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The First Mountain Was A Doozy

May 28th, 2009
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Timmonds Mountain… I was warned… The locals shook their heads seeing the book-mobile I was pulling. That was a bit intimidating, but, if life was easy it would be boring, and like our r3VOLution, we can’t let seemingly insurmountable obstacles stop us from moving forward. We can’t let people scare us off our task because they can’t imagine themselves doing something extraordinary. We must move forward, boldly. They may slow us down, they may beat the hell out of us, but winners never quit and just keep eyes on the goal and noses to the grindstone.

It. Was. Brutal. I ain’t kidding, at all. Look at this map, and notice that I climbed over 1000 ft in less than 3 miles

A mountain that was in my way

A mountain that was in my way

Now, consider that I was in a fog, on a road that often had no room for a shoulder…

I started out strong, the pedal-elec system helps, but certainly cannot pull the load I am carrying. In fact, even pedaling as hard as I could, the brains began to overheat about halfway up. What happens when it overheats is it shuts off, and I am left to make that next section, to the safety of a shoulder, on my own. By the time I got to the top I was going 50ft, resting and letting the brains cool, repeatedly…

A local had told me the road splits into a truck route near the top, and I could take the truck route because the road down is very steep. He said it would mean about 10 more miles and a few more hills but would save my brakes. By the time I got to the fork, I wanted no part of 10 more miles a a few more hills, so decided to buy a new set of brakes if I had to and just get the hell off this mountain.

Big Mistake. I wasn’t even close to the top…

But, perseverance and determination are the qualities of those who get things done, and I was blessed to be born with both. I finally made it to unmistakable top and was incredibly thankful to see the fog was not as bad on the other side. So after a short rest to catch my breath, I had quite the exhilarating ride down the mountain and was safely back into civilization.

By this time most of the locals had heard about, “some guy on a bike pulling a trailer over the Timmonds” so had quite an easy time of getting them to listen why. I slowly made my way to this nice $40 motel seeding a message of liberty all along the way. I stopped at an Ice Cream Stand and got a cone to celebrate. A man walked up and asked about my bike, I gave him my spiel and the next thing I knew I had a dinner of home cooked, farm raised, (and delicious) chicken cassarole and fresh salad. I was famished, and it was heavenly. We talked as I ate. The wife had liked Huckabee, and Paul, but “didn’t want to waste her vote.” We had a nice talk about voting your conscience and how the whole “waste your vote” thing is a farce. Voting for the lessor of two evils, is still evil…

The rest of ride was fairly uneventful, it hardly rained so I was able to seed the route better. That always make me feel good. Convenience stores are pretty good about letting me leave stacks on their shelves. I encourage people to take “sunday drives” with lit and stop for a little something at these stores and ask. You turn one good mind in a small town, and you can turn an entire town.

I had my first flat as well. Here is the culprit, the nemesis of a man on a bike…

The culprit

The culprit

It is a shard of the steel belting from a blown tire and will go through any tire…, no biggie though. I had ~70 flats on the last trip, hopefully I have better luck this time, but, such things happen and we just deal with them. I’m just glad it was just drizzling…

Now, for the reason I am still in Fannettsburg. On the mountain, when I changed a battery, I failed to secure the trailer properly and the chargers dropped out somewhere. Luckily, there are decent folk in these parts and I easily found someone who would not take my money to go drive over the mountain and look. We had no success (foggy night…) , but it was very heartening to have people go out of their way to help a stranger. So rather than power over another mountain with no assistance, I decided to get the spare charger sent from home. Even better, my brother, who loves road trips, decided to deliver it in person and he will be here in a few minutes 🙂

So, it was stupid mistake on my part, but must say that my faith always insists that what happens is for the best. I just take it in stride and continue on. Perhaps it was best because some wicked storms have come through today and I would have been in the mountains for that, as well. While I would have loved to have spun this story so as to relieve my embarrassment, this is the Ride for Honesty – 😉


  1. May 28th, 2009 at 20:31 | #1
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    50′ at a time! Damn. Great to hear you stuck with it man. Maybe next time see if you can grab the box of a passing pickup?

  2. May 28th, 2009 at 21:55 | #2

    Again, and again…much respect. Aloha.

  3. admin
    May 29th, 2009 at 04:53 | #3

    Nice to see you in here, Pete 🙂 Funny you should mention the passing truck thing. A lady I met here in town said she saw me and thought of asking if I wanted to latch on – haha Keep up the good work on MARV, and enjoy 🙂

  4. May 30th, 2009 at 04:46 | #4

    Mike, I am so glad you are ok. Those mountains sounded like a true bitch!!!! 🙂 Good for you, I am so proud of you. I can’t wait for another update!

  5. Gin
    May 30th, 2009 at 06:12 | #5

    Great to see you made your way over the mountains.. I had wondered how it would go… Michael you are amazing to say the least. Hats off to you my friend….You have flat lands straight ahead… Keep on keepin on… Sending Much love your way…

  6. Gin
    May 30th, 2009 at 06:14 | #6

    err…flatter lands… comparatively speaking…what is flat for a car is not flat when cycling..

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