Father & Son Bike 3,300 miles to the Statue of Liberty


James and Shepard Colver looking out to the Statue of Liberty

Kaitlyn Berg

Shepard Colver, a nine year old boy, had always dreamed of seeing the Statue of Liberty. However, this boy wasn’t planning to do it by plane or car. Shepard was planning to do it by bike, and it was a 3,300 mile trip from Seattle, Washington, Shepard’s hometown.

James Colver, Shepard’s dad, surprisingly said yes. James Colver had spent part of his twenties as a professional bike tourer, raising money for various charities along the way. In 2019, they started their adventure, but had to stop when Shepard was diagnosed with diabetes and began getting headaches frequently. 

The two were ready to start again this summer though. They began riding almost everyday. During the week they would ride to Shepard’s school, and afterschool they would ride around the town to get some more miles in.  

On May 20 they were finally ready to start their trip. Shepard and James had to conquer rain, high elevations, and temperature. Their biggest obstacle though was when they had overcome the Washington Pass in the Cascades, it took them 2 days to complete the 35-mile ride uphill, at 5,777 feet of elevation.  “If we make it through and we can get through to the end, Shepherd will be the youngest kid to ever complete the Northern Tier Bicycle Trail, and also he’ll be the youngest Type-1 diabetic to cross the U.S. on his bike”, James said. 

Shepard’s goal during the trip wasn’t to finish it, but instead to spend quality time with his dad. “It was definitely worth it.” Shepard said,  “ It’s pretty cool.”  James told CBS News reporters, “It was a wonderful bonding experience, I feel like I invested my time as his dad really well here.” 

Shepard and his dad still go biking everyday. They have a goal of 30-40 miles per day, but sometimes they only do 25 or take a rest day. They’ve also realized there’s more to biking. There’s a community and relationship building, and they’ve also learned a lot about humanity and the good side of human nature. Shepard and James’ experience was life changing and will definitely be remembered.