Department of Tourism
Cyclist Bowen Takes Holiday Break Back in Kentucky
STANTON, Ky. – Joe Bowen is taking a short break and is home for the holidays. The Eastern Kentucky native has been two-wheeling it across the country on his bicycle, helping spread the word about Kentucky’s unbridled spirit and providing elementary school students with lessons in geography and American culture.
Joe’s trip began in California last April. Since then he has visited more than 20 states and traveled over 10,000 miles. He is calling his trek the "Kentucky Unbridled Spirit Rediscover Bicycle America Tour." He hopes to encourage people across the country to visit Kentucky. He has met hundreds of people, made new friends and even became a grandfather again. He has about 4,000 miles left to complete the trip, which resumes March 1st in Cleveland, Tennessee and will end in June 2006 back at home in Kentucky.
Joe’s journey is a revival of the bike tour he took in 1967 shortly after his discharge from the Air Force. On this second go-around he has re-visited some of the same people he met back then. “I can’t tell you how wonderful an experience this has been. To see this great country up close, meet new people and see old friends has been something I’ll never forget,” he said.
Now, 38 years later, the computer age is here and Joe is using a laptop to share his trip with school children in Eastern Kentucky. During his winter break, Joe will be visiting several schools in the region (see attached list). Joe will be able to tell the children about his trip to Montgomery, Alabama that included watching the funeral procession of Ms. Rosa Parks and about meeting former President Jimmy Carter in Plains, Georgia. He’ll be able to tell them what it’s like to hike down the Grand Canyon and about witnessing the coming-of-age ceremony of a young Apache woman.
The Appalachian Heritage Alliance is coordinating Bowen's educational trip, with assistance from the University of Kentucky Appalachian Center, Kentucky Education Cabinet, and Kentucky Department of Tourism. David Musser, the education director of the Alliance, said besides Kentucky, schools in several other states have expressed an interest in participating, including California, Washington, Arizona and Colorado.
The public can follow Bowen's progress by logging onto his Web site, www.RideJoeRide.org
Joe Bowen will speak to students at the following schools in Powell County on Friday, December 2.
Bowen Elementary 8:30 AM
Stanton Elementary 10:30 AM
Clay City Elementary 1:15 PM
Powell County Middle School 2:30 PM