Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘bicycling tour

Wheels Rollin’

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DSCN4872eMy favorite photos from cycling are usually ones taken on the road from the bike. When I remember, I carry my pocket camera in my jersey so I can slip my hand through the strap and pull it out for shots on the fly. Unlike my sure-handed friend, Rich, who deftly wields his iPhone for photos from his bike, I want the comfort of knowing the wrist strap will back me up when I fumble the grip.

Even when I remember to have the camera at the ready, usage requires I have ample space to allow my bike to wander off course a bit in the act of capturing shots. I have a tendency to float across lanes when I twist my torso around to compose a view behind me.

DSCN4875eGood shots can be had when a lot of bikers are bunched up, but those are not times I feel safe to be veering off course in the act of shooting.

Although the majority of this year’s Tour of Minnesota was on bike trails, there were still a few occasions when we were out on the open road. With only minimal traffic and an ongoing intermittent rumble strip to deal with, we had opportunity to spread out and stretch our legs.

It was good to have a little variation from the monotonous, albeit beautiful,  miles of railroad-grade paved trails.

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At one point we came upon a crew repaving the road. We simply joined the autos in waiting a turn to pass through the construction zone.

It felt a little too exposed to be on a bicycle, just a few feet away from fresh steaming hot asphalt, large dump trucks, and huge steam rollers crawling along as we rode through.

Some riders cannot resist the urge to stop and shop whenever we come upon garage sales. It pays to have a way to carry new treasures when shopping by bike.

Doobie is one to find a way when his muse hits. Light saber on the backpack, stuffed python snake wrapped around the bike frame. He doesn’t let anything bog down his free wheelin’.

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Written by johnwhays

June 29, 2016 at 6:00 am

Leisure Time

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After a spectacular morning rest stop at a bar in Myrtle, MN, where they opened at 9:00 a.m. for us, we rode through the minor inconvenience of some light rain before arriving at Albert Lea. It was not only our lunch destination, but also the town of our day off, so we will be camping here two nights. 

Not needing to bike anywhere today means we can work on our eating skills. My sugar addiction doesn’t have much to worry about this week. It’s pretty safe for the time being, and being well fed. 

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Written by johnwhays

June 16, 2015 at 6:00 am

Tangled Web

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We survived yesterday’s day-long precipitation without receiving any torrential downpours! The ground is soaking wet, but we avoided any further washouts, I’m very happy to report.

I spent yesterday trying to finalize my preparations for the Tour of Minnesota bike trip. I will leave this afternoon for the drive to the initial camping spot before tomorrow morning’s departure on the first day of cycling. I’m hoping for much better weather than we endured last year.

I found the exercise of packing to be almost beyond my mental capacity. It seems a bit extreme to me, but I seriously believe I am continuing to suffer rather significant symptoms of withdrawal due to my quest to stop over-eating foods laden with sugar. I did some reading on the subject, and opinions seem universal about the individuality of responses to reducing or eliminating sugar from a person’s diet.

I hate to imagine that my very noticeable symptoms are a reflection of how much excess sugar was in my diet prior to this effort to pay attention. I have had headaches and dizziness, but my primary complaint, which was making me particularly uncomfortable yesterday, is flu-like symptoms of aches and pain, lethargy, and weakness. I just want to lay down and sleep. I feel crappy. If I thought I had the flu, I would just stay in bed.

Meanwhile, I am preparing to embark on a week of bicycling. What am I thinking!?

My thinking was pretty foggy all day, and packing became a random series of wandering around collecting things and then setting them any variety of places. Nothing actually got packed. In the early afternoon, I succumbed to the overwhelming urge to lay down and napped for over an hour.

Today, if the grass dries enough, I would like to do some last-minute mowing before departing. I hope to use the early morning hours to finally put things in my bag and be ready to jump into afternoon traffic after one last shower in the privacy of my own home.

I think I have participated in this week of biking and camping so many times that my frame of reference during preparations has shifted significantly from the excitement and anticipation of what lies ahead, to lamenting the last night of sleeping in my bed, using our private bathroom and showering alone for the next week.

Granted, those issues are some of what contribute to the charm and camaraderie of this event, which is what draws us all back, year after year, but the inconveniences seem to become amplified after so many years of doing it.

I plan to drown any sorrows in sugar during the week, as I anticipate “cheating” on my diet a fair amount, to calm my symptoms and provide necessary fuel for the confused furnace of my body. I just hope it doesn’t mean my withdrawal symptoms have to happen all over again when I get back and resume my measured daily intake.

It’s a tangled web I am weaving.

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Written by johnwhays

June 12, 2015 at 6:00 am