Phil was reliving his father’s trip across the U.S. in a journey on bicycle, a grand trip some people take to relieve grief and pain. He probably chose the bike to come closer to his father’s 1961 motorcycle, now in 2022. It was one lone trip, relieved by the kindness of one or two random strangers, such as when he crossed the Continental Divide.
A trip to relieve grief was featured in the 1938 Ladies Home Journal, a trip which crossed Afghanistan and risked becoming a concubine for the heroine. Philip may have read about it in his 7th grade literature book.
Humankind is programmed to work out its destiny here in a copy of the way of Calvary, and they do it with courage and determination.