Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What's Next?

"So, what's next?" you ask.

My plan was to spend a week or so chilling in Seattle after I returned from the Sierra-Cascades ride. During this time, I would relax, swap out my tires, throw some additional gear into the panniers (bear spray and the such), and then head out for the next adventure -- a few months riding the Icefields Parkway and The Great Divide.

My route for the Icefields Parkway and The Great Divide.

For those of you not familiar with these rides, the Icefields Parkway runs from Jasper to Banff, in Alberta, Canada. The ride is 140 miles of flippin' gorgeousness, with picture perfect lakes and icefields as far as one's laser-vision-corrected eyes can see.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Video Montage: Sierra-Cascades

I finally found some free time in my busy, R'n'R-packed schedule to create a video montage for this summer's Sierra-Cascades bike ride.

For those of you who have loyally followed all of my posts from the trip, you'll recognize a majority of the photos in the video. However, I added a few never-before-seen-by-the-public photos to encourage you to watch the video...

...and maximize my views count! Clever, eh?

The first song is called "You're the Only Thing in Your Way," by Cloud Cult. You may recall from my Day #21: The Soundtracks of My Mind post that this song cycled through my mind every time my I-am-loving-this-bike-touring-thing smile crossed my face. It thus seemed appropriate that this song serve as the opening tune for the video montage.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Pleasant Surprise, When Least Expected

I had been single for about a year. Knowing that I'd be away most of the summer on bike trips, dating wasn't high on my priority list. For one, it's difficult to find a potential suitor who is near my age and who has the desire and the means to be able to break free from the work world and explore all that life has to offer. For two, I wasn't terribly interested in entering a relationship that would distract me from my upcoming bike trips.

With the encouragement of my friend, Cedar, I reenabled my online dating profile a month or so before I left for the Sierrra-Cascades ride. She had convinced me that if I didn't put myself out there, I'd never find anyone.

There were quite a few email exchanges with various potential suitors as well as a few first "dates" (oh, how I hate that word). Alas, none of the gentlemen excited me. I came to the conclusion that I was neither mentally nor emotionally interested in dating.

Nine days before I left for my summer of biking, I logged into the online dating website to disable my profile. In the upper left-hand corner of the webpage was this photo:

The photo that caught my eye.

This was a fresh face -- one I had not yet seen. I thought to myself: "Self, you might as well enjoy some calorie-free eye candy before you voluntarily remove yourself from the online dating world." And so, to appease my taste for sweets, I clicked through to the guy's other photos:

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Reflections on My Recent Trip

I've ridden three "big" bike tours thus far -- a 21-day trip down the Pacific Coast, a 52-day cross-country trip from Portland, OR to Portland ME, and a 50-day ride through the Sierra-Cascades from the Mexican border to the Canadian border.

After all three tours, I've reflected on the lessons learned from the trips. Doing so has not only provided closure for the trips, but it has also enabled me to continually improve my touring experiences by recognizing those things that did and did not go well.

With each subsequent trip, the number of lessons learned has decreased. I interpret this to imply that the more touring experience I acquire, the closer my experience asymptotes to the ideal touring experience.

Unlike my first two trips, however, some of the lessons learned from my recent Sierra-Cascades trip have been more profound. A mere statement, abbreviated within the confines of a bullet point, fails to fully capture the importance of these lessons.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Lessons Learned: Sierra-Cascades

My recent Sierra-Cascades tour was neither the longest in terms of miles nor the longest in terms of days. The trip, nonetheless, offered opportunities for learning.

Just as I have done for my previous bike trips, I have composed a list of the lessons learned from my Sierra-Cascades ride: