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Ever been mischaracterized because of your journals?

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Ever been mischaracterized because of your journals?

Old 03-18-09, 09:55 AM
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Ever been mischaracterized because of your journals?

A friend sent me this link which contains the paragraqphs below.

"John Egan is fond of striking out across the West's most barren landscapes. He's stayed at Mercey Hot Springs and ventured solo deep into the Nevada desert.


Then there's Hank Raines, whose prose conveys clearly that he's a different sort of person. First, when Raines left on continent-spanning pedals, he did so in the company of his two Jack Russell terriers. Anyone who's ever had a passing acquaintance with one of these dogs knows that cooping two of them up in a box on the back of a slow-moving bike for weeks at a time is a very, very bad idea.


Raines would find himself lost, after dark, with no lights, looking for a place to stay time and again.


But, in a powerful testament to the people of America, it worked out and the odd little trio made it home ready to pack up and leave again."



If you read the entire article, we're only a small blurb in a much bigger story. No problem, I like the overall point of the story. Also, I recognize the name of the author and if memory serves me right, he might be a member here at Bike Forums?

I apologize for not being sure but I also seem to recall some connact, maybe through the old journal guestbooks or just seeing him around here or commenting on some of the journals mentioned in his story.

There are a few inaccuracies in the part related to us but that's ok, I haven't felt the need or desire to defend our trips in years. I don't see his article as character assassination, but as opinion based on his own perspective of my own writing and his own pre-bias.

Seems totally reasonable and understandable to me. Just inaccurate.

I'm more interested in seeing examples of mischaracterizations of you and your tours from those of you who keep journals.

We haven't stopped touring but we did stop journalizing circa 2005. I asked for opinions on the dark side of journalizing a few months back. The dark side to me is more related to the delicate balance is sharing your trip with the limited time you have to enjoy all the other wonderful aspects of touring. So, that's a different discussion than mischaracterizations although I can see where they would overlap.

So, to those who journalize, have anything to share, good or bad about how you are characterized when people tell your story?

(Look jamawani, we were mentioned in the same story)

Airwick
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Old 03-18-09, 10:26 AM
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Your exerpts make me laugh - one is a brilliant hero, the other is a lost bumbler? And the author must know your dogs personally, eh?

My experience is that people don't get it, and it takes a delicate touch to make 'em understand. I was on the GDMBR last year and someone published my SPOT list, which then went out of control. Half the people told me what a hero I was on a given day, while the other half wondered why I only went 50 miles (in the Rockies). Half commented on how it must be so lonely out there, while others got snarky when I stayed in a town and did laundry. I had an adventure with the El Malpais Mud (super sticky stuff) which I found laughable, mostly - dragging a bike to a cattleguard and poking mud with a stick for an hour is not the usual game ya know - and I got slammed for poor route planning! There's only one route, folks, and those monsoon storms just kind of wander about the sky like storms do.

So I developed one answer for those who thought I was a homeless person. Another for those who thought I was a worldly adventurer, like the new Magellan or something. Another for dudes in the bar who thought I was a freak if I didn't have my pickup truck. It made it even more refreshing to meet a fellow rider, because they (you) are the only ones who get it

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Old 03-18-09, 10:45 AM
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Huh?

Adventurer? I'm trying to figure out what to feed Big Woo - who is ALWAYS ravenous.
Some adventure. Then I have to get the truck to the mechanic to look at the differential and fix the plumbing in the kitchen sink.
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Old 03-18-09, 10:48 AM
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Uuuuhhhh, that'd be me,

I'm sorry, Hank, if you take exception to my remarks. Of course you know that the point of my ramblings was to promote CGOAB. As much as I miss your journals, I did worry about you when you were on the road. Remember the assault at the abandoned service station in California, the after dark rambles? As a person who also shares his life with a JRT, one who is seldom more than 5 feet away unless I'm on the road, I feel a kinship toward you (your loyalty to George W. Bush notwithstanding), and I certainly would have parsed my remarks more carefully had I thought there was the remotest chance they'd ever make their way across the country to you!

