Dan O’Neill, 68, arrived home to a surprise welcome of fanfare from family, friends, neighbors, the press and Tempe Mayor Corey Woods.
O’Neill just completed a seven month, 13,000 mile bicycle trip around the perimeter of the United States, known as the loop. O’Neill did the solo trip without any support vehicle. He carried all his camping gear, clothes etc. on his bike.
He started these types of long road biking at the encouragement of his wife Jenny Lucier, when they met years ago. O’Neill says what he always loves most about these kinds of rides is flow, “the rhythm of the road” as he calls it. There’s just a flow, or rhythm you get into he said of the routine of “ride, take a break, rinse and repeat.
But it’s seeing the world up close and personal and in a more intimate way when touring by bike that hooked him. “The combination of being outdoors to see things from your bicycle seat,” O’Neill said — there’s nothing like it.
A Tempe native and Tempe High School graduate of the class of 1973, O’Neill dedicated this trip to his 50th year reunion and his classmates. He timed it to coincide with his reunion which gave him a goal and date to complete the ride.
Woods, a family friend, was on hand and presented O’Neill with a certificate and proclaimed October 24, 2023 “Welcome Home Dan O’Neill Day.”
He and Lucier are planning another trip in 2024, either through Southeast Asia or Australia. It’s his wife’s turn to pick where they go. But for now O’Neill is just happy to be home and celebrating the ride and upcoming reunion with family and friends.