David Freeze writes about new adventure

Published 12:16 am Sunday, November 16, 2014

By Susan Shinn

For The Salisbury Post

David Freeze knows a bit about perseverance.

That’s why the title of his second book is so appropriate. “Pedaling, Prayer and Perseverance: 35 Days Cycling Solo from Maine to Key West,” was published last week. Freeze thinks it’s a great Christmas gift for the cyclist on your list — or anyone with a sense of adventure.

Which is also something Freeze knows a bit about.

The book recounts Freeze’s second long-distance bike trip, which he took this summer. The first, a cross-country trip last summer, is recounted in his first book, “Lord, Ride With Me Today.”

Both books are available locally at Literary Bookpost, Skinny Wheels, Patterson Farm Market at Mount Ulla and Granite Quarry, the Forum, South Rowan Y, and Phidippides at Carolina Mall, Concord.

Freeze will be signing books at Literary Bookpost on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Freeze notes that the writing process was much easier this time around — although he admits it’s hard for him to sit still long enough to write.

Maybe he should look into putting together a cycling work station?

“I don’t know if I could focus good enough,” Freeze says with a grin.

And there were other responsibilities along with the writing project: tending to his China Grove farm, meeting running clients, teaching running classes. Then there was the problem with yet another blood clot.

“That really didn’t stop me,” Freeze says.

Neither did a harrowing bike accident in Tequesta, Fla., which Freeze writes about in his typical low-key, not-a-big-deal style.

His trusty Surly bike was totaled. But it could’ve been a lot worse.

Freeze ended up in Key West on Aug. 4 — the last day of last year’s trip as well. He flew home later that week, got checked out by his doctor on Aug. 11, and started writing.

It took him about three weeks to complete his first draft. His goal was to write a chapter a day. The Post’s former editorial page editor, Chris Verner, served as his editor, while the Post’s graphics and page designer, Andy Mooney, handled additional editing and design. Photographer Jon Lakey shot cover photos for Freeze.

Post Editor Elizabeth Cook wrote the book’s foreword.

“It’s awesome,” Freeze says.

“The titles of David’s books sum up his attitude,” Cook writes. “Each covers a pilgrimage of sorts, with David doggedly pedaling toward the ocean at the end of the trip, and then getting home to his own piece of heaven on earth — his farm in rural Rowan County.

“Along the way, David encounters lots of people; his goal was to meet at least one a day. And he lifts lots of hearts as readers back home follow his travels. His trip is their trip.”

Freeze is certainly gratified and grateful that so many people followed both adventures through his daily Post dispatches along the way.

“People really enjoy reading good news in the paper,” Freeze says. “It’s something very positive and it’s an adventure.

“One lady told me, ‘I can’t go across the country, but you took me.’ It just makes me well up every time I hear something like that. So many people told me, ‘We could not wait to see the paper.’ I just love that.”

Freeze certainly doesn’t mind talking about previous trips, but he always has the next one in mind. This winter, he’ll be doing research for a third book, “Cycling Coastal North Carolina,” to be published in fall 2015 by John F. Blair Publisher of Winston-Salem.

It will be a slightly different assignment as he’ll be making multiple trips — via car, this time — to some two dozen coastal towns, including Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Washington, Hatteras, Okracoke, New Bern, Morehead City, Beaufort, Topsail Beach and Calabash.

At each stop, he’ll unload his bike to explore the history of the town, scenery and special attractions. And he’ll include information about bike shops, road conditions and other advice and tips for the casual or experienced cyclist.

Next summer, he’s set his sights on a third long-distance trip: following the Underground Railroad route from Mobile, Ala., to Ontario, Canada.

Stay tuned.

Freelance writer Susan Shinn lives in Salisbury.