Sunday, September 30, 2007

Weekend musing.

My first trip to Europe came in 1985, and for 15 years afterward, the bicycle was conspicuously absent as a preferred mode of transportation while visiting the continent.

This changed in 2000, and since then, it’s hard to imagine being in Europe and not riding a bike for at least some portion of the time. The notions of biking across the countryside and drinking great beer while doing it have become almost inseparable, and it becomes increasingly difficult to consider one without the other.

It’s been a year since the last trip, and it will be a year until the next one. In the interim, much of the beercycling I do will have to be local, and that’s a better prospect than ever before given the proximity of downtown New Albany establishments offering good beer.

The problem with beercycling in this fashion is that I must be forced to take the long ride first, instead of cycling less than a mile from my house and commencing happy hour without the rationale of it being a restorative.

The other problems in 2007 have been the necessity of rotator cuff repair surgery, a very good business year that has required more work hours than expected, a steadily escalating ambition to expand the business, and my continued involvement in civic affairs. My wife Diana has been working and attending graduate school simultaneously, and in some ways, it feels like I’ve been doing the same.

Biking time has lagged accordingly, although I’m still trying to use the bike as a means of commuting whenever possible. But, there’s plenty of time to prepare for the anticipated fall adventure in 2008, when we’ll be attending the triennial hop festival in Poperinge. Belgium. We hope this will be convergence in two columns, by bike and vehicle, and it has already become the most challenging logistical puzzle that I’ve attempted to solve during the course of my travels.

Getting from Budapest to Moscow in 1987 as an independent rail traveler seeking a student-priced ducat was a piece of cake compared to this, but when it comes right down to it, I’m stubborn that way, and it’ll work out in the end.

Once the journey is underway, it will become transformed as it always does, into a time to be remembered and cherished. I’ve been exceedingly fortunate, and tremendous travel memories abound. We need to make some more. I’ll keep you posted.

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