A unique experience…

12 07 2011

I had a truly unique experience on Sunday as I met a fellow bike blogger. Kelly Carlisle, who writes the blog Ride Bikes, Drink Coffee, was visiting Colorado with his family.

He wanted to meet before leaving town, so…we got together at Starbucks, of course.

We live a thousand miles from each other and had never met before this but, we sat down and began chatting as if we’d known each other for years. Of course, we’ve been reading each other’s blog for more than a year so, in reality, we did know each other even before we met in person. It constantly amazes me how cycling, the Internet, and blogging can bring folks, who would otherwise be and remain strangers, together.

Kelly is an articulate, insightful blogger, with an undisguised love for cycling – and coffee. His writing and photography of Salem and its environs are truly inspiring. He is a family man who cares for people and is willing to share his insights and loves with others. It was a true pleasure meeting someone with whom I’ve only “spoken” through the Internet prior to this moment.

I’ve received some high praise from Kelly in the past, for accomplishing The Ride from Phoenix to Denver, as well as for blogging about it as I did so. I can only return the compliment and thank him for being so generous.

Thank you Kelly, for taking the time from your trip and your family to meet with an old cyclist like me. I surely hope to return the favor one of these days and visit you in Oregon.

Later

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Counting down…

26 03 2011

One year ago today, with five days to go, I began the final countdown to The Ride. I was so very busy at the time that I really couldn’t think much about what a crazy idea it was. In retrospect, it does seem a bit outrageous. However, I was so eager to get started, so eager to return home, that thoughts of the dangers rarely intruded on my thinking. It was a very exciting time for me and, though not everything went according to plan, I’m just happy I was successful.

Was I really planning on ridng this all the way to Colorado?

 March 26, 2010…

5…

The countdown to Wednesday, the day of my departure, begins…

On Tuesday I shipped two cartons of clothing and shoes, as well as a box of bike stuff, to Denver. This is all I will have to live on for the first few months in Colorado. On Tuesday next I will move the rest of my belongings, furniture, kitchen stuff, and the rest of my clothing, into storage for later retrieval. (I plan to save as much money as I can, as quickly as I can, then return to Phoenix where I will rent a truck and move the rest of my stuff to my own place in Denver.)

Today, I will do more packing for storage. The biggest dilemma is always what not to take. I need to consolidate as much as possible, yet I do not want to force myself into a position of need, where I will have to buy anything just to live normally. When I finally get my own place again, I want to be completely self-sufficient.

Soon now, I’ll begin camping out in the living room; getting used to my equipment and to sleeping on the floor. Got to find out how this old body of mine reacts to not having a nice, plush mattress to sleep on. I’m getting ready for a great deal of pain!!! (My roommate will be mostly packed by Sunday night, ready to leave on Monday morning, so I may begin my living room camp out then.) Wish me luck…

The bike is very close to ready. I’ll need to do some last minute tuning and lubrication, plus adding the rearview mirror, but it seems to me I’ve pretty much figured out the loading problems and should be able to ride with the current configuration. The front end is a little slow to respond with the tent up there, but I have no other place to hang it so I’ll just have to get used to it. Shouldn’t take long, considering the amount of time I’ll be spending “in the saddle.”

I’m really looking forward to this experience. Many friends have told me how much they envy me; while also telling me they’re frightened for me. Only when I’m alone in bed late at night do I feel any fear. However, that quickly disappears when I wake in the morning and begin to contemplate my upcoming adventure anew. Since I have never done this type of traveling before, I do feel some trepidation but, with all the research I’ve done, and with nearly a year of thought and planning, I believe I have a pretty good idea of what to expect. (If I’m wrong, I’ll know soon enough.) Besides, I’ve done a great deal of traveling through the Rocky Mountain west and the southwest over the years, by car it’s true, which helps me to feel quite comfortable traveling here.

More than anything, I feel a great sense of anticipation. Whatever happens, I know, I’m in for a wonderful adventure…

Later





Sleeping on the floor a year ago…

19 03 2011

One year ago today I tested my bike with some of the gear I would be hauling on The Ride. The newest addition was the sleeping bag. I then tried to sleep on the floor that night–unsuccessfully. It turned out that I could do it on the road when I had to, but at home, with a beautiful queen sized mattress available, not so much. 

 

March 19, 2010…

Making progress on packing and loading for the trip. That’s the new sleeping bag in the blue bag at the rear. Gonna need some new bungees, but these worked for the experiment. I’m thinking about trying to hang the tent, when I get it next week, in front of and below the handlebar; we’ll see next week.

