This last posting on Space Leeches is sort of like David Lee Roth reuniting with Van Halen: both took a long time and probably no one is paying attention anymore. Or maybe I'm wrong and am going to receive pages of hate comments from Van Halen fans who are certain an older, balder, fatter Diamond Dave will be even better than before. Panama!
Okay down to the business at hand. This is the very last posting on Space Leeches which is sort of sad for me because I enjoyed this blogsite, or the name at least. It's funny because space leeches are imaginary, yet for some reason, this is supposed to be a practical guide to them, and yet no where in the blog does it ever delve into explaining anything about space leeches. Isn't that so funny?
Since this blog felt married to the bicycle trip my friends and I took this summer, I feel i need a clean break from it, so enter the rebound blog at www.stomachthesuffering.blogspot.com. All i can hope is that I don't have to suffer that awkward moment when I'm out in public with the new blog and the old blog just happens to be there too, so we smile and make small talk, and i just know the ex-blog is saying shit about me behind my back.
The new blog, All the Knots Undone, will be updated once a week and will be a mixture of anecdotes, musings, and inappropriate jokes. Example:
What did the deaf, dumb, and blind kid get for Christmas? Cancer.
I didn't make that joke up; i heard it somewhere and stole it, so next time you tell it at the Jimmy Fund's Charitable Ball, don't credit me with it.
Q and A
Q: What was the highlight of your journey and your lowest point?
A: Its funny how low points and highlights have a cause and effect relationship and, therefore, are usually the same moment or mere minutes apart. It's hard to find one single high and low pair that was superior to the rest but here are the top ones.
1. In the North Dakota Badlands the cable to my back gears snapped and I had to get over a sizable hill at the end of an already long day without being able to drop my bike into lower gears. This would be the low point. I could only rotate my peddles about five times consecutively before I'd have to stop, head down on the handlebars, until I could breath again. I had to repeat this process (1. mount bike, 2. peddle three to five times, 3. dismount bike and rest head on handle bars) about a hundred times to make it up the hill.
About a quarter way up this hill, i started to question whether it would even be possible for me to make it all the way to the top with my bike and body in this condition. But that particular day I was upset because of some private issues--needless to say, they were girl-related--and i would not let myself quit at that point, so i continued the extremely slow trip uphill, all the while disparaging myself with horrible insults that no respectable gentleman such as myself would repeat in a public forum, but suffice it to say, dealt primarily with bringing to question whether i really was in possession of male genitalia, or if indeed, i had female sex parts.
The story isn't all that dramatic because you obviously know I made it to the top or else I wouldn't be blogging about it here in Panera Bread with their wonderful free WiFi and refillable coffee (i bought a small cup last week and have been reusing it every day since). But, at the time, this was very dramatic for me, and oddly enough, I actually thought that the hill might actually be infinite and i'd never, ever reach the top (See the myth of Sisyphus). So afterwards...get ready for a high point... I felt this unbelievable sense of accomplishment at the top and did indeed prove to the disparaging side of me that not only was I in possession of male genitalia, it was well above average in size.
2. I was just about to write another anecdote illustrating a low point turned high point and realized it's essentially the same as that last one. You really can distill all low points to going up a hill or mountain and all high points to getting to the top of that hill or mountain. But, here's another example. Biking along the Pacific Coast Highway in California was tough because the shoulders were narrow or non existent; the choice was either bike in the street amongst cars that didn't seem concerned about making a wide berth for cyclists or plummet down the side of a cliff. One time I was sweating trying to get up a particularly steep portion, but once I got to the top, I realized I was so high up, I could actually look down on the backs of hawks that were circling for prey in the valley to my right. For someone who's lived his whole life in the densely populated cities and suburbs of the northeast, it's shocking to see such a large and predatory bird up close. I can guarantee you they look nothing like pigeons of which I've had more experience. There were times when hawks (or some other bird of prey, i'm not an ornithologist) would fly so low--or i'd be so high--that i'd reflexively duck for fear that they'd fly into me. That's pretty neat for a city mouse such as myself.
Q: How about even kissing a sunset pig?
A: Since this sentence ends with a question mark, I feel obligated to respond. But honestly, I have no idea what this means. Further explanation is required.
Q: I'm curious to know how the trailer performed for you.
A: Since this is not phrased in the form of a question, I will no respond. Just kiddings, all. I picked up a Bob Trailer in Montana and it made it to Portland, OR then down to SF in a sort of L-shaped, chess knight travel pattern across the northwest. Though it didn't solve my back tire issues (i still popped plenty of spokes hobbling to portland) i have no complaints. I didn't have to do any maintenance on it except for a couple flats on the tire which are to be expected. It can hold a lot of stuff, is easy to attach and detach, and is fairly maneuverable considering the size, though I don't recommend trying to get it onto the BART subway system in San Francisco. They always tell me how laid back californians are, but they aren't all that laid back when you are blocking three rows of seats on a train. I don't know what model I have, but it's a 2004 limited anniversary edition which means it has a sort of splatter guard over the wheel and a sticker proclaiming it a limited edition, possibly bumping the price up a bit.
Q: Have you thought about where you're going to live yet? You might get the been there, done that feeling when thinking about returning to Maryland but I would love to be able to drive out to where ever and chill with you for a bit and I can't really do that if you decide to stay on the west coast.
A: For now, I have no comment on where I will be moving next. I'm certain there will be an official press release in the new blog. As for Maryland, that state will always be near and dear to my heart. From its state flag that looks better suited as the paint job on a Nascar vehicle than hanging in a government building to the streets of Baltimore paved with chicken wing bones, I only have fond memories of that most northern of southern states. Yes, i consider maryland a southern state. Case in point: when i ask for grits there, they do not look at me like I'm fresh off the boat.