Odds and ends - In the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies - CycleBlaze

March 21, 2019

Odds and ends

Spring is here, so I guess we’re not waiting around for it any longer.  It must be time to close out the preamble for this tour.   I think I’ll shut this down for a few days while we get ready for departure, and pick up again once we’re on the road again.  First though, I’ve got a few odds and ends to discuss.


We’ve been back in town at this time partly because we’re here to help celebrate my father’s birthday and to reacquaint ourselves with friends and family, but also because we don’t want to miss the Portland International Film Festival.  It’s been an annual focal point for our lives for at least fifteen years, and it wouldn’t feel right to miss it.  The only year we missed completely since we started going was in 2010, after I wrecked my knee and was housebound or in recovery.  We had already purchased our season’s pass, and I’ve always felt grateful that they just applied it to the next year instead.

So how was it?  About as always - some wonderful films we’d never see elsehere, and some stinkers that left us wishing we’d been somewhere else.   Every year seems to have a dominant theme, and this year it was strong and resourceful female protagonists.  Two of our favorites featured bicycles, so they’re worth noting here for you to watch for if you’re a filmgoer.  Afghan Cycles is a documentary about the Afghan national women’s cycling team and the unique and disturbing challenges Afghanian women cyclists face.  Very inspirational, well worth seeking out and supporting.  My favorite film of the series though was definitely Woman at War, an Icelandic drama/comedy about an eco-warrior trying to save her corner of the planet.  It is remarkable in more ways than you can imagine.  One of its minor themes though involves a hapless South American cycle tourist, panniers and all.  If nothing else, you should see this film for insights into what could go wrong on your next bike tour.


Some of you may remember the fun we had in Taiwan a few months ago when we got separated on the road playing Who’s in Front.  Neither of us wants to go through this stress again, so Rachael has done some research to see if there are any tools that might help us find each other if we get separated.  She’s found one that looks promising: Livetrack, a Garmin application that pairs your Garmin device with your cellphone.  With this, you can issue an invitation to someone else to follow your track.  We tried it for the first time today, and it looks like it works well as long as you have cell phone coverage.  Here is the invitation I received to follow Rachael’s ride, and a print of the route she was riding at the time.  It’s live of course, so you can see exactly where she is in real time.  

An invitation! I accept.
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I see that Rachael’s on her way back from Gresham, biking back home at about 13 mph. If I start now and bike hard, I can meet her halfway.
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Now here’s a familiar face! Right about where I expected to find her.
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Finally, thanks for following along with and encouraging us during the preseason.  I know it’s hasn’t been a tour for these past ten weeks, but really it feels like we’re always on tour now, and have just taking a brief breather.  I’ve enjoyed jotting down some notes and saving some photos to help us remember this interlude years from now.  Thanks for indulging me.

See you in Palermo!

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