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Old 04-07-06, 12:59 PM   #1
Coyote!
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Remarkable Biker: A Little Humility for Me

<<< Touring Content, I Promise >>>

We'll it was rainy and cold this AM, so I decided to get my smug self out for a 25 mile exercise ride in the slop. You know. . .hi-tech fibers. . .light-as-a-fart bike. . .all that. [This is one of my favorite loops; through Antietam National Military Park, nearby Western Maryland hills, and a sprint up the C&O Canal to close the loop.]

Anyway, I get onto the C&O canal and stop for a drink and here's this disaster of a Wally-World bike with the rear brake busted off. There's a milk box tied out front with string and there's plastic bags full of "trash" festooned from every projection. Then two dogs see me and begin to raise hell and this guy [Ron, it turns out], bike and dogs' owner walks up to me. I see the "trash", assume he's collecting litter, and compliment him on his "good deed". Wrong! How embarrassing. That's his gear!!!

Turns out this guy is on the last leg of a tour that started four days ago in Pittsburg, PA. . .with two dogs! Turns out he does this a lot! . . .with dogs!! He was soaked through, but happy as a clam.

Anyway, if there is a point lurking in the underbrush of my prose, I guess it is that thereíre lots of variations on the touring theme. It also occurs to me that it doesn't take much to have fun and be happy.
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Old 04-07-06, 01:55 PM   #2
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"It also occurs to me that it doesn't take much to have fun and be happy."

Great story with a great ending! In this world where we've become so focused on appearing happy rather than actually being happy, your new friend Ron is a real trailblazer.

Thanks!
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Old 04-07-06, 02:42 PM   #3
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When we strip away all of the fluff - Life can be wonderful!

Enjoyed your story!
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Old 04-07-06, 04:03 PM   #4
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Your location intrigues me. I thought the Pleistocene period had ended. Que pasa?
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Old 04-07-06, 05:50 PM   #5
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>>> I thought the Pleistocene period had ended. Que pasa?

Well, me'n my coyote buds never really "took" to these times. . .too much speed and stress.
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Old 04-07-06, 09:46 PM   #6
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I have a friend who looks like he should be homeless. He lives on a boat and he isn't neat and though he is clean you'd never know it to look at him. And since he smokes pipes he always stinks like tobacco and he always has paint all over his clothes.

He used to work as a back hoe operator and he could pick up a penny with it. And he used to commute to work on an old beat up junker bike that would make the worst Huffy seem upscale.

He liked to pass a jersey clad, racing bike riding group sitting bolt upright and smoking his pipe, his 24" beard flapping in the breeze, his jeans and flannel shirt making him look like a homeless person trying to find a shelter.

One time I was in the boat yard and this REALLY handsome guy walked up to me. He was dressed well and clean shaven. And Joe's voice came out of that guy. I damned near fainted dead away.

Never judge a book by it's cover or a cyclist by his dress.
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Old 04-08-06, 08:39 AM   #7
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Great message here and thanks for sharing w/ us. Sometimes I think we get too caught up with the gear, me especially. My first long tour, I couldn't have given a rip about my components and that's the last thing we talked about when encountering other riders. Now the bike setup consumes a lot of the conversation. I also stress over should have I used straight gauge or butted spokes.....It's all about the experience.

Several years ago I was touring in Australia. I was in a fairly remote area, by the Barkley Homestead, when I met a man who had to be in his 60's, pulling a trailer which consisted of a big wooden box on wheels. The box must have measured four feet in length, three feet high and the same wide. He made it himself. He had a triple bypass a while back, his wife recently died and he was out here doing it. No destination in mind. That's what it's all about.
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Old 04-08-06, 08:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aroundoz
Great message here and thanks for sharing w/ us. Sometimes I think we get too caught up with the gear, me especially. My first long tour, I couldn't have given a rip about my components and that's the last thing we talked about when encountering other riders. Now the bike setup consumes a lot of the conversation. I also stress over should have I used straight gauge or butted spokes.....It's all about the experience.

