My Apologies (once again), But This Time I Have An Interesting Excuse (page 3) - CycleBlaze

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My Apologies (once again), But This Time I Have An Interesting Excuse (page 3)

Jacquie GaudetTo David Heisner

I used to do paper journals, well, I did for the three long trips I took  (only one by bike) before my long hiatus with kids. By the time I started bike touring again, the electronic age was upon us. 

I carry an iPad Mini in a drop-proof case and an iPhone. I’ve never been one for composing text on a phone (and I can’t do it at all with my thumbs) but I was surprised to find I wrote most of my recent journal (note to self:  finish the damn thing!) on my phone. Writing on the iPad has become annoying since I got a better phone!  I will continue to carry the iPad for now so I can edit photos I take with my real camera but who knows, perhaps someday I will try photo editing on my phone. I doubt I will do a real tour without a real camera. 

All that said (I’m competing for the long-winded prize), I really like the interaction you can get with posting in real time. It’s possible to ignore the other online stuff but it takes discipline. 

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9 months ago
Wayne EstesTo David Heisner

Wayne, do you have any withdrawal symptoms?

I have an easy time adjusting to normal life after a tour. I'm retired and have no dependents. It helps that for the first several weeks after the tour I'm preoccupied with creating my tour journal. Too busy re-living the tour to get deep into news and commentary.

Another point I have made previously is that solo travelers can more easily focus their thoughts on the here and now. Group travelers inevitably get distracted with thoughts about the group.

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9 months ago
George HallTo Kelly Iniguez

When we come back home after a tour, I seldom feel as if I have missed anything on the news.

Getting away from the news is absolutely one of the greatest benefits of a bike tour for me - I find it cleansing to remove myself from current events for a few weeks or months.   Like Wayne, I never even turn on the TV in a motel room.  If I see any news, it's only because it's on a TV in a cafe or in the motel breakfast room or such - and even if so, I try to minimize my exposure to it by getting food to go or sitting somewhere out of the way if possible. 

Most of the time I have found that the news is pretty much the same when I return from a tour as it was when I left; there are still political scandals and whatever the latest mass shooting was - unfortunately, the news seems to change little.   Maybe someday I'll return from a bike tour and see this headline; "Man Returns From Bicycle Tour And Finds The World Is A Better Place Now."  Yeah, right...

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9 months ago
Jeff LeeTo George Hall

I rarely turn on the television in a motel. The exceptions are sometimes watching the weather forecast early in the morning before heading out, and occasionally keeping it on for a while to watch some of the local news. Almost all my tours are in rural America far from any major media market, and I think it's sometimes fun to see some of the quirky local news stories on small-market TV stations. The anchors on these stations are sometimes really unpolished and have a very local "flavor", which I find sort of interesting.

National news, though: I have no interest in that at all.

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9 months ago
George HallTo Jeff Lee

"Almost all my tours are in rural America far from any major media market, and I think it's sometimes fun to see some of the quirky local news stories"

Well, I agree with that sentiment.  While I don't watch TV at all, I really do enjoy small-town newspapers and sometimes find them at the hotel or at a local grocery store.  Those rags are great - I love them!  There are still some local papers out there catering to the news of their community and it's quite informing to see what's going on in the town or county.  Oftentimes they are a once-a-week publication, and sometimes you may even find that YOU are the local news of interest. 

From My Northern Tier Tour

On the Great Rivers South last fall I picked up the local newspaper in Mathiston, MS and discovered that there was a movement to build a 90-mile bicycle trail that passed near the town - that was big news for those folks.  Aside from the family reunions and such, you never know what interesting tidbits you may learn from the local newspapers.  So I guess I do pursue some news while touring - and as the front page of the Monroeville News above depicts, sometimes YOU may be the local news. 

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9 months ago
Wayne EstesTo George Hall

I just went to a dusty old photo album to find and scan this newspaper article about my 1989 BikeCentennial Northern Tier group. I forgot our hosts gave us all matching t-shirts. It was a long time ago!

