Angel on my Handlebars
by Patricia Starr
Patricia Starr, a woman of seemingly indefatigable energy and enthusiasm for life, wanted to give something back to her community and pursue a dream to bicycle across America. In 2004, at age 67, she accomplished both by pedaling to raise $22,000 to establish a perpetual $1,000 yearly music scholarship at Santa Barbara City College.
The story of her arduous 50 day, 3,622 mile odyssey across America is told in a compelling way that is an inspiration to all. She proves that chronologic age can be overcome by enthusiasm, determination and perspiration.
She describes the interesting people she met along the way and the trials and tribulations she endured while crossing four major mountain ranges and the long, lonely, barren stretches of highway in America’s vast Midwest.
And lastly, it’s a love story about Patricia and Gabriel, her 20-year younger handsome, charismatic, Hispanic husband who initially refuses to support her on this crazy adventure, but then becomes totally entwined to become her personal “angel.” As the challenges across this expansive country develop, so does an alcohol problem. “Angel” is full of hope and heartbreak from the exhilaration of pedaling over the Rockies at almost 10,000 feet, to having their beloved van, “The Love Machine” stolen in Canada as they were anticipating the next day’s stop at Niagara Falls.
Through it all, they both knew a Heavenly angel was watching over her so she wasn’t out there alone.