Author Archive

For the Environment: an examination of our stated purpose / 06.12.12

“We are biking for peace, simplicity, and the environment

Our actions and decisions affect the world in which we live.

A couple weeks ago in Selcuk, Turkey (where ancient Ephesus is located) we found ourselves riding in a car. Riding in a car is a strange experience after spending so much time on a bike. The tug and resistance that hills offer to a biker’s muscles become little more than a little revving and lugging of the engine in a car. Our speed is barely checked as we whiz up mountain curves! And the speed itself is a bit dizzying, after finding a comfortable 20 km/hr pace (12 mph) to be normal. (Okay, downhill once we did hit 70.4 km/h (43 mph), but that is probably not recommended). So cars are sort of an exotic, new experience all over again. But this was no ordinary car. This was Falco’s car.

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Staying with Adam / 04.12.12

After we were towed up the hill by the kind truck driver (see previous post Hitching a Ride), Kallie and I felt confident that it was going to be a good day. And it was. We made it into Fethiye and met up with Adam, who took us back to his place and showed us our room–a large bedroom with a double bed and attached bathroom. Yes, the shower was hot. After some introductions and showers, we made our way into town to find the friendliest kebap store owner and the makings of a home coffee roasting operation.

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Hitching a Ride / 01.12.12

On our way to visit our friend Adam in Fethiye, we stopped at a yacht town called Gocek. Our hotel owner told us the rest of the journey would be more or less flat. “It is thirty more kilometers, and mostly flat,” he said. Well, by now we should know not to trust drivers for elevation stats, but nonetheless we set our expectations to FLAT TERRAIN. The first long climb felt twice as hard as usual, and we convinced ourselves that that was it and it would be flat from here on out. As we approached the second large climb Kallie began moaning and I was trying my best to get our heads in the game. Hills are significant on a bicycle–especially a tandem with a loaded trailer, and our legs were tired. “Get your head in the game!” I said to Kallie, unhelpfully. (Biking teaches you some good and bad communication techniques for marriage).

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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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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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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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FBR reunited in Thessaloniki! / 17.11.12

Well, after nearly 3 weeks of separation, all six of us managed to show up at the same time and the same place: Thessaloniki, Greece. Devin and Tori have already been here two weeks, and have some good stories about home stays and people they’ve met. Kallie and I took the motorway in from the coast 70km out–a recommendation of–and we arrived in roughly 3 hours, cruising at 25-30 kph.* Peter and Lindsey opted to pick their way through smaller roads, but since the maps we have aren’t completely reliable, they ended up coming in at 105 km for the day and arriving five hours later than we did. But we made it, and celebrated with pizza and gyros! We are staying with Gael, a friend we met on the road back in 2008 in Cambodia, who was doing his own world tour ( Now he’s offering us hospitality in his studio flat, and we are seven. Lindsey’s friend Priya joined us from England for a week, so we are planning to celebrate an early Thanksgiving today and enjoy our collectiveness until tomorrow night, when Kal and I catch a ferry to Turkey to continue our journey with hopes of meeting up in Istanbul Dec. 1. Devin and Tori plan to bus it to Istanbul, as Tori is still not bike-ready (traveling can make for poor convalescence). Lindsey and Peter, as of now, are still planning to bike to Istanbul from Thess., but as always, nothing is final. Stay tuned…!!! *When we entered the city, we found our way to the coastal walking area and rolled along, noticing a Starbucks. Kallie immediately grew fairly excited about the prospect of her favorite holiday drink from Starbucks, and made some sort of vow to come back and procure one. About 500 meters farther down we saw another one, and then we saw a blonde sitting outside next to a bearded fellow and it was… “Devin and Tori?!!” We caught up then and there with a Starbucks holiday drink.

Camping near the mountain of the gods / 13.11.12

Our last two campsites have been in full view of Mt. Olympus. It has been clear and cold, with a slight breeze to keep down the frost, and the mountain has snow on its cap. Each of us has been digging deep to find all the warm clothes we are finally glad we brought, and the fires have been a bit bigger than usual (especially since the night a Greek farm woman showed us how it was done).

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