Several years ago I was touring in Australia. I was in a fairly remote area, by the Barkley Homestead, when I met a man who had to be in his 60's, pulling a trailer which consisted of a big wooden box on wheels. The box must have measured four feet in length, three feet high and the same wide. He made it himself. He had a triple bypass a while back, his wife recently died and he was out here doing it. No destination in mind. That's what it's all about.
His wife was in the box!

That's what I call a cyclist.
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Old 04-08-06, 03:47 PM   #9
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All the questions about what bike is suitable for which tour and is Brand X better than Y.
Touring is about getting out there and doing it, with what you've got.
Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 04-08-06, 05:02 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=Coyote
Turns out this guy is on the last leg of a tour that started four days ago in Pittsburg, PA. . .with two dogs! Turns out he does this a lot! . . .with dogs!! He was soaked through, but happy as a clam.
[/QUOTE]

I never had dogs but I've heard that dogs should not receive this kind of exercise because it's excessive. Maybe I'm wrong but I feel kind of sorry for the animals who had to due the journey on foot.
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Old 04-08-06, 05:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
I never had dogs but I've heard that dogs should not receive this kind of exercise because it's excessive. Maybe I'm wrong but I feel kind of sorry for the animals who had to due the journey on foot.
You've never had dogs, so it might be understandable you think this is a problem. I know most people have fat dogs that see no exercise, or adopt breeds that are sedentary. But many dogs are high energy breeds that WANT this kind of trip. My dog's warm-up? A 6 mile run in the morning and chasing a tennis ball for an hour. Then he takes a short nap, and wants more.

Feel sorry for the other dogs, with inattentive owners, not this guy, who clearly involves his dogs in his lives. I bet those are darn happy dogs.

Right now my is sleeping after his day's activities: a five mile backcountry hike in the Shawangunks, frisbee play, and then a 8 mile run alongside my mountain bike on some doubletrack. In an hour, he'll up for more.
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Old 04-08-06, 06:09 PM   #12
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Yes, this guy from Germany just came riding through our town on an around the world tour. He had two beefy huskies running along beside him. According to him, they apparently help pull him up hills too.
Added benefit
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Old 04-08-06, 06:52 PM   #13
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I used to have a Malamute and he loved to run all day long. I think it depends on the breed and the rider. A rider that is sensitive to his animals and only rides as long as necessary would be fine with a breed that is energetic, healthy, and made to run.

Az
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Old 04-08-06, 07:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCommuter
You've never had dogs, so it might be understandable you think this is a problem. I know most people have fat dogs that see no exercise, or adopt breeds that are sedentary. But many dogs are high energy breeds that WANT this kind of trip. My dog's warm-up? A 6 mile run in the morning and chasing a tennis ball for an hour. Then he takes a short nap, and wants more.

Feel sorry for the other dogs, with inattentive owners, not this guy, who clearly involves his dogs in his lives. I bet those are darn happy dogs.

Right now my is sleeping after his day's activities: a five mile backcountry hike in the Shawangunks, frisbee play, and then a 8 mile run alongside my mountain bike on some doubletrack. In an hour, he'll up for more.

I have a sled dog.....yes, right from Alaska. I canít imagine a dog with any more energy; she is exercised often. Typically she runs while I mountain bike in the woods. Normally 10 - 20 miles a ride. Even though she is exercised......her pads get torn up and become sensitive. She will keep whatever pace I set, I have to think a little and not let her inflict more damage to herself.

As an extreme example; The Iditarod contestants cover 1100 miles in approx 10 days. They are constantly attending to the dogs nutrition; training; medical conditions; dehydration; etc.....from the somewhat comical description of this tourer.....I doubt he was that attentive to the dogs condition. I would have to agree with the previous post and feel sorry for the dogs.
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