71-year-old cyclist starts last leg of peace sign tour around U.S. at the Peace Arch

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Standing under the Peace Arch just after 8 a.m. on September 6, 100 years after it was built, Lynn Salvo explained to an older man how to fill out a witness form for the Guinness World Records. On the day, the double world recorder holder was starting the final leg of her third record attempt, which originally began in 2015. She was setting off along the coast by bicycle on a 2,000-mile journey south to the U.S./Mexico border to complete a peace sign route around the U.S.

Salvo, 71, from McLean, Virginia, currently holds the record for the oldest woman to cycle across both the U.S. and Canada. She set her first record in 2016, cycling 3,162 miles in 59 days from Oceanside, California to Bethany Beach, Delaware. She set her next record in 2018 when she rode 4,111 miles in 70 days from Tofino, B.C. to Lawrencetown Beach, Nova Scotia.

Those rides are incorporated in Salvo’s continent-sized peace sign route.

Since she started long distance cycling in 2015, all of Salvo’s rides have a theme. Her first, across the U.S., was to create awareness for “living a full and active life long after 50.”

The peace sign ride is more personal. In 1970, Salvo lost her older brother John in the Vietnam War.

Salvo said the average distance per day on her ride from the Peace Arch to the U.S./Mexico border is 52 miles. She said the shortest leg is 15 miles near Astoria, Oregon, and the longest leg is 77 miles outside of San Luis Obispo, California. “So the distances are not extreme for me,” she said. “I’ve done 100 mile rides often.”

While Salvo has many historical monuments and points of interests to visit on her route south, she said the Peace Arch was one of the most important due to the symbolism and timing. She said she picked the start date entirely based on the Peace Arch centennial. She said she was also looking forward to stopping at the Peace through Trade Bell in Port Angeles, spots on Amanda’s Trail near Yachats, Oregon, Memorial for Peace in San Francisco and the Korean Bell of Friendship in San Pedro, California.

Her peace sign rides have included an Underground Railroad route, visiting many sites related to the life and work of Harriet Tubman, as well as numerous sites from the Civil Rights era.

As of September 14, Salvo and her companions were at La Push. Salvo’s journey south can be followed at lifeislikeabike.wordpress.com where she posts a blog each day.

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