Today is Sunday the 27th of April. Next Saturday Jon and I will begin his trek from Williamsburg, Virginia to Astoria, Oregon. An adventure that has been a dream of ours for several years. We began our journey more than six years ago, on a whim, to try and ride across New Mexico from West to East. We traveled through towns with names like Quemado, Pie Town, Datil, Magdalena. Through old trails like Journado del Muerto where the only refuge was a town named Bingham with two buildings; one was a magazine editor, and the other a rock salesman. The journey lasted nearly ten days and we covered over 550 miles. Little did we know at that time where our bikes would eventually take us. Since then we have ,over the course of the last 5 years, traveled roads paralleling the continental divide from Mexico to Jasper Canada. The multitudes of sites and friends we met along the way will always be a special part of our lives.
Next week Jon is undertaking what to some may seem an insurmountable task of crossing these United States. I am honored to join him for his first 500 miles. Anticipation by Merriam-Webster is "a prior action that takes into account or forestalls a later action; the act of looking forward". If I did not anticipate then half the experience of the the journey would be lost. Anticipation gives us an opportunity to develop in our minds the cans and cannots of the future. Therefore we attempt to anticipate any outcome that may be before us on this journey. But we also must be flexible, able to yield to unknown influence and adapt to change.
Riding requires an application of concentration unmatched by any other mode of transportation. First of all you must pack everything you may need to make the journey safe and possible, without packing so much that you are overweight. You must know your way without fault. Every wrong turn only adds anguish and consternation to a long day in the saddle. Planning includes clothing for any unseen change in the weather. You must maintain balance on your bike and in your mind. Wondering minds can bring you to undesirable destinations and wasted time. Fatigue will bring you to your knees. But proper attitude will allow you to enjoy the change and be flexible enough to adapt.
Someone once asked my how we could ride 50, 60, 80 miles a day and I explained that we don't think of it as a long ride but rather sever short rides in one day. We ride ten miles over and over. Every stop is a new view and a new adventure; remember "time is but a moving thing" and Jon will be pushing time from shore to shore. I am anticipating a great trip and Jon has the ability and flexibility to make it happen. I wish him good luck but I know he doesn't need it because he has anticipated this trip for years and he has the ability to adapt.