About a week ago I called my parents from a campsite in Oregon. It was the first time I called them since I started biking in Vancouver. I told them about the Kiwi who was cycling from northern Canada to Argentina. I told them about the family of four–mom, dad, and six and nine year old daughters–who were touring Canada.
I told these stories because these people are fascinating and wonderful. But I also told them to reassure myself–that I’m not that crazy.
A few hours later the same evening, Tori, the New Zealander with his sights set on Argentina, rolled into camp. He mentioned that he had met a runner–A RUNNER–who is running all the way to Argentina. “Whenever someone says that I’m crazy I just tell them about the guy who’s running to Argentina.”
And of course I chuckled a little. Because whenever someone calls me crazy, I will just tell them about the guy who is riding his bike to Argentina.
But the comparisons are all for naught. You can always find some who is crazier than you to assuage your doubts. Either we are all crazy or none of us are.
The crazies (and links to their blogs):
Bala: The elusive Indian cyclist chef. While in Victoria, BC, I stayed with a young woman via the cycling network warms showers. She shared with me her Indian leftovers–made by a cyclist, Bala, who had stayed at her place the night before. We had them for dinner and for lunch the next day. I thanked him for the delicious food via the warm showers website. Two weeks later I heard his name in a coffee shop in Bandon, Oregon. He had passed through the day before–I just missed him. I have yet to meet him, but he is out there and on his way to Argentina.
Jenny: Jenny and husband Shane set out out to bike tour Canada and Washington. It wasn’t their first tour, but it was the first time with daughters Alli, 9, and Jill, 6. Each parent added a third wheel to his/her bike so one daughter could ride behind. If the girls aren’t pedaling each parent is pulling about 160 pounds of weight (for reference I’m probably carrying about 40 pounds of weight, if that). I had the pleasure of meeting them on my first day of bike travel–spending the morning with them reminded me of why it is that we bike travel!
Tori: Tori is going all the way to Argentina on his bike. You wouldn’t know just from looking, but he has packed clothes that cover all climates from northern Canada to Central America to the Andes. He also has the tools (and knowledge) to fix most things.
Cayla: Cayla was the first woman my age that I met traveling solo! Actually, she wasn’t completely alone because she brought her 55 pound dog, Otis, along for the ride. Cayla is touring the coast from Victoria to San Francisco. She packs up her panniers with gear and puts Otis in a trailer for the ride. (Check out her blog for pictures of Otis!)
This is awesome.