Best,

Mark
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Old 03-18-09, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by paxtonm
Uuuuhhhh, that'd be me,

I'm sorry, Hank, if you take exception to my remarks. Of course you know that the point of my ramblings was to promote CGOAB. As much as I miss your journals, I did worry about you when you were on the road. Remember the assault at the abandoned service station in California, the after dark rambles? As a person who also shares his life with a JRT, one who is seldom more than 5 feet away unless I'm on the road, I feel a kinship toward you (your loyalty to George W. Bush notwithstanding), and I certainly would have parsed my remarks more carefully had I thought there was the remotest chance they'd ever make their way across the country to you!

Best,

Mark
Hi Mark!
I wasn't criticizing you and I have no problem with what you wrote. You are wrong on most of your assumptions, but no problem here. Here is an example:

"Remember the assault at the abandoned service station in California, the after dark rambles?"

I think you're referring to the attack by the guys driving the car on my 'Route 66 without Airwick" tour. The keyword here is without and it was at an old school/museum in Goffs. I'm pretty sure the attack was because I was wearing orange bicycle socks and when they confronted me, I didn't back down.

The reply by SandLizrd says it perfectly. People make assumptions that become "fact" for them and then it takes on a life of its own. You've always been kind to me and I appreciate the fact you even thought we were worthy to be mentioned in your article discussing some of the greats.

It did give me the opportunity to bring up a topic that I think could make for an interesting discussion.

Course, you're dead wrong on George, but you'll find that out soon enough on your own.

All the best,

Hank and Airwick
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Old 03-18-09, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by SandLizrd
Your exerpts make me laugh - one is a brilliant hero, the other is a lost bumbler?
Since Mark was referring to John/jamawani in the first case (brilliant hero) and me/Airwick in the second (lost bumbler) I would say his story is more accurate than not. Only wrong when it comes to Airwick and Agape but that's for another day.

Your story is what I'm interested in and stories from others with like experiences.

I have no complaints. Some of the nicest things have been said about me because of our adventures and some of the silliest. You have to take the good with the bad and after all, that's only fair.

Hank
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Old 03-18-09, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by jamawani
Huh?

Adventurer? I'm trying to figure out what to feed Big Woo - who is ALWAYS ravenous.
Some adventure. Then I have to get the truck to the mechanic to look at the differential and fix the plumbing in the kitchen sink.
A regular Edmund Hillary you are, Professor.

I'm going to look for SandLizrd's Great Divide Ride, read, then post snide remarks about his trip to make myself feel better about the fact I haven't been brave enough to give that adventure the green light.

In all seriousness, that's a wonderful journey and must leave you an amazing sense of accomplishment.

Get the plumbing fixed, pronto!

edit:


"Raines would find himself lost, after dark, with no lights, looking for a place to stay time and again."

What do you think, John? Not quite true but made me laugh and hey, if it gets me mentioned with you and Tsuo H Law, who am I to complain?
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Old 03-18-09, 12:00 PM
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Ok, I am going to side track this. I have a 6 month old Jack Russell. Will it EVER calm down even SLIGHTLY? She is a hilarious dog, but she is driving my wife INSANE. She furniture surfs . . . we have two love seats and a sofa that form a U shape in the living room. She gets a running start in the dining room, leaps up onto the first love seat, and races around the rim of the seat backs, bounces onto the hearth, and then back onto the love seat. She will make this lap four or five times in a row, and then pounce on the chihuahua, the cat, one of my three kids, or whatever else happens to be close. She never bites, but she reminds me of a meth addict.
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Old 03-18-09, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by El Pelon
Ok, I am going to side track this. I have a 6 month old Jack Russell. Will it EVER calm down even SLIGHTLY? She is a hilarious dog, but she is driving my wife INSANE. She furniture surfs . . . we have two love seats and a sofa that form a U shape in the living room. She gets a running start in the dining room, leaps up onto the first love seat, and races around the rim of the seat backs, bounces onto the hearth, and then back onto the love seat. She will make this lap four or five times in a row, and then pounce on the chihuahua, the cat, one of my three kids, or whatever else happens to be close. She never bites, but she reminds me of a meth addict.
sorry, no.

