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Bicycle trip, Meeting locals, Touring the USA, Barstool, Exploring, Adventure, Short stories

Drinkin' Thinkin'
a Canadian cyclist's view atop an American barstool
by Brian Mulligan

On his fortieth birthday, Brian announced to his family that his goal was to cycle from Canada to Mexico and from the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts of the US. Over the next ten years, he explored the highways and trails of the country, stopping each evening to meet the locals in the pubs and taverns that only come alive at night. From a face-off with a languishing alligator in a Louisiana bayou to a strange evening with a wealthy and eccentric hot-air balloon enthusiast in Tennessee, his trips were never dull, and often had him wondering how he ever got into this mess.

In the end, he learned that the heart of the country is not the winding mountain roads or desert highways, but the kindness, openness, and downright weirdness of its people. This collection of short stories is gathered from his adventures while perched atop the famed American barstool—with a little cycling thrown in for good measure.

Brian Mulligan spent his career in the marine industry mostly skippering patrol vessels. In his youth, his studies took him from Canada to the US and back, and his early love of motorcycling morphed in a passion for the pedalled variety. He lives with his wife in North Vancouver, BC, and when he’s not in the saddle, he enjoys spending time with his children.


Brian Mulligan
Shelley Hrdlitschka

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