Marching through February 2023

It’s been yet another amazingly mild winter month here in the DC area. We racked up a whopping 0.4 inches of snow. Temperatures crested 60 F degrees often and even reached 81 one day. It’s undeniably nice to have March one month early but there will be hell to pay come July.


The highlight of my riding this month was the re-birth of Little Nellie. I ditched the drop handlebars that I had been riding since I bought the bike in 2007 and had H-bars, flat handlebars with horns on the end, installed. The H-bars completely change the feel of the bike and allow me to ride pain-free. In the process of putting the bike through its paces, I nudged the odometer over 23,000 miles.

I spent a few days on The Mule, including a 46 1/2-mile ride on paved trails before giving the bike over to the mechanics at Bikes at Vienna for it’s annual physical.

I did about 152 miles on Big Nellie in the basement which helped me get some reading done (see below).

I managed to destroy the Brooks leather saddle on my CrossCheck. The tensioning pit which is used to keep the leather taut and to connect the metal framework underneath fell off. It didn’t break. It just surrendered. Weird.

As I was puttering around the basement trying to fix it, I found an old Brooks saddle that seemed to be in very good condition, so I swapped it out. Later, I was looking at the Atlantic Coast route maps I had acquired from Adventure Cycling and realized that I was missing the segment between Charleston, South Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida. Go figure. I don’t need this segment for my tour but I bought another anyway just on the off chance that I go down there again. I also bought three Northern Tier route map segments which will allow me to do some more tour planning.

All told I rode 730 miles this month and stand at 1,562 for the year.


Black Panther, Wakanda Forever – The decline of the Marvel movie franchise marches on. This movie did nothing for me. What a shame to see the actors who surrounded Chadwick Bosman in such a boring, humorless slog.

The State of the Union Address – This was good theater. Who’d a thunk Joe Biden would make fools of the nihilist louts in the Republican party? Not bad for a nearly 80-year old man with a speech impediment. (I don’t agree with all his policies by the way but at least he has some.)


The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kid – When I bought it, I had no idea what this book was about only that it was on the bestsellers list forever. It’s a classic tale of Southern women’s empowerment that reminded me a lot of Fried Green Tomatoes which I read decades ago. One of my pet peeves is that novelists often can’t let go of the characters and end up droning on for 50 pages after the story has run its course. This book ties everything up quickly and painlessly.

Educated by Tara Westover This is another book that seemed to be on the best sellers list forever. It’s the memoir of a girl who grows up in a fundamentalist Mormon family, basically a family cult run by her depressed, bipolar father. The girl is subjected to physical and psychological abuse that seems relentless. She could have easily called this book Gaslighted because her family denies her her own reality. This one’s going to haunt me for a while.

On Freedom Road by David Goodrich. This is the author’s account of travels by bicycle along three parts of the underground railroad by which slaves made their escape to freedom from the South during the days before emancipation. Goodrich begins with the tale of Harriet Tubman who escaped slavery on Maryland’s eastern shore. I was flabbergasted to learn that her path to freedom went through my hometown of Albany, New York. Goodrich then pivots to the underground railroad from the cotton fields of Mississippi. He does a fine job of integrating related events of the Civil War and the development of the blues in the Mississippi delta. The book also dovetails nicely with the anti-slavery history in The Pioneers which I read last month. The good folks at Bikes at Vienna brought this book to my attention. I attended a book signing event at Bards Alley, an independent bookseller around the corner from the bike shop. I met the author and we had an interesting chat. When I was finished with this book, I immediately bought his other two books in which he examines climate change from the seat of his bicycle.

Rough Sleepers by Tracy Kidder. This is an account of Dr. Jim O’Connell and his program that provides medical and social services to Boston’s homeless people. It is every bit as intense as Educated. Kidder is one of my go-to authors. His first book, The Soul of a New Machine, explained the world of microcoding and how minicomputers and personal computers work. Sounds boring but Kidder makes it fascinating. I put him in the same nonfiction writing league as John McPhee, Jon Krakauer, Joe McGinnis, and historian David McCullough.

Other Pursuits

I did the candy. card, and roses thing for Valentines Day, as I always do. Somehow the roses magically appear on the kitchen table every year. Somehow my wife hasn’t figured out how I get them into the house without her seeing me. Ho ho ho.

