless you risk failing." . . .
Georgia roads have been among the most difficult, Noonan says.
Dodging drivers on Ga. 140 outside Roswell was almost as difficult as fighting off two dogs that knocked him off his bike as he coasted down the Blue Ridge from Ocoee, Tenn. But he has little time to recuperate; Naonan must be back in Michigan for a council meeting by Nov. 11. So after resting his sore back and bandaging his injured elbow, he hit the road again Tuesday carrying a supply of dog biscuits and a wary eye for reckless drivers.
If you see a bearded man pedaling south with a "Fairbanks to Key West" sign on his bike, give him a bit of room.
Copyright © 1996 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
New sites every weekday, with an expanded weekend edition.
Accompany self-proclaimed Bicycle Voyageur [Ed] Noonan on his bike trip from Alaska through Michigan and south to Key West, Fla. Noonan undertook this adventure, cybercasting his trip along the way, in order to raise funds for a new library building in Williamston, Michigan.
To date, he has reached Florida and is making his way to the southernmost Key. But you can relive his voyage through his website called .
"Over the past 3 months/5,500 miles of cycling I've generated about 21 Mb of content on my Tailwinds website: about 1,400 digital photos; about 500 pages of commentary, links, poetry, etc.," Noonan said.
O'Grady's Power Page, the foremost Macintosh PowerBook resource, referenced this website twice:
27 M a y 1 9 9 7
Ed Noonan's Tailwinds Web site is a retrospective of his 1996 bicycle odyssey from Alaska to Florida with nothing but silent transportation and his PowerBook. Tailwinds also details Tim Tan's mountain bike trip around Mt. Bromo in Indonesia and other interesting travel tales.
27 J u n e 1 9 9 6
Ed Noonan has established a web site to chronicle his bicycle adventure from Fairbanks, Alaska to Michigan and on to Florida. He is traveling with PowerBook 5300c, Global Village Platinum PC card modem, Casio QV30 digital camera and a VST MO230 drive, camping gear and clothing on [his] bicycle as he travels across the US and Canada. . . .
BIKING FOR BRANCH BUCKS. Williamston, Michigan, City Councilman Ed Noonan leads local bicyclers through the last 4.5 miles of his 4,320 mile fundraising ride from Alaska. In his pack, he carried a cellular phone and a laptop to post a running story of his 81-day trip on the World Wide Web. Noonan's pedaling raised over $6,000 for a new Ingham County Library branch in his hometown. More pledges followed the August 15 culmination of his trip, when he was greeted at the library by some 30 supporters.
Cybernews, July, 1997
IT DEM POWERBOOK UM DIE WELT
Ed Noonan hat mit seinem Mountain-Bike mehr als 10'000 Kilometer zurückgelegt. Dank PowerBook 5300c, Digitalkamera und Modem lässt sich die ausdauernde Radlerei auf Eds Homepage Tailwinds im Detail nacherleben.
The , the Midwest's most popular bicycle tour, characterized this website as a "must see."
Bicycle Tour Journal - NEW LINK
This website chronicles the ongoing story of a bicycle trip by Ed Noonan from Alaska to Florida as part of a pledge drive to fund the construction of a new library building in Williamston, Michigan. This is a must-see site, with photos and commentary of his experiences so far, especially if you are considering a long bike tour.
Pedal and Petals, the Art of Plant Taxonomy as Practiced from a Bicycle Seat, Bicycling in Paradise, has this to say about Tailwinds:
Ed Noonan is cycling from Alaska to Florida and chronicling his daily adventures on a web site he calls Tailwinds. His trek began May 27, 1996 and he updates his travels with descriptions typed out on his laptop PC and digital photos taken along the route. His web site is a terrific example of the power and potential of the Internet to be a personal forum that brings people together in exciting new ways. Forget about the fancy commercial sites sprouting daily on the World Wide Web, Ed is doing it right!
Tailwinds: Alaska to Florida Bicycle Adventure
For 98 days and 6,011 miles in 1996, Ed Noonan rode his bicycle from the northernmost road in Alaska to the south tip of Florida. So some nut treks across North America, what's the big deal? The big deal is that he took his laptop and mobile phone with him and managed to upload over 1,000 photos from the road, complete with about 600 pages of commentary. His adventure was meticulously documented with maps and daily milage reports, in addition to historical and geographical information, poetry and prose. Click on a state then choose a course. It's just that easy.
