Cycling Along The Way...

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Silver City, NM, United States
Riders of the wheel. Racers, Roadies, Mountain bikers, Touring cyclists, Commuters, and others. Diamond frames, recumbents, trikes, and more. Sharing a web of connections often misunderstood or unappreciated by those who don't ride. Herewith, my attempt to share some of the more rational thoughts that flit around inside my head while bicycling, knocking back a brew or three, or just thinking about life. Reviews of bicycles, gear, touring, and more, plus some unsolicited posts about people, politics, and philosophy. Other things, too. Me: retired, gave up my TV in 1988, avid cyclist, several cross country tours completed with more to come. Your thoughts?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What's Up?

Since I returned home from Upstate NY, I have done some cycling, including the El Tour de Tucson...a 109 mile ride around Tucson.  Did pretty good with the ride but I made the mistake of consuming a powdered, energy drink that did not set well with my stomach.  It was around mile 80 and I thought that I was going to puke.  Not fun.  Lost a bunch of time due to this.

Before the El Tour, I did an overnight bicycle ride to Glenwood, NM.  60+miles each day.  On the way back home, I met Simon and Alia, who are from Australia, at the gas station/store in Cliff, NM.  Chatted them up for a bit, thought they were good people, and invited them to stay with Eileen and me at our house in Silver City.  They were going to stay in a motel and our house is MUCH better than a motel.  They stayed two nights.  Wonderful company and people.  Those Aussies!  They have been on an amazing bicycle trip from Canada.  Prior to the start of their ride, they were both employed, living in Toronto, Canada.  Money was saved up, jobs were quit, and off they went on their world tour.  Brave souls.  Oh, and on the way, they took a side trip to Albuquerque, flew to Las Vegas, NV, and got MARRIED.  A side trip, right!  That's a committed, long term, side trip, if you ask me.  Anywhooo...they are two of the nicest people we've met.  In fact, I would say that all  of the touring cyclists that I've met, here in Silver City and on the road cycling, have been very friendly, nice people.  Speaking as a cyclist and as a touring cyclist, there is no feeling quite as good as the one I get when someone talks with me when I'm on the road, buys me a meal or a drink, and, even more incredible, is the feeling I get when I've been invited to stay at someone's, a newly made friend's, home.  Hard to tell you all what that's like or what it means.  A good feeling to know...  Back to Simon and Alia...they are headed to Central America (not on bikes) and, at some point, headed to Ireland to visit Alia's Uncle, sometime in April/2011, then it's back to Australia and job hunting again.  While they were with us in Silver City, we shared many stories and had a few beers or two.  After leaving Silver City, they headed up Emory Pass.  I didn't have the heart to tell them that it's a good, long climb...I just emphasized their ability to do the climb...which they did.  But it was a hard climb.  With or without extra gear on the bike.  Simon emailed me after I had completed the El Tour, wondering why others from Silver City had done better than me in the El Tour.  I told him that I didn't want to embarrass those other, younger riders.  Too compassionate, I guess.

On this past Friday night, 12/3/11, Eileen and I met Danny and Theron from Austin, TX.  They are brothers and are headed to Seal Beach, CA.  They were at Diane's in Silver City, eating some pizza, planning on staying at the Silver City KOA.  We weren't able to accommodate them at our house, which I would have loved to do.  We were in the midst of many things that had to get done so didn't have the time to commit to inviting them to stay with us.  The night was warm, the next day was even warmer, so I'm sure they did well.  They were off to Safford, AZ, the next day.  I wasn't sure they'd make that ride (about 120 miles), but, after reading their blog, I think they could have made it.  Their blog will tell all.  I spent a few minutes with them at Diane's, talking about their plans and my recent cross country ride.  Eileen and I paid for their meal at Diane's.   It's always time to pay it forward.  In thanks for the kindnesses that were shown to me when I needed them on my recent bicycle trip.  It's a good feeling to know on both sides of those kindnesses, I assure you.  So, I'll be following their blog to see how their doing, just like I'm following Simon/Alia on their blog.  Blogs  are great for this type of thing.  Next time I bicycle long distance, I'm buying a smart phone before I go so I don't have to rely on libraries/motels for computer access.  Maybe a Samsung Galaxy Tab???  They look good and are small...7" screen.

The day is warm.  It's been two weeks since I rode the El Tour, so I'm off for a short ride today.  And tomorrow?  Hope so.  Happy holidays to all!  Merry Christmas!  Happy New Year!!!???  Happy Solstice!!  Best time of the year...getting ready to start another, exciting year.  Let's keep those conservative Republicans in check, y'all hear?