Based on What I’m Packing

Before I go on a trip, I lay out everything I’m packing. This obviously helps with the logistics, giving me an opportunity to see everything in one place and make sure I’m not forgetting anything. But it also helps to set the mood, and I find myself getting excited at the events coming hinted at by the items I see in front of me.

Tonight I packed for a week-long trip, flying solo to VA & SC. And based on what I’m looking at, it’s going to be a fun one …

Sister Sue, I’ll see you Tuesday morning.

Capital Trail, I’ll see you Tuesday afternoon.

VT Crew, I’ll see you Tuesday evening.

Brothers, I’ll see you Wednesday !!

Trash Negative

There is the (rare) occasion when I reach home after a ride and discover that one of my used gu packets isn’t in my pocket. And I instantly feel bad for contributing to the litter of the world. I found the solution to this sadness several years ago: the next ride out, i would pick up trash from the side of the road to offset the amount I had inadvertently contributed on the previous ride.

… And then I rode with Ralph and realized I have been aiming way too low. On our ride Ralph said, “Sorry I was late, I was moving a bumper off of the road. I had dropped my wrapper last week so I felt obligated to do some clean-up today.”

Thanks for the inspiration, Ralph! I vow to be Trash Negative in my riding going forward.

Garmin, you PoS! Errr, nevermind. | Ride | Strava

Outdo Me

I’m the parent that didn’t let my kids beat me. I focused instead on teaching them everything I knew with the end goal of them outperforming me. So that when the day finally did come that they beat me, they knew it was a genuine victory coming from them taking their learnings to the next level.

This last week was my family’s third Backroads biking trip. And I’m very happy to say that for the first time ever, for five days straight of biking, they outdid me. Watching them fade into the distance in front of me was an incredibly rewarding feeling.

Capability, competence, and capacity are beautiful to observe.

Day 1:Entering Glacier National Park | Ride | Strava

Day 2:Going to the Fog Road | Ride | Strava

Day 3, part 1:Mother Nature: 2; Jeff & Charu: 0 | Ride | Strava

Day 3, part 2:Two-way Trip to Two Medicine on Two Bikes | Ride | Strava

Day 4, part 1:Riding Flathead Whitewater | Canoe | Strava

Day 4, part 2:Cruising Back into Whitefish | Ride | Strava

Day 5:200% Polyester | Ride | Strava

Total Explorer Tiles Collected: 134 (broke 6K, ending at 6,094)

To our Glacier Backroads team and riders, I’ll echo Abby’s key word: community. Thank you so much for a true team effort this last week. I predict more trips together with you all in the years to come!

I’d Do That Again

When that epic ride is over. When just enough weeks have passed that you don’t remember the pain and wear your body was feeling. That’s when it’s time to revisit. Replay the ride in your mind. Flip through the pictures you snapped along the way. Read your ride summary. Text with your ride partners to share stories.

And then ask the question whose answer will tell you all you need to know about the value of that ride:

Would I do that again?

Hell yes: 1000mi in 2wks, Day 6: Summer Solstice Ride | Ride | Strava

Yes: Solstice (Observed) | Ride | Strava

No: Screw, Sogginess, Slide Stopped Seventh Straight Solstice Short | Ride | Strava

Hell No: RAMRODOMG | Ride | Strava

Songs to Blast …

… when you’re flying down the road with a big fuck it to everything.

saw things so much clearer once you were in my rearview mirror

and now I look a fool for thinkin’ you were on my side

i was tired of my own voice

climb up on a hilltop see what i can see

workin’ on a mystery goin’ wherever it leads

goin’ where the weather suits my clothes

scream a symphony

you’ve run around to find my sound but you got no replacement

My Camera Couldn’t Stop Taking Pictures

There are those rides where when I get done and look at all the photos, the Bono line comes to me, “‘m I buggin’ you? Don’t mean to bug ya.” But then I go ahead and drop all the photos in the ride report anyways. When my camera shutter button is broken, it means I’ve found a truly golden path.