Sunday, April 27, 2008

The End

It came so quickly, this very last day of riding. I've spent a couple of lovely days in Aachen, Germany with some friends from Iowa. All I have left is a measly 85km day, one of the shortest of the tour. Then I get to chill in Cologne for a few days with some old friends and head back to Paris for a rendezvous with my mother.

During a tour you feel like it will continue forever, and then it is abruptly over. I wish I could just keep riding, but there is the issue of, y'know, eating and paying bills and such. I now have to go eat French Toast (in Germany, of all places, which is kinda funny for some reason) and get ready to ride.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I don't have too much time to write (I am starving and need to make dinner...) but I've made it to Belguim! The trip so far has been absolutely phenomenal. Like, one of the best bike tours I've had. Here's some differences I've noticed between Belgium and France:
- there is less dog shit on the ground to step in
- people have a funny accent. Belgium is France's Canada, y'know?
- there are french fry restaurants everywhere, with millions of sauces to choose from. Curry ketchup is the best, though Pickles comes in second.
- the beer is so freaking cheap
- the highways have bike lanes, even though they suck sometimes

That is all. I leave this glorious country of beer and fries for Germany tomorrow. Guten nacht.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

2nd Day

The trip so far has been fabulous. I made it to Dinan today, which is a lovely town with an even lovelier hostel. I rode to almost St. Brieuc yesterday, taking my time to get there. Ended up leaving late (noon instead of 8) but still got to a good place to camp around 5. I guess it was only 90km. That's like 50 miles or something.

I set up camp at the top of this valley, which was only a valley because it had a damn at the end of it. It was clear and nice all day, and then it was cloudy and lightly drizzling, then just cloudy. Initially I wanted to camp right by the stream at the bottom, but it was a Saturday night in a remote area and seemed like a good place for drunken high schoolers to come make a bonfire and party. So I hiked my bike and all my crap up the side in two stages. It was like climbing a wall, but I managed it. I couldn't see stars when I went to bed, but when I woke up one of the numerous times in the night, I could. I was too tired to pick out any constellations, though.

I met up with two friends during the ride yesterday. The first, Mustapha, is running to Caen over the vacation. He was supposed to leave Friday, but got off late and so I passed by him on the rode about 45 minutes after starting. We had a coffee and talked about our respective adventures. And cows, and how they moo differently in France.

My other friend, Bernard, is a cyclist and drove to Guingamp, then bactracked my route until we met up. He gave me dried bananas, which if you've never tried you must. No, not banana chips but these whole dried bananas wrapped in tinfoil. We rode and chatted and then had a juice and some cakes before we got to his car. I wish he could have come with me, but I guess not everybody is a jobless slacker like me.

All of my equipment worries have been unfounded as yet. The homemade panniers are doing fine, even if I don't have a lot of clearance for my foot in the pedal stroke (can't really backpedal, which is ok I guess...). I didn't need to use the "tent" I made because it was clear, but probably will sometime. The stove rocks my freaking socks off. I boiled a few cups of tea and water to drink and a cup of coffee this morning all on like 75ml of alcohol!

More the next time I get an internet connection...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Leaving for Germany

I leave tomorrow for Germany (if I get everything frakkin' finished). It should be a good time pending good weather and preferable winds. Wish me luck, and do an anti-rain dance if you have the time/skill.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


A few things:
– I went to Paris with a group of students last weekend. It was a blast, and the kids behaved themselves. I went to the Cinematheque and Le Louvre (for the third time...) on Friday, and walked around the city and saw my friend Kasia at her art installation on Saturday. We came back Saturday night. I took lots of photos, which will be posted once I have them developed and can scan them in.

– While walking around Paris, I put the soundtrack to the film Rushmore on repeat on my iPod. This lead me to fall in love with all things Mark Mothersbaugh. Check out his art, and anything that he's created. It is fabulous.

– I leave in like 4 days for Germany, and have yet to finish sewing my panniers. I'm not too worried, but the next few days will be super-busy. I did, however, succeed at fabricating this stove. It is freakin' sweet! I cooked my dinner last night over the wonderfully bright flame.

UT: Biggest Star

You should totally check out Fraser's story over at Universe Today on the biggest star. It is teh awesome.