3000 miles into a Seattle to Bar Harbor tour, nobody dropped out.

I had forgotten about this article. Thanks for jogging my memory. You made the top of page 1, but our article was buried on page 20.

Kelly, have a look at Reid's ultra-low and ultra-long recumbent. He's posing with both feet on the pedals, balanced with his left hand on the ground. 66 year old Reid was always first on the road and first to arrive at the next camp.

We were unplugged in 1989. No laptops or cell phones. No national ATM network. To get cash I had to go to a bank teller and get a cash advance from my Visa card. We communicated with home via pay phone and postcards.

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9 months ago
Kelly IniguezTo Wayne Estes

Do you remember if that was a homemade recumbent and panniers? I've seen nothing similar.

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9 months ago
Wayne EstesTo Kelly Iniguez

The bike is home-made using a design sold by Gardner Martin, founder of Easy Racers recumbents in California. The panniers were custom sewn by his wife. The cargo is almost entirely behind the seat, making the bike extremely aerodynamic.

During the descent from from Washington Pass in the North Cascades I was on my Trek 520 in a full tuck going 40+ mph and Reid passed me going 50 mph with a big grin on his face.

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9 months ago
Mark BinghamTo David Heisner

David, now I'm regretting my comments about not posting as you go because we haven't had the pleasure of reading about your trip. If you recall, the last lines of my comments were:  "I think writing in real time and waiting are both good, and just a matter of personal preference. The most important thing is that it gets done and you share it with us." 

How was your trip?

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3 months ago
David HeisnerTo Mark Bingham

Hi Mark,

Well long story short I did not go. Long story - Here's what happened. I had my flight and hotel reservations all set up months ahead of time. I was about 7 days from liftoff. I had finished boxing my bike and was 1/2 hour from getting it to FedEx to send to my Seattle hotel. 

My wife had a nasty eye infection in both eyes that we were worried about. She looked like she had gone a few rounds with Mike Tyson. After I checked her ears (you know Mike), we made an emergency appointment to see our optometrist. He says, oh that's a virile infection we'll need to see you in a week, use these eyedrops. Then he looked at me and said, by the way it's only a matter of time but you're next! After I pick my jaw off of the floor we left. I weighed my options as we drove home to my boxed bike. 

I wondered what a flight crew would say if I tried to walk onto the plane with two puffy, oozing, red and blood shot eyes. Or how would the hotel clerk, restaurant waitress ect think about my sickly appearance. I might fit in OK on the street but... I canceled everything. Fortunately, I didn't lose any money. And fortunately, but somehow annoyingly I didn't get the infection! 

I decided to reschedule to July 1. The cost of the flight was much higher with the shorter lead time and the weather was getting hotter, so my plan now is to wait until next spring to go. I'm thinking about just leaving from home and making a long round trip bike ride instead. That makes my leave time flexible. No reservations to make or meet, and leaving can be weather dependent. I'm retired. The downside is I live in Central Illinois so getting to something worth seeing will take a while. 

About the original discussion about journaling - An interesting book I read recently that might be pertinent is Peak Mind - Find Your Focus, Own Your Attention. It has a lot of discussion on what causes a person to lose focus and how to improve it. One interesting study showed that people who take a lot of photos on a trip tend to not have as vivid memories about their trips than those that don't take a lot of photos. The brain has more trouble moving short term memories to long term memory if the person is focusing on framing photos rather than just enjoying the scene. Something to think about. With that in mind, I think doing the journal after the trip might have some advantage?  Also, I'm thinking that the time spent on the computer during a trip could be time better spent making memories. I was following a journal here and the biker spent a huge amount of time daily writing his journal often not getting more than a few miles by noon of each day. I'm thinking a few notes at the end of the day or during the day then writing a full trip report afterwords is the best way for me. 

Either way I will share my trip here eventually. Thanks for asking! 

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3 months ago