Monday, June 28, 2004

Sore Butt-a-thon

Last Sunday (not yesterday - the Sunday before that) when we got one of those wonderful, sunny, dry non-working days that are so rare in summer around here, I decided to take the bike out. Two and a half hours later, I made it back home. That was by FAR the longest I'd ridden at one time since I was in middle school in Gwinnett County, Georgia and a couple of friends and I would ride down to Stone Mountain State Park and ride back. I'm guessing it was between 25 and 30 miles - a little hard to guess since about 45 minutes of it was trail riding with the rest on the road. Oh, and what I'm riding is decidedly NOT a road bike - fat steel frame, nubby tires and front shocks do not make for a smooth effortless ride in the country. My ass was good and sore 'til at least Friday.

That reminded me of Dad's friend, Mark. Mark's a professor at UNC-Asheville and for the last few years has spent most of his summer bicycling. A day's ride for Mark on these trips is double to triple what I did last Sunday - now imagine doing that every freaking day for almost two months straight! Mark has done a remarkable job documenting these trips on his website, complete with a daily trip log (usually posted from the laptop he takes with him) and some rather wonderful photos (he's quite a good photographer). I highly encourage you to check out the above link for the pictures if nothing else, particularly the last couple of European "jaunts". But for a trip that might resonate a little more if you haven't spent much time in Europe, imagine starting out in Portland, Oregon, riding up the coast into Canada, hanging a right and riding across the plains through Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, hanging another right at International Falls and riding, er, home to North Carolina. And doing it a little over 7 weeks. At last report for this year, he was at day 18 out of Oregon (different route this time) and had crossed from Nevada into Utah. Go, Mark, go!

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