Month: July 2013

Bonnard

When I left DC, I knew it was possible Kimberly’s beloved “first born” might not be there when I returned. We’ve known for months that he’s got a bad case of the big C, and I also know he’s burned through 8 of his 9 lives a few times over through hard living. At his peak weight, he was the equivalent (we were told) of a 400 lb. man.

And although he doesn’t care for me (at all) and although he definitely tried to kill me in my sleep once (suffocation, in case you were wondering) I’ll confess I’m going to miss the little devil. He was part of the package deal that came with Kimberly and I don’t know a day with her that doesn’t include her mean ol’ cat.

We’ll bid adieu to Bonnard this weekend, but oh the stories… we have enough to fill three lifetimes. Bonnard’s ghost will be with us through those.

Take care buddy…

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Wildlife + Ghosts

Yesterday I ran into two creatures that I shot…. with my iPhone camera:

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I also biked past a “ghost bike” for a guy who may very well have been struck on that spot:

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Very sad, and as you can see by the date, the incident probably happened since I was last biking here. I think bike touring is fundamentally safe, but like all things in life, there’s always a risk.

If you want to destroy my sweater

The title of this post comes from a Weezer song which has very little to do with sweaters. The post itself has very little to do with Weezer. So there’s that.

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Yesterday I lost my wool sweater. It fell out of my bags about 10 miles short of camp just over the California border. When I realized it was missing, I went through the seven stages of grief, sliding into acceptance. So be it. The bike tour gods willed it so.

Then something remarkable happened.

A guy from Utah piped up… “Hey, what color is it? I think I saw it.”

“Dark Green.”

“Yeah, that was it – it’s by the lilly farm about 10 miles back.”

“Ahhh, yeah.” Acceptance stage was already cooling. “Well, losing things happens on tour. It is what it is,” I said with a casually dismissive tone.

“Oh, I’ll go get it.”

“What?”

“I’ll go get it.., it was only about 10 or 15 miles back!”

After several minutes of profusely thanking him for his (batshit crazy) notion, I thought all was settled that he would not go bike 90 minutes and 20 miles to rescue a sweater for a guy he hardly knew.

About 87 minutes later, the group du jour sitting around the fire were enjoying a beer when someone asked where the guy from Utah went.

“No. No, he did not.”

“Didn’t do what?”

I explained the sweater rescue plan that was scuttled – or so I thought.

On cue, in the finest tradition of stage and screen, my sweater rolled into camp securely bungeed to the rear rack of a very, very crazy dude’s bike.

So, next time someone asks why I like bike touring, I’ll show them my sweater. Because there’s no way I can in good conscience lose it again…

The people that you meet when you’re biking down the street

No signal at Humbug Mountain, so this Saturday post comes to you Sunday.

The last few days have included the usual interesting array of dramatus personae for this little tour:

– the trio of Mexican university grads who (as a gift to themselves) are biking from Alaska to home in Guadalajara. Fun group and great stories.
– the solo expat Brit who, despite being a Spurs fan (not you San Antonio), is a funny and interesting guy.
– the dude with the camping hammock who probably wished he brought a tent given the dearth of decent trees at the sites… in Oregon. I know… define irony.
– another Brit (it is cool to say Brit, right?) who’s introduction was “hey I just biked 110 miles to catch up with the group!” and managed to impress everyone.

There are a few others but given the work day coming in Crescent City on Monday, I’ll be setting the reset button and will be traveling with a new group. They’re a day behind me right now. I’ll camp with that group for a few days before my work day in Fort Bragg puts me with the group two days behind me. It’s kind of cool that these work days maximize the number of people I’ll meet.

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Portland to Newport

What a great ride so far! The Goblin is behaving well, the miles are easy and all is fun. I had a work day in Newport today… Listen all about it over at pedalshift. A few fun things so far:

– first biker I saw was heading north… He glanced over at me, flashed the peace sign and said, “Life is good, right?”. Loved that. I didn’t hesitate to reply, “right on.”

