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?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

PABLO y ETIENNE...Cycling Tourists En Route To Tierra del Fuego!

Well, when it rains it pours.  Over the past month, I've gotten so many requests via Warmshowers.org from people who are riding Adventure Cycling Association's Southern Tier Route.  During that time, we've hosted 6 cyclists.  Two were riding Adventure Cycling Association's Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, two others were riding individual routes that sometimes intersected the Southern Tier Route, and the last two were riding to Tierra del Fuego.  There had to be another 6 or more riders that I had to say no to for various reasons... out of town, other plans, or we just wanted a break.  I hate saying no.

The riders we meet, with only one exception, are pretty interesting people who view the world differently than most.  It's a small group, really, ... not just among people, but other cyclists, too.  Riders who choose to get on a bike with all they need to sleep, ride, eat, drink, dress on a daily basis and head off into the sunset or sunrise.  Checking out what's over the hill, down the road, on the other side of the fence.  People who don't do these types of adventures are either envious or do not understand, at all, why we choose to do these silly rides.  Nor can they envision how we do it because they believe that it's so hard they can't do it.  Or it's too far.  Or they're too old.  Fact is, we just ride our bikes.  One day at a time.  Sort of like an alcoholic stops drinking according to AA.  Get up.  Get dressed.  Get breakfast.  Get the bike packed up.  Get on the bike.  Ride.  Not more complicated than that.  Truth be told, it's a mental task not a physical task.  Sure, the initial time out on the bike is an adjustment, even if in shape, but it becomes a mental thing.  Getting up day after day, riding whatever distance, finding food, water, campsite, lodging, etc, then doing it again.

Well, these guys...Pablo (28 yrs old) and Etienne (26 yrs old)...what a duo!  Truly, two of the nicest cyclists we've had stay with us.  The last 6 cyclists have been very cool people in ways that have a certain commonality to them.  Young, interesting, want to see things, want to push themselves in ways they've not done before, go to places they've not seen before, meet people along the way.  Part of the small group I mentioned in the previous paragraph.  Pablo is a citizen of Mexico, United States, and Canada, I believe...we did drink a fair amount of wine and beer, so I may be a bit off on this.  But, hey, it was fun.  The interesting part...he was born in Mexico but he grew up in Bonn, Germany, and his mother is Puerto Rican...but he's not a German citizen because he'd have to surrender the other citizenships.  Go figure.  He and Etienne met in Spain where they were in a college class together.  WTF?  Once they spoke a common language, they got to be friends.  Very cool.  Etienne is a French Canadian from Montreal.  He also speaks several languages, but is only a Canadian citizen if my memory serves.  Not putting money on any of this, but am willing to discuss over a beer.  Ok?

Pablo contacted me via Warmshowers.org and asked about staying with us.  Uncertain about their timeline, an arrival date was a bit fuzzy.  They were about 5-6 days out from Silver City and were coming down the Continental Divide and the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route and roads.  Etienne had started up in Alaska; Pablo started in Albuquerque, NM, where they met up.  (BTW, Etienne met Hannes and Annalies on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.  Two riders from Europe who stayed with us earlier this year.)  Both were committed to Tierra del Fuego as the destination.  Turns out they made it to our house on election night where they had to suffer listening to me talk politics while drinking wine.  A bad combination...alcohol and politics.  They opted to stay for 3 nights so either they were desperate or just willing to tolerate my political commentary.  Either way, Eileen and I were very happy having them stay with us.  Always helpful, willing to cook meals, clean the dishes, and tell stories...like most of our cycling guests have done.  Pablo and Etienne were quite charming, interesting characters, varied backgrounds, and were out looking at the world.  How cool is that?  The younger generation is much more inquisitive than my generation was...and, of course, there are many more opportunities, too.  Not being restricted by the limits of their parents, grandparents, etc., this generation is moving forward in ways not contemplated or considered by me or my generation.  Want to travel?  How about Vietnam?  Get to kill people and, hopefully, if you survive, come back fucked up.  Etienne and Pablo have MUCH better options.

Anyways, I can't say enough positive about these guys, as well as the other cyclists that stayed with us this Fall.  Enough banter...some photos and videos follow.  Take your time.  Watch them.  If you want to see some way cooler videos, check out Etienne's blog, CycloExpedition Americas.  He showed us some other videos that will be put on the blog as soon as he gets to it.  While in Silver City, they did a little western cowboy themed video.  Looking forward to seeing that.  They used my cowboy hats in the video.  LOL...
Pablo...cowboyed up.

Etienne...the Quebecois Cowboy!
The  hombres trying to find a western theme for the short video they shot in Silver City, NM, for Etienne's blog.

More searching for just the right theme...

Etienne captivated by Eileen's fiddle playing...
Eileen being shy...
Time to exit for today. I've got other photos and videos of these guys and Eileen that I'll put up in the next post. "Shake" by French Cowboys. Couldn't resit it, Etienne!! Enjoy!

Now, one for Pablo...German cowboys!!! LOL...