Underwear are optional

The morning of my departure for St Louis, Missouri has dawned colder than expected. Recent days past have begun in the high 30s, warmed up to the low 70s, and cooled right back down again at sunset. I should have expected as much. I’m about thirty minutes from a ride to the airport and less than three hours from wheels-up. My throat resembles a Petri dish rivaling any junior high biology experiment, my ass is still sore from the eighteen miles ridden on the Maah Daah Hey a few days ago, and I’m nipping out because my vest is packed and Dale keeps his house at arctic temperatures. I can say with confidence I’ve got that not-so-fresh feeling.

The tour is different this time. Somehow. It hasn’t consumed my thoughts for the last nine months. I haven’t micro analyzed every facet of my gear list. I haven’t meticulously planned every rest stop, water point, or menu. From what I’ve learned from cycling the first half of the Lewis and Clark Trail, I know well enough that it’ll work itself out, I’ll probably get ahead of my schedule somewhere along the way, and it’ll take a good week following for my butt to feel normal again. I accept these things with reluctance. How else can I?

Although I’ll be taking my cell phone with me, I won’t have it on unless I need it. Regardless, feel free to drop me a voice mail message spouting paragraphs of encouragement and winning lottery numbers. If you’ve tried to get a hold of me in the last week without success, it could be any number of reasons I won’t get into here. I will mention the involvement of chicken wire, clear packing tape, and a #5 torx wrench. Stranger things have happened.

So long, folks. The dusty trail awaits, again, and I have every intention of kicking its ass. I’ll see you on the 10 o’clock news.

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The author.Born in the year of the Dragon, the author grudgingly accepts the fact he has too many interests and not enough time. A cyclist as long as he can remember, an avid yet inconsistent writer since age eleven, and a U.S. Marine since age twenty-one, the author also adds peak bagging, diving, snowboarding, and computers to his list of interests. Incidentally, he is aware of his inability to make a living from any but the Corps. The author accepts this as fact and remains optimistic. Feel free to drop him a line.

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