Trip update: This is the end of the Southern Swing 2013. Yesterday, I rolled into Charlottesville, Virginia on a Greyhound bus from Jacksonville, Florida. Five months, 4,500 km, five States and dozens of towns, large and small. I promised my son and myself that I would devote a full month to organizing my stuff and the next trip, and that meant being back by 1 March. Today, I am singing a concert with the Oratorio Society of Virginia to benefit PACEM, an interfaith ministry that houses the homeless in our city’s places of worship during the winter months (http://www.oratoriosociety.org/concertinfo.php?concert=Mar2014).
It is NOT the end of this blog. Coming up: the Northern Trek 2014. I will be laying out the broad strokes in the coming month, and report out on it as soon as I have something. Posts will continue at 1400 every Saturday. PLEASE CONTINUE READING.
However, this is something of a turning point for the blog. Until now, I have provided a short trip update each week before delving into the topic of the week. I have deliberately stayed away from becoming another travelogue, but maybe the trip is more interesting than the details of organizing my life on the road.
For one thing, there will not be that much that is different about going North in terms of planning and organization. I want to do something creative about the “bounce box” paradigm, but I seem to have answered the other questions that we had when I set out.
Certainly, I can report on those changes without trying hard to write an article about some aspect of working on the road. That argues in favor of the travelogue: more description of what I am experiencing, rather than a terse trip update.
On the other hand, would you like to see more about different aspects of working on the road? Our friend Peter, for example, lived on the road as an electrician for years. My colleague Stefano is a missionary, travelling constantly to facilitate workshops and provide spiritual direction all over the Western Hemisphere. I have seen the linemen, drillers, road construction crews, traveling salesmen, and others in the extended-stay hotels and motels that I have used. If you would like more of this reporting, I don’t mind interviewing my temporary neighbors as I travel. It might make an interesting read.
One change in perspective might be to offer a window into what I am working on as I travel. Some travel writers do this to some extent, but many writers (including me) are superstitious about discussing their unfinished projects. I can’t tell you exactly what I am translating when I am doing that, because of client confidentiality. However, the road poses special challenges for each project and overcoming these may be interesting and instructive. I can do that without revealing the actual texts involved.
There you have it. As I get organized this week to set a new course, please let me know what you would like to read. I may do a little of all of the above, but it would help me focus to know that someone out there prefers one or the other aspect of what I have been blogging.
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Until next week,
Smooth roads and tailwinds,
You are back! If you are heading to New England, there is a 17 mile bike path in Rhode Island from Providence to Bristol (it may be longer now) that is beautiful.
Thanks, Elizabeth. I’ll check it out. Last time, I went through Rhode Island via Aquidneck Island. The inland route may be nice for a change.
You have done an excellent job of presenting the logistics of life on the road. Now it is time to add some fun on the road reporting. Knowing a little more about your work would be interesting.
You may want to check out the bike journals on the forum called “crazyguyonabike” here is the link. http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?pics=small I have been reading of other riders travels for years on this site. Also the rails to trails group and the East Coast Greenway have dedicated riding routes of interest. Maybe a ride along the Katy trail, or the Silver Comet in Georgia, or the Natchez Trace with some photos and commentary would be nice.
What ever you decide I hope it is to keep riding and keep writing.
Dear Peter —
Thanks for your input. Your feedback is always helpful. I love that link to crazyguyonabike. I took a quick look, and I will be back to it.
So far, I have been unimpressed by any stretches of the East Coast Greenway that I have travelled, except for the piece alongside the Hudson River on Manhattan. You probably have figured out that I like to go the shortest distance between destinations, a goal I share with motorists. I find that the motorists almost always are accorded the smoother surfaces, the gentler grades, and the most direct routes. Thus, I find myself sharing the road with cars rather than the Greenway with pedestrians.
This exchange has given me the idea of contrasting my style of travel with the tours cataloged by Neil Gunton. I may be able to bring a different perspective, because I am not touring, but travelling from point to point.
I will look closely at his website, and maybe upload the Climate Ride 2012 and GNI 2013. Those already resemble the kind of trips on the website.
Again, thanks for the ideas. Let’s see what other ideas come up.
Hi Jonathan –
I would love to hear how your naval career and experiences influence what you see/do/feel on the road. It might be a nice way for you to connect with retired naval personnel as well.
Wishing you warm days ahead,
Dear Michele —
What a refreshing point-of-view. Thank you! Three decades of carrying my bicycle on board has to have had some effect. I’ll work on that.
30 years of bike on a boat must make for a bunch of great tales