Adverse conditions and moxie

I was in New York for a brief trip following the loss of my beloved grandmother (more on that in a second) and marveled at the number of bikes out and about following the sloppy mess of a 10″ snow storm. With the temperatures hovering in the single digits, a couple of inches of slippery gray slush and the gridlock of Manhattan, biking was still a preferable way to get around for so many New Yorkers trying to get things done. It got me reflecting on adverse conditions while touring – they’re all what you make of it. You can prepare with some gear for hot or cold, blistering sun or rain, and even the occasional mechanical breakdown. But what really gets you through adverse conditions is willpower mixed with a little moxie. Maybe a lot of moxie… A saw a lot of it in New York the last two days.

This past week I lost my grandmother – she rocked this fine planet for just shy of 100 years, which is about as good of a run as you can ask for. She was fiercely independent, living on her own until about six months ago. I know a lot of my independent streak comes from her and that is probably one of the big reasons why bike touring is important to me. After her passing I decided to go a little bigger with my summer tour, perhaps as a tribute. The new goal is Portland to Minneapolis by bike. I think it’s fitting to link those two great biking cities as bookends for an epic tour. I’m not sure if my grandmother would think it was sane (in fact I’m sure she wouldn’t), but I think she’d appreciate the adventure of it all. She too had more than a bit of moxie in her…

back tire in snow by doviende