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Ceres father, son on USA trek
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Philip Haubert has traveled across the United States on his bicycle twice during his lifetime. His third trip, which he has titled "TransAm 2004: A Journey Across America," is going to be much different.

His son, Philip IV, will accompany him and provide assistance.

"My hope at one time was my son and I would bike across the United States," said Philip, 55. "He didn't develop a great love for bicycling so I didn't force the issue. He did develop a great love for traveling."

"It's not my thing," said Philip IV, who attended Ceres schools through the ninth grade and graduated from El Cerrito High School yesterday. "I like traveling but I like four wheels instead of two."

The Hauberts depart for Oregon via vehicle on Friday. They'll meet with David Kittleson of Minnesota, 46, and Ethan Spinelli of Connecticut, 30, in Florence on Sunday. Philip, his son and the two teachers, who agreed to take part in the journey after reading a message Philip III posted on a web site last November, start riding on Monday.

The group started preparing for the trip a year ago. They had a conference call on May 30.

"This trip is going to be different for me in a big way," Philip said. "My previous two trips were self contained. There was never a car."

Young Philip will be transporting tents, sleeping bags, cooking gear, food and other miscellaneous items in a white Oldsmobile Alero.

"He's going to go anywhere from five to 15 miles in advance and scout out the territory, find a place to park and wait for us to catch up," Philip III said.

"We plan on camping 80 percent of the time and splurging on a hotel the rest of the time."

The foursome will travel 3,300 miles in 50 days.

"We want to start at the ocean and end at the ocean," Philip III said.

"We'll average 80 to 85 miles a day."

Philip IV will keep track of every move and post updates at

"We're going to keep a daily journal on the web site," Philip III said. "(My son) is going to be doing most of the work (with his laptop computer)."

The Hauberts will be greeted by family members and relatives when they reach their final destination, Atlantic City, N.J., during the first week of August.

"We have already made reservations to fly my mother and brother back to meet us," Philip III said.

Philip, his son and the teachers will pass through 14 states, including Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Ilinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey.

Philip IV has already visited 25 states.

"He could visit 11 more states on this trip," Philip said.

The Hauberts plan to make a few special stops along the way.

They'll visit Knightstown, Ind., for the second time. Scenes from the 1985 movie "Hoosiers" were shot in the town's high school gymnasium.

They'll also visit Dyersville, Iowa, home of the baseball park in the movie "Field of Dreams."

Philip introduced his son to cycling when he was just eight years old.

This past year, they rode a tandem bicycle from Monterey to Pismo Beach in five days. They traveled more than 200 miles.

"I remember him telling me stories and he had a journal about his first trip," Philip IV said. "I always thought it was kind of cool."

Philip III has a lot of fond memories.

In 1999, Haubert and Christie Ploski of Detroit, Mich., a student from Eastern Michigan University at the time, traveled from Santa Cruz to Washington D.C. Three other individuals, a man and two women, didn't complete the trip, which covered 3,375 miles and lasted 53 days.

Bicycling across Kansas proved to be a daunting task.

"We ran out of water on a very hot day," Haubert said. "We were thirsty. We didn't know where the next town was. We never saw a car in an hour."

Then a VW bug approached from the back, passed and pulled over on the side of the road.

"As we approached it, out reached a hand with two cans of Coke," Philip said. "They didn't say anything and they took off."

Philip could always count others.

"People fed us," he said. "People took us into their homes. People sheltered us when it rained."

Haubert made his first trip across the United States in 1982. The journey started in Reedsport, Ore., and ended in Roselle Park, N.J. He traveled 4,400 miles in 77 days.

"When I was in my 30s, a guy gave me a book about a guy that rode a bicycle across the United States," Philip said. "That sort of inspired me.

"I get a great deal of satisfaction out of it. It gives you the opportunity to see things at a pace where you can really see them. If you go in an airplane, there's really no sense of an accomplishment."

Philip III has always been very active in sports. He played basketball at Ohlone College in Fremont. He's still an excellent shooter.

"When you reach your mid 30s you start to not be able to excel at some of the sports you loved as a youth," he said. "That's why a lot of people turn to golf or bicycling.

"I'd like to be able to do it (ride bikes) for as long as I can. As long as the old body holds out, I would like to attempt it (travel cross country) every five years. I know that people have done it up to their 70s and 80s."

Philip IV will be traveling cross country for the first time. He's feeling a little anxious because he doesn't know what to expect.

"Everyone has an extreme goal they want to accomplish," he said. "I want to experience the diversity of the United States."

Philip IV will attend American River College in the fall.

"This is a one-time shot," Philip said. "He has this summer of freedom before he goes to college and starts working part-time."

Said Philip IV: "If I like it, we may do it again." - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier