4/14/2015 Live Oak Fl. to Quincy, FL.

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Screen Shot 2015 04 15 at 11 43 32 AM

You know, there are no more gas stations that actually work on cars. Every station I run across with bay doors for car repair looks like this:

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And all the ones that are open look like this:

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An long timer joined me sitting on the stoop of the above store and explained it to me: “It’s the fault of computers. When cars went from points to computers it got too complicated to figure out.”

Good an answer as any. And touring cyclists don’t have cars and we enjoy snacking, so it works for us.

While Cycling

While cycling
I follow my senses.
This quiets my mind,
and drops me
on the threshold
of the big emptiness.

My little toe crosses the threshold
and finds it isn’t empty.

I’ve been looking at the face of the clock.

Here live all laws of physics and math;
fibonacci curves, fractals, calculus.

The structure creation and destruction
of the beauty
my senses perceive.

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Ghosts from the past.

The Adventure Cycling Network routes cyclists through this town. To accomodate them, this library has installed a public bike repair station in front. Gerald Barns, whose company is painting the library to improve the community, models.

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4/13/2015 Branford FL. to Live Oak, FL.

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Last night I went to fairyland. It’s in a tall deep woods about 200 feet off highway 129 below Branford, FL. Darkness comes quickly in deep woods. I was busy writing, my tent world dimly lit by laptop light, when suddenly a green light buzzed the tent! What the heck was that? I shut my laptop off and was enchanted by a cosmos of fairy stars, flitting around my homestead.

I have never seen so many fireflies. I lay on the mattress and watched them go about firefly business in shades of yellow, blue and green before sleep took me. When I woke in the dark of early morning, they were still there.

“Way down apon the Suwanee River” I love seeing the actual places of songs and stories.

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My bike feels wobbly. Oh no, two broken spokes in the back wheel. I have been hitting some hard bumps. I resist the knoweledge. “Maybe I could just ride it today and fix it later.” NO! This is the perfect time, early morning, and the perfect place, a bike trail, to do repairs. An hour later and we are on the road again. This would have been difficult for a non mechanic. Be sure you have done this drill on your ebike before touring, you’ll want efficiency.

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I am writing this part from a public library in Branford. My bike is charging in front. I am using fast wifi. I am comfortable, wow, it’s been a while. Here’s the new drill: Use the offline Open Street Maps (OSM) to get to a small town, then use google maps to find and get to the library.

The farms further north are growng peanuts rather than tomatoes and citrus. 7-11 is now selling pecan cookies and pie. The stench of a chicken processing plant lingers for miles. Smelly trucks carrying listless white chickens stacked high in wire cages roar past. Small towns are filled with polite large people in loud smelly trucks. On the upscale backstreets Americas old Victorian style homes remember a different past, and on the poor back streets decaying single wides shelter those who have had limited opportunities.

Rain rounds out the evening.

4/12/2015 North of Gainsville

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An easy routine is emerging. I’ve made one general rule for ebike touring: Whenever you stop to eat, rest, shop or sightsee, plug in. Using dual chargers on the Green Axle ebike allows me to pump in almost 1000 watts of power when the battery is low, and as it fills, 750 to 500 watts of power. So for an hour of fast charge I get about three hours of run time. I can work with that.

Also, except for staying at my sisters house overnight, I have stealth camped every night. This means no overnight ebike charging. This has been a non-issue.

I do keep my cell phone and tablet on a charger night and day- they charge from the ebike battery. I start out the day with a full cell phone charge, but the battery level in the cell phone still drops all day as the GPS consumes a lot of power…..

Now that the nervous jitteries are gone, I find ebiking to be relaxing. The road unwinds through my senses leaving them alert, still. On a bike tour, the journey is the destination. And what is the destination? The aliveness, the present tense, the unfolding, the letting go, the simplification of living. Electric bike touring leaves me less fatigued and so more able to enjoy the subtler perceptions. Electric bike touring leaves me fully exposed to beauty and hardship. It’s not Disneyland, it’s adventure.

This easy routine means that I am not constantly checking my battery charge, nor worrying about finding an outlet. It is 10 times more difficult to find wifi than an electrical outlet. My big plans for lotsa communication are faltering.

Last night it rained. I marvel at the efficient design of tents. This thin piece of nylon is stopping the rain just a foot from my nose. The rain pats loudly. The electrical lines overhead pop and hiss.

Packing a wet tent and gear means an earlier stop the next night to give everything a chance to dry out. The tent screen, ground cloth and fly get draped over bushes while I shower and cook. In 45 minutes they are dry and ready for use. I like being in my tent. It’s a cozy, well designed portable home with great views.

There was no outside outlet, and this was my only food choice. The manager said “Sure, you can do that”.

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Part of every bike tour, and it’s no different on an ebike tour, is to stop for treasures on the road. This find was a stubby screw driver. Ten miles down the road I met a man riding his bike. The conversation turned to jobs and he said he was a handyman. So I gave him the screwdriver. Nothing wasted!

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What do you need an ebike with a 150 mile range for?

So my team has built these really amazing electric bikes that have a range of about 150 miles whilst carrying all kinds of gear. They are built on sturdy Yuba Mundo frames, have mid drive or hub drive motors, and carry a rebuildable battery pack made of 18650 cells ala Tesla. They have a real 12 volt wiring system so you can run real 12 volt automotive quality electric lights, charge USB devices, and run small 12 volt appliances.

Now the question is, what are they good for? Can anyone help me so I know what to do with these beauties..

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So what’s it good for?

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So what’s it good for?

6/04/2013 Commitment- Arrival in Portland Maine.


One of the hardest parts of the Journey is leaving, especially when life is very, very good. The last goodbyes and assurances pull at my heart and make me wonder if I am doing the right thing. The feeling lasts all through the flight, the arrival, the assembly and testing of the bike, and finally eases once the wheels start spinning and the world starts unrolling.

All I find is a tiny country store on my ride to the campground, so dinner is a can of Bar Harbor sardines on bread with a cup of hot water. Breakfast will be a can of Bar Harbor Clam Chowder. This suits me just fine. Life is simplifed to it’s essence living this way and I find it plenty good. (I chuckle at myself, living a “simple life” with my laptop and high tech bike) Oh well, embrace contradictions!

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A Hedge Hog sculpture near the Portland airport.

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Lakefront camping.

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Working on the Macbook Air, a great computer for travelers.