50 years after first coast-to-coast crossing, Rock Hill rider ne - | WBTV Charlotte

50 years after first coast-to-coast crossing, Rock Hill rider nears finish line in LA

Neal, pictured Sunday during the California portion of his ride, will complete his 3,000-mile solo journey in LA on Monday. The 68-year-old made his first crossing as a teen 50 years ago. (Courtesy Paul Neal via The Charlotte Observer) Neal, pictured Sunday during the California portion of his ride, will complete his 3,000-mile solo journey in LA on Monday. The 68-year-old made his first crossing as a teen 50 years ago. (Courtesy Paul Neal via The Charlotte Observer)

ROCK HILL, SC (Michael Gordon/The Charlotte Observer) - In a matter of hours, Paul Neal’s return ride with history will be done.

The 68-year-old Rock Hill cyclist is mere miles from reaching Los Angeles – and the end of his 3,000-mile solo journey across the country.

The current ride is his second east-west crossing, and it comes 50 years after he made his first. While Neal set out on the anniversary of the very day he rode out of Rock Hill as a teenager, he will finish two days sooner. In biking parlance, the older Neal dropped “The Kid” somewhere west of the Mississippi River.

According to his Facebook posts, Neal considered quitting only once – in Arizona when he rode in temperatures north of 115 degrees, he was forced to mine highway overpasses for shade, and he had to guzzle his water bottles before the contents got too hot to drink.

After crossing into California, he battled through more extraordinary temperatures – 122 degrees at one point, according to his Rock Hill-based support team – steep climbs, and a GPS device that occasionally had him going in circles. Yet he woke up Monday morning with only 60 miles to ride.

Neal will be back in Rock Hill later this week – willing at long last, as he said before the trip, to begin acting his age.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • ‘The show must go on somewhere’: How Charlotte police are prepping for RNC protests

    ‘The show must go on somewhere’: How Charlotte police are prepping for RNC protests

    Monday, July 23 2018 9:25 AM EDT2018-07-23 13:25:50 GMT
    Campaign rally at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday, Oct. 14, 2016. (David T. Foster III Charlotte Observer/TNS)Campaign rally at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday, Oct. 14, 2016. (David T. Foster III Charlotte Observer/TNS)
    Campaign rally at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday, Oct. 14, 2016. (David T. Foster III Charlotte Observer/TNS)Campaign rally at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday, Oct. 14, 2016. (David T. Foster III Charlotte Observer/TNS)

    Forecasts of widespread violent protests at past conventions have proven unfounded, including the 2012 Democratic National Convention hosted in Charlotte.

    More >>

    Forecasts of widespread violent protests at past conventions have proven unfounded, including the 2012 Democratic National Convention hosted in Charlotte.

    More >>
  • Building climbing suspect arrested in uptown

    Building climbing suspect arrested in uptown

    Monday, July 23 2018 8:41 AM EDT2018-07-23 12:41:55 GMT
    Jackson (Source: Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office)Jackson (Source: Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office)

    Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say someone reported a man climbing near the top floor of a building in the 500 block of S Tryon Street around 6:49 p.m.

    More >>

    Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say someone reported a man climbing near the top floor of a building in the 500 block of S Tryon Street around 6:49 p.m.

    More >>
  • Former NFL player to visit JLT Fieldhouse at Salisbury Academy

    Former NFL player to visit JLT Fieldhouse at Salisbury Academy

    Monday, July 23 2018 8:34 AM EDT2018-07-23 12:34:59 GMT
    (Source: Salisbury Academy)(Source: Salisbury Academy)

    Former professional football player Jason Carthen is coming to Salisbury on Saturday to boost JLT Fieldhouse, a basketball and mentoring program, according to a news release from Salisbury Academy. 

    More >>

    Former professional football player Jason Carthen is coming to Salisbury on Saturday to boost JLT Fieldhouse, a basketball and mentoring program, according to a news release from Salisbury Academy. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly