Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 18 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Life Arts   

World bicycle adventure: I'm happy bein' ugly!

By       (Page 1 of 4 pages)   No comments
Message Frosty Wooldridge
Become a Fan
  (5 fans)


"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.

Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine

flows into trees. The winds will blow their own

freshness into you, and the storms their energy,

while cares drop off like autumn leaves."

John Muir

Heading toward Glacier National Park in Montana, I had camped out at Flathead Lake on Route 93 the night before. It was cool sleeping in late July. The day warmed up as I headed into Kalispell. I spent an hour in town picking up a new tube and chain oil. The past two weeks had been terrible flat tire luck. Every thorn in Montana decided to claim my rear tire as the perfect resting-place for its sharp personality. My spare tube had so many patches it resembled the suction cups on an octopus' tentacles.

After loading up on bananas and a watermelon, I was ready for the 35-mile climb into Glacier Park. Before getting started, I gobbled four bananas. That made me hungry for the watermelon, so I cut it into sections and ate them. People walking past laughed as I hung the banana skins on top of my rear pack under a bungee cord. It looked like a fresh kill of bananas.

One couple with their teenage daughter asked a lot of questions as to how much I ate. I told them on a 100-mile day on the flats, I burned around 7,000 calories. But my average daily distance was more like 60 to 70 miles. In the mountains, I average 50 miles per day, but still burn a lot of calories because of the foot pounds exerted in the climbs.

The highest mountain I ever climbed was a pass in Bolivia at 15,500 feet on a gravel road. That burned a lot of calories in the thin air. But the craziest day of my life was when I was talked into an insane 200-mile day in New Mexico and Texas. My friends and I calculated that we each burned a total of 14,500 calories in 17 hours of riding.

While I was talking, the girl's spirit brightened and I could see a sparkle in her eyes. I may have converted her to world bicycle touring. As they walked away, she tugged on her mom for permission to go on a tour someday. I heard the mother reply,

"That's for people with wanderlust, not you dear."

I wanted to catch them and correct the parent by telling her that I had met dozens of women bicycle touring in countries around the world. I wanted to say that everyone has that "wanderlust" and all they have to do is act on their dreams before they are convinced by their friends or parents to do what's normal. What's normal usually means settling down and getting a job. I was told when I was a teen to "Do it while you're young, because once you settle down, you've got to take care of responsibilities." Whoever made that statement was right.

I wish everyone could reserve their early 20s for world travel, to give them greater perspective about people and conditions around the globe. They would come home richer in spirit and understanding. They would have a greater environmental appreciation for our fragile planet. Furthermore, anyone can ride a bicycle around the world if they choose to do it. However, long ago, I decided the best thing I could do was keep quiet and let people make their own choices. I have a secret wish for that girl: follow your thoughts and live your dreams.

After gorging myself with watermelon, I looked four months pregnant. I waddled over to my bicycle. Moments later, sweat poured from me as I climbed a hill out of town. I was excited to make Glacier by nightfall.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Frosty Wooldridge Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Frosty Wooldridge Bio: Frosty Wooldridge possesses a unique view of the world, cultures and families in that he has bicycled around the globe 100,000 miles, on six continents and six times across the United States in the past 30 years. His books (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

 
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Over-Population Exponentially Increases Air Pollution

Growing Illiteracy in America: Creating entrenched poverty

U.S. economy in trouble and why

Part 1: Overpopulation in 21st century America--our risky future

Who is to blame for $4.00 a gallon gas? How about $10.00 a gallon?

What America will look like in 2050--fractured nation, multiple languages

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend