Across the United States on a bamboo bike

Three months ago, on May 6, Israel native David Emanuel, set out on a trek to cross America on a bike. Emanuel himself made this bike out of bamboo. When landing in San Diego, Emanuel put the bike together and set out for his journey.

            Traveling through the Cascades, Big Horn Mountains, along the Columbia River on the Lewis and Clark trail, and through the Rockies, Emanuel is taking a route that will allow him to not only see the country but experience history as well.

            On Friday, August 4, Emanuel found Neighbor’s Gas and Grill on Google Maps and decided to stop for a bite to eat.

            “I never know for sure at the beginning of the day where I will end up at the end of it. Typically, I look at the map, try and find a town or campground at the distance that I think I will ride that day and often make adjustments along the way. I try and find a place that has a diner or a bar or grill-house or at least a store so I can get food,” Emanuel said. “

            Emanuel pulled up to be greeted with the surprise that Neighbor’s was holding their Summer Jam Session with local musicians for the evening. He asked if he could set up tent for the evening, and when owner Tracy agreed, he decided that he would enjoy the sounds of the evening. When leaving, Emanuel then traveled down Highway 92 through Sigourney and into Washington County towards the Quad Cities, a special place to him.

            Emanuel had been to Iowa years before. He attended Marycrest College in the Quad Cities and graduated in 1985 with a double major in Business Administration and Computer Science.

             In his blog he states, “Although there is not much to say about it, Iowa is a special place for me. I spent three years here from 1982 to 1985 as a student. I have dear friends here with whom I have been spending the past two days and will see them the next two days too. So when I left Omaha and headed into Iowa, there was this familiar feeling as if I was back home. The countryside, the farms and barns, the corn.”

            Emanuel recalled some of his experiences that he has had along the way, including a stay in a town in Wyoming in Spotted Horse- population two. He stated that he has remained traveling through small towns rather than larger cities. When leaving Iowa he plans to travel to Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine as well as go into Canada. When his trek is complete, he will fly back home to Israel.

            “When Carter was president, the peace process between Israel and Egypt was happening. The Americans built two new airbases for Israel, instead of those they were giving up when returning the Sini peninsula to Egypt. I worked in one of those airbases. My dream began when my supervisor told me about riding his motorcycle from New York to Chicago and it took him what seemed to me as a long time. I then asked him how long would it take to cross the United States in a car and his answer (which I don't remember) brought about my dream to cross the United States. Since I came to the states to study for 3 years, that did not happen then. Finally now, after 37 years, I am living the dream,” Emanuel said.

            After graduating from College, Emanuel returned to Israel to work with computers. Although it allowed him to have a wonderful income, he is now doing what he enjoys.

            He has three daughters who are all pursuing their degrees in various areas such as biology. He was able to meet with his eldest daughter in Omaha during this trek, where she has been studying.

            Emanuel has recently retired from working with computers, and instead focuses on cycling. He has been teaching cycling to at-risk youth and has participated in two major off road cycling events in Israel including a 900-mile race and a 300-mile dessert race. He also works with cycling clubs as an instructor.

            Emanuel hopes to finish his trek around the later part of August. If you would like to read more about Emanuel’s journey or see where he is daily you can view his blog at