Your answer is to "calm her down" will to keep her completely occupied by bicycling across country and then being lampooned for your efforts by those with dogs not on meth.

God bless you for your undertaking and know there is a special crown that awaits you in heaven for those who adopt jack russells.

Airwick
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Old 03-18-09, 12:13 PM
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Yeah, we've been majorly mischaracterized!! Just read a few of these excerpts...

But the thrusting of their eight children into the disrupting chaos of constant cameras, media attention and unpredictable influences by Jon and Kate Gosselin is innocence itself compared to the brilliantly despicable project of former teachers Jon and Nancy Vogel...
Their on-line diary makes it abundantly clear that the children were often poorly fed, uncomfortable, unhappy and endangered as the Vogels, who were cross-country biking enthusiasts before having children, followed their “dreams.” This often required risking their children’s necks on dangerous stretches of road…
“…The route was very rugged and hilly. At the end of the ride my shoulders, arms, and hands were sore because I was gripping the handlebars with all my might as I was petrified when we rode on the side of a shoulderless road inches away from a 500 foot drop-off. But all is well and we're in Big Sur….
…camping in badly sheltered areas…
…Because the mountains were barren, the campground had no shelter and the 'campsites' were slanted and the ground was similar to a hard-packed gravel road. My second thought was that I was going to have a sleepless night. Fortunately there was a forest service maintenance shed that was closed on 3 sides, had a roof and a concrete floor. We spread out our tarp, laid our mats and sleeping bags in it and slept fairly comfortably that night (except for the occational insect who for some reason decided to crawl across my face). It’s a good thing we decided to take refuge here because the wind howled violently all night and there were several sustained torrential downpours….
…forcing the children to bike up hills that would discourage adults..
…And then we looked ahead to the California section and those 1000-ft or 1500-ft climbs left us shaking in our boots. So when someone told me yesterday that we had a 2500-ft climb to the Grand Canyon and I simply shrugged and said, "That's now too bad." I was stunned. I'm looking forward to the day when I can shrug my shoulders and say, "Eh!" to a 5000-ft climb.
…and pushing them onward even when they are sick…
…Davy has been complaining about being "hungry...just so hungry" for the past couple of hours. I gave him some carrots and he devoured them. When he arrived to the campsite he still complained about being hungry, so I have him more carrots while we got organized. I finally made him a peanut butter and jelly tortilla - and he threw it all up after taking one bite. It's interesting how we learn things - he knew his tummy hurt, but didn't know the difference between hunger and an upset stomach. I suppose now he knows. As we sat by the fire, Davy would occasionally jump up and puke more carrot soup...hope he has emptied his stomach as we all want a good sleep tonight....
You have to admit, it’s a clever act. The Vogels move through the states quickly (“Peddle faster, boys!”), so no jurisdiction is going to enforce its various laws relating to the care and treatment of children. The website, familyonbikes.org, is bright and professionally designed, with the characteristic look of home schooling sites across the web. The children look healthy and happy...

In the end, I came to the conclusion that there are some people out there who feel that kids SHOULD be locked up in a classroom all day and then sit in front of a TV all evening. It took me a long time to get over the shock of that article, but now it doesn't bother me.
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Old 03-18-09, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Airwick
I'm going to look for SandLizrd's Great Divide Ride, read, then post snide remarks about his trip to make myself feel better about the fact I haven't been brave enough to give that adventure the green light.

In all seriousness, that's a wonderful journey and must leave you an amazing sense of accomplishment.

Actually, Airwick, I carry the opinion that I am/was just a dude on a bike ride. Wonderful journey, yes - accomplishment, well I can't deny it - but don't forget "man didn't want to work so he went riding" along with "only rode 10 miles some days" and "stopped at every bar, some adventurer he is." The GD racers have a story to tell, I don't.

And that's why I didn't publish anything! I've enjoyed reading CrazyGuy and there are some fine writers out there with great stories, but that ain't me. Like I said, the people don't get it and I don't have the delicate touch to make the masses understand. Someone else published my SPOTs so forced my hand - it's hard to get angry at friends and family, but I knew better than to do that!

