Meet America’s Forgotten Long-Distance Hiking Legend, Bill Nedderman

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Sixty-year-old Bill Nedderman is the adventure sports legend you’ve never heard of. And he would be fine keeping it that way, going about his business of making long-distance, self-propelled journeys the central pillar of his life. The Iowan has racked up an incredible 150,000 miles of travel under his own power since 1980.

Nedderman was working in telecommunications when he took a vacation to make a weeklong bicycle trip across Iowa. “I fell in love with the idea of being away for months,” he says. “Bicycling brings with it a mechanical advantage that empowers you to dream big.”

Pedaling through the cornbelt, Nedderman had a revelation: “There is a lot to see out there—what’s around the next bend and over the next ridge. I couldn’t get enough of it.”

Nedderman admits his first trips were approached as personal challenges, “to…

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