Cycling Along The Way...

My photo
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, January 2, 2015

Katrien and Manu...Belgium Cyclists.

"Who put lemonade in my lemonade?" ~ W.C. Fields

Never mess with someone's lemonade... Not related in any fashion, but I like the quote by Fields.  Manu and Katrien contacted me back in November via Warmshowers.org (www.warmshowers.org) as they were riding the Adventure Cycling Association's Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes-and-maps/adventure-cycling-route-network/great-divide-mountain-bike-route/).

The duo, in their 20's/30's, started in Alaska doing some outdoor travels, hiking/camping in the snow!  After that, they headed south and picked up the Great Divide trail in Canada.  How did they afford this long distance trip?  They saved their money and, when they had saved enough, they quit their jobs and headed out down the road.  Manu works at an oudoor store, so he will most likely get hired back on his return since he's an experienced hiker, cyclist, etc., and has used quite a bit of the gear the store sells.  So, when customers ask about a product, he's able to speak to them from having used the equipment.  Katrien will have to look for work, but she was not crazy about her job that she left for this trip.

Here are a few photos:
                     Manu and Katrien eating breakfast...
          Manu packing up, getting ready to head to Mexico...

       Manu's touring bicycle with Rohloff hub...
         Katrien and Eileen being videod by Manu...
      Katrien...
          Manu...
       Katrien and Eileen sharing some laughs...

These folks were great fun and will be headed to Cancun, Mexico, after leaving Silver City.  From Cancun, they'll return to Belgium.  They arrived at our house the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, just days after Eileen and I had returned from the funeral for our friend, Bruce (see the previous post on my website).  So, we were readjusting (and still are) from that shock. For Thanksgiving, we'd accepted an invite from friends to go to their house, which we'd accepted, but they had no room for more guests!  They'd invited 21 people to their house!!!  Brave people!!!  As it turned out, Manu and Katrien were able to experience a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with some other friends and cyclists who live at the Bike Haus, so they had their fill of turkey and pumpkin pie...and more.

I am new to using Apple products with the recent purchase of an iPad Air 2, so inserting videos in these posts is not as easy as it is with Microsoft.  There must be an easier way, but I'm still learning how to use this thing.  Hopefully, I'll learn how to do it.  
1.  Manu videoing Katrien and Eileen: http://youtu.be/z7hcH3NJmsI
2.  Katrien and Manu leaving for Mexico: http://youtu.be/aKVS--j6HaM

Katrien and Manu ended up staying 3 nights with us, which was good because they were such fun.  And good cooks.  Tiramisu, appetizers, and wine.  Hard to beat that.  I cooked dinner and we all ate too much....more fun.  While riding the Divide Route, they met up with a couple, Sarah and Matt...Sarah is from Australia; Matt is from England.  The couples ended up arriving in Silver City and met up with each other for Thanksgiving and for a bit of spirits/food at Gila Hike & Bike on the evening before Thanksgiving.  So, they left Silver City together.  Matt and Sarah were headed to Phoenix, while Manu and Katrien were headed to Mexico.  

Manu and Katrien have a website: http://cyclingsummits.be/  If so inspired, check it out and follow their ride.  What I still find amazing is the number of people we've met as Warmshowers.org hosts from all over the world.  Having lived in many large cities, where you'd think you'd meet people from other countries, no place compares to Silver City and the intersection of the Continental Divide hiking trail, the Southern Tier Bicycle Route, and the Great Divide Route.  We have met and have stayed in contact with many of the people who have stayed with us from all over the world.  Austria, Australia, Germany, England, Scotland, Switzerland, Belgium, and from many cities throughout the U.S.  Whodathunk, eh?

Meeting the likes of Katrien and Manu is what makes being a Warmshowers host so interesting and fun.  If you're interested, please sign up, particularly if you're a cyclist, too.  While on my long ride this year, I'll be using Warmshowers for places to stay while on the road.   And I'm excited about meeting so many new people!

Ok, time to exit with a tune...Richard Thompson doing "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=j0kJdrfzjAg).  One of my favorites from a great singer/songwriter.  Happy trails to you two, Manu and Katrien.  Come back anytime!!  Will see you in Belgium on my bicycle.