PHILADELPHIA, PA - Over the past seven months, West Chester native Tom Yost rode his bicycle from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, straight across the country, down through Mexico, and eventually ended a 9,225 mile trek in Panama.
When Yost arrived home to Philadelphia International Airport this week, PHL17 was there as he met his newborn nephew for the first time!
Yost describes himself as a structural engineer and a cycle tourist who decided to pack up his things and see the world from two wheels.
“22 flat tires later…here I am,” explained Yost.
Yost had been away on a 212-day cycling journey through nine different countries since August 27th, 2018.
He documented his cycling journey online, posting pictures at every stop along the way.
“I really loved spending a month in Mexico and time in Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and ended in panama,” explained Yost, who is a structural engineer who works for Engineers Without Borders. “I’ve been working down in rural Panama for a couple of years now and we are building a library and technical center for an indigenous community.” Yost says after traveling to other countries in Central America for work, he wanted to see more, and after getting an “Ok” from his boss last year, he took off.
Yost jokingly explained, “Through Central America the questions were always, ‘Where are you coming from? Where are you going? How long of you been on that bike? Does your butt hurt?’” Yost says he mostly camped and slept in firehouses along the way.
And while Yost says he recognizes he did miss some major life events while he was gone, he’s now making up for lost time with his nephew James Thomas, who was named after his adventurous uncle, while away.
“He’s really cute! I’m just glad to have a nephew now!”
Yost says he plans to head back to work ASAP, with a few new stories to tell his co-workers.