Friday, January 15, 2010

2 months to go. Thinking about Amtrack to get there. 46 hours in a seat. But I can take my bike with. A good book, Ipod, and a bag of snax will help, I guess.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Why Are You Doing This?


Why am I starting a blog, you mean? Technically, I started one January 15, 2004. And started was all I did. It was going to be one of those grand socially/politically aware blogs that everyone just couldn’t get enough of. It’d be wildly popular with all sorts of internet denizens for its understated wit and overpowering wisdom. Unfortunately, start was all I did with it. One single solitary posting and then I gave it up. Keeping a blog is really hard work. Meh!

So this blog is born of requests from my family and maybe one (or two) friends to easily allow them keep up with me on my coast to coast bike ride starting next March. I’ll try to do a better job with updates. Honest.

Oh, by “WHY?” did you really mean “Why on EARTH are you riding a skinny bicycle seat and two skinnier tires across the entire United States?”

That is a marvelous question. I compliment you for asking it. Not that you’re all that original because I have asked that question of myself repeatedly for over a month now.

Last November, I completed my third ride down and up the Florida Keys on a tour led by good friend and tour leader extraordinaire Bubba Barron. Toward the end of that tiny little 200+ mile ride, Bubba got me excited about attempting a coast to coast. He was talking somewhere around 3000 miles in 50 or so days. Leave San Diego in March; make it to St. Augustine, Florida by May 2. We enjoyed more than a few margaritas on a pool patio in Key Largo and gradually it truly sounded like a fabulous endeavor.

Once upon a time I also asked myself “Why” just seconds before I dove off a tall platform that extended over a waterfall and above a river in Indonesia. Merely asking the question didn’t keep me from having a million rubber bands attached to my ankles, leaping out into space and yo-yoing head first into a peaceful river that looked much deeper before my entry. Not my first bungee jump, but by far my favorite. That same month there was a middle-of-the-night trek up the side of an active volcano for the purpose of a gander deep down into said active volcano and a promise of a spectacular sunrise. I wasn’t disappointed.

It has been ten years since that trip. I don’t expect the forthcoming bike ride to be nearly that exhilarating, but essential nonetheless. There are just some things you have to do when the opportunity presents itself. I want to see America on two wheels, close to the ground, traveling somewhere between 8 and 25 mph (depending on wind direction and speed and the energy contained in my legs on any given day).

A lot of people have already made this trip or similar coast to coast rides. A simple Google search will list thousands of hits for descriptions of rides across or up or down America, China, Thailand, Europe, the U.K., Africa, South America, Central America, you name it. We’re not talking Columbus or Livingston or Amundsen here. I just wonder if any of them looked forward to their adventure as much as I am.