Ebb and Flow

New story out in Bicycling Magazine:

A ride down the Mississippi River to his high-school reunion helps a cyclist appreciate the hometown he once despised.

Sometime around noon, I started to appreciate the math: The fact that I was riding my bicycle to my 20-year high-school reunion meant that I wasn’t quite as young as I’d been picturing myself all these years. I was creeping up a hill, badly out of breath, but the origin of this revelation was neither my legs nor my lungs. It was the two spots on my buttocks that made me wonder if the bicycle’s seat was made of salt and razor blades: saddle sores.

I was not sure exactly where the idea of riding 200 miles along the Mississippi River, from my current home in Minneapolis down to my childhood home of Winona, came from. Maybe it was some kind of midlife bid to escape the icy grip of domesticity–nearing 40, I had a wife, two kids and a house. Maybe deep down I still wanted to prove something to my old classmates. All I knew for sure was that once the idea grabbed hold of my psyche it wouldn’t let go, and now, just a few hours into the trip here I was, out on the road, loaded down with gear and memories and doubt.

Read the rest here.

One comment

  1. Frank, I very much like reading this article. I too have done some cross country riding and have simply come to expect little (or big) suprises along the way. Your retelling was just like that, sort of matter-of-factly recalling incidents and discoveries along the way (rather making each of them a real big deal).

    In any case, I am also employed by the MN Department of Transportation to improve aspects of and to revitalize public interest in the larger Mississippi route from the Headwaters to the Gulf of Mexico. I will undoubtedly distribute copies of your article to those asking how possibly they can do this, or what might they possibly find along the way.

    Thanks again! Dan Collins

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