To Jinx or not to Jinx?

Ah…yes, dear Reader, that is the question. Do we talk about this year’s upcoming adventure? Or, by talking about it, will we send the adventure the way of our last great adventures….aka, no where? Alas…we have pondered this question long and held off, but….but….but….the human and I are in training again for this summer’s PAC Tour Northern Transcontinental. OK. There. I’ve said it. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting for the lightening to strike. Waiting, Waiting. Hmmmm…so far so good. OK, let’s talk.

Last year. Sigh…the year of isolation. The year of illness. The year of yearning for more. We were, of course, going to do the Southern crossing again last September, but, blah, Covid the Destroyer took care of that dream. It was to be our 3rd attempt: on the first attempt we were 116 miles short of the goal; on the second attempt we crashed out the week before; and the third attempt…well, Covid the Destroyer took care of that. Last March, the humans fell ill and we got very little riding in until late summer so there was no way we were going to ride across in September; finally the crossing was cancelled when Covid the Destroyer came through for a second pass. So, like many, we transferred our registration to this year’s Northern Crossing.

Are we nuts to try? Oh yeah. That’s a given. The Northern is harder — bigger mountains, longer rides, faster riders. And us? Uh…well…we’re training and we’re training hard, but…did I mention about not riding last spring? Oooo…that has really hurt and, let’s face it, my human is not getting any younger. To boot, Edwin’s human is not doing as well as mine. Edwin’s human has taken a lot longer to come back — only in the last week have we been able to ride a metric together. So that means the human and I are out solo most of the time. Well…not completely solo, Edwin’s human is a sweetie and brings us lunch on long days. As a fully PAC Tour trained crewmember, Edwin’s human, like all PAC Tour crew, is rider support extraordinaire. Just check out that spread for a single rider: soup in the thermos, juice, water, chocolate Silk, ladoos, bananas along with sunscreen and hand sanitizer. What more could a rider want?

So, we are in training, riding the Lon schedule of at least 300 miles a week. Unfortunately, for us, that is not 300 miles/week in 20 hours per the official Lon-schedule, but what we lack in speed, we make up for in enthusiasm and are riding now more than 300 miles in a week. Well, maybe. Since my human is still working, but remotely, we no longer have a daily commute. Instead the human puts in 4 hour indoor rides twice a week while participating in meetings (heee..hee…do they know that isn’t a fan, but a bike in the background?!?!?!). With indoor hours, it is hard to tell how far the human rides in a week. No matter how hard we train, though, it probably won’t keep us out of the van when we miss a time cutoff, but at least we can say we gave it a solid try and we will enjoy the time on the road we do get.

But, dear Reader, a request, if I may. Since the human and I are riding alone, we have taken to listening to books (through bone conducting headphones that keep both ears open to even the quietest of road noises, of course). We have listened to a wide variety of non-fiction books from psychology to behavioral economics (yeah, psychology by another name, but don’t tell that to a behavioral economist) to plant physiology to biographies to politics to history to …. we have read and enjoyed many books, most thanks to the public library, although occasionally we purchase a book. But….we get stuck in ruts (darn those recommendation engines). If you, dear Reader, have a non-fiction book that you found great, let us know. We are always looking for ways to expand our horizons. Today we listened to Looking for Calvin and Hobbes by Nevin Martell and tomorrow will be listening to Just as I Am by Cicely Tyson. The day after? Got a recommendation?

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