I bought some goodies for my 2023 bike tour. A Nemo sleeping bag that will keep me warm down to anything Maine can throw at me. It will take up about 1/3rd of a pannier. I also bought a Thermarest Neo Air sleeping pad. This thing defies physics. It weighs nothing and takes up less than half the space of my old, defunct pad, and is infinitely more comfortable. (This was recommended by both Corey and Mark who each used one during last year’s tour. They slept like babies.) I also bought a little pump that inflates the bag. The idea is you attached the pump to the pad and let it do its thing while you set up your tent.

I also bought a collapsible walking cane. This is essentially a miniature trekking pole. It should fit in my dry bag on my rear rack. I’ll now be able to walk at destinations such as Valley Forge and Bar Harbor without worrying that my back will start aching.

Pedaling through History

One of the unexpected pleasures of bicycle touring is the opportunity to stumble upon historic sites of great interest. Mostly, I confess, these sites are interesting because of my woeful ignorance of U. S. history. How many times have you stopped the car to read the roadside markers that explain some nugget of “what happened here”? When travelling by bicycle, especially east to west, these roadside markers give a sort of commentary on how America was founded.

Take for example the markers on the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail in central Kansas. One marker commemorates the homestead of George Washington Carver. He was born in Missouri and spent most of his life in Alabama. It seems life on the prairie was not to his liking.

Another set of markers further to the west described the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864. I don’t know if I ever learned of this in school. How sad for this country that there were so many of these attacks on native encampments that it’s nearly impossible to remember them all. As I stood there looking north toward the site some miles distant I couldn’t help but think that I was standing in the middle of literally millions of acres of land, much of which was utterly unoccupied. What a stain on this country that the white settlers could not figure out how to share peacefully this massive canvas of prairie. Of course, I also could not see the native prairie grasses, the millions of bison, passenger pigeons, or other wildlife that the settlers wiped out in the name of progress and Manifest Destiny.

In Montana and Idaho we came upon sites connected with the Nez Perce War. We spent about an hour at the Big Hole Massacre site shaking our heads in disbelief. The massacre was directed by General O. O. Howard. Howard had made a good name for himself as the director of the Freeman’s Bureau which helped formerly enslaved people of the South transition to life during Reconstruction and who founded Howard University in the District of Columbia. History is complicated, it seems.

These sites are not without comic relief. Later on the way up Lolo Pass into Idaho, we came upon the site of Fort Fizzle, where the Nez Perce outfoxed the Army that was lying in wait. Rather than take the trail right past the army’s position, the Nez Perce simply stayed higher up in the mountains. I’d like to have seen the look on the fort commander’s face when her realized he’d been punked.

In 2022 I stopped to check out the remnants of the Sante Fe trail near Cimarron, Kansas. Many hundreds of miles later my route intersected with the Oregon and Mormon Trails where they coincide at Split Rock, Wyoming. Riding is hard but I can’t begin to imagine hoofing it across these plains.

In Wyoming, we came upon the gravesite of Sacagawea, the famous guide for the Lewis and Clark expedition, on the Wind River reservation. The gravesite itself wasn’t nearly as interesting as the rest of the still operational graveyard. As we moved west we encountered the ghosts of the Lewis and Clark expedition time and again, ultimately reaching their winter encampment at Fort Clatsop near Astoria, Oregon.

Yet another oddity encountered on my tour was the Supermax Prison near Florence, Colorado. You can see two or three lower security prisons from the road and they are quite massive, but the Supermax is out of view. In it, are the baddest of the bad. (The county includes a total of ten prisons which is a pretty creepy statistic.)

David Goodrich took a different approach to bicycling through history. He intentionally rode three sections of the underground railroad. I had seen roadside signs describing where Frederick Bailey – who would become Frederick Douglass once he escaped enslavement – and Harriet Tubman on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Goodrich rode Tubman’s route through Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York to her ultimate destination of St. Catherines, Ontario in slavery-free, British-controlled Canada. Amazingly, she passed through and stayed at a safe house in Albany, New York where I grew up. I had absolutely no idea that the underground railroad came through Albany. This may be because Albany was about as racially segregated a place as you could find in the north. Redlining will do that.

Goodrich’s travels also took him places in Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio. In Mississippi he toured Civil War sites and checked out the early locations where delta blues music took root and flourished. His account of these travels is contained in his new book, On Freedom Road. It’s wonderfully written and informative. After I finished reading it, I immediately ordered his two two other books about the intersection of his bicycle touring and climate change.

