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January 18, 2009


I think, maybe, when you set your sights on a far horizon it may not be completely in focus. But, as you approach it and the image sharpens, the whole of the task at hand comes crashing in. Maybe? This has happened to me many times, in the end its scary as all bejeezus, but it's rewarding in the end (I guess). Meantime: I will be out in Oregon, I think, soon. So don't get too mushy on me because although I am now bigger than you, I still intend to hurt you in the hills. It's what freinds do, and brothers do it even better. So you might want to keep those endless loops integrated into your emerging life a bit longer, lest you find your balls dragging on the road behind you. By the way, if I ship out my Colnago might I find it assembled, tuned and waiting for me on my arrival? (It's a dura-ace gruppo, but only an 8 speed. You'l tell me which cassette to send, right? ;))


Thank you for that wonderful vision.

As for you... first off, riding 'for no reason' is the reason we all first ride. Kids need no justification to spend all day out there at it, going everywhere, going nowhere. I think it's good to question things, but ultimately I hope you can keep this 'first love' of bikes because it keeps us riding and exploring and having fun for much longer than many of our other goals.

But at the same time I'm remembering a book by a very famous distance musher who mentioned 'dogs hate going in circles almost as much as people do' (he had some comments in there about observing migratory birds also). His point was that he felt training a distance team had to include some multi-day trips where they really WENT someplace.

So perhaps your brevet idea is still spot-on? Or STP or ???

Or maybe it's time to try something completely different... I used to rollerblade a lot in PDX, you could really chew some miles up w/ the path system there. I'm currently in the middle of XC ski season here in snowland. And you and the girls really should check out some of the hiking in the gorge this summer.

I'm still trying to nail Icicle Ridge this upcoming season. If you'd like a taste of something more remote and wild and mind-exploding-beautiful than anything you've probably torn off so far, you're more than welcome to join A Stranger-Neighbor From The North.

There's a lot of good stuff in those TED videos. Well worth spending time with.

Scott, you've been on an amazing journey for the past 3 years and you did what you had to do, and it worked! Maybe you need just a little courage to vary your routine a little. I love to ride and many of us count our miles every year, but in the end, it's only a number. Many of us ride because we want the miles to get/stay in shape, or we run x miles a week, or we run on a treadmill(ugh!). Lately, I've been thinking it would be a good thing to kill two birds with one stone: Get exercise and do some productive work while I'm at it. Chopping firewood, shoveling snow, turning the soil, raking leaves, building a house, mopping a floor, biking to the store...anything that needs doing and can be done with the body rather than a fossil fuel machine. In a way, biking in circles is an elitist luxury that people like us fat, lazy Americans can afford. People living on the edge of survival would think it stupid and wasteful. I certainly don't want to live on the edge of survival, but maybe we can use our bodies in a way that keeps us healthy and makes the world a better place for all of us.

Thank you for sharing that, Scott. Keep walking your path. That, you can do better than anyone.

I think it's often hard, when you're in the middle of something good, to see it. John Francis seems gifted at seeing that something good.

I get all worked up and cranky about being the at-home-parent. I was thinking about beginning to ride in some of the brevets in New Mexico, but I got an earful from my wife about feeling like I'm running away from the family whenever she has time off. (She's working full time and going to school right now, so when she's home, I really am ready to get out of the house, but that's beside the point).

I'm trying to stay focussed on what a wonderful gift it is to stay home and educate my children. We're carfree, and I take that for granted now, but that's a big deal too. We're doing lots of great things, but I get caught in this headspace where I just don't see it, and I focus instead on stuff like I don't happen to be bicycle touring in Italy right now. Idiotic right?

We all probably just need to open up our eyes a little bit wider and be more thankful for the incredible gifts we have to give and the incredible gifts we receive moment to moment.

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