ARC Review: Conversations Across America


Conversations Across America: A Father and Son, Alzheimer’s, and 300 Conversations Along the Transamerica Bike Route That Capture the Soul of America by Kari Loya

In Conversations Across America Kari Loya and his 75 year old father together tackle the Transamerica Bike Route, traveling by pedal power across 10 states. In just 73 days the pair covered over 4,200 miles. 

The trip was a long standing dream of the father and son. But it wasn’t until Merv, Kari’s father,  was diagnosed with early signs of cognitive loss associated with Alzheimer’s that the pair decided to make the trip a reality.

Loya chronicles the trip across America, capturing the struggles and triumphs of this endurance ride while also documenting the realities of his father’s decline. He also captures, in photos and quotes, conversations with many of the people who came up to them and struck up conversations as they made their way across America.

The pair struggle in the beginning with fitness, both physical and mental, almost quitting the journey early on. But as they continue they find their strength grows with the challenge and their pride of accomplishment does as well. 

This is a story not only of a cross country bike ride, but also of a father and son  both dealing with the growing reality of aging and the impact of Alzheimer’s.

It’s also a pretty interesting snapshot of a cross section of America on the eve of the rise of MAGA, as the trip takes place in the early summer of 2015. The comments and photos that Loya captures from his conversations with everyday folks across the middle of the country are enlightening and thought provoking.

At 276 pages, with lots of photos, this is a quick and pleasant read. If you’ve got a long distance biker on your Christmas list this is a good gift idea.

RATING: Three Stars ⭐⭐⭐

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the author and LibraryThing. I am voluntarily providing this review.

Conversations Across America is available from Amazon in Kindle, Kindle Unlimited and Paperback editions.