He spent two days staying with a religious cult in upstate New York and slept Monday night in a tent alongside the Mississippi River near Aitkin.
And on Tuesday, Tom Kevill-Davies, of London, also known as The Hungry Cyclist, was in Brainerd to sample The Barn's signature Maid-Rite sandwiches and rhubarb custard pie.
Kevill-Davies, 27, is cycling across the United States and 15 other countries for the next two years in pursuit of the perfect meal. He plans to write a book about his transcontinental bike adventure, including stories about the people he's met and recipes of the food he's enjoyed along the way. He was an overnight guest Tuesday night of Paul and Ann Grussing of Pillager. The Grussings' son, Jon, lives in London and attends Kevill-Davies' father's church. They heard about his cycling journey and volunteered to have him stay with them if he happened to be in Minnesota.
Kevill-Davies had been working for six years at a desk job as a graphic designer and as a freelance writer in London before he decided to take off on his "gastro-cycling adventure," following his passion for food and cycling. He left New York June 5 and plans to cycle across the United States and Canada, reaching Vancouver in mid-September. He then plans to bike south until he reaches South America, including Panama and Cuba. He has biked nearly 2,000 miles so far and cycles about 50-75 miles a day.
People interested in finding out how his journey is going may visit his Web site at www.thehungrycyclist.com. Visitors also may leave suggestions on where to find the best food along his route.
Kevill-Davies was leaving Duluth when someone told him he should eat at The Barn in Brainerd, since he was heading in that direction. So he stopped there for lunch Tuesday.
"The burgers were interesting," said Kevill-Davies, of the Maid-Rite sandwiches. He said the rhubarb custard pie was "superb."
Kevill-Davies is traveling alone on his British steel-framed bike, carrying about 100 pounds of weight, including a tent, a fishing rod and a small camping stove. He journals each night about that day's journey and visitors to his Web site can sign up to receive his monthly newsletters.
He said he has discovered that everyone he's met has had an interesting story to tell. People have been kind to him throughout his trip. He also is raising money for Macmillan Cancer Relief, a U.K.-based charitable organization helping people diagnosed with cancer.
"It's become more about the people than the food," said Kevill-Davies, of his journey. "It's about the people you meet while you're eating."
Kevill-Davies plans to leave Pillager and travel west along Highway 210 Wednesday as he makes his way to the West Coast.
JODIE TWEED can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5858.
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