Sagebrush, Saguaro, and Sweat

A fall jaunt deep into the Sonoran and Mojave deserts

2,942 kilometers (1,828.07 miles) over days from October 10, 2017 to

I'm done with the motorcycle for now, time to sweat in the desert. I've found a place to store Greta, bought myself a bicycle, and now I'm off to explore parts of the desert southwest that I haven't yet seen; and maybe revisit a few I already have.  continue reading...

Occitanie

A yearly pilgrimage across southwestern France

712 kilometers (442.42 miles) over 10 days from March 08, 2017 to March 17, 2017

Occitanie, a new region recently created by the French government that fuses the old regions of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées. It just so happens to neatly enclose the boundaries of where I tend to travel in France; I come to this area regularly, almost every year, to visit friends and family. When I'm here I invariably get on the bicycle to travel from Narbonne up the Canal du Midi to Cahors and back.  continue reading...

Four Noble Truths

Cycling Southeast Asia

4,337 kilometers (2,694.89 miles) over 60 days from December 01, 2016 to January 29, 2017

Time to leave Taiwan, heading west, eventually to Europe, but first stopping in Southeast Asia to cycle and maybe learn something about Buddhism. My exposure to Buddhism consists of having read Herman Hesse's Siddhartha; and that, many moons ago. I've always been intrigued by Eastern philosophy, I've meditated fairly regularly over the years, including a time in Argentina when I practiced Falun Gong with some people I met there. The plan is to cycle as always but perhaps I will try to learn more about this religion that has generated all these temples and devotees that I've been seeing since I arrived in Asia.   continue reading...

Taiwan Loop-de-Loop

Criss-crossing and looping around Taiwan on the bicycle

1,256 kilometers (780.44 miles) over 15 days from November 01, 2016 to November 15, 2016

I've been in Taiwan for three months but have been too busy for a longish bike trip, now I'm finally free to explore the whole island from top to bottom and side to side. Armed with limited Chinese and no camping equipment, off we go.  continue reading...

300ps

From Patagonia, Argentina to Oregon, USA by bicycle.

29,980 kilometers (18,628.70 miles) over 554 days from December 09, 2012 to June 15, 2014

The doctor looked at me intently for a moment and then said: "You are not a translator."

At first I thought that he thought that I had been lying to him. "What do you mean I'm not a translator?", I said. "I have clients, they send me their stuff, I translate it, and they pay me."

"That's not what I meant," he said, holding up the results from my latest blood test. "This is not the blood of a translator."

"Umm...ok, what kind of blood is it then?" I was trying hard not to betray that I thought he was crazy. The other four doctors I had been to couldn't figure out what was wrong with me so I was going to listen.

"Look", he said, circling the serum ferritin, free iron, hematocrit, and a bunch of other values on the blood test. "These are all way too high. Your body has 300 horsepower. It's like a Porsche but you're just driving it around the city. You need to take it out on the Autobahn and let it run." (I was in Germany at the time.)

"I know you don't believe me," he continued, "but I'll show you. We're going to take blood from you until the iron level comes down and you will see."

  continue reading...

Crossing the desert

From Parker, Arizona to 29 Palms, California.

86 kilometers (53.44 miles) over 1 days from July 12, 2012 to July 12, 2012

Some information on crossing the Mojave desert, you can never carry enough water for those long stretches without services (particularly in the heat of summer).   continue reading...

Poisoned in the Pyrenées

From Barcelona, Spain to Narbonne, France.

380 kilometers (236.12 miles) over 4 days from March 25, 2012 to March 28, 2012

have been living and travelling on a bicycle for most of the last two years. People keep asking me: Where's your blog? Ummm...it's in development... The truth is that I have a hard time even writing down the mileage at the end of the day when I'm travelling. I get into riding and camping and dealing with all the other joys of bicycle travel and up until now I just couldn't be bothered to write things down. I am terribly impressed by CGOAB'ers who manage to keep daily accounts from such places as Kazakhstan. But I've been convinced to make more of an effort, so here goes, starting small I hadn't been on the bike since December. Comfy city life with Ri had settled in and I became a gym rat while waiting for the weather to warm up. I got a message from B inviting me up to Narbonne for a visit, "We'll bore you senseless". Nice, that would make the perfect tourism slogan for Narbonne. It was the perfect excuse to get off my ass and get back on the bike. Ri cooked me a up a huge batch of pasta and vegetables, I loaded up the panniers, and we set both of our cell phone alarms so I could get an early start out of the city to miss the Barcelona marathon chaos.  continue reading...

Come on Irene

From Boston to Sherbrooke, Quebec and back.

Kudos to Quebec for building La Route Verte, a set of connecting bike paths that are positively German in their construction. The signage was impeccable, I never once got lost or questioned which way to turn. Along the way there are information kiosks with friendly assistance and maps showing the location of services. I was impressed that they were staffed even on weekdays. There was a sign for the 'sentier trans-canadien' along with the 'route verte' signs which got me to thinking: I wonder how it would be to follow the trail all the way across Canada? The back-woods track of the paths provides lots of opportunities for stealth camping. One night I was almost discovered (or run over) by someone on a dirtbike who passed within yards of my tent but thankfully didn't see me.  continue reading...

Nowhere to Go but Everywhere

Crossing the United States from east to west, with a healthy dose of south.

2,525 kilometers (1,568.96 miles) over days from September 01, 2010 to

Sitting on the eastern edge of North America, a look at the map raises so many possibilities that are just too tempting to ignore. Jack Kerouac grew up in Lawrence, MA, not far down the road from where I am right now. When he hit the road he went west, the obvious choice when you're backed up against an ocean to the east; like him I'm making the obvious choice. "Nowhere to go but everywhere" he wrote. The quote seems to fit my situation perfectly: I've got a surplus of energy, a taste for bicycle travel, and the money to finance an adventure...so off I go to everywhere, general direction west until I run out of land. My late start (September 1st) will probably dictate a good bit of south in this journey as well.  continue reading...

Blut und Eisen

"blood and iron", from Berlin to Barcelona by bicycle

4,329 kilometers (2,689.92 miles) over 57 days from April 13, 2010 to June 09, 2010

It's time to move on. My ever widening circles around Berlin on the bicycle aren't enough. I'm closing up shop and Berlin and riding the bicycle points south to see how far I can get.   continue reading...

Ice Road

Winter ride from Berlin to the Baltic Sea

364 kilometers (226.18 miles) over 3 days from February 15, 2010 to February 18, 2010

Going for a winter ride from Berlin to the Baltic Sea, my very first overnight cycling trip. Borrowed a bicycle from a friend, bungeed a bag to the back, headed north on the ice.  continue reading...