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?

Friday, November 30, 2012

MIKE & LOREN...NOLA Bound Via San Diego On The ACA Southern Tier Route

This past Monday, I got an email via Warmshowers.org from a guy by the name of Mike Long.  He and his significant other, Loren Farese, were en route to California, presently riding the Adventure Cycling Association's Southern Tier Route.  Meandering across the U.S. following various roads/routes with no goal other than checking out places like Asheville, NC, and seeing Loren's family in Florida, they expected to be in Silver City, NM, by Thursday.  Friday, at the latest.  When I spoke to Eileen to gauge her reaction, I knew that I'd be saying no to Mike.  We've had several riders stay with us over the past month or so...and Eileen wanted a break.  Emailed Mike on Monday to let him know that we wouldn't be able to host him and Loren, to which he replied on Tuesday stating that he understood, that he and Loren had just spent several months in Ireland, that he played cello, and that he'd studied ethnomusicology (please, don't ask me what that is..I haven't a clue, but Eileen drools whenever she speaks the word!).  So, knowing Eileen's weakness for talking music, playing music, dreaming music, teaching music, listening to music...(and you thought cyclists had their issues!), I went to the front bedroom where Eileen was playing her fiddle.  On telling Eileen that Mike and Loren had been to Ireland recently, played music, and had studied ethnomusicology, she folded....and said, "Yes."  Back online, I sent an email to Mike on Tuesday, but not knowing precisely where they were and knowing that cell phone coverage/WiFi access in this area can be sketchy, I called him later on Tuesday to let him know they could stay...both Thursday and Friday, if they wanted.  Since they'd not heard back from anyone else in Silver City, he accepted my offer.  I DID explain to him my wife's addictions to all things music and that he could be subjected mercilessly to Eileen's questions, etc.  He accepted despite my warnings.

Wednesday morning, I contacted Mike again, realizing they'd be out of cellphone coverage soon after leaving Hatch, NM.  Primarily, I called him to tell him that and to ask that he call me after he got over Emory Pass and was back in cellphone coverage, which would be around San  Lorenzo, NM.  That way, I'd have a decent idea of when to expect them at our house.  About 1pm on Thursday, Mike contacted me to inform me of their whereabouts...San Lorenzo, NM...about 20+ miles from Silver City.  Knowing the terrain and how loaded touring bikes can slow the pace, I approximated their time of arrival to be around 4pm.  I told Mike to call me when he got to the Walmart in Silver City and that I'd direct him to our house from  there.

They came farther into town than the Walmart and called me from the parking lot of Adobe Springs Restaurant, which is about 10 minutes away.  Gave directions and waited.  Stepped out to the front porch and soon saw Mike coming up College St.  On arrival to our house, I had them bring their bikes to the back of the house.  Quite safe back there and easier access to the house, as well.  Showed them the room, how to use the lights (remote control), and the bathroom.  Soon they were taking showers and I was finishing up making soup, cooking salmon, making a salad, cooking rice.  Found out Loren is a vegetarian.  Well, we had enough to feed her and us, so all was good.

Good couple.  And daring souls to boot.  They started this trip in Connecticut, after returning from Europe.  Plan was to check out towns as they cruised across America...checking out people, places, vibes, etc....hoping to find "the" place.  Seems like New Orleans is the lucky city that will be the home for these two for a while to come.  Got to be exciting to go looking for a place to be and find it.  So many don't.  So many don't even try.  Anyways, they started this trip with no previous training on loaded touring bikes!  Good to be young and strong.  And lots of willpower.  As they've journeyed, they've become more experienced, stronger, and confident.  Always good to see this kind of development.  Soon, they'll be part of that elite group of people who have, despite maybe knowing better, surrendered to the joys of the road and headed off into the horizon on a bicycle.  These two are graduates of Evergreen College in Washington.  In their search for a home and place to be, one guiding principle was that it had to be different than Olympia, WA, or other cities of the same/similar ilk.  NOLA, here they come!

Ok, here's a photo and a few videos.  One of the videos, as expected, didn't turn out...the video is fine.  The audio is the fast paced Donald Duck talk.  Who knows why this happens?  I don't.  The other two turned out.  Whatever...we enjoyed having these two stay with us.  Hope to see them in New Orleans when I do my long trip in 2015.  Sent them on their way this morning wit French toast made from a cranberry walnut bread.  Oh, and espressos, too.  They want to be home by Christmas.  I think they'll make it with time to spare.  Happy trails!

Mike Long and Loren Farese getting ready to head on out to Blackjack Campground.
Mike and Loren saying hello/goodby Silver City!
 Mike and Loren saying hello/goodbye Silver City Donald Duck style!!
 Mike and Loren heading out....
Ok, now it's time to say adios and close this post with a tune...hmmm, Mike plays cello; Loren plays banjo and other instruments...so, what would be appropriate???  A little New Orleans Jazz 2012 style.  Here's to your new home, guys!