Mark Boyd - Member Profile - CycleBlaze

Member Profile

Mark Boyd

Journals

Title Ratings
Touring on an electrified Crank Forward bike 36

About

I got back into serious cycling when I was in my late forties as a result of being part of a 6 week research seminar in Santa Barbara CA where I brought a new bike.  I did my first tour at 49 . I live in Asheville NC and my older sister lived in Arlington VA, so I decided to ride to visit her using the Blue Ridge Parkway and and Skyline Drive . That was a great, and challenging, intro to bicycle touring!

The next year I did my first cross USA ride, riding from Eugene OR back to Asheville. Since I was a university faculty member, I was able to do that tour on my 3 month long summer break. On the first day of that ride, I crashed near Salem OR and broke my left collarbone. I was taken in and taken care of for a week by some great folks in Dallas OR. Then I rode on across the US with a badly broken - two places - collarbone averaging over 90 miles a day.  It had healed by the time I got home.

My mother-in-law wanted me to keep a journal of that trip so I created a roughly 50 page booklet, including back and white images, for her to read. On my next summer tour, where I rode up to and through before riding back home, I  carried a computer and wrote my journal of the trip on it. When I got home, I scanned the images I had made and added them to the text files I had created during the trip and wrote html code to make web pages for each day, then I created a web site and uploaded those pages to it.  Later, I  created web pages for my first two tours and posted them on my site.

The URL for the site  is http://www.cs.unca.edu/~boyd/bicycling.html and it still exists.  I did summer tours in the US and Canada and posted them on that website from  1998 till 2012.  Starting in 2008, some of my summer tours were in Europe. In the spring of 2011, when I retired at 65, I started doing European tours most summers and fall and spring tours in the US. I also switched to posting my tours, and other related stuff, on https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/  my user id there is mjb.

In 2019, my last summer tour was shortened because I developed severe spinal stenosis. I was still able to ride and riding greatly reduced my pain so I continued my tour for several weeks before the spinal stenosis got bad enough that it became difficult to walk. Then, read about it in the journal, I had some luck and was able to get back to Asheville in late July and get diagnosed and, fortunately, was able to get out of stenosis  by the end of 2018. 

When I got home, my wife and I already had tickets to go to Germany in October to visit our kids and grand kids there.  My stenosis was still bad and I needed to ride each day to manage the pain from it, so I arranged with our kids to ride their bicycles every day while we were visiting with them. Their bikes were e-bikes so that is what I rode.  They live in southern Germany in hilly country near the Black Forest so the riding was good. That led to me converting my US touring bikes to e-bikes - you can read about those conversions in the article section at crazyguys e-bike topic:  https://ebikes.topicwise.com/doc/?o=1mr&doctype=article

Then the pandemic hit and, while I haven't done any touring, I have continued the daily ride habit that I acquired while I was still suffering from stenosis using both my upright and recumbent touring bikes that I converted to e-bikes.    Now, at 75 yeas old, I hope to be able to tour on one of my e-bikes this summer.