During my bike touring days, strangers often offered water, food, and even a place to stay.
When someone is walking around wearing a gaudy t-shirts with the name of the state they live, or even more WTF, a man wearing a sports shirt with the name of a twenty something year old on his back, they usually draw smirks, head shakes and locals often ignore them. “Tourists” hrumph. When someone is on a loaded touring bike, or carrying a backpack, with a tent and cooking gear dangling, people are interested and often want to know the story of these “Travelers”
I had chanced upon two friend who are on the move this spring. Both are documenting their adventures and are well worth a look see. The bikers are just beginning their adventure, and the hikers have plenty of material to peruse on YouTube.
Adventures in Backpacking is a YouTube channel by two local high school teachers. Her trail name is “Pug Dog” his is “North Star”. For those not in the know, hikers, especially long distance hiker, take on trail names. It usually takes a while to figure out your own name, and very often, others they meet on the trail figure that out for them.
Follow along as we backpack across the United States and abroad! Who are we? Aly, known on the trail as Pug Dog, and Bud, known as North Star, are married, English teachers, and have a passion for the outdoors. This channel’s purpose is to take viewers with us on the trail as we complete day hikes, short overnight trips, and longer thru-hikes. We talk gear, trail experiences, hiking styles, and more!
Wheelpushers on Facebook Tony and Nichole have just begun their cross country bike adventure from Washington State to Washington, DC.
For those of you that don’t know us, we wanted to take a moment to introduce ourselves. Tony is an avid lifetime cyclist, former competitive bmx rider, former owner of a bikemessenger company in Columbus, Ohio and currently works part time in tv and film as an actor. Nicole is an artist and teacher who will soon be wrapping up her 2nd Master’s Degree, an MFA from UMass Dartmouth.” MORE
Today was the second day of my faux bike commute. I did 10 miles this morning and had planned an evening ride for the faux bike commute home. Before that however, we committed to a drive-by. A 50th birthday for a family member. Drive-by’s have taken on a whole new meaning the last couple of months.
We drove quite a distance to the meeting point where I noticed the wind was tearing all the birthday balloons to shreds. We anticipated this would be quite an event. Sort of like the political, drive around the city events, when I was a pre teen. (the 50’s). Those were lead by an sound truck with a half mile line of cars trailing, blaring their horns. Most of the drivers has a pack of Lucky Strikes rolled up their t-shirt sleeve.
This drive-by was 6 cars and the event lasted all of five minutes.
Things were working out well for my evening commute. Howevahh….. on the ride home I couldn’t help but to notice the bending of the trees, and flags flapping at full stretch. The clincher was the two wind turbines as I approached my neighborhood. They were spinning like crazy. Well, that was the first clincher. The biggie was when I saw a group of boys shooting hoops as we passed the park. They would exaggerate the height of the shot to the basket, and at the apex, the ball would change directions and return to the shooter like a boomerang.
“I’m going to pass on the evening ride” I said to wifey. “Good idea” was her retort.
And here we are.
One of the highlights of National Bike Month, was Bike to Work day. Many communities, especially in cities, made this quite an event. There were pit stops that offered coffee and snacks to bike commuters. Many also offered swag (stuff we all get, or souvenirs, wearables and gifts.)
The one thing I miss most about my working days, was the daily bike commute to the office. Home was a little over thirty miles from work. I can remember the stress of planning my first bike commute. My research of finding a place to park was pretty extensive. I settled on the local high school nine miles from the office, and set a date for the first commute.
I was apprehensive as I drove that first day to the high school lot. Like the times leading up to my bike tours, all I could think of was things going askew. All the bad things that could happen. Nine miles is nothing, I kept telling myself. Finally, the first bike commute began. I’m thinking back now that it took a couple dozen pedal strokes when I realized, “this is pretty cool.” Over time, I settled on three different spots for my bi-modal commute. Fifteen, ten and fives miles options that were dependent on the time of year and if I left home on time.
I have talked about those days a few times over the past two weeks on friends blogs. Yesterday I had the epiphany. Back then, it was 10 miles in the morning, then 10 miles again in the late afternoon. This morning I rode 10 miles, and as soon as I finish posting this to my site, I’m going to do the afternoon 10 miles. Just like I did for many of those best times at work. Tomorrow I’ll do it again. The conclusion? I’m back to daily bike commuting.