To say that Lynn Salvo isn’t your normal cyclist would be something of an understatement.
For starters, it wasn’t her first or even second sport of choice, nor was it one that she’d grown up with for decades and decades.
It was 1999, the turn of the millennium, and right before Lynn’s milestone 50th birthday.
She was admittedly “pudgy” and decided to take up running. In 2002, just two and a half years after taking up running, Salvo ran her first marathon and qualified for the Boston Marathon. Immediately afterward, she began to experience running injuries. She fought through them to run the Boston Marathon in 2003.
Persistent injuries would soon lead her coaches to suggest cross-training. However, after some time training and competing for triathlons, she discovered her true passion was for cycling.
“Cycling is a place where I get balance in my head and live in the moment,“ said Salvo, who now focuses on cycling full-time. “I have found the right exercise for my body. Swimming hurt my shoulders and I was getting running injuries. I don’t seem to get injuries on my bike.”
Yet, Salvo’s dedication to the sport goes beyond passion. She rides for a more personal reason. She rides for her brother, John Thomas West, who died in the Vietnam war.
“I cycle for peace in hopes that I can prevent even one family from the loss of a loved one to war.”
But what does cycling for peace really mean in this case? For Lynn Salvo is it quite literally a peace sign; she is currently on a multi-year mission to cycle a continent-sized peace sign.
According to Salvo, since beginning to track her miles in 2015, she has logged over 40,000 miles on her bike. Along the way, she became the oldest woman bicyclist to cross the United States as well as Canada solo.
Thinking back to August 31, 2019, when Salvo completed the northern spoke of the peace sign in Brandon, Manitoba, she reflected, “…it kind of blew my mind that I had cycled every inch from my house to Brandon, MB.”
Salvo plans on completing her continent-sized peace sign in September 2021. Beginning her final leg of the trip at the Peace Arch located at the Canadian and U.S. border. The landmark celebrates its 100th anniversary that day.
Salvo’s next trip though will be a ride across Europe in 2020, which could see her become the oldest woman to bicycle across Europe.