Dave Boyd has been riding his bike around the country for so long that he remembers when people often pulled up beside him and asked if he had any Grey Poupon.
?Actually it was a childhood dream that I would bicycle through all 50 states. So when I turned 35 years old and I thought, ‘I better do this before I get too old and can’t do it,’? said Boyd a Ham radio operator, call sign N3ICN, who was in Prince William County to attended a recent Ham radio festival.
?So in 1990, I decided, ‘I’m doing it,’? Boyd, 48, said.
?I hit the road and went to Hawaii, I flew there and took the bike with me,? Boyd said Wednesday afternoon in a parking lot near at the intersection of Dale Boulevard and Minnieville Road.
He said he had a brief hiatus in the middle of the last decade, but eventually resumed his dream.
?I stopped in Jacksonville, Florida, for five years. I started my own commercial window cleaning business. Then I hit the road again,? he said.
So far, Boyd has visited 37 states. He expects to finish up his American tour within the next two years and then consider a European trip.
Boyd, who was once in the U.S. Navy, said he learned how to stow things in small, compact places and has everything he needs in his ingenious rig, which is constructed of milk crates held together by plastic zip ties.
Solar panels power Boyd’s headlights and tail lights, which also function as turn signals and emergency lights.
The television, two Ham radios, an FM satellite radio and speedometer are also solar powered. They, along with the camping gear and plastic front console, bring Boyd’s load to about 525 pounds.
?I talk around the world to people around the world,? Boyd said and proudly pointed to his radios.
He eats peanut butter sandwiches during the day while he’s on the road, and buys grocery store food to cook in camp at night.
Although he finds occasional work at bicycle shops along the way to finance his road trip, people sometimes offer him money.
A week of work will finance about a month on the road, but he takes the money when it’s offered.
?People stop and tell me, ‘I wanted to do this too, but I’ve got a house and the wife and the kids and the car and the cats and the dogs and I can’t do it, but here’s a little something for your dream,? he said. ?I just tell them, ‘Thank you very much,’? he said.
Boyd said he averages about 10 mph, but once achieved 51 mph going down hill.
His current destination is Sturgis, S.D., where he said he plans to visit a Harley-Davidson rally comparable to Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Fla. ?I’ll be there in August. I’m going to show them a different kind of bike,? he said.
Boyd’s Web site is www.bicyclenomad.com.
Staff writer Keith Walker can be reached at (703) 878-8063.