I met the author at a book signing event at Bards Alley bookshop in Vienna, Virginia. My thanks to the good folks at Bike at Vienna for bringing it to my attention.

Tour Prepping

Between doing the taxes, testing out the new, improved Little Nellie, and shopping for gear, I have begun preparations for my 2023 bike tour. The plan is to ride from home in Mt. Vernon, Virginia to Bar Harbor, Maine. From there, I ride home. Somehow. Using mostly the Adventure Cycling Atlantic Coast Route, I constructed a preliminary itinerary, mostly guided by the availability of campgrounds and motels. The ACA maps also contain info on where to buy food and the location of interesting places along the way.

New Gear

One of keys to a successful tour is getting a good night’s sleep. I have had mixed success in this regard. For last year’s tour I brought a Sea to Summit pillow. It’s much better than sleeping on a pannier filled with clothes. And it packs down to the size of a can of corned beef hash.

I have been using a lightweight REI Sleep Sack for most of my tours. This is a sleeping bag with very little insulation and an open toe box. It was great for sleeping on warm nights during my previous tours but it was woefully inadequate on the cold nights in the mountains out West last summer. I fear Maine may get a bit cool at night so it seemed like a good time to upgrade.

Last week I bought a Nemo Forte bag rated to 30 degrees. It packs down to about twice the size of the Sleep Sack but fits snuggly in one of my rear panniers. I gave it a try in my family room. Dang. Soo comfy!

This week I bought a Themarest NeoAir Xlite sleeping pad. It’s what Mark and Corey, two very sound sleepers, used last summer during our tour through the mountainous West. When I got it home I used the included air sack to inflate it. The air sack is the new thing in camp gear inflation. It’s a super lightweight bag with a valve at one end. The valve attaches to the intake valve on the sleeping pad. You roll the top of the bag down, trapping air inside. As you continue to roll the top down the air squeezes into the pad. Repeat as necessary. I had to do 13 iterations before the pad was filled. PIA. Mark and Corey used a small battery powered pump. You attach the pump to the valve and go about your business setting up camp. The pad inflates in a matter of minutes. No muss. No fuss. Long story short I’m going to get me a pump soon.

I tried the bag and pad out on my family room floor. It’s about as comfortable as sleeping in bed. The padded rug underneath helped but I’m satisfied that my sleep problems will be a thing of the past. I’ll test everything out in the backyard in April just to be sure but I have a very good feeling about this.

I also bought an REI brand walking cane. It collapses down to a couple of feet in length. I should be able to strap it to my rear rack or put it inside my rack top dry bag. This should come in handy when I get to Valley Forge and other places worth exploring off the bike. Take that spinal stenosis.

In addition to the pump, I’ll probably buy a new dry bag. My old one still holds plenty of stuff but it has a duct tape patch on one end which is not ideal for keeping things dry.

The Route

Using the Adventure Cycling maps, I did some cogitating. As I said, places to sleep are a key determinant of the length of each day’s ride. The maps tell me where to find campgrounds and motels but not Warmshowers hosts which are abundant. I factor in the Warmshowers options as I ride.

One of the disadvantages in travelling alone is that hotels and motels will be more expensive since I won’t be able to split the cost with other riders. One of the advantages of solo touring is the fact that Warmshowers hosts tend not to want to deal with more than one or two people per night. Thsi was a source of frustration for Corey. Mark, and me last summer. I should have many more Warmshowers options as a solo rider

The tour starts May 23, two days after a very busy week. I am planning on attending my 50th high school reunion in Albany, New York. I would have ridden to it but I will also be attending a Crowded House concert in DC a couple of days later. (The concert was rescheduled from September 2022 after the drummer hurt his back.) The route will begin at home and take me through 11 states (Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont) and the District of Columbia, This will add two states, New Hampshire and Maines, to my 50 states quest,

Day one will likely be off route to take advantage of Mark’s offer to stay at his place in Linthicum, Maryland south of Baltimore. Riding the ACA route then cutting over to Mark’s place would make for an 80 mile first day. Using a more direct route, one that I used on my first tour in 1999 tour as well as on two other event rides to Baltimore, I’ll be able to shave 25 miles off that distance.

