By: Layla Souchet
In his spare time, Dennis Edison enjoys exercising and playing guitar in between finishing his Music Major at The University of Tampa. But Edison has another hobby. He has traveled the world on his bike.
Throughout his travels he’s been hit by cars, thrown off the edge of a mountain, and chased by bulls. He’s also pet wild horses, trained with world champion fighters and getting wasted in the world champion pinball arena.
His story started on a windy day in New York. Wanting to surf off of Long Island, he called up some friends to see if they wanted to join. His friend Ryan responded and Edison learned that Ryan had joined the Marines and was planning on biking across the country from New York to California before he left for basic training.
A friend of his was supposed to join as well but plans fell through. Sensing an adventure, Edison asked if he could join and Ryan thoroughly accepted. After selling a car and making other arrangements, they set out a week and a half later.
Even though Ryan’s cousin had initially joined them for the trip, they dropped him off at a motel after 70 miles due to an emotional breakdown after taking Midol for leg cramps. After that, they made it from New York to Philadelphia, a total of 117 miles, in 17 hours.
Julianne Dirks, a close friend of Edison’s, said, “For as long as I’ve known him, Dennis is always the one to jump on a new adventure. He loves the rush of adrenaline he gets from do something that other people might think is crazy.”
“A brief overview of the trip involved 3,700 miles of adventure, crazy animals, a rabid raccoon that I fought and killed, a deer that knocked me off my bike, and seeing a marijuana farm grown in a family man’s basement that was as big as the one portrayed in the movie “Pineapple Express” with piping that drew water from the river off the Katy trail in Missouri.
There was also running out of water in the desert, getting swept a few miles down the Colorado River, seeing my first strip club, and most importantly I met the coolest people and I made so many friends,” Edison said.
After that trip, he went on to bike in three other countries. Edison is already planning his next trip. “I don’t know when it will be. I want to cycle completely around the USA sometime after I graduate, which is about 13,000 miles.”
Kristin Ryan, another friend of Edison’s said, “When I heard about his first trip, I thought he was kidding. But Dennis isn’t one to kid about something like that. He’s one of those people where if there’s a mountain that hasn’t been climbed or an island that hasn’t been explored, he’s the first person with his hand in the air to volunteer for the trip.”