Another rough day today. The wheel not only needed a new spoke and truing, it was also out-of-round. This added another ten bucks to the cost of the repair. Oh well, at least these guys do better than average work. BUT, I was squatting to lift something early this afternoon when I heard and felt something go “pop” in my left hip. The pain was pretty serious for a few hours but time and ibuprofen seem to have cured me. Gotta’ love “ibbies,” the cyclist’s favorite candy.

Well, time to return to the job of packing for the move. The ride may be the focus of my life right now, but I can’t forget I’m also moving house!!!

 





Remembering what it was like…

16 03 2011

At this time last year I was preparing myself and my bike for The Ride, my bike trip from Phoenix, AZ, to Denver, CO. I was also getting ready to move house. It was a very hectic time for me. I was packing for the move; trying to get all my gear together for the trip; packing the things I would need when I made it to Denver; and trying to ride enough to allow myself to make it. Here are a few of the posts from March 15 & 16 of last year, including a link to the map of the planned route for The Ride…

March 15, 2010…

Link to trip route map:

Driving Directions from 16240 N Fox Hill Dr Surprise, Arizona to  Aurora, Colorado.

March 15, 2010…

Well, the practice-packing went OK yesterday, I guess. The amount of stuff I can take with me is really limited. I can’t really pack all that I hope to take until I get the rest of my equipment, e.g., the tent and sleeping bag, since packing is one thing, while hanging all the stuff on my bike will be another. How it fits onto my racks will determine which bags and packs I can use, which will further determine how much I can carry. What I hope to do is pretty clear in my head, but actually doing it may be another matter.

I rested the legs yesterday. Today is a day for core work and strength training, so my ride will be short, 10-15 miles. I do this on Mon., Wed., Fri. On Tuesday and Thursday I ride farther, trying for 30 miles. Sometimes I make it.

The plan for the ride is to try for, at least, 60 miles per day, in three stages. By doing 20 miles in 1 1/2 hours, with 30 minutes rest in between, I should probably be able to avoid killing myself. If I can do more, I will. This should make for a 16-17 day trip, including a few days to rest the old legs. I’m thinking three days on, one day off. We’ll see how it goes.

Well, that’s the plan, for now.

By the way, I simply must thank my former sister-in-law and friend, Andrea Kalli, for helping me set up all this internet stuff for the trip. She is a wonder and a great friend. If you need any helpfor your Internet services, please get in touch with her through my Facebook page (or on a link here, if I can figure out how to do that). She is a genius and a sweetheart.

Thanx, Andi, for all you’ve done.

Later

March 15, 2010…

Here’s The Bike. Not really designed for touring, but I’ve “hybridized” it into a road bike and should be able to make the ride on this. It has about 8000 miles on it, so I know it pretty well.

(The pic was taken from my phone, so please excuse the quality.)

 

March 16, 2010…

Couldn’t ride today. Had another cyst–down there. For people who cycle a lot, the perineum can be a real problem. I have some things I do that help, I’ll spare the details, but it can still be very frustrating. If anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear them. Pleeeeaaase!!!

Later





Happy Birthday to Blog…

13 03 2011

One year ago today I began writing this blog, to document The Ride from Phoenix to Denver. At the insistence of Andi and Brandy, and with Andi doing virtually all the work to get me up-and-running, I began to explain my reasons, my preparations, and my actions for doing The Ride. This week, I’ll be doing a bit of reminiscing about the first days of the blog, and of The Ride. I hope I’m not being self-indulgent here but, it just seems like the appropriate thing to do.

May 2010

In the year since this blog began, I have published 239 posts and have received 204 comments (with 421 spam comments received…lol). Many of these were audio comments, from my cheap-ass phone, which I posted during The Ride. The audio posts were very popular. In fact, the busiest day we’ve ever had here was April first last year, my second day on the road. That day, I put up two audio posts, Andi posted a poll, and I also put up a quick text post. It was a very busy day here.

Riding into Colorado...April 7, 2010

Since then, I’ve tried to keep it interesting and we continue to have good traffic–when I actually do post something. So, I’ll try to “keep it real,” and we’ll just see where we go. Thanks for viewing, and thanks for your support.

Getting started was a bit confusing for me, since I’d never done this before, so…here we go.

From March 13, 2010…

Well…What do you know? I actually have a blog!!! Hope I have something worthwhile to say.

I also deleted my first posting.

Soooo…the main reason for doing this is to chronicle my upcoming 800 mile bicycle ride from Phoenix, AZ, to Denver, CO. I’m moving back after nine years in the desert and I figured I would make the move on my bike. On this blog I hope to detail my preparations; explain why it must be done on a shoestring budget; why the idea appeals to me; and a few other insights, as well as actually chronicling the ride.