After Mark’s place, I’ll rejoin the ACA route, bypasssing Baltimore to the west and heading up a rail trail to York, Pennsylvania. At York, I hang a right and head across the Susquehanna River to Lancaster County, Amish country. After Lancaster comes Valley Forge which I have never been to.

The route continues skirting Philadelphia to the northwest. North of Easton I cross the Delaware River into New Jersey and head up the Delaware Water Gap. (I understand a detour is in place because of a landslide in the gap. I expect I’ll be doing some climbing.) I’ll ride up the Delaware to Port Jervis, New York. Travelling into New York, I’ll follow a rail trail along the eastern side of the Catskills until I cross the Hudson River on the Walkway over the Hudson Park, a repurposed raillroad trestle at Poughkeepsie. Here I may divert to check out Hyde Park just to the north of Poughkeepsie. The route continues into Connecticut and across the Berkshires. (Knees don’t fail me now!)

At Windsor Locks, after ten days of riding I’ll leave the the route and head south to West Hartford where I will take a rest day at my daughter’s place. Hopefully there will be a minor league baseball game that night.

Back on the road I’ll go back to Windsor Locks and turn right, going across the northern edge of Connecticut to the upper Northwest corner of Rhode Island.

(One possible change to my journey would involve riding off route to Providence where I went to grad school. After that I’d head east to Cape Cod and out to Provincetown. Then take a ferry across Massachusetts Bay to Boston where I went to college. The downside to all this is getting back on the ACA route which bypasses Boston about 30 miles west and north of the city.)

From the corner of Rhode Island the route heads northeast to Westborough, Massachusetts between Worcester and Framingham. Continuing northeast the route enters New Hampshire north of Methuen, Mass. After a night in East Derry, I will head to the coast and enter Maine near York. After that, I ride 200 miles up the coast to Bar Harbor arriving around June 10.

I’ll spend a day exploring Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island before heading back down the coast following the Adventure Cycling Northern Tier Route. This route coincides with the Atlantic Coast route until Brunswick, Maine before leaving the coast and crossing the Green and White Mountains in New Hampshire and Vermont, respectively, more or less in a straight line.

At Ticonderoga, I’ll re-enter New York State and follow Lake George and the Hudson River down to Albany where I grew up and have family. I’ll take another rest day there.

The current plan is to ride down the Hudson to Poughkeepsie where I will rejoin the Atlantic Coast Route for the ride back home.

I expect I’ll make it home by the first week in July with 2,200 miles of riding under my belt. This will get me back in plenty of time to partake in family events, most importantly, a visit from my son who I haven’t seen since the pandemic hit.

If my son’s itinerary results in him arriving in August, I may head west from Ticonderoga on the Northern Tier instead. Where I would turn south is anybody’s guess. At most this could add 600 or 700 miles to the trip. (In general, the longest route would go from Ticonderoga to Erie, Pennsylvania where I would turn south to Pittsburgh. From Pittsburgh to home is 350 miles of mostly off-road riding.)

Stay tuned.

No Pain, Big Gain

My last post I described how I swapped handlebars on Little Nellie in an attempt to make the bike useable again. When I bought the bike in 2007, I ordered tit with drop bars. because that’s what I had on my other bike, The Mule. Despite having ridden Little Nellie well over 22,000 miles with drop bars, the bike never felt right, even after buying a shorter stem and changing brake levers. Worse, in recent years the impact shock from the bike’s little wheels and single beam frame made it increasingly painful to ride. I figured that maybe the problem with the drop bars was that they were causing me to reach too far, extending my lower back, and leaving it vulnerable to road and trail imperfections.

I had H-bars installed. H-bars are essentially straight, horizontal handlebars with a short vertical bar welded to either end. They allow me to have two hand positions – either on the horizontal bar or on the risers on the vertical part of the bar – and keep me from overextending my lower back while riding.

Little Nellie's New Look
Little Nellie with H-bars

I really thought this new handlebar idea was a long shot. If it didn’t work, I’d sell or donate the bike. I felt pretty foolish spending over $400 on the conversion (plus some while-were-at-it other work including a new front wheel). I expected the H-bar to be a minor improvement at best, allowing me, if successful, to use the bike for running short errands.

When I picked the bike up on Saturday, I did a 15-mile test ride. It went well, but the real proof of the pudding would come in longer, repeated riding. I woke up Sunday with no lower back problems. In fact, to my surprise my lower back actually felt better than the day before.

