Saturday, February 7, 2009


I wish Mr. Groundhog would dispatch this cold at a faster rate. I'm in the midst of my two most loathsome months... January and February. No lights. No holidays. No fun. Just the cold darkness that permeates down to my bones and the poorly insulated soul. On top of this seasonal depression, I can't bike as much as I want to...

Sure, I've been using this nifty piece of cycling machinery to keep my legs accustomed to the feeling of forward progression; however, it's all a farce!

This feeling of "going nowhere" is quite apt, considering my motivation for this bicycle trip (outside of the fund raising aspect) was to break free from the mundane and routine... to wake up in a new, unfamiliar setting... only to reach another new and equally dissimilar place at the end of the day. Sure, you can't escape familiarity -- I'm sure bicycling will become mundane after a few weeks -- However, the new locales, the new friends I'll meet, the new experiences are what keep me motivated in pursuing this trip. I'm looking forward to being "out of touch" with the world. I won't know which Olympian was caught smoking what drug, or what celebrity was caught yelling what at some ambiguous person. I'll only want to know the road and the road alone.

That was vague. Maybe I should write about how difficult is to plan for a trip that seems so distant.

First off: Money. In these "troubling times of economic uncertainty," it's been difficult to train myself to set aside a certain amount of money each paycheck I receive, especially those few weeks when my refrigerator resembled Greenland... cold and barren. Nevertheless, I've made a few life choices that have helped me manage my finances and I strongly encourage these methods to those who can apply them to their lives... consider it a quick-step guide to being a frugal bum. First off, sell your car. Now, I know this only applies to those in an urban setting or an area with reasonable public transportation. But the amount of money saved by not having to pay for car insurance / maintenance / gas / etcetera is phenomenal. Other rules include purchasing/preparing/cooking your own meals, find alternative/cheaper methods of entertainment, and (for New Englanders especially) weather-proofing your homestead. There's so many other small things you can do to save your hard-earned cash, and it just requires being conscious enough to notice them.

OK, infomercial over. Another difficult prospect for taking on a trip like this: Motivation. It's very challenging to become inspired when the idea of bicycling across an entire continental land mass seems so foreign to me. Also, and I don't want to point fingers or name names... nonetheless, people have mostly pulled the "Nostradamus Card" and other forms of subtle forms pessimism that only discourages me further. This won't stop me from starting and completing this trip (if you've met me, you would most likely know that I'm a person who sets goals and never gives up until I accomplish them in some form or the other.) Conversely, it does not help me prepare for the trip with unwavering enthusiasm when I hear all this "doom and gloom" stuff. I have to keep telling these people, and myself, that bad things can happen anywhere. Whether it be biking down a rural Kansas road at dusk, or driving to work... [fill in the blank] happens. There's no avoiding it and it's rather fruitless to dwell on those possibilities. With that said, I won't perform this trip with reckless abandon; on the contrary, I'll try to be as safe as possible.. not only for the sake of my own skin, but for the sake of easing those worried about me (I'm looking at you Mee-Maw.)

Hmm, so this is blogging. About 10 minutes of meandering ramblings of the mind translated into poor syntax and Verdana fonts. I could get used to this...


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