Ready to hop on your bike and experience a wild ride in Wyoming? A long-distance bike trip across the Rockies and the Great Plains of the Cowboy State can be just what you need to recharge your batteries.
You don’t have to plan the route, either. You can retrace George Wyman’s legendary 1903 trip across America—or the Wyoming leg of the journey, anyway. Now that was a wild motorcycle ride if ever there was one. Law Tigers, a network of experienced motorcycle attorneys, shares this amazing story that might just inspire your own Wyoming road trip.
Who Was George Wyman?
George Wyman was the first person to successfully ride a motorcycle from coast to coast across the United States. Unfortunately, Wyman didn’t receive the recognition he deserved at the time. The timing of his journey was partly to blame. He finished his ride less than a month before the first-ever cross-country car trip, which was widely publicized and held greater sway for Americans in the early 20th century. This historical injustice has been repaired as bikers now retrace Wyman’s trip in the annual Wyman Memorial Challenge.
George Wyman set out on his epic journey from San Francisco on May 16, 1903. He rode through Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming, then Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois, and all the way to New York. Fifty days and 3,800 miles later, he arrived in New York City on the afternoon of June 6, 1903, after traversing cities, mountains, deserts, and… railway tracks. You read that right—most roads at the time were made of mud and gravel, so Wyman often used railroad tracks as a faster route.
The Motorcycle Wyman Rode
Wyman’s California Moto Bike was hardly a motorcycle by today’s standards. He rode a humble push bike with a tiny 1 ¼ horsepower motor. By the end of the journey, the poor bike was so battered Wyman had to pedal the last 150 miles to New York. That must have been exhausting!
The Wild Ride in Wyoming
Funnily enough, Wyman may have never finished his journey—or found his way through Wyoming—if it weren’t for none other than the President of the United States himself.
A couple of weeks after the start of Wyman’s ride, he reached the trickiest part of the route: the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming. What is now Interstate 80, back then, was a rough mountain road with little to no markings or signposts. At one point, Wyman lost his way and could only get back on track thanks to the hoof prints of President Roosevelt and his group. The president’s group had left just a day earlier. The president was on a Wyoming tour to promote a recently passed land reclamation law.
The Legacy Lives On
In 2015, a small group of long-distance bikers from the Iron Butt Association rediscovered Wyman’s accomplishment and made it their mission to save him from obscurity. That was how the George A. Wyman Memorial Project and the annual Wyman Memorial Challenge were born.
You can join the next edition of the Challenge or organize an independent trip—with friends or on your own, like Wyman—and go on a wild ride in Wyoming. Well, your ride likely won’t be quite as wild because all the roads are paved now, but the route still makes for a pretty epic journey. Look for the event next year in September, although the dates may change.
Had a Motorcycle Accident? Call Law Tigers
North American cross-country road trips are unforgettable experiences, but road conditions can be dangerous. If you get hurt in a motorcycle accident, call Law Tigers at 1-888-863-7216. We will refer you to an experienced Wyoming personal injury attorney near you.