This week I rode the bike three days in a row, for 30, 31, and 32 miles. The last time I rode this bike more than 100 miles in a week’s time was in November 2019. In fact, I rode it less in all of 2022 than I did the last five days.

The only time I’ve felt discomfort while riding was when I hit a bump awkwardly during today’s ride. Otherwise, the riding has been fun and pain free. When I got off the bike, Monday and yesterday, my back was a bit stiff. This may have more to do with lifting a heavy box on Monday and doing maintenance on my ungainly gas-powered lawn mower yesterday. The stiffness went away once I sat down for a few minutes, which suggests that it was just my spinal stenosis acting up.

As before, I found that riding my Bike Friday is a bit more tiring than a conventional bike like The Mule. That said, I feel like I could peel off a 40- or 50-mile ride in reasonable comfort. That’s easily enough to do errands.

I think part of the difference in comfort is the width of the H-bar. Having my hands out a bit more to the side allows the bar to flex a tiny bit when I hit bumps. My butt is also a little further back on my saddle where it can benefit from the saddle’s suspension springs.

I plan to experiment a bit with fine tuning my saddle position, moving the saddle up and/or back a couple of millimeters (it makes a surprising difference.)

I am declaring the transformation a success.

While out tooling around today, Little Nellie decided to celebrate by turning 23.

Little Nellie turns 23 #bikefriday #newworldtourist #odometer

If you are considering buying a Bike Friday, I highly recommend getting H-bars.

Old Bike, New Look

Little Nellie is my Bike Friday New World Tourist folding travel bike. I bought it in 2007 and have ridden it over 20,000 miles. It was custom made to mimic the dimensions of The Mule, my full-sized Specialized Sequoia touring bike.

Little Nellie’s wee wheels make it a blast to ride. It darts about on the road and accelerates fast. Those wee wheels have a downside: they transmit road shock like nobody’s business. My aging and decrepit lower back had become increasingly unhappy with this feature.

I knew I had to make changes from the very start. I ordered a fit stem from Green Gear, Bike Friday’s company. This was an ugly stem that could be adjusted in various ways. Once I was satisfied with a particular configuration, I sent it back to Green Gear and they made me a proper stem to mimic the fit stem’s settings.

The new stem helped some with my back problems. As time passed, my back complained anew. I tried new brake levers, hoping to compensate for the long curved horns of the drop handlebars. Again this helped a bit, but the back pain came back yet again.

As I do day rides around my neck of the woods, I frequently see a man with gray hair riding a green Bike Friday. He seems quite comfy. I noticed that, unlike Little Nellie, his bike has straight bars. Bike Friday sells handlebars that have an interesting feature; they are split in the middle. This allows easy packing when travelling.

This got me to cogitating. It seems I had three choices. (1) Keep riding Little Nellie as is and incur increasing levels of back pain. (2) Sell it. (3) Swap out my handlebars for flat bars and use the bike more as a utility bike.

So I decided that, at the risk of throwing good money after bad, I’d go for what was behind door number (3). I also decided that I would pay a bit more for split handlebars.

I drove to Mount Airy, Cycles in Maryland some 50 miles from home and looked at an array about eight different flat bars with the split feature. I decided on a pair of Bike Friday H-bars. These handlebars have a flat section but also have risers on each end. this provides more places to put your hands, thereby avoiding fatigue in the hands, arms, and shoulders. the bottom of the risers extend beyond the flat part of the handlebar. This would allow me to use my bar end shifters, saving some money on the conversion.

The Mule came with narrow handlebars. After many years, I realized that wider handlebars would give me more control, add to my comfort level, and open up my chest for easier breathing. When selecting the new bars for Little Nellie, I chose the widest ones with the H-bar design.

On the way home I dropped Little Nellie off at Bikes at Vienna, a bike shop that specializes in bikes of unusual design, such as folding bikes, recumbents bikes and trikes, and such. Over the course of the last few weeks they worked on the bike. It turned out that my front rim was toast so a new one had to be ordered, which delayed things a bit.

Today, I went to pick up the new Little Nellie. I must say the mechanics did a darned nice job. I immediately took off for a test ride on the Washington and Old Dominion Trail. The wider bars combined with the small wheels made the bike even twitchier than before. Also, I found my hands gravitating to the riser portion of the bars. As I came upon some people on the trail, I reflexively reached for the brakes. Uh Oh! The new handlebars had brake levers on the flat portion, not the brake hoods as I was used to.

