Saturday, February 28, 2015

Wagon Spokes

Can you believe that our last bicycle tour was the fall of 2011? Wow! Over 12 years of bicycle touring. The pain, the joy, the conquest of miles over landscapes forever etched into my soul. During our current motorized trips (more on that in just a minute) we constantly drive along or crisscross places we previously cycled. Did I say etched? We remember the moment clearly, as if it were yesterday. We remember the weather, the shade (or lack of), the road surface, the thrill of the downhill, the work of the uphill, and oh, don't forget that nasty headwind or the joy of the tailwind, plus the sighting of something that would have been lost traveling at a greater speed. Yes, it is etched.

We saw a lot. But then there were times we lost out on moments. We missed a play in a town, a carnival, a festival, or a boat ride, to
name just a few. Life is full of deadlines and just because you're on a bicycle doesn't stop the calendar entries. Bicycle touring consists of day rides strung together with no other means of transportation. So, many times the trip took on this pattern: Ride, set up camp, cook, shower, sleep, wake up, cook, break camp, ride, set up camp, cook, shower, sleep, wake up, cook, break camp, ride . . . (repeat). That pattern and the deadline at the end caused us to propel forward.

The last tour ended abruptly. One of our elderly dogs, Halleluyah, had a stroke. We had to rent the car to come home and do what is always so difficult in the end. Our other old dog, Jane, left us four months later. We now have a couple of other dogs, but we didn't want them to be the yard dogs we've owned in the past. We wanted to incorporate them into our activities as much as possible. That is why, in an earlier snippet I posted the dog bicycle trailer that Charley and repurposed from a child's trailer. Odin and Cassie have changed the way we travel. All that touring also changed the way we now travel.

We are still traveling a lot! We carry our faithful two-wheeled companion in our vehicle. As we carry the tandem and we now pull a Casita travel trailer. So we are staying true to the word tandem: a vehicle, such as a truck, bicycle, or trailer, in which a pair or pairs of axles are arranged in tandem. So we're still in tandem. We're still in this partnership. Vehicle (with bike) pulling a trailer arranged in tandem. These days we have evolved our trips into what I've come to call wagon spokes. Imagine, if you will, the hub. That is our base. Each spoke represents the trips out to delve into the surrounding area by foot and two wheels; then every close of the day we return back to our hub, our base, our nice little cozy sanctuary on wheels. We grab that opportunity to take in that local theater, the bean festival, or outhouse races or whatever else might arouse our attention. We just return to base every night, .

We haven't been writing about our travels, I think that it's partly due to guilt. The website was about our tandem bicycle travels. Now the website will evolve to cover our tandem travels, hikes with the dogs, floats on a lake, rolling down the road pulling our little Casita travel trailer. It'll be about our experiences found while actually spending time at a new locale, living there, no matter short the visit, and drinking in the local flavor.

So I introduce to you, Tara!

This is Odin, also known as Thunder-walker.


Cassie, the whippet-mix who likes to run with the wind and ride in a basket.

The adventure continues!

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