Monday, August 30, 2010

Astoria or Bust...

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes."
—Marcel Proust

“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.”
—Ernest Hemingway

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
—Henry Miller

Okay, so the idea is this (and I'm only sharing now because I need you to keep me honest and resolute; I need your complicity—don't fail me, yeah?), though I haven't worked out all the details yet: life is tasting a bit stale of late (Old Rasputin notwithstanding), one comparatively minor symptom of which is the dearth of blog posts recently. I feel an almost overwhelming need to really shake shit up a bit, know what I mean? I got the wanderlust, and I got it bad; it's in my blood and bones and brains, and it would surely show up on a piss test if I were to submit.

So, next spring, I plan to ride across this beautiful country, right to left, self-supported, and most likely solo. And most likely on this, though I have scarcely a component in hand at the time of this post.

While the idea is only beginning to bud, my trip will start on the east coast in alliterative Bethany Beach, Delaware, and link up with the legendary Trans-America (TA) Trail to trundle through the midriff of the motherland, coming to a halt in Astoria, Oregon. Coast-to-coast. C2C. Sea-to-sea. Mari usque ad mare.

(An aside: Had I the ballsiness and brainlessness and sufficiently robust bilateral Vastus lateralis to pull it off, I'd do it fixed and call it the "Coast-to-Coast No-coast" ride. But a decent name does not a success guarantee, and I am, in the end, very much a realist, despite the dreamer tendencies. Yeah, I'm going back to gears, but only for this one.)

I'll be dropping more details here as they develop, but right now I'll leave you with a bit of what else I have in mind. I plan to take along my laptop and publish updates to this blog in situ, to be assembled and codified along with additional material (which I'm gathering even as I write this) upon my return into an as yet untitled book, à la Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (though that book serves merely as inspiration—what I have in mind will not be derivative). Think of it as a necessarily modified dérive on two-wheels, with all the attendant pomp and pretense and poetry and (possibly prosaic) prose. An ambitious undertaking, I admit, but one that is both immensely appealing and highly therapeutic to me at a time when appeal and therapy are, well, appealing.

That's it for now. I've dealt myself the dream cards and tipped my hand. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

A true ride across the entire U.S.A. would have you riding into my little village of Volcano so I could buy you a beer. Or thirty. Plus, I could then introduce you to Pirsig's son, who lives here also...

DT said...

You realize you'd be starting out about 30ish minutes from parents...not to mention damn close to Dogfish Head. I'll have to come see you off!

markie said...

Riding East-to-West? I am no Umerican, but I thought the prevailing wind was left to right? Do you really want a 3000 mile headwind?

I wish I had more PTO and then I might offer to come with you, but that might be a bit gay.

How long are you planning on taking?

Blue-eyed Devil said...

Markie, doesn't matter which direction I ride--there's always a headwind! ;-) Probably take about 2 months.

DT, that sounds like a plan!