Mid Winter Meltdown

Its cold out there.  Not Duluth, MN cold but still very cold.  Our cats are getting pretty grumpy about it.  The skiing is good, though!  Lots of snow down.   Went out a few nights ago as the full moon was rising and it was one of those moments to live for I tell ya, skiing over fresh sparkly snow with that glowing orb hanging overhead.

I love winter and mostly if I am complaining about it I am just after more of it, not less.  The ski season is unpredictable in Iowa and the snowshoe season does not really exist.  We get out as we can and take what we get and even as I  love the season I still find myself day dreaming about warmer times, and this morning I scrounged up a few pictures of summer bike touring that got me all excited to get back to it.

My first non-supported (RAGBRAI/TOMRV) tour was in 2003 as near as I can figure and this was  my rig.  I bought this Motobecane  for either 10 or 15 dollars (we never could remember) from a friend and he threw in the rack for free.   I rode it just as I got it but for pedals, saddle, bottle cages and aero brake levers.  Plus, as a tacky bonus I went with the “freedom” cork tape.  I got to EP the bags through the shop I was working at and off I went!

I camped in Montezuma and then rode to Des Moines to meet my spiritual advisor who had agreed to ride his Motobecane along with me.  We spent a couple of days aiming for

RAGBRAI and had some fine adventures along the way.  Covered bridges, small town bachelorette parties, bar bathroom showers and close encounters with cow pies.  Pretty

standard Iowa bike touring situations.  As soon as I saw our friends support van the first morning of Ragby proper I threw my bags in it right quick but my interest in touring had been born!  Now I have taken a few other tours, the longest was 10 days.  Cody also

enjoys this mode of travel and we have learned a lot about equipment and bikes and such, making due with our road or cross bikes and even having a go on a loaded tandem this past summer.  We both built touring specific bikes but have yet to use them for that purpose.  Once the snow is gone and the seasons have changed we should be cyclo-tourists once again but for now we have only our memories and some more skiing to do.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    bless you AND your little cow pies.
    and cody’s too.

  2. 2

    ah! the timeless allure of being a cycle-tourist. all those pics get me excited to tour a bit this summer. it’ll get me through the winter knowing that the grass will be green, the skies blue and the roads endless this summer.


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