Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Donations and Directions

I think I might have to give the blog a rest. It's not that I don't write, or don't benefit from it. I have a huge journal on my computer! Writing publicly, however, is a different matter. Occasionally I get a small boost of peace doing it, but maybe that's just because I wrote anything at all. I don't look forward to it, I don't enjoy the process, and I'm not proud of the result. Compare this to cycling a 12-hour day into headwinds and up hills. I bound out of a damp, dewy sleeping bag eager to do it, spend the whole day feeling positive about it, and feel like a king at the end of it. All this is true in spite of the pains, frustrations, and complications. This trip, it can be said, has taught me what it feels like to Do The Right Thing.

Having said that, I do have news. I'm going to donate my bicycle to a charity.

Shock! Gasp!

Like I said, I know what it feels like to Do the Right Thing. It's time for a break. It's time for a different bicycle. It's time to not put the poor bike into a constricting box and trounce it around inside an airplane's belly. It's time to make the question marks bigger.

I'm going to keep the perfectly-moulded-to-my-butt saddle and my Ortlieb panniers, but everything else is gonna go. This will greatly simplify my life as I fly to Sweden and then board a ship that is half modern, half 18th century. I am ready for whatever life throws at me once that's done. If it ends up that I'm supposed to keep touring, well, I'll just find another bike! There are millions of them out there!

Hence the title of this beard: donations and directions. One is kind of a big thing, and the other is a happy mystery. During a particularly euphoric stretch of cycling a few days ago, I had a thought that sums it all up (the first part to be read in an evil-genius voice):

    Yeeesss.... everything is going exactly according to plan! (There is no plan.)

P.S. I am totally not certain about taking a break from blogging.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pictures from Odessa to Krakow

Most of these were taken in Romania, which is a fantastic country for bicycle touring.

I'm planning on writing up a travelogue over the next couple weeks, once things have settled down for me a bit. I'm still figuring out accommodation in Krakow, and I'll be heading to Sweden for some tall-ship sailing in less than a week!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Quick Note Before Leaving Romania

Holy fucking shit has life been amazing lately. The last week... two weeks? have felt like years... sleeping in the mountains, under the stars, 8-12 hours on the bike every day, drinking from springs and wells and eating a shit ton of ice cream from little dimly lit, disrepaired shops in villages in the middle of nowhere. I can't even write about it properly, it's so raw and full and unlike any other means of existence I can think of.

Three countries in two weeks (yes - it has been two), and four more to go in the following two. The mind boggles; I can't put it into linear letters following words following sentences. Total opposites.

My legs are nearly recovered from a mad dash up a mountain taken a few days ago. I tried to jog down, but it proved too steep and too long and my legs gave up. Cycling was possible, but walking was not, and even today I still need to support myself when standing up or navigating steps. Somehow, this added to the whole experience. There was nothing else I could do but ride, so that's what I did.

Definitely not in the mood to write much more at the moment. The sun has done its worst for the day, and I'd like to get to the Hungarian border before too late. I will write more about this leg of my bicycle travels later, when I've had the opportunity to process a little.

Drum bun!