Saturday, May 26, 2012


anyone missing a bike? 
I'm riding up the Mississippi River vicariously through the experiences of my friends and in particular my riding buddy Debbi who just arrived in Iowa to capture the essence of epic riding from Burlington, Iowa to Lake Itasca, Minnesota.  The way I figured it two weeks of riding the Mississippi with Debbi was better than not riding with her at all.  Strange how things turned out, isn't it?   Because, damn it,  I'm not riding with her at all.  

Thanks to my biking friends who are helping to keep the dream alive.  With frequent Facebook posts and photos, daily blogs,  emails and phone calls,  but without the saddle sores or achy muscles, I've enjoyed the playfulness,  challenge, excitement, disappointments, and the beauty of the land-- many of the elements an epic ride has to offer.  On the other hand,  I've really missed being on the bike myself, bonding with my fellow riders, experiencing middle America for the first time, and listening to stories told by local folks who probably walk in shoes much different than my own.  I can certainly attest to the kindness and generosity of the people of Louisiana and Mississippi, but that's as far as I got, so I'm taking the liberty of sharing some thoughts from a fellow rider who recently posted on Facebook her impressions of  the land and the people she has experienced so far.    
Near Burlington, Iowa 

"My uncle asked what my favorite state was so far and I was hard pressed to answer. This has not been a trip about America's great parks or natural wonders as much as it has been a cultural experience of my own people. Upon reflection, from an A&W here in Iowa, I have to say that thus far Iowa seems to be the strangest place I've probably ever been. It is American Gothic with completely unnecessary malnutrition, yet almost everyone is overweight. I dont think this is about the usual tropes about over indulgence. I think people here are unknowingly deprived of things that will truly satisfy and nourish. I'm thinking it's corn syrup and refined flour that's the culprit, and so many folks even appear to be in physical pain. That may also be due to the economy and the fact that people are working so hard. It makes me wonder if that is part of the reason for such an increase in pain killer abuse. Now, For beauty and classic Americana on this trip, I'd say Missouri was a treat. It was classic rolling farmland, quaint towns, and green everywhere.

For a real eye-opener on American poverty, that would be Mississippi. Louisiana had aspects of all of the above, but also had that wacky southern swampy vibe going on, which was kinda fun in its own way.

But despite any of my apparent criticism, I have to again point out that we have still even treated everywhere, without exception, to kindness, curiosity, encouragement and generosity. There is a sense of humans all being in the same boat here that is noticeably missing in places like LA, NY, London, whatever. I wish the democrat 
could tap into that more...because that seems to be what America really is."

I'm tired of writing about tingling hands and numb fingers, so I won't bore you with this any longer,  except to say I changed my mind about going East this weekend and am staying home instead to focus on healing through continued rest and PT.  Bruce flies home on Tuesday.  YES!

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