Tour takes a tumble
I have been struggling with how to reveal some disappointing news, so I'll just get right to the point. I've decided to call off my Maine-to-Michigan "Reunion Tour." The tussle over "yes I will go" versus "no I won't" has been circulating in my head for weeks, but I've finally put the brakes on the cycling trip to my hometown.
The reasons — and I guess excuses — for not taking my Trek 920 adventure bicycle for a very long ride make some sense:
— The logistics weren't coming together very easily.
— While doable, it would have been hard to perform my part-time newspaper duties on the road.
— Non-essential travel into Canada, which was part of my planned route, is still off-limits.
— And my wife was concerned for my safety, which is no small matter.
But more than anything else, in my mind, I just wasn't totally committed to going. Having cycled long distances in the past — England and France in 1982, and from North Carolina to Texas in 2002 — there are a ton of ups and downs during such a trek, with the pain and suffering, along with bike breakdowns and the inevitable crappy weather. So if one isn't on board at 100 percent, it's best to keep one's pedaling closer to home.
That said, I still want to do a monstrous bike trip some day, and I know I will. Just not this one. Anyway, I am still traveling to Michigan for my 50th high school reunion in September. But my mode of transportation will be by car.
So I finally reached 3,000 miles for the 2021 season on June 12. That's like doing 30 century rides. Looking in my cycling logbook, I thought I was much earlier than last year in hitting this mileage mark. But I only beat it by four days.
I pedaled a total of 6,638 miles in 2020, so I could possibly reach 7,000 this year. Three thousand is a good start. Heck, I obtained my new Subaru in late March and it doesn't even have 500 miles on it yet.
Too bad there wasn't an audience for what happened to me the other day. It was hot and quite humid during my afternoon ride. I was cycling along, minding my own business — and probably daydreaming — when I was "attacked" by a deer fly. The little bugger went through a vent hole in my helmet and bit me on top of the head. But wait, it gets worse ... or, I guess, more comical.
Stopping, I worked quickly to get my helmet off, so I could brush the nasty insect out of my hair. While this was going on, there was a counterattack. Another deer fly zeroed in on my backside and literally became a "pain in the butt."
Needless to say, I got out of there as fast as I could.
'Thought for the day'
"Good morale in cycling comes from good legs." — Sean Yates, a former professional cyclist from England.
From "Words To Ride By ... Thoughts on Bicycling" by Michael Carabetta (Chronicle Books, 2017)