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    Tuesday, September 22, 2009

    In case anyone was confused...

    In case anyone was confused about the cyclist who circumnavigated the globe in 174 days, finishing just a few days ago in London, THAT WASN'T US. I'm not sure which would have been more difficult for me and Jess: averaging 103 miles a day through 20 different countries (How do you expect us to sample the local beers at that rate?), or growing a beard like this guy.
    (image from the Daily Telegraph)

    Congrats to James Bowthorpe for a truly epic journey which I can't even begin to comprehend.

    Here are some additional photos from San Diego, where I was able to hook up with a Critical Mass on my second-to-last day of biking. Critical Mass is a biking movement that overtakes city streets on a spontaneous route to celebrate the joy of biking and biking pride. I've never done a Critical Mass before, and San Diego's monthly Critical Mass has been known to tear through shopping malls, movie theater lobbys, and parking garages. I wasn't able to stay for the whole Critical Mass since I had to get back for Bramble's last gig, but what a ride....

    (Before the crowds really arrived)

    About a thousand people gathered at fountain in Balboa Park at dusk. A drummer started wailing away on a drum set as people slowly started doing laps around the fountain. Eventually more and more joined the circle, and then with a few short whistle blasts the entire crowd surged forward and we were off, biking through the streets of San Diego with no idea where we were going, just surrounded by bikers on every side. To be a part of that community--the trendy fixed gear riders, the tricked-out racing bikers, the high school kids doing wheelies on BMX bikes--all moving together as a single, wacky unit with no idea where the crowd is going.... indescribable. Peter and I were the only loaded bikes and everyone asked where I had come from. When I answered, "Vancouver to Tijuana!" they couldn't believe it, and to be honest, neither could I.

    A few days later, staying at Chad's house (who I met at the Bramble gig,) he summed up my feelings for bike touring and my bike with a succinct quote from Pirates of the Caribbean, one of the top movies of all time. I like to think of myself as Jack Sparrow, both because I like pirates and because the name of my bike, the Lady Merle, rhymes with the name of his boat, the Black Pearl.

    "Wherever we want to go, we'll go. That's what a ship is, you know. It's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that's what a ship needs but what a ship is... what the Black Pearl really is... is freedom." -Pirates of the Caribbean

    That's what the Lady Merle is--freedom. Freedom to explore, to move at a perfect pace, meet crazy, amazing people, to ride off into the horizon and see what awaits.

    May you all find what makes you free and may all of your trails lead towards adventure.

    On to the next horizon...

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