During Memorial Day Weekend, let's honor our fallen and those serving on active duty. It's a rare luck of fate that each of us enjoys being an American citizen. If you have cycled or traveled across six continents and endless countries, you understand that America remains a beacon of hope and inspiration for the world.
Therefore, this column represents most people in America. It represents our highest and best as human beings. And I must share with you: we're going to come through this tempest because we love America, even with its warts and shortfalls. It's our only home. I might add, if you don't like America, just visit Africa or India or China and/or 50 other third-world countries for a heavy dose of reality. I have, and it's not pretty out there for billions across the globe.
So, please enjoy this short story of my travels on a bicycle, coast to coast, across America. It will warm your heart and give you hope, along with a big smile across your face.
This story finds us at the tail-end of our 4,100-mile coast-to-coast bicycle adventure across the Northern Tier of America by a bunch of 70-year-olds. When I was young, I didn't think much about it during my first crossing in 1975, but now that I'm a senior citizen, every day grows more precious and the adventure more meaningful.
As I cruised into Vermont on the tail-end of our bicycle adventure, I lagged behind my friends Gerry and Don by an hour. We pedaled over hills, hills and more hills. Because I take a lot of pictures, I often fell back several miles.
It took me 15 minutes to get a great shot of a muskrat paddling across a glass-still pond. Nothing like wildlife animals going about their daily business. He created a V-wake behind him that cut across the pond. Two diving ducks created circles. When the V-wake intersected with the rippling circles, it created a great photograph. I love the creative magnificence of Mother Nature.
As for the speed of my bicycle, I call it the "pleasure pace" which means I enjoy every mile. Some call it "Eudemonia", "Satori", or "The Perfect Speed." It's the connection of mind, body and spirit coming together to form a natural "high" or "total happiness." When you pedal a bicycle through such beauty for eight hours a day, it transforms you and becomes a winsome dance. I've discovered over the years that bicycling pertains more to a spiritual experience than a physical one. No, I'm not saying it's a picnic busting over a 12,000-foot pass in the Rocky Mountains, but then, the views more than compensate. As you can see from the picture, I'd choose the mountains seven days a week.
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