Friday, August 29, 2008

Tampa to Seattle

So I took up bicycling in March of 2008. I spent $250 on a cheap mountain bike. Proudly, I rode it like prize bull in a rodeo. It took me everywhere around Seattle. And for the 1st time in my life, I saw Seattle's amazing landscape and colorful ambiance from an enlightened point of view. I saw parks and little creatures I never knew existed in my hometown. Stores and restaurants and neighborhoods that just blended with the white area on a road map, now became vibrant realities. The names of places I had only heard of now could be remembered because I had seen them and I knew exactly where they were. My senses were sharper and more alive riding my bicycle.

And my own life became simpler. Anywhere I needed to go, I had to ride there. And anything I needed to buy I had to carry on the bicycle. If I couldn't use the bike, I didn't need it... period!

Well, after 3 months and 1500 miles my cheap mountain bike buckled and I had to hang up its wheels for good. With two bent rims and only the memory of brakes, my prize bull cost more to fix than to replace. It was totalled.

So I upgraded to a hybrid. A bicycling machine with speed, agility and strength to test both on and off the road. With a larger frame and wheels it took some getting used t0. But after a few test rides I was back in the saddle (yee-hah), riding my prize bull once again. Only this time, the uphills felt smaller, and their downhill slopes seemed like roller coasters with no line to wait in. Long distance rides, like Seattle to San Francisco began to circulate in my mind. And my body was starting to see the results: I was in good physical condition for the first time in nearly a decade. I was feeling and looking good.

The trek to San Fransisco was beginning to look too short for my growing ambition. And so the idea to bicycle from Tampa, Fl to Seattle, WA was born...