Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Interesting Day on the Trail

You never know what or who you are going to come across out on the trail-- the bike trail that is. We live relatively close to a main bike trail here in IL and now that I have a spiffy new bike I get out on the trail a lot more often. 
My Terry bicycle

Can I just say that bike folks really know their bikes. I can't tell you how many times I get stopped by folks, or approached when I am already stopped, wanting to ask, see and compliment my bike. My bro just got a new, very nice bike, granted it isn't as expensive as mine or custom, but its not shabby and no one even looks at it twice. I get so many questions that I cannot answer and I swear there have been some people that could tell me more about my bike than I know. 

Anyway, I keep telling Missy this, but she never believed me......TILL TODAY. Well, yesterday now. Missy was all, "Miss Thing on her bike!", because people kept stopping us to check out my ride. Its weird. 

But that wasn't the most interesting thing we came across on the trail. We hit main street and because it was Sunday everything was closed, except the Starbucks.  It was as far as I was going, and I needed something cold to drink and to rest before riding back. 

I read a lot of travel lit, and especially all those bike across the country, circumnavigate without money, etc. etc. Actually just finished reading, How to Travel the World For Free, A Lady Cyclists Guide to Kashgar and another book about biking across France that I can't recall right now. I love reading about different ways folks get around, see the world and experience things, moreso than just the touristy weekend adventure. 


So we were sitting at Starbucks, I saw a bike with stuff, but I didn't really pay attention because I was distracted by a store across the street that I want to go back to later. When we came back out to leave though, the loaded bike was still there and it was then that I noticed the Texas stickers, Cali flag and all the well traveled gear on the bike. I noticed its rider had the window seat and he was on a laptop that fit somewhere on that bike. Must investigate, right? 


Turns out Francis, that's his name, left San Diego in October to circumnavigate the country. Incredible, no? After talking a little more we found out that he had to alter his plans, came north somewhere in Louisiana and is heading east from here to ride down the coast and then at some point back north to continue west. He planned on 15 months, but thinks it will take him about 25 now. 

As far as I gathered he is not doing it for a book, publication or anything, though he does occasionally update a blog.  He also is not on a time frame like so many of the other project travelers you read about. In all the trail rides I have never come across anyone trekking that far, though I read about them all the time. 

You can check out his blog and travels here:
http://bikingfrancis2011.blogspot.com/