Indy bound NBG Fred sez: Have hanky -- will hammer!

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Cycle America/N

Full of fire and rolling the big miles, Fred Kirchner, our double masters graduate student,
describes the road to Indy, on this, his 2nd day, in a way I know you will enjoy. He'll be with Jim
Muellner at Indianapolis city hall tomorrow with a bunch of riders from Valley Bikes

If you want to contact him, you can reach him at [email protected] If you want to start from the
beginning and/or follow Fred, Jim and our other NBG relay riders as they move forward in the
National Mayors' Ride at <>, point to their blog at
<>. All of this excitement will
al be consummated at the second annual Santa Cruz NBG Bike Fest


Thanks for this opportunity. I'm having the time of my life...

Hello everyone:

Well, there is life after coffee! Up until a more than pleasant respite at Taffy's coffeehouse in
Eaton, OH, I had gotten in 8 rather grumpy miles at around 11 mph. I pulled into the warm friendly
confines of Taffy's and was immediately refreshed by the heady aroma of just ground coffee beans.
Taffy's east wall soothes the tired traveler with a photo mural of a waterfall from a Finger Lakes
stream cascading over verdant layers of shale. The west wall--a warm yellow--features the stage
area, and photos of all the recent performers they have had here.

The mocha was rich; the newspapers, informative. The back room--full of couches, easy chairs, and a
very-well selected browsing bookcase--was dangerously cozy. I stayed out of there--knowing that I
would be asleep in moments. The locals were friendly. If you're ever in Preble Co Ohio, check out
Taffy's. It's down the street from the courthouse.

I left there determined to better my day's mileage and the pedestrian pace. Once I hit US 40, I put
the hammer down --I 've been doing nearly 20 plus for the last 25 miles. Had to stop for some lunch!
As soon as I began to put down the hammer, I flashed back to my adolescent rock and roll fantasies.
I'm ashamed to admit that Ted Nugent's Hammerdown began to run through my head, emerging from the
distant past of my junior year. (I must state here that I do not support his pro-NRA stance!)

the other effect of hammering: My allergies have finally kicked in -- hence the hanky reference in
the title. I'm going to have to break down and buy some Nasalcrom when I get home...

Tackling a solo ride like this puts one in touch with the past, the present and the future all at
the same time. Yesterday, I passed a street in Germantown, OH called Chautauqua. An old Indian
word, Chautauqua Lake in New York state has been famous for years as an alternative education
center. The word's Native American meaning has to do with a kind of long, instructive discourse.
Robert Pirsig, the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance called his book a
"chautauqua." Someone should have bought that guy a bicycle. You get all the metaphysical benefits
from a long motorcycle ride, without the noise, the fossil fuel usage, and the pollution. (Plus, I
prefer lycra to leather!)

Passing the time on one's bike, the mind is free to ramble and wonder while the body is busy
churning out the miles. Seeing a stone wall in a distant field can remind one of Frost's Mending
Wall -- where the poet says: Good fences make good neighbors. I'm not sure I agree with him,
venerable, wise genius that he is. If we're going to save our planet, we need--it seems to me--to
work on ways to bring down the fences that keep us from learning from one another...

I also passed Gemini Farms. Guess how many barns they have?...
2... Sometimes the associations aren't as profound, only silly.

BIKE LESSON No. 1: No matter how convenient it is, don't lift your heavily loaded touring bike by
the seat, even if the ergonomic cutout makes the perfect handle! Here's what will happen:

Eventually--after about 140 miles and two days of riding--one of the metal support bars under the
seat will snap, and fall to the ground when you park your bike at a county courthouse to get a map.
The map won't even be that good, and then you'll have to fix the seat.

Here's how: Loosen the tension bolt. Slide the clamping bolt forward. Fit it in the broken half of
the support bar. Slide the clamp over the break. Tighten! Then ride--gingerly.

ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS: Not sure what's worse here, the dogs or the cats. The dogs chase you, bark, and
then they're done. These tough-lookin', spit-in-your-face, what-are-you-doin' on-my-land? farm cats,
however, are the real scary ones. The way they stare as you pass, laying in the tall grass with
their ears back, and then dart into the woods, makes me think that they have set up some nefarious
trap down the road...

URBAN RENEWAL AWARD: Goes to downtown Richmond, IN. They've done a wonderful job revitalizing their
city. The stores were so interesting looking that I lost the path US 40 takes through town. Had to
spin around the blocks until I found it again.

SIGN OF GRACE: While I'm not about to profess any secure knowledge regarding the nature of God, I
do believe that there is one...or two...or 97,324. Here's how I know. Last night, after 123
miles, amidst the quickly diminishing twilight, when I was aiming for a hopefully deserted Boy
Scout Reservation (to camp for free and probably illegally), I ran across a campground that
advertised "HOT SHOWERS." I ponied up the 15 bucks. The shower was very hot. I was the only tent
among the RV parking lot, but once I climbed inside my down sleeping bag, clean, tired, and sore,
I didn't care a bit.

I could have been in the middle of nowhere, all by myself, sleeping in my own sweat, trying not to
relive the misspent couple of hours I spent watching Deliverance all those years ago.

Gotta hit the road again... More later.

Love to all, Fred

btw: If you want to become a rider, we N E E D you!! Go to
<>, to find out how!! btw2: We
have pictures from the Pittsburgh to Columbus leg on line at btw3: If you want to see who these
cyclists are, go to <>.

MARTIN KRIEG: "Awake Again" Author c/o 79 & 86 TransAms, nonprofit Nat. Bicycle
Greenway CEO Ever wanted anything so bad U were willing to die for it? Really die? By moving thru
clinical death and reversing paralysis, *I saw God* when I answered that question.
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