Senior Samuel Alkire stops alongside the road after biking dozens of miles in one day. Photo: Samuel Alkire

Knightly News: Hi, Samuel! How are you doing today?

Samuel Alkire: Hey Meghna and Megan. I’m doing pretty good. How are y’all?

KN: We are doing quite well. Thank you for asking, Samuel. Could you tell the readers about what you did this summer?

SA: Well, I biked across the country this summer. We started in Savannah, GA and ended in Los Angeles. 

KN: Oh goodness, that is far. How many miles was that?

SA: It was about 3200 miles. It took a little over six weeks.

KN: So, what was your favorite area that you biked through?

SA: I liked the Grand Canyon a lot and also New Mexico. There were a couple ski towns that we went through, which was cool. The weather was beautiful, and there were a lot of cool mountains.

KN: Did y’all stay in hotels or camp outside?

SA: I think we camped for eight nights, and staying in a hotel with a bed and a shower was always a nice reward after biking all day.

KN: What was your favorite memory or part of the trip?

SA: I liked a lot of the churches we stayed at. There were these pastors who would cook us meals. They had basketball courts and we’d all just mess around there, which was fun.

KN: What was the biggest challenge you faced?

SA: Probably biking through the desert because it was really hot. It got to like 120 degrees, so that was not fun. Or Oklahoma, in general, just kinda sucked.

KN: Now for the question everyone has been waiting for: what happened to your knee?

SA: Ha-ha, well, I was at this place called Mormon Lake. We were playing volleyball, and I dislocated it [for the third time]. After that I just biked with one foot clipped in.

KN: Wow, was that a struggle?

SA: Yeah, it definitely was a struggle, but I made do.

KN: Why didn’t you give up after reinjuring your knee for the third time?

SA: Well, I only had five days left, so we were really close. And being able to bike across the country is just really dope, so that powered me through.

KN: What was the biggest lesson you took away from this experience?

SA: I guess the biggest lesson I learned was just: don’t give up. Keep working on your dreams.

KN: Would you recommend that other people do this?

SA: Yeah, I definitely would. It was a really cool experience.

KN: Would you ever do this again?

SA: Probably not. I don’t think so. Maybe in a couple of years.

KN: Yeah, once your knee has healed.

SA: Haha, yeah. It was definitely a challenge, but it was such a fun time, and I am still really close with all the people. We didn’t have our phones so we were forced to actually talk to and get to know each other. 

KN: Was there anything that happened that was unexpected?

SA: Well, there was this one time when me and a couple other guys got stuck in this monsoon. Me and three other guys went to this random house on the side of the street we were biking on, and this guy cooked us food and gave us hot chocolate.

KN: That could have ended up in a little serial killer situation.

SA: Yeah, it was a little sketch, but actually a really good time. Oh, and one kid’s bike got destroyed because he went over these spikes … kinda lame. 

KN: Samuel, what would you say if I told you that I can’t really ride a bike?

SA: Well, Meghna, that’s embarrassing. *redacted* Wait, don’t put that in! I’m re-answering: you should probably get on that. It will be helpful in college.

KN: Is there anything else you’d like to say to your Knightly News fans?

SA: I have to shout out Union, Mississippi and my boy, JJ, there. They gave us an escort with their firetrucks and police cars. So if y’all are reading this …

KN: I really don’t think they are. Well, thank you so much for your time and have a great day, Samuel

SA: Pleasure doing business with y’all.

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