– very international flair this time – last night I shared the hiker-biker site north of Newport with a couple who were Canadian and a Brit who started his ride in DC. He’s milking all 90 days of his visa til he flies out of SFO at the end of July, not bad. Tonight, my camp area are a couple from north of Paris who started in Vegas. The French are apparently immune from heat ūüėČ

– county campgrounds in Oregon are now triple the cost of state parks if you walk up. Although I dearly love Pelican Pub in Pacific City, next time I won’t pay the premium to camp across the street.

– Newport ain’t ugly. Here’s the view from where I’m tapping this out:

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This was the damp, misty view at the aptly named Cape Foulweather:

Follow more over on Twitter – @timmooney and for more about working on tour at pedalshift. Lots of pics on Instagram too.

Five takeaways from WDS2013

Another year, another batch of inspiration from World Domination Summit. Check out some of the pics from day 1 and day 2. Here are five of the things I’m taking away from this year:

Size matters… One of the first things past attendees seemed to mention was how much bigger WDS has become. From about 500 in Year 1 to 1000 in year 2 to nearly 3000 this year… it’s bigger. I overheard many people lament the size, and I suspect those comments worked their way up the food chain to Chris Guillebeau, because he addressed it on the second day.¬†¬†At the yoga studio we hear comments from some yogis that classes are too crowded, and some suggest it’s a clever ploy to earn more profit at their expense. That couldn’t be further from the truth. We do it to¬†minimize¬†the chance we have to say, “sorry we can’t let you in because we’re sold out.” In my experience that level of disappointment is far higher. I think Chris sees that and has acted.

Just do it… No, there was no Nike sloganeering at WDS (in fact, it is proudly and deliberately sponsor-free). One of the great themes (intentionally or not) amongst all of the great presenters is a variation on carpe diem. Seize the day. There is nothing to stop you… even fear of rejection is less of an issue than you’d think. Seriously, check out Jia Jang’s attempt to learn from rejection… and learning how little one actually gets rejected! One of my favorite speakers (he also got the elusive full standing O).

Tell better stories... the key to connecting with people is tell your story in a way that resonates. Don’t be afraid to share the low points on the path to the high points and aspirations. One of the best speakers was the first one:¬†Nancy Duarte. She charted famous speeches throughout history and showed how there was literally a¬†resonance¬†curve that can be plotted from the telling of how things are now and how they should be. Check out her TEDTalk – the secret structure of great talks.¬†In fact, just watch it now. What’s stoppin ya?

Amazing, right?

Rock 9 holes of glow in the dark mini golf when given the chance… seriously. Don’t pass that up. What the hell else are you doing for 30 minutes that’s more important?

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Once you get a taste of unconventional life, you won’t want to go back… Having lived a less-than-conventional life of an entrepreneur (my stuff and Kimberly’s incredibly scaled up¬†compared¬†to mine stuff), I literally cannot conceive going back to a traditional 40 hour work week with expectations of cubicle sitting and meetings for the sake of having meetings. WDS reinforces that because there are thousands of others at different points on the same path, and seeing that makes you realize that while Kimberly and I may be amongst a handful of “those crazy people” in DC, there’s a lot more out there. and in that way, there’s a sense of community to reinforce my feelings.

Big thanks to Chris Guilliebeau and his team of volunteers and staff that make WDS happen. They offered the pioneer ticket rate again for next year, and I didn’t hesitate. I’ll be back next July.

WDS 2013 sketchnotes and the trip in by Mike Rhode. Amazing work!
WDS 2013 sketchnotes and the trip in by Mike Rhode. Amazing work!

 

WDS 2013 Day 2

More images from yesterday… Kimberly and I will be podcasting some takeaway thoughts on the next Tranquility du Jour that should release sometime later today. World Domination Summit is probably my favorite conference/event/get together of the year, and I’m happy to say I’ll be back in 2014!

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glowing mini golf

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More fun news… I’ll be recording an episode of The Sprocket Podcast this Wednesday to chat bike touring lifestyle, release date TBA. If you’re a bike person and don’t listen to the Sprocket, you need to remedy that right away!

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