Verdict: A fascinating experience worth perusing. --RK
There are links to Tailwinds from the following websites (and more):
PolarNet, Fairbanks, Alaska
FairNet, Fairbanks, Alaska
The Adventure Channel/Walkabout
GORP (Great Outdoor Recreation Pages)
The Bicycle Touring Select, Denmark
Bicycling Community Page, Madison WI
And many others, including:
- Axel Essbaum's insane trip to the Arctic (Austin ,Texas) motorcycle trip to Prudhoe Bay
- (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
- (4 Weeks, 2500 km, in British Columbia and Alberta)
- c|net - news.com Tom Karlo, "Mixed reaction to Apple's message" Boston, August 7, 1997
- (Brisbane, Australia)
- Dr. Rita Laxton's Transport, Travel, and Tourism (Oregon)
- (Centralia College)
- KVIL 103.7 FM (Dallas, Texas)
- MACHE (Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators)
- MacOS8 Web Campaign
- (Lansing, Michigan)
- (Fairbanks North Star Borough School District)
- (West Valley High School, Fairbanks, Alaska)
- (University of Maryland)
- (Emporia, Kansas)
- The Mining Company R.J. Faas, "Coverage of MacWorld Boston" August 5 - 8, 1997 (New York, New York )
- (Mountain View, California)
- Prospernet Cycling Info
- Provincial Museum of Alberta (Edmonton, Alberta)
- Rik n' Jude Links (Australia)
- (Rosemount Elementary School, Rosemount, Minnesota)
- Summerstorm's Armchair Traveler
- (Stockholm, Sweden)
Here is an unsolicited comment found on a cycling mailing list:
Tour that's a tour
Andrejs Ozolins (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mon, 03 Jun 1996 14:09:29 -0400
Those dreaming about long bike trips but trapped at computers might like to follow a fellow named Ed Noonan, just starting off on a bike ride from northern Alaska to Florida. In addition to the usual gear, he's packing a digital camera, computer and cell phone in order to create and upload illustrated pages for his world wide web site. I've found his stuff fascinating.
He's apparently a retired lawyer, a person who has taken an interest in things all his life and has something to say about everything.
In response to this website, I have received more than 6,000 email messages from all over the world. Here are a few:
From: @. . NYU.EDU
Subject: Good Luck!
I've been enjoying your trip vicariously from a 14th floor apartment in Greenwich Village (New York). Tonight you have me in front of my Rand McNally trying to figure out exactly where in hell you are. Best of luck in the future and hope you have a safe trip home (and to Florida). Watch out for the buffalo heads.
From: <@. . . .noaa.gov>
Subject: Excellent job!
As a fellow bike tourer, just wanted to let you know what a fine job you have done on your website. I am living vicariously through your writing and pictures. . . .
Subject: Just want to say 'bon voyage'!
I write you this message, just to let you know that I really appreciate your travelogue. There are more people traveling on a bicycle on the Web that claim they keep a diary, but yours is the only one that is well kept and worth visiting more often than twice (the first time because it's new and the second time to see that nothing's changed since the first time). . .
Have to thank you for making your adventure available on the web. I've enjoyed your commentary immensely and recommended it to friends. Among very many other things, what I value most is your *being interested* in the world. I find it hard to understand that many people are not interested -- and hope that (especially young) people reading your account might catch the bug of curiosity. . .
Subject: Your Voyage
Ed, thanks so much for your wonderful account, and my very admiring congratulations on your accomplishment. I'm a 62 yr old biker--mostly road rides of 40-120 miles or so. . . . You're a highly positive model.
Subject: GO ED GO!
Great home page - the best I have ever seen!!!
I [am] insanely jealous of you. It is one of my life's goal is to do what you are doing now. . . .
I.want.to.thank.you.for.all.the.enjoyment.you.have.given.me.for.the past two and a half months.
. . . Your web page was just one step from being there. I looked forward to it every day. I just want to thank you for the time, effort and money you put into this for us "arm chair tourists". . . .
Subject: Fantastic Website!!!!
I just stumbled across your webpage on August 11, 1996. Actually, its about 1:00 a.m. on the 12th of August your time, and have been looking through just some of your adventures throughout your trek. I'm looking to spending all of tomorrow reading about your adventures you have come across thus far. Fantastic Website! It has always been a dream of mine to make a trek like your doing and,hopefully, someday it won't be just a dream. Best of luck throughout the rest of your trek. . .
Subject: Enjoying your trip
I am enjoying reading about your trip enormously. Thanx for sharing it. I hope to bike a similar route myself in the next century - am saving hard. Meanwhile - your trip is helping motivate me. Thanx - and may the wind always be at your back.
. . . , A Cyclist in New Zealand
Subject: who's the man?
YOU are the MAN!
Congratulations on your courage. May the force be with you. . . .
Way to go!!!! Don't stop. You're an inspiration to us all. I'm only about half your age and wish I had your guts. Best of luck to ya, i'll be checking on your trip daily.
Subject: saying hi, and good luck.....i'm enjoying your ride
i stumbled upon your chronicle of your ride, and thought i'd just drop you a short note to encourage you, and let you know how cool it is to be able to share your trip across the net. . . .
Subject: Thanks for a wonderful contribution
I just finished your last entry - the trip home, and I wanted to let you know just how much I have enjoyed following your adventure for the past 5 months - from the 7th floor of an office building in downtown Seoul, Korea.
Strangely, I have the feeling that one often gets when you finish a particularly good book; satisfaction and a bit of sadness that it is over. . . . .