Who’s Out There?Posted: July 31, 2013
“I’m doing this because it might be my last time.” Words from Tom who had the pleasure to meet at the Bike Hostel in Colville, WA as he made his way down the main hall to the kitchen. He had just climbed an average 10% grade hill for over an hour to reach the hostel in the hills above the town. WE found it difficult so to us Tom was an inspiration after meeting the Herculean challenge. It didn’t end there. He was on his way from the Pacific Coast to Glacier National Park to celebrate his last self-supported tour by riding the Road to the Sun. Tom’s effort was pretty convincing considering he was 69 years of age and recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Happy and safe trails Tom!
Tom is one of many cyclists we’ve met along the way. Some with firm itineraries and others with what you might call ‘casual’ plans. One rider from Norway had no specific plans, just “Going west”. Very nice. On the road it’s not uncommon to meet people traveling in pairs like us but we also encountered lone riders, including women of all ages. One gal we met is cycling the “Great Divide” Route alone. Nerves of steel… Time is usually the defining factor for cycle tourists. A great majority (including us) would just keep riding given the wherewithal and the time.
One common thread runs through this group of two wheeled vagabonds: They’re out there living life – close to nature – and themselves. Cycle touring fosters patience and a daily dose of resourcefulness – we’ve meet very few impatient folks and pretty well everyone has found their own way to deal with the stuff that pops up to challenge them. The other thing they have in common is fitness. If you’re not fit when you start… and you keep at it… one’s personal fitness level increases… exponentially. Man, it feels good. They’re also a friendly bunch. We’ve made some great short-term friends and sometimes we part with hugs.
It’s been inspirational to meet these people. Like the family of three from Montreal. (Mum, Dad and 9 year old daughter). They’re on a three-year trek to all the continents. Incredible.
And then there are fantastic people like Gene who volunteers his time to assist people on the bike trail between Jenny Lake and Jackson Hole, WY. Keep up the good work Gene!
We’ve been very thankful to receive your support along the way. The encouragement you’ve sent our way is appreciated! Please remember to consider supporting the True Health Foundation’s Sanoviv Medical Assistance Program. It’s a very worthy cause.
We’re in Jackson Wyoming staying another wonderful Warmshowers host family. Chuck and Karen have welcomed us into their home and have extended friendship to two people they have never met. That’s pretty cool. They’re daughter is cycling out on the road right now somewhere between Sudbury and Port Elgin Ontario and is the person responsible for this house becoming a Warmshowers resting place. Our two night layover is a chance to catch up with things like this blog and re-stocking the panniers. Tomorrow we head towards the Utah border and points south. The ride continues!