Regarding your story about Lee the Horse Logger, I saw him on College Avenue, passing the entrance to North Community Mobile Home Park. Like Lee, I have a number of opinions. At age 77 and three quarters, some of the filing cabinets in the back of my brain have drawers that are rusted shut, so not all of my opinions are accessible.
Seriously, I think Lee suffers from the same problem that many motorists face — too much sitting and not enough exercise. I sit a lot, but on a mountain bike seat. I make miles the old-fashioned way. I earn them. (A play on words from an earlier John Houseman TV commercial. BTW I gave up my TV eight months ago. The commercials were driving me to drink. OK, so it’s only grape juice.) I also wash my clothes in a tub to save laundromat costs, and I haven’t had a phone for two years.
I gave up my car 11 years ago. It was not hard for me to do, as I have been a serious bicycle tourist for 52 years. The fact that Fort Collins has 40 miles of bicycle paths made the decision easier. A hard decision was giving up cycle camping in 2005, after having pedaled 10,000 miles between 1965 and 2005 and 217,000 miles over my lifetime.
My 1,200-mile cycling trip in 2005 was part of Adventure Cycling Association’s Trans-America Trail, a journey from Oregon to Virginia and back. I have earned my own stripes on the road. Hauling my own gear and staying in campgrounds is not easy, but it is an adventure.
As a mountain bicyclist at my age, I rarely exceed 12 miles per hour. Maybe a bit too fast for Lee, but a great deal slower than when I was 25.
Not to lose track of my original premise, I think America is rushing down a road a little too fast, but after more than 50 years as a cyclist, you learn to live with it. If I ever find someone to do vehicle support and haul my camping gear, I may do a cycle camping trip of Nebraska. Hannah McNally’s guide book “Nebraska, off the beaten path” sounds fascinating.