Just a quick note to all 36 of my Facebook friends who like me a lot but who I don’t like back. It’s not that I don’t like you, it’s just that I don’t know how to like you. I guess I’m saying that I just don’t know what it takes to like you. God knows I’ve tried to like you, I just can’t. It’s not you, it’s me. I just find it impossible to like anyone but myself.
I think I must have opened a business Facebook account, or maybe I’ve set some setting where it shouldn’t have been set, or maybe I broke Facebook.
Anyway, I’d like you if I could…it just ain’t happening.
The Velo Hobo
The Velo Hobo stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 53,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 20 sold-out performances for that many people to see it. Once again, my post on Polk Salad is the most read thing I’ve ever written. Really? Polk Salad? I’m glad I’m not the only one who loves the poisonous polk plant. Here’s a link to learn more about this wild and wooly weed: Eating Wild Things: Polk Salad
And follow this link to read 2013 stats: Click here to see the complete report.
Thanks for reading The Velo Hobo! See ya in 2014.
Julie and Mark, two cycling adventurers from England, sent this along to share with The Velo Hobo readers. Read their epic experience along the TransAm on their Crazy Guy On A Bike journal.
“My husband and I cycled the Transam and some of the Pacific coast this year from April to Sept on a Hase Pino Tandem. The ride was a dream of ours which we worked hard to make happen. We didn’t want to wait until we retired to fulfill our dream as you never know what is around the corner. The tour was very challenging, especially on our bike of choice, but we have wonderful memories that will last as long as we live. We had to give up our jobs to do the ride which was kind of scary, but we have no regrets. The best thing about the ride was the people we met and the kindness we received. We learned a lot about touring on our tour, the main lesson we learnt is how much the weight you carry greatly affects your enjoyment of the ride. All future tours we will be going as lightweight as possible.”
Here is a link to our journal:
Thanks Julie and Mark for the contribution.
These past few months we’ve been pretty active as WarmShowers hosts. No fewer than six bicycle explorers have taken shelter under our humble roof. Brett pedaled south to our door from the Jersey shore with an outlandish claim to not know Snookie. Following Brett were Kosta and Eric, two college friends reunioning together with a bike tour. Hot on the heals of Kosta and Eric were two French Canadians, Normand and Dominique. These two very experienced tourists stayed two days with us and cooked us a wonderful meal before heading out. Our last visitor was Kerri, who is taking some time to meander the world by bike.
If you’ve not considered becoming a WarmShowers host, give it a think. You’ll meet some wonderful fellow bike tourists!
With great reluctance I sit at the keyboard to pen this post. It’s not that I don’t enjoy writing, I do; I love it. But something has gotten in the way; blocking the creative juices and keeping me from doing the very thing that makes abnormal me feel normal.
What’s clogging the creativity conduit keeping all the weirdness locked inside? It’s the keyboard, the computer, the whole internet thing. And WordPress, Goddess bless their wretched souls, tweaking this and that as if it weren’t tedious enough to upload posts.
So with or without your permission, here’s my remedy. My New Year’s resolution is to write 52 letters to 52 people in 52 weeks. I’ll use real ink and real paper, and a real dictionary for spill chicking. What a concept. I’ll use real saliva to seal the envelopes and even though we haven’t needed to since the 80’s, I think I’ll lick the stamps too. My audience will number one a week; family member, friend, bill collector, whoever.
So what will happen to The Velo Hobo? I’ll post pictures of the wonderful travelers who take refuge in our home and maybe a few bike related photos of my own. With no real pressure to be clever and witty, maybe I’ll post more. Maybe not.
Thanks for putting up with me, and as always, thanks for reading The Velo Hobo.
There’s a cool scene in the movie The Great Waldo Pepper where two barnstorming pilots pass each other in the sky and decide to land in a nearby pasture to have a chat; two kindred spirits just stopping to say hello. Bike tourist can relate very well to this. A person on a loaded bike isn’t a stranger, but another adventurer out adventuring.
On a long desolate stretch of sand-swept highway last May, my wife and I spotted one of those familiar specks far off in the distance; the ones that seem to be wobbling in a loaded touring bike kind of way. You know what I’m talking about. That tiny speck grew and grew until it had become a full sized bike tourist.
Jack Day, to celebrate his 70th year, was out touring 7,000 miles. Starting in Des Moines, Iowa he biked to Key West. Then rode back along the Atlantic coastline heading for the Canadian border where he’ll meander his way back home.
Thanks for reading The Velo Hobo!
Camping on the Outer Banks of North Carolina can be a challenge. A dispiriting wind blows here like no other place, picking up sand and blasting everything in its path with equal disdain. In this treeless environment the wind plows through unchecked for miles searching out its next victim and cyclists are easy prey. Imagine battling a horrendous headwind for forty miles, arriving at a coastal campground mentally and physically exhausted, then trying to pitch a tent while being pelted by sand.
Here are a few tips for pitching a tent in windy conditions.
First, site location. Try to pick a spot with some type of wind break. This last trip out my wife and I were lucky enough to find tent sites just behind small sand dunes. If you can’t find a naturally occurring wind break you may be able to make one by up-ending a picnic table on its side.
Tent selection is another consideration. If you have the choice, go with a smaller tent. When tents are strung taut with tent poles they become kites and smaller kites are easier to control. We were using a Big Agnes Seed House 2; a small free-standing tent with a low aerodynamic profile. It was a good choice, easy to pitch in the wind and never gave us any concern of blowing down in the middle of the night.
Tent positioning is as important as site location. Obviously position the door away from the prevailing wind direction. We witnessed several poorly positioned tents inflate and blow apart. Don’t be shy about asking for help, or offering to help your tenting neighbor.
Be careful with loose stuff sacks. Loose everything for that matter; socks, underwear, maps are all fair game to rogue winds.
Lastly, anchor well. If your tent comes with those skinny bent rod type stakes, consider changing them out for bladed stakes. Rod stakes will never hold in the sand. Bring extra line to tie the tent to a solid object, like a picnic table. You can also make anchors by filling plastic shopping bags with sand and tying off to those.
Do you have any pointers for tenting in high winds? Leave a comment.
Thanks for reading The Velo Hobo!