Archive for November, 2012

Bob Yak Trailer Review / 30.11.12

It is here in Turkey where we will part ways and say goodbye to our Bob Yak Trailer. “Bob” has been a trooper and has gone above and behind the call of duty, carrying twice as much as he’s rated for and going twice as fast too. We are only sending him back to the states because we are shedding some weight and for the next portion of the trip- so we will go “Bob-less” and see how it compares. Here are some of our initial impressions at 3600km of the Bob Yak trailer (about $320 at REI).

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Schooled by a Fortune Cookie / 29.11.12


Seven months ago I graduated earning a Bachelors degree from Hope College and started to fill out graduate school applications.

Six months ago I became friends with Kallie and Andrew and agreed to bike across Europe with two new friends, and two I had yet to meet.

Five months ago I bought a bike.

Four months ago I got this fortune out of a cookie while eating Chinese food at Kallie’s house while planning a bike trip that seemed vague at best.

Three months ago I realized how difficult cycling across Europe was and questioned my sanity and decision making skills.

Two months ago I fell in love with cycling and the feeling of hard earned sweat meeting fresh mountain air of a new place.

One month ago I started contemplating returning home and what I want in life when I get there.

Next month I will arrive home and get to enjoy family and friends while I figure out the next years of my life- still unknown, but looking a bit brighter and more exciting these days.

Sometimes you need to let go and simply go along with others ideas. It might just turn out that the act of letting go is what you needed all along, and the view along the way is just a bonus for being a good sport.

Video: shepherd’s call / 28.11.12

The Call of the Bathroom / 27.11.12

When I was a kid my brother and I would sometimes talk about inappropriate things at the dinner table. At least, my mom thought they were inappropriate, and she would say, “That’s not table talk, that’s toilet talk; if you want to talk like that you have to excuse yourselves and go to the bathroom.” Which we would, on occasion. All that to say, if you are currently at the table, you may wish to find your way to the bathroom, because Kallie and I were also finding our way to bathroom recently with some urgency, and that’s what I’m planning to talk about.

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Noon Prayer in Istanbul / 26.11.12

Getting Pulled Over in Turkey / 26.11.12

So far, out of all the countries we’ve visited, the people in Greece have been the most friendly. It seems as we move eastward people have responded to us with greater and greater enthusiasm and hospitality. So naturally Kallie and I were curious how Turkey would be…

Yesterday we were humming along on the D550 toward Aydin, getting regular honks and thumbs-up’s from drivers and those seated by the road when a man stepped out from a gas station and waved us down. It was his insistency that first got me to think about stopping, but it was his police uniform that pushed me over the edge.

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Out of the Schengen Territories / 23.11.12

As US citizens, we are allowed 90 days in the Schengen Territories (most of what is considered Europe). Normally that is enough time to do what needs be done for travelers — but when on a bicycle, 90 days proves barely enough. Around Florence, Italy, Devin did some math and we had a meeting. We weren’t going to make it out in time at the rate we were traveling with the plans we had.

So, in the last few days FBR has split into its couples once again, this time Devin and Tori to Istanbul, Lindsey and Peter to Bulgaria, and Andrew and Kallie to the coast of Turkey by ferry. Perhaps we should assign letters of our acronym FBR to each couple… we’ll be couple “R”.

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Video: Andrew’s Goat Call / 23.11.12

PILGRIM NOTES: The Image of a Shepherd / 18.11.12

“he had no beauty or majesty that we should be attracted to him…” -Isaiah 53:2

Biking through northern Greece we don’t see many people–mostly shepherds and their flocks. Actually, we keep a wary eye out for sheep dogs, as they can be a bit aggressive to bikers on the road. Often the shepherd is there, however, and is able to call the dogs back if necessary. It’s the shepherd that strikes me.

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The Night of the Hunter / 18.11.12

At 4 a.m. I grew restless in my sleeping bag. Maybe it was my air mattress deflating to the point of my regular nightly re-inflation. Maybe it was the hot chocolate, wine, and water that attended dinner, finally finding their way through my system. More than likely it was a combination of both, and maybe some unknown night bird’s call at the critical moment that brought me out of the warm fog of sleep into awareness of the night.

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