Florida feels like a lifetime ago, although I was in Jacksonville only last week.
As I rode to the PACEM rehearsal and concert, I felt like Charlie Brown in the comic strip. On Monday, we had 15-20 cm of powdery snow. Shoveling the driveway, I wondered if the Southern Swing had only been a dream. Only living out of my panniers reminded me that I was still “on the road”. The bounce box from Jacksonville was stuck in the UPS warehouse outside Charlottesville.
Tuesday, I was on my bike again, riding to the Pancake Supper for Shrove Tuesday (aka Mardi Gras), a tradition at our Church. I worried about snow melt re-freezing when the sun went down, but the salt brine keep everything liquid where I was riding. I was back again for the Ash Wednesday services the next night, car-pooling with Daniel. Thursday, I was reunited with my bounce box and began putting things away in my old flat, which had been a stash for the home renovation project.
Friday, I was riding to rehearsals with the Oratorio Society and revising a translation for a client in New York. It finally climbed above freezing yesterday.
Today, I am unpacking boxes and starting to do my taxes for 2013. Some of the documents I needed were waiting in the snail mail. Had I not been coming back, I would have had the mail forwarded, and done my taxes last month. The books are all electronic now.
With the Southern Swing 2013 completed, I find myself in Charlottesville, Virginia, for about two months. My stay here has several purposes:
- To lay out the Northern Trek 2014. My next major destination is the 55th American Translators Association Conference in Chicago in November. There are several way-points to include: my mother’s birthday in New York, family in New England, friends in Canada, and cousins in Michigan. I am not sure yet whether I will approximate the Adventure Cycling Association’s Northern Tier Lake Shores route or go west on the Canadian side. The bicycling distance should be comparable to the Southern Swing 2013 (4000-4500 km), but, of course, hillier.
- To finish the home renovation project. I need to stow or dispose of the rest of my things that were in storage while the house was torn apart. My small flat will be suitable for guests while I am gone.
- To sing Alexander Nevsky and Candide with the Oratorio Society of Virginia. Being back for these two jewels was an opportunity not to be missed. Anyone who will be in Roanoke, Virginia, on 17 March or in Charlottesville on 2 or 4 May should come to the performances.
- To reset this blog for the next six months. The experiment was a success. Now that I know that I can live and work on the bicycle like this, I propose to change the thrust of this blog to focus more on my experiences on the road, the people I meet, the places I see (especially for the first time), and the lessons that I learn. I will stay alert for new information about working on the road. I will also post vignettes about past bicycle experiences (sea stories, if you will). Along the way, you and I will find out why I do this, and perhaps, why anyone else should try it. Thank you to all who wrote in with your suggestions.
The first change you will notice is the new banner for the blog. This one shows the rig that I travel with today. I can’t believe how shiny the panniers and the saddle were back when I started the Southern Swing!
At least at first, the weekly blogs will alternate between current issues and the promised vignettes of past bicycle adventures. If you have a question or a request that would make a good post, I will insert those whenever they come up.
Smooth roads and tailwinds,