All this brings to mind my favorite all-time old photo:
This is William Fay and Bob Drake on a 600-mile bicycle adventure through northern Minnesota in 1935. I wonder if these guys are still alive. If they are, I bet they still have fond memories of this time. Anyway, unlike the great divide guys, these young men actually had bikes that would coast down hills, and tires that were inflated with air (instead of solid rubber) and fat enough to give good traction on unpaved roads. Can you imagine what these two would make of the Google Group discussions of best tires for "touring"? Can you imagine what they would make of any of our neurotic bicycle-related concerns? It was the middle of the Great Depression. Times were tough, but these two had bikes and a sense of adventure. I assume that it rained. I assume there were mosquitoes. I assume they had to patch their tires and tubes. I assume that there was difficulty and exhilaration (two sides of the same coin).
Despite the snow and cold today, summer isn't far off. None of us are getting younger. What are your bicycle adventure plans for 2011?