Cover Design by Adam Wagler
Safety Measures documents a solo cross-country bicycle adventure. After completing a ride across the United States in 2017, from Astoria, Oregon, to Yorktown, Virginia, in 60 days, pedaling 4,200 miles with support, Laura Madeline Wiseman endeavored to ride her bicycle, Lexa, across the country alone. This lyric collection in creative nonfiction and prose poetry recounts that journey. From Anacortes, Washington, to Bar Harbor, Maine, this 4,300-mile, 59-day ride begins and ends in Minnesota, the site of Wiseman’s childhood summer vacations at Leach Lake. Biking, fishing, beachcombing, and other experiences with her dad had instilled an adventurous spirit. She hoped to reconnect with the fierce energy of girlhood. Wiseman’s dad had often warned her as a girl, It’s dangerous out there. In Safety Measures, harassment, intimidation, and bullying change lanes with the guardians of the road – sheriffs, semi-drivers, fellow bikers, and companionable travelers who call, Safe travels, as they pass. This journey wonders what measures make the road less dangerous and more safe for the solo-wanderer pedaling a bicycle.
Praise for Safety Measures
Laura Madeline Wiseman’s Safety Measures poignantly recounts her experiences making the daunting 4,300-mile journey from Washington to Maine – alone. She writes almost lyrically about her inner thoughts and concerns as she encounters the inevitable obstacles of taking such an epic journey as a woman alone on the often dangerous and unforgiving road. Filled with a mix of fascinating minutiae of each day and the delectably written details of the day, Wiseman conquers her adventure through the unpredictable terrain, the limits of her bike, and the strangers met along the way. The prevailing undertone throughout her book shows that safety concerns remain a constant companion for all women venturing out; they by no means define the possibilities. —Katie Krcmarik
Safety Measures by Laura Madeline Wiseman documents the wanderlust of a woman and her bicycle. Moments of tangible fear, joy and exhaustion inch you closer to understanding both the ride and the desire to ride. An empowering book of perseverance, reflection and occasional calamity, Safety Measures will leave you wondering what you are capable of...and knowing the answer is “anything.” —Kaci Richter
Laura Madeline Wiseman’s Safety Measures documents something that is dear, sacred, a safe place, a compass. Not many know what they want to do with their studies, but Wiseman knew she wanted to explore cycling and take that intimate leap to name experience. Part of the lure of cycling is self-reliance. You could be vulnerable – theft, violence. There are dangers – cities, traffic, navigating. You must gain awareness – road, weather, climate, people around you. Yet, you do it to come out of the trip with the rewards. You get intimate with your bike. You feel it in your legs. Speed, endurance, and resistance – you feel the road. Everything comes out to greet you – solitude, adventure, new friends, the road, the bike, and yourself. — Luis Peon-Casanova