I have no idea how regularly I’ll be able to do this but we will see, won’t we?

Please feel free to comment in any way. I look forward to hearing from you.

Also from March 13…

Well…What do you know? I actually have a blog. I just hope I’ll have something worthwhile to say, you know?

The main reason for beginning this blog is to chronicle my first-ever bicycle tour. At the end of this month, I’ll be moving back to Denver, CO, from Phoenix, AZ; making the trip by bicycle. If it doesn’t kill me, it will be the adventure of a lifetime.

Since this is my first post, I’ll keep it short. I need to get in touch with a friend who is expert at this stuff so she can help me link to other sites and make it possible to blog from the road, by phone, during the trip.

In the near future I’ll begin explaining my reasons for doing this; will chronicle the preparations; will explain why It’s being done on a shoestring budget; and many other things I hope will be of interest.

Please feel free to comment in any way.

Bye now…

One more from March 13…

I found my original post, which I thought I had accidentally deleted. Brought it back and, even though these are a bit redundant, thought I’d leave ’em both up.

Later





Freelancer.me…

2 03 2011

I realize I’ve been remiss in taking care of the blog lately, and for that, I apologize. You see I’ve been a bit busy this past week writing. Writing for others.

It’s amazing what the Internet has done for communication in the world. As it turns out, there are dozens, if not hundreds of websites which provide content, written, video or imagery, for others who manage blogs and websites. Many of these people find it difficult to generate content for their own sites. Whether they manage a personal or business blog or a business or product website, for whatever reason, these folks need help with content. This is where I and many others like me come to the rescue.

The world of freelance content producers has grown exponentially in the last decade. There are, literally, millions of us out there. We take the ideas and needs of others and create content for them. In the last week alone, I have produced 17 articles for clients from Utah to Great Britain, with orders for a dozen more waiting to be filled. It seems I’ve become pretty popular all of a sudden…heh heh.

All of these articles have been cycling related. No surprise there, right? However, this was coincidental, and providential, because it got me started writing for pay. Some of these sites only take orders for articles; while some post projects and take bids; while still others take orders and will also post original content for sale from their authors. I have three more articles under review at one of these sites, with one article posted for sale. It is a very interesting and challenging way to try to make a living.

The range of subjects is mind-blowing, as is the rate of pay offered. I’ve seen requests for everything from articles to promote porn sites to requests to rewrite existing books in order to avoid copyright infringement; requests for content about driveways to explanations of high-tech computer components. I’ve seen offers from folks who will pay $30 for 500 words, and offers of $1 for the same. (It’s amazing how little value some people place on getting help for something they are incapable of doing.) In other words, if there is something out there on the web, someone needs content to help them explain it or sell it. It’s a diverse world with a broad range of interesting, and not so interesting, subjects which people wish to share.

Beyond the writing, I’ve also been helping my roommate, Andi, with her Virtual Assistant business. She is a social networking and marketing coach and consultant and we’ve been putting together and implementing a plan to promote a book, blog, and website for a local doctor. It’s been fun and educational, and it actually pays much better than the freelance writing. I’m going to keep the writing going though since Andi can’t guarantee constant work.

So, I now have four part-time jobs, all performed from home. I still rebuild and sell bikes, plus the freelance writing for the online sites, in addition to working for Andi. It’s been interesting, to say the least, as well as satisfying, since I enjoy writing almost as much as riding. I’m also hoping to get some good news from the local bike shop this week. They’re hiring a bunch of people for the upcoming season and I hope to be one of them. That would give me five jobs. Who would have guessed?

Later





2010 – Blog in review…

4 01 2011

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 4,400 times in 2010. That’s about 11 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 203 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 151 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 40mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was April 1st with 169 views. The most popular post that day was ipadio:Bike Trip Audio Blog Post – Hear me talk about my experiences along the way – 5th phonecast.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, ridebikesdrinkcoffee.blogspot.com, twitter.com, mail.yahoo.com, and digg.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for quest eagles peak 8 x7 tent, quest eagles peak reviews, eagles peak tent review, strater hotel, and strater hotel durango.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

ipadio:Bike Trip Audio Blog Post – Hear me talk about my experiences along the way – 5th phonecast April 2010
4 comments

2

My Review of Quest Eagles Peak 8 x7 Tent April 2010
1 comment

3

About March 2010
3 comments

4

Bike Porn–My Porn… October 2010
4 comments

5

ipadio:Bike Trip Audio Blog Post – Hear me talk about my experiences along the way – 14th phonecast April 2010








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