Hawkes Bay NZ Water trail

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday on the John Wayne trail

The perfect cross training for a cyclist, but skate skiing is tough as well as fun. Below freezing up here today in the brilliant sun. I managed about 7 miles round trip and I'm as stiff as a board. I don't mind doing this sort of thing solo these days. Welcome, alternate future.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Something tongue-in-cheek from yesterday's Wall Street Journal

The author, Bill Lane, a retired Caterpillar executive, writes: "So a travel tariff appears to be a win-win-win. It would keep Americans from spending money overseas, bring jobs to depressed areas of the US, and discourage foreigners- some, I assume, are good people - from visiting the US."
Given the current level of vindictive bullying and mean-spiritedness that is masquerading as public discourse at this point in time, I guess there's more than a few people that wouldn't see this as satirical at all. Hmm.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Nights in the teens = sun in the day

I went for a 12 mile circuit of Magnolia. Brrr. But another fabulous view of the Olympics.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


I read somewhere that you get as much happiness from planning a trip as doing it. So, here's to planning for this year. Not expecting to take my bike to Egypt, as I doubt things have changed much since the Savages were there in the 70s, but the US is definitely a more touring bike friendly place.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Thoughts on Trip Advisor and other social media platforms

I just did my first review on this multimillion dollar travel platform. Cyclin'Jaipur sent me a nice customer feedback email. I enjoyed the crazy early morning bike ride through the backstreets of Jaipur two weeks ago, so I obliged and wrote one.
Now I'm getting automated responses from TA, encouraging me to write more reviews of landmarks like Hawa Mahal and the Amber Fort, things that, let's face it, any literate person can read about from any quality travel guidebook. I earned 100 points and a "new reviewer" badge on their site for my review. I've learned that more reviews will give me even more badges. Wow. There's even a goal of 10,000 points for me to aspire to. I took a little time to see what actual value these badges might bring, e.g., airline miles, discount programs, special "insider clubs," etc. It looks like there is zero ($0) value here. Wow. This strikes me as disingenuous. I contribute authentic content to a commercial enterprise for nothing.
Lucky for me, none of the people I care about give a rats' about the number of badges I might have on TA. Instead, they know they can read my thoughts on this blog, or simply just ask me. I'm about as authentic as a person can be. I'm expert on very few things, but I pride myself on having a wry sense of humor.
OK, then, here's a trip idea I can pretty much guarantee no one looking at TA would ever dream of doing.
Title: Things You Didn't Even Realize You Expected to See in Jaipur"
These are hand-formed cow dung and straw fuel patties stuck to part of the C17th wall surrounding the old city of Jaipur. They don't stink much because they're sundried and they will be put to good use in cooking stoves by the locals whose homes abut this historic landmark.
Ha ha, Traveling isn't about going to look, it's about coming to see.
Happy New Year, adventure travelers everywhere! The world is an infinitely more interesting place to see if you just keep your perspective.

Friday, January 6, 2017

The bike path at Alki

A jaw dropping view of snowy peaks in Olympic National Park. They seemed close enough to touch. Usually this path is crowded with kids, dogs, roller blades, joggers, skateboards, etc., and thus often stressful to ride. Nothing beats a frigid day for clearing the path of everyone. I definitely had to keep pedaling to keep warm.

Friday long bike ride 1st for 2017

Icy cold but brilliant sun for the last 3 days. I couldn't manage riding to work this 1st week of night classes, as biking home at 9pm in dark and icy streets is dangerous. But I scheduled a 5 hour out and back to Alki Beach. Took 5 hours because I stopped to enjoy things like this massive fishing boat heading out through the Ballard Locks to Alaska.