More power to the writers out there, and I hope your pen is mightier than every variety of snide remark by those who aren't brave enough to adventure....
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Old 03-18-09, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by nancy sv
Yeah, we've been majorly mischaracterized!! Just read a few of these excerpts...

In the end, I came to the conclusion that there are some people out there who feel that kids SHOULD be locked up in a classroom all day and then sit in front of a TV all evening. It took me a long time to get over the shock of that article, but now it doesn't bother me.

Nancy,
I thought of you guys when I posted the thread! Keep pedaling, you're awesome.

Originally Posted by SandLizrd
Actually, Airwick, I carry the opinion that I am/was just a dude on a bike ride. Wonderful journey, yes - accomplishment, well I can't deny it - but don't forget "man didn't want to work so he went riding" along with "only rode 10 miles some days" and "stopped at every bar, some adventurer he is." The GD racers have a story to tell, I don't.
Can't agree with you here, SandLizrd. There aren't enough journals on the Great Divide and the pictures of what you experienced would be fascinating to someone like me who has thought about giving it a go.

If you disagree with me again, ever, I shall be forced to pen something sarcastic and attempt to belittle you for all the world to see.

Affectionately,

Airwick

PS Nancy, please post some pictures of those abused children.
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Old 03-18-09, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Airwick
I'm more interested in seeing examples of mischaracterizations of you and your tours from those of you who keep journals.
Miscategorize you? Why, because you're obviously an air freshener? Never happen
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Old 03-18-09, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by CCrew
Miscategorize you? Why, because you're obviously an air freshener? Never happen
"Then there's Hank Raines, whose prose conveys clearly that he's a different sort of person."

I read this once about Percy Bysshe Shelley. No matter the intent, I am honored.

and I smell nice too,.............

Airwick
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Old 03-18-09, 12:48 PM
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I am jealous that no one mis-categorized me.
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Old 03-18-09, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Airwick
sorry, no.

Your answer is to "calm her down" will to keep her completely occupied by bicycling across country and then being lampooned for your efforts by those with dogs not on meth.

God bless you for your undertaking and know there is a special crown that awaits you in heaven for those who adopt jack russells.

Airwick
I was afraid of that. I actually have found ONE thing that calms her down. I designed a bucket that straps onto the luggage rack of my motorcycle. It has a three point harness. I purchased sheepskin lined googles designed for dogs, and I take her for cruises now and then. She absolutely LOVES it.

They are great dogs, but oh my GOD they are work!
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Old 03-18-09, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
I am jealous that no one mis-categorized me.

Pete, my apology.

I've always been a big fan of your TA and bragged about you.

I promise to rectify the situation and start a vicious rumor about you no later than tomorrow.



Cheers!

Originally Posted by El Pelon
I was afraid of that. I actually have found ONE thing that calms her down. I designed a bucket that straps onto the luggage rack of my motorcycle. It has a three point harness. I purchased sheepskin lined googles designed for dogs, and I take her for cruises now and then. She absolutely LOVES it.
Abuse! you heartless son of a gun. I am on the phone with PETA now.

You'll get yours, El Pelon.
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Old 03-18-09, 01:16 PM
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Well, the OP and I agree on how we feel about Bushes.

I have a wall of lilac bushes on the south side of the yard that are absolutely bee-you-tee-full in spring.
Which, in Wyoming, means Memorial Day.
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Old 03-18-09, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Airwick


Abuse! you heartless son of a gun. I am on the phone with PETA now.

You'll get yours, El Pelon.
Hijole! What's better for a dog . . . sitting in a dog run, or getting out on the open road and catching some bugs in his teeth. Actually, the real danger for a dog on a moto (other than the risk of death) is with the eyes, which is why the "experts" recommend goggles. My chihuahua, Fidel, rides with me on the motorcycle too, but he fits inside my jacket. The Jack Russell, Hugo (yeah, it's a boy's name, but I wanted to stick with socialist Latin American dictators . . . my next dog will be named Evo), also enjoys swimming in the pool, chewing on my shoes, chasing the cat, shredding the newspaper, chasing the mailman, chasing the paper boy, chasing my bicycles, and eating. Great dog.

