Miscellany and Trivia - Two Old Guys Take On A Continent - CycleBlaze

March 28, 2023

Miscellany and Trivia

35 days to launch.  I think I've laid about as much groundwork for this journal as anyone can stand.  You probably don't want to know when I add a few M5 nylon insert lock nuts to my kit (I did yesterday ) or knock some items off my pre-launch checklist (I did today).  So after this post I hope to descend into a self-induced blog coma for a few weeks, until there's something meaningful to talk about. Before I enter hibernation, a few thoughts.

Change of Perspective

I was out for a ride today and noticed many large patches of a reddish-purple flower along the way. Henbit aka Henbit Deadnettle (great name for a Dickens character) aka Lamium amplexicaule.


In my lawn, this plant is a weed. I pay good money to a lawn service to keep it at bay.  On the side of the trail, in a bar ditch or out in a pasture it's a wildflower. On a bike I can see the world through a different lens than the one I look though at home or from a car.

Great Read

The book I'm currently reading is Major Taylor by Conrad and Terry Kerber, the story of a black cyclist from Indiana over 100 years ago. The first paragraph of the Prologue:

"In 1907, amid a time of unspeakable racial cruelty, the world's most popular athlete was not pitcher Cy Young or Christy Mathewson.  It wasn't shortstop Honos Wagner, center fielder Ty Cobb, nor was he a baseball player.  During a period of frequent lynchings, the world's most popular athlete wan't even white.  He was an oft-persecuted, black bicycle racer named Marshall W. 'Major' Taylor."

It's worth your time.

Blue Zones

From Wikipedia:

"Blue zones are regions in the world where people are claimed to live, or have recently lived, longer than average, identified by Gianni Pes, Michel Poulain and Dan Buettner.

Five blue zones have been posited: Okinowa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Icaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California."

The longevity of the people in these areas is attributed in large part to their diets. For Christmas I gave my wife one of the blue zones cookbooks written by Dan Buettner. After the fact I discovered that  Dan Buettner holds three Guinness World Records for transcontinental cycling.

  • 15,536 miles from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina ("Americastrek", 1986)
  • 12,888 miles along the 48th parallel around the world ("Sovietrek", 1990)
  • 11,885 miles from Bizerte, Argentina to Cape Agulhas, South Africa ("Africatrek", 1992)

I'll be thinking about him along the way, while I'm eating.

Rise of the Omnivores

Some comments elsewhere in this journal dealt with the relationship issues between two riders crossing the country together on very different bikes. Ed on his long-wheelbase recumbent pedaling slowly up the hills behind me, then (theoretically) screaming past me on the ensuing downhills. But the difference between our bikes is not the great divide. It's our diets.

Ed's is a whole foods plant based diet (T&S, or Twigs and Seeds, in scientific parlance). Dan Buettner would be proud. I'm an omnivore.  Dan despises me.

I do, however, see the opportunity for cooperative foraging in case of a food crisis on the road.  Ed can graze the pasturage on the roadside, and I can chase the grasshoppers he scares up.


When I re-emerge from my cave.

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Torsten LifIn all honesty (I was the one who commented to Ed about speed differences) I lose more on the uphills than I gain on the downhills. That's the unfortunate truth of the physics of it all. But in my personal case the total absence of butt, neck and hand pains means I can put in longer hours without discomfort.
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7 months ago
David HendersonI will be starting the Transamerica route in May. I hope to see the two of you on the road at some point this summer
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7 months ago
John ChimahuskyTo David HendersonIs "Rollin' ocean to ocean" your journal for this years ride?
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7 months ago
David HendersonYes, I will be updating it a bit this week with some additional information as well as a new start date
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7 months ago
Sandy EarleHi Jim and Ed, I am planning to ride the TransAm Eastern Express route as well, starting in DC and ending probably in Oregon unless I decide to ride to the Washington coast from Missoula. Unfortunately I had a painful interaction with 2 aggressive dogs while riding recently and ended up with 7 stitches. I hope to start May 15th if possible. I’m also thinking of joining the regular TransAm in Eureka Kansas instead of Walden CO as I think I’ll be pretty lonely on the road by then.

I hope I get to meet you two but probably won’t be able to catch up.


Sandy Earle

p.s. my husband is insisting on sagging for me especially since the dog attack. Oh well, at least he’s a good cook (and good company).
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7 months ago
Keith AdamsA chance encounter with another cyclist while we were each out for a day ride about a month ago led to his telling me about the "blue zone" phenomenon. As I have no desire to outlive my resources I'm unlikely to adopt the diet prevalent in those areas, but it was an interesting conversation.
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7 months ago