Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Day 35 - Chicago to Chicago, IL

No, it's not a typo and neither was yesterday's post.  I don't want to call these 'off days' because I'm technically riding and ending up in a different place for the night but, it just happens to be in the same city.  I did mention I'd be slowing things down but, it's almost time to pick things back up again!  I don't know what I'm more excited about, seeing my friends or continuing my trip. 

I guess these things have to happen in a certain order so, friends it is!  But man, am I ready to have a nice long day of riding.  I'm even more stoked after looking at some photos from Neil's first bike tour.  I'm staying with him and his girlfriend, Rett tonight.  Neil has plenty of experience with cycling and doing multi-week tours but, Rett just learned to ride a bike within the last 3 years and went on an 800 mile ride from Chicago to Skaneateles, NY!  

If that's not motivation to go out, try something new and push yourself, I don't know what is.  Numbering the days like I've been doing has been a very handy tool for keeping this long, strange trip somewhat organized.  It's nice to be able to go back and see what happened when and where and how many days and miles away things are from here and now.  When I try to think about what has happened without this trusty journal, the timeline seems like a tangled cord that I can't straighten out for the life of me.  Traveling day after day, seeing different things all the time, meeting new people does something to your perception of time.  

Neil even touched on that aspect of touring.  For him, after about 3 weeks on the road, a different mindset starts to set in.  I have the same feeling – you just become untethered, free from any set schedule other than taking care of your own needs as they come.  Not everyone has the opportunity to adopt this kind of lifestyle so I need to embrace the lack of structure and see what it can teach me.  Day after day, I feel more and more grateful and blessed for the situation I'm in.


There is no end in sight, no job or home waiting for me on the other side.  Every day is its own adventure when you're on the road (even if it's just for 10 miles) but someday, I don't care when, I will take the bags off my bike and have a place to leave them while I go out abd ride in a neighborhood I can call my own.

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