Never thought much about taking him on the touring bike, but not a bad idea, I suppose. He's already proven he can sit still at high speeds . . . shouldn't be too much of a problem to wedge him into a similar rig for trips on the road. What did you use as a carrier for your pooches? How heavy? What did you do about food for the dogs?
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Old 03-18-09, 02:55 PM
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Here's what I don't get about blogging or online journaling or whatever it's being called this week.

If you expect your readers to unanimously greet your postings with glee and celebration...
and you are unwilling to even consider any criticism...
then why do you bother?

I see this in blogs of all types. The only comments that usually get posted are back-slapping and "you go girl" stuff. I'm sure every blog gets critical comments but it appears that they always get deleted.

My personal reaction to the comments that nancy sv posted, are exactly the same as those of her critic. Does that mean I have "mischaracterized"? No, it means that I have a different point of view. If you can't deal with that, then don't blog.
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Old 03-18-09, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Airwick
Pete, my apology.

I've always been a big fan of your TA and bragged about you.

I promise to rectify the situation and start a vicious rumor about you no later than tomorrow.
Thanks, I feel much better now.
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Old 03-18-09, 03:37 PM
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Calm down?

Not likely, mate. People don't elect to live with Jack Russell terriers because they're "easy." At 5, Sparky is calmer, but only to family members who've known him since he was a puppy. He still "surfs" on the furniture the way you describe, but it's down to about once a day.

I've lived with dogs all my life, and on the occasions when I've not had one near me, I feel as if I'm missing a vital appendage. But I've never, ever, enjoyed the companionship of an animal more than Sparky. Part of it is because he's demanding. Our two daughters are away at university, and Sparky fills the nurturing need very nicely.

Best of luck, and enjoy the adventure!
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Old 03-18-09, 04:53 PM
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I'm going to look for SandLizrd's Great Divide Ride, read, then post snide remarks about his trip to make myself feel better about the fact I haven't been brave enough to give that adventure the green light
Jealousy is a painful thing for most people.

In the end, I came to the conclusion that there are some people out there who feel that kids SHOULD be locked up in a classroom all day and then sit in front of a TV all evening. It took me a long time to get over the shock of that article, but now it doesn't bother me.
See above comment. Also, your boys are blessed, and they will know that when they grow up if they don't now. What an amazing experience to be so young and be able to be so worldly.

Critics are just that. They need something to make others look bad. That's why they're critics.
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Old 03-18-09, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jamawani
Well, the OP and I agree on how we feel about Bushes.

I have a wall of lilac bushes on the south side of the yard that are absolutely bee-you-tee-full in spring.
Which, in Wyoming, means Memorial Day.

I am the OP, good Sir, and I almost fell out of my chair thinking you had finally come to your senses.

Originally Posted by El Pelon
What did you use as a carrier for your pooches? How heavy? What did you do about food for the dogs?




It's an xtracycle with a doggy carrier attachment we prototyped ourselves. Works quite nicely for many reasons.

Originally Posted by nancy sv
Yeah, we've been majorly mischaracterized!! Just read a few of these excerpts...
Nancy,
I was going to reply to the post above, but after reading your reply I thought it would be better to address this to you.

Don't respond in any fashion to their nonsense! People who state their opinions as facts are often the first to cry and protest when you defend yourself against ignorant slander.

We have no issue with someone sharing their opinions. The problem is when they have no clue about what they are writing.
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Last edited by Airwick; 03-19-09 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 03-18-09, 11:40 PM
  #25  
Neil_B
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Originally Posted by Airwick
Pete, my apology.

I've always been a big fan of your TA and bragged about you.

I promise to rectify the situation and start a vicious rumor about you no later than tomorrow.



Cheers!

Already done last March. On the Clydesdale forum I described a ride with someone named "Windsor Tourist."
 

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