No worries. I managed not to take out any trail users. This ain’t my first rodeo, you know.

There are other subtle features that will take getting used to. The shifters can sometimes make rather unpleasant contact with my knees. My handlebar back doesn’t fit anymore so I’ll have to switch to a fanny pack. And my bell was on the right side instead of the left. I whiffed on the bell a few times. (I switched it over to the left side when I got home.) I will have to be careful loading the bike into the trunk of my car because the wider bars can make contact with the underside of the trunk lid. Finally, I have to find a good place to put my mirror. (It was left loose probably knowing I’d be fiddling with it.) These are all quibbles though.

The good news is that the new configuration is definitely more comfortable. The bar tape is fake (I think) cork which feels soft. The brakes – once I found them – gave me plenty of stopping power. And I rode up and down hills like I was on a big boy’s bike. The new front wheel rode like butter.

In the weeks ahead I’ll take Little Nellie out for longer rides to see how my back better tolerates repeated use.

New Bag Rear
Little Nellie’s original cockpit. Note the mirror is missing. I was mounted on the left side just above the shifter.
Little Nellie's New Look
Little Nellie with H-bars.


I’ve been wanting to do long distance bike tours for as long as I can remember. The idea really took hold of my imagination when I met a young woman named Anne back when I was in grad school. Anne had ridden across the country on the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail as part of Bikecentennial. Bikecentennial was an event involving several small groups of riders going east and west who used the TransAm crossing as a way to celebrate the U. S. Bicentennial. Anne told me all kinds of tales of her trip. It was profoundly life altering for her.

It took me nearly forty years but I finally made the crossing myself. It was every bit as life altering for me as it was for Anne. Frankly, I don’t know how she and the many others who rode Bikecentennial did the ride with the equipment back then, The thought of riding a loaded-down ten-speed bike over all those mountain passes out west then up and down the Ozarks and Appalachian Mountains in the east blows me away. The bike I rode had 24 gears in a drivetrain that had been modified with lower, easier to spin chainrings. The highest mountain pass I climbed was Sherman Pass in Washington State. At 5,574 feet it was about 10,000 feet less than Hoosier Pass in Colorado on the TransAm.

Sometime around 1990, I became a member of Bikecentennial, the organization that developed the TransAm Trail and the 1976 event. I figured for a few dollars a year I could dream about following in Anne’s tracks while I rode my bike to and from work here in DC.

Bikecentennial the organization became the Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) and developed many more routes across the US (and a bit of western Canada). After a few self-designed bike tours in 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2005, I used Adventure Cycling route maps to ride solo around the top of Lake Michigan in 2016. The next year I used the ACA Atlantic Coast Route to ride to Key West and the ACA Florida Connector Route to cross Florida from Fort Myers to Fort Lauderdale. In 2018 I rode solo from my home near DC to Portland Oregon using maps from four different Adventure Cycling routes. I used three different ACA routes to go from Northern Indiana to San Francisco in 2019. Last year I used two of the ACA routes to go from Saint Louis to Portland, covering the western two-thirds of the TransAmerica Trail in the process.

Last year I noticed that my friend Jeff had become a lifetime member of Adventure Cycling. To my knowledge he’s never done a tour. He just thinks it’s a cool organization worthy of support. A few years ago a couple of BikeDC expats, Emma and Katie, became Adventure Cycling employees. And last fall, my Friday Coffee Club friend Ricky became an ACA board member.

It seemed like Adventure Cycling was closing in on me.

Had I known I was going to be doing this bike touring thing into my late 60s I could have saved a bundle of cash in annual dues by becoming a lifetime member of Adventure Cycling way back in the 1980s. Instead, I paid my dues annually for 32 years, all the while reading about bike touring in Adventure Cyclist magazine, the best bicycling magazine around. I suppose it’s all proof that imposter syndrome is a powerful force. I could at least take comfort in the fact that I was supporting an organization that was doing great things for bicycling and bicycle tourists.

I doubt I have more than a handful of long distance bike trips left in my tank. It makes not a lick of financial sense to do it (heck, I don’t even itemize anymore), but last month I decided to become a lifetime member of Adventure Cycling. I figure I’ll make back the cost in terms of annual dues savings in about 25 years.

So who wants to go for a ride in 2048?