I've met a few in the last week in the form of folks touring the USA by bikes, horses, foot & wagons. Now the long haul truckers come into play as 3 of the bike tourers were riding the Long Haul Trucker tour bikes from www.surlybikes.com Smart choice in a touring bike I'd say after owning a Surly bike for the last 3 years & these 3 spoke nothing but positive of their Surly's. One was Jack from www.jackandthecitylights.org who was traveling from Seattle to NY, then on to France, Spain, the Middle East & possibly Australia.
Then came 2 ladies traveling from Boston to California as well as a guy traveling on bare feet with a donkey & his dog trying to get Bill Gates attention, then a minister traveling extremely light on horseback from South Carolina to ?, 2 days ago it was some Mormons retracing the footsteps of ancestors on the Mormon Trail, then 4 old guys biking from Pine Bluffs to Council Bluffs and finally today Carlos & Joe from www.realgeeksride.com heading to Portland from Mass. I think.
This has just been the last week or two & the only ones I've talked too, I've seen quite a few others passing through that I didn't get a chance to speak to, I've got to hand it to them, they're all BALLSY! We've had some pretty extreme weather the last few weeks in the form of extreme heat AND thunderstorms, hail & tornadoes, in a lot of ways I envy all of them though as this is something I want to try someday & I'm taking notes from ALL of them about strategy, equip, miles, rest days, food & everything else that goes with long distance touring. Perhaps I'll get my chance someday.
We have a lot of historic trails through here & I've heard of other groups coming through in the future including an all women motorcycle group re-tracing a famous ride made by some ladies many years ago on Indian motorcycles & some antique car group doing a cross country journey. Routes we have close to us are the Oregon Trail, Mormon Trail, Pony Express Trail, California Trail, the Old Lincoln Highway & let's not forget the countless fur trappers who passed through here & faded away forever long before Paxton was on the map. Speaking of Paxton, we're celebrating 100 years this year, so if your passing through by bike, motorcycle, classic car, motorhome, horse, wagon, etc. etc. etc. stop & say "HI" & wash down that trail dust at one of our 3 watering holes or stop in the new winery, appropriately named 5 Trails ( www.5trailswinery.com ) for a nice refreshing break for a weary traveler.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
The Tour Divide that is, www.tourdivide.org the toughesst bike race EVER! Started last Friday in Banff, Canada & ends whenever in Antelope Wells, NM for those lucky enough to finish, this event is MY Super Bowl of the year, got to admit, I could care less for football unless my son is playing it & this stuff is just to damn good NOT to follow along, I especially like listening to the podcasts & following the spots.
I've always rooted for Dave Nice who is a fixie ridin' freak & is doing it on his own this year south to north, so for the north to south race I'm cheering for Joe Meiser, Jill Homer & Jay & Tracey Petervary (pictured with the tandem above) it's hard to believe how grueling this race must be on the mind, body & spirit, I'm definitely an armchair Tour Divide fan because I'm pretty sure the odds of me ever trying something of this magnitude are slim to none, best of luck to all the divide racers wherever you may be tonight!
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
There's so many forms of cycling, mtb, road, joy-riding around town with the kids, competitive racing, fitness, touring, etc. but last Thursday night I run into some folks who were on the road, on bikes, living for Christ with no real destination in mind. There were 3 men & 3 women & I'm not up on all the different religions but by the way they were dressed I'm guessing Quakers, long skirts, smocks down to the knees, long pants, bonnets, wool caps, beards on the men, waist length hair on the women, all wearing sandals & everything they owned was packed on their bikes as that was home for them.
I escorted them south of town to some ponds at 10:00 at night to find a secluded campsite & you would have thought I'd given them a suite at a Holiday Inn for night, very grateful. The next morning at 6:30 they were gone & this note was scratched in the road "Thank You & God Bless" I did however catch up to them in one of our parks cooking breakfast & waiting on some more of their own to catch up from the east, it was there that I gave them some homeade cookies that Jessie had made the night before & again, very grateful.
It's really had me thinking since running into them the level of commitment it must take to live this style of life, one guy said this has been his life since 1983. What a challenge it must be living that way every day, not knowing what the weather will be, who or what you'll meet up with, where your next meal will come from, WOW, I thought finishing the Dakota 5-o was a challenge, I wonder how long I could last at this lifestyle!