Category 9. Fun Stuff

To See America

The Idea – 1/11/16

Three months from today, I am going to set out from Los Angeles by bicycle, hoping to ride to Old Lyme, CT. I have dreamed of doing this for thirty years; it’s now or never.

Over the next three months, I’ll give a lot of thought to the logistics, and try to get fit enough so that I’ll make it.

Just now, though, I have to tell the Beloved Spouse about the plan. I’m not sure she’ll be thrilled.

Day Zero – 4/10/16

This is the first in a series of daily posts that I intend to write over the next six or seven weeks about the attempt I am about to make at riding my bicycle across the country.

I sent three bikes – my two beautiful new steel Mariposas, pictured below at home just after their arrival a month ago, and my much older carbon fiber Parlee – on ahead to Los Angeles w...

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The Big Walk

The posts below describe The Big Walk – from Grand Central Terminal to Old Lyme, CT – in sequential order.

These posts differ slightly from the ones I wrote each day after walking for six or seven hours. I have cleaned up the typos, added a few interesting details, and cut a bit here and there to make the original posts fit more smoothly into one continuous narrative.

Day One (7/26/14)


Walid, yours truly and Vinny

Vinny, Walid and I had a great day today. We walked from Grand Central Terminal to my home in southern Westchester County – roughly 18 miles by the circuitous route that we followed through midtown, Harlem, the neighborhoods of northwestern Manhattan and the central and northeastern sections of the Bronx.

Everything worked...

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Wonderful Memories

The following pieces capture three of the innumerable wonderful experiences that I have had as an adult riding my bicycle with friends. I savor these memories and hope to be lucky enough to repeat them. There is not a scintilla of political, economic or social theory in these pieces, so they go into the "Fun Stuff" category. Read More


Have you ever been in a car with a brand new driver? He or she needs to decide when, and even consciously remember how, to use a turn signal, how to hit the gas or brakes and whether or not to watch that car on the left.  Actions that for an experienced driver are effortless are a complex minuet for a new driver. It’s exhausting – and a little terrifying – just to be a passenger.

Much that we do, we do without conscious thought. Even the larger patterns of our days are mostly based on habit rather than moment-to-moment decision-making.  You regularly have alcohol with dinner, or you don’t. Same with engaging in daily exercise or flossing your teeth. You generally read, watch TV or fiddle with a communications or game device before sleeping, according to the same pattern...

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I had been planning on writing a post about another weighty issue tonight, but it’ll have to wait. I’m going to write a short post about Tolo.

She probably should’ve been Tola. When our 13 1/2 year-old canine friend was a puppy, my older son, to whom she nominally belongs, decided she was so floppy that she should be called Silly. Since she is a Portuguese Water Dog, he looked up the word for silly in Portuguese. Tolo, we later learned, is the masculine form of the word – but it stuck, and she never minded. By inclination she’s not really a Water Dog, either, for that matter: she much prefers terra firma to anything swimmable.

Toly, as we call her informally, is a sweet and oh-so-proper lady – almost a little too feminine, ever friendly and eager to please...

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