COON RAPIDS, Minn. (WCCO) — If age is what you make it, 71-year-old Skip Woodworth is making his fun.

“Just riding along the road here the trees and green grass, it’s just beautiful,” he said.

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The retired trucker saw America from the seat of a big rig. But the scenery is even better, low and slow on a bike.

“You follow these guys who do crazy bike trails down the Mississippi river or across the U.S., and you get the feel for it and want to do it,” he said.

Fifty years ago, Woodworth was in Vietnam. He says his bike journey is “much more enjoyable.”

On Tuesday, Woodworth was on day eight of a 22-day trip, following the Mississippi River from the headwaters at Lake Itasca down to the Iowa border and back.

It’s a daily battle against steep hills, winding roads and August heat.

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“Keeping your mind on the fact you’ve got to stay hydrated,” Woodworth said. “You don’t feel like you want to drink but you better drink.”

For him, this is a “bucket list” trip – something he’s wanted to do for a long time.

He says while a trip across America by bike sounds enticing, it requires much more planning and cost to get gear and himself to the starting line on the coast.

“My wife says she won’t pick me up ,so I’ll have to ride back,” he said.

The trip down bike trails and country roads will take him more than 1,000 miles and consume 22 days.

But Woodworth says: “It doesn’t matter if it’s canoeing, swimming or kayaking, whatever you want to do if your mind is made up, I think you can do it.”

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One man’s journey is everyone’s inspiration.