Aug 8-13, 2001
Bardstown and Louisville, Ky
Here's the situation: We've dropped weight but the pace isn't really increasing.
A little very simple math made it clear
that without a major change we weren't getting over the Rockies before they become impassable by bicycle due to winter cold.
This fun factoid led to a great deal of soul searching.. Our thought process,
1) Drop the heavy mountain bikes with their energy eating shocks
and continue on a lighter touring bike or hybrid
Here I am test riding a touring bike in Louiville. A bike like this, 5-10
pounds lighter and more efficient than our mountain
bikes, would buy us some speed. On the downside, Mieko worried that an extended riding in the leaned over position called for by a
touring bike (less so a hybrid, with a touring frame, shock only under
the seat and higher handlebars) would hurt her somewhat sensitive
lower back. No doubt we'd go faster, the question would be how much.
2) Mieko drives ahead, Bill continues to ride, they meet up in the evenings
We talked about this a fair amount, but decided this journey wasn't supposed
to be about 2 separate trips.
Whatever we did we wanted to do it together.
3) Drop the bicycles, continue together by car
Here we experimented a little by renting a car in Bardstown and making the hour or so drive to and from Louisville.
The car was nice and comfortable. It had a CD player, air conditioning
and freed us from any worry about the weather.
Unfortunately, it also destroyed the intimacy between us, the road and
the people we'd enjoyed to date. Definite pass.
4) Continue with a touring motorcycle
The picture on the left is me at a Honda dealer talking about the Goldwing
(and suffering from massive mosquito bites) and
right at a BMW dealership siting on a K1200LT. As someone who had always ridden sportsbikes
(read: it was always about trying to go so fast you get where you are going
before you leave)
the idea of doing a see-the-world type tour on a bike was hard to grasp.
Similarly, it was something of a stretch for Mieko, with zero interest in speed or machines but a desire to be in control,
to see herself riding on the back of one of these things.
5) Just quit
Not something we ever seriously considered
So, what to do??