Monday, December 20, 2010 want to do WHAT???

It's coming close to Christmas time, so I find myself at a lot of gatherings with people who I know reasonably well.  I'm finding it extremely difficult to provide a concise description for what I'm doing.  What I'm realizing is that I could walk up to a randonneur or randonneuse and say "I'm gonna shoot for PBP2015", and they'd nod, smile and say "great goal...good luck with that".  At a cocktail party or a christmas gathering or on a phone call to my mom, there is no brief way to say what any of that means.  I'm just beginning to learn the jargon for myself.  I'm going to practice getting the description down to something that gets the message across without seeming like a completely stupid endeavor.

I have a buddy who told me about a man he knew, who decided he was going to walk across California.  He was retired, and he just up and decided that was what he was going to do.  It's an odd impulse, but his particular definition of walking across California struck me as truly bizarre.  He had two cars that he brought with him.  He would drive Car A some distance down the road, and then walk back to Car B.  He'd then drive Car B past Car A some distance, and walk back to Car A.  He'd eventually drive past a motel, and he'd stop and sleep.  He took trails whenever he could, but didn't camp.  He'd always take care of food and shelter by driving.  In this leapfrog pattern he'd work his way West to East across California, but he'd always be walking East to West.  When he got tired or bored, he'd go home for a few months and pick up where he left off later on.  Eventually he finished and had completed a series of a few hundred 5-10 mile strolls or hikes that formed an imaginary continuous line from the west coast of California to the eastern border.

One of the things I want to do when I describe to people my cycling goals is to avoid overwhelming them with a massive avalanche of self-absorbed pointlessness.  On one hand, yes, this is mainly about me.  I'm not doing some epic ride to raise awareness for a charity.  I'm not raising money.  There is definitely a "because it's there" aspect to what I want to do, but I hope I can be reasonably convincing to others, and to myself, that there is a "there" there (and that there is an "it", there).  We'll see how that goes......

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