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Photo by Adam Coppola
In the 2011 Oct/Nov issue of Adventure Cyclist I wrote a column titled The Decision. It got a lot of responses. I recently read the column on Weekday, a show on public radio station KUOW in Seattle.
The cherry blossoms were in full bloom and I thoroughly enjoyed the spring (or summer) weather while I attended the 2012 National Bike Summit at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. last week.
It never fails, no matter how iron clad your pack list is, there will always be something you realize you missed, in addition to lot of things you realize you don't really need. For the extra items, you can always ship those back home when you reach a post office, and with the items you forgot, you can usually pick them along they way. One fun thing about touring is that when I say pick thing up along the way, I really mean along the way. Over the years, I've found a lot of odd items laying on or next to the road while riding that I have found useful.
It boggles my mind to imagine how many walls I've leaned my bike against. And the closer I get to a wall, the better I like the view. Many walls can look mundane from a distance. Their beauty is revealed only upon closer inspection.
Walls make excellent photo subjects. They stand still. They never tire. And they don't even mind if you lean your bicycle against them while you find just the right angle.
If I were to attempt this dance, there would be much yelling and cursing from my fellow dancers, as my stick connected with flesh rather than wood. My partner would be the one with swollen knuckles and bandages on his head.
There is slightly less pain in the world because I took up bicycle touring, rather than stick dancing.
Let's get right into the down and dirty of bicycle touring. What about laundry?
If you are on a route with plenty of hotels and/or laundromats, the answer is pretty obvious. But what about those journeys far enough off the beaten track where laundry facilities are not an option?