A Special Birthday, a New Bride, and a 3,300-mile Odyssey

All of our guests have interesting stories to share.
Some, though, are particular standouts.
Take Butch Fioretti, for instance.
He celebrated a milestone birthday – his 50th – earlier this year.
He married his sweetheart, Karen, on May 1.
Then, three days later, he began a 3,300-mile journey as a personal quest – to ride his bicycle across the United States, pedaling from San Diego to Asbury Park, N.J.
An avid recreational cyclist and electrician by trade, Fioretti had thought, off and on, about taking the long road trip, but life commitments had always stood in the way. As he approached his half-century mark, he began to think now might be the best time to act on his dream.
And 48 days after setting out from the West Coast, his dream was close to being fulfilled when he pulled into Doylestown Friday night.
There was a necessary stop at Doylestown Bike Works for some repairs and maintenance products before heading out on the last leg of his trip.
Fioretti averaged about 75 miles a day on his Fuji bike. When he started out, he rode with a trailer hitched behind that was loaded with camping gear. His bride followed via car for the first week, but then flew back east to their home in Peckville, just north of Scranton, Pa.
The extra 55 pounds of the trailer, he decided, turned out to be a major nuisance and hindered his travels. He finally ditched it when some extreme, tornado-bearing weather in Dodge City, Kan., made him re-think his travel mode.
From then on, his wife at home would use the Internet to scout out the areas through which he would be traveling and make arrangements for him to spend the night at various inns or hotels.
“I can’t say enough about that woman,” he said, clearly talking like a smitten newlywed. “She is my biggest fan, my biggest supporter.”
He blogged about his trip on his Facebook page, and those interested could also follow him in real time on the website mapmyride.com.
Unpredictable weather was definitely a hazard, leaving the cyclist sunburned or rain-soaked, depending on what part of the country he was in at the time. Spending so much time on the road, he also had to deal with flat tires and some not-so-courteous drivers. But those issues paled when realizing that he was a witness to some of the most incredibly breathtaking scenery this country has to offer.
“It’s been fabulous,” he said over an early breakfast with us Saturday morning.
“There are so many nice people out there – so friendly and willing to help you out.”
One thing he did not like during his trip of a lifetime was the loneliness he felt by missing his friends and family. “Being away from everybody for that length of time was hard,” he admitted.
But that would all come to an end later that day. That day would be his last one on the road. He left around 8:30, figuring he’d hit Asbury Park around 1:30 p.m. He planned to stop at Bruce Springsteen’s haunt, the famed Stone Pony (“I’m a huge Springsteen fan”) before dipping his bike’s wheels into the Atlantic Ocean.
As he readied his bike to follow the BicyclePA Route S southeast toward Washington Crossing and then into the Garden State, Fioretti chatted about being amazed that so many people in his hometown were following his daily progress on his “Bike Across America” trip.
“It makes me feel so good that I’ve touched people in ways that I can only imagine. They inspire me as much as I can inspire them.”
Hargrave House B&B wishes a long, love-filled marriage for Karen and Butch Fioretti, as well as more awe-producing cycling adventures.