Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I learned today that my trial in Texas for the drunk driving arrest back in October will be May 7th. It took them over 6 months to get around to it so I’ll be heading back to Texas next month. So much for a speedy trial.

Ah well, in the U.S. drunk drivers lose their license for a time generally. I imagine I will too. So I have been looking at bicycle touring sites. The thing is, you can learn a lot about great roads and routes from long distance bicyclists even if you ride a motorcycle. Especially the folks on mountain bikes traveling the back roads.

These guys are tough and determined. The folks riding solo are generally very interesting people. They tend to be fiercely independent. My kind of people. Like this fellow I met in Southern Mexico who had started in Alaska and was heading to Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America:

Or this Japanese cyclist I met out in the middle of the Atacama desert in Chile last year:

He was a physics professor on sabbatical. Out in the middle of nowhere. Mind you, the Atacama desert is the driest place on the planet. There is nothing out here. No plants, no animals, no birds, no trees, no water, no insects. Just a ribbon of asphalt for 1000 miles with nothing but rocks and sand. I would ride off on a side road to take a siesta in the shade of my bike and there was nothing but the silence of the desert.

And this Japanese cyclist had a bum knee. He was hurting. There hadn’t been any signs of civilization for the last 100 miles and here he was out in the middle of the desert pumping those pedals. What are you going to do? I gave him all my water and food since neither he nor I knew for sure when the next place to get anything was.

I often wonder how that fellow made out. Of course you can always flag down a passing motorist. But he was one determined traveler. I assume his thinking was, “By God, I’ll get to the end of the earth on this bicycle if it kills me.” I liked his style.

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