Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Newest Bingle Sensation

Hey all you Bingaholics.  Thought that the Bingleverse couldn't get any better?  Wrong.  Now you can easily tell all your friend sbaout the wild and wacky adventures over in Bingle land by simply telling them to head over to www.binglebybingle.com and they will magically find their way via the internet, now on computers, to this little humble blog.  So, please spread the word and tell people to come on over to binglebybingle.com.

May the bingle be with you.

Big Ride, Big Sky

Montana, like so many other states, begins somewhere else. For Montana, it started in Yellowstone after spending a day cycling from the campground to the Old Faithful area, checking out all the geysers, hot springs, bubbling mud, elephant herds, and the tourists. Me and the Swede left Yellowstone and Wyoming early in the morning, and entered Montana with slight winds and beautiful mountains greeting us. We turned north and our slights winds of course became strong headwinds all the way on our 90 mile jaunt to Ennis where we camped along the Madison river.

Heading out we bumped into some tourers I had meet in the Tetons and again in Yellowstone, and they told us about the world famous “Bike Hostel” in Twin Bridges, where bike tourers are treated to a free campground, hot showers, water, screened in sitting area, and plain old respect and good treatment from the townfolk. And so instead of a long 70 miler, it became a dainty 40 miler, giving me and the Swede time to check out the old ghost gold rush towns of Virgina and Nevada City.

Of course, making one day shorter means the next day has to be a little longer, and so it turned a day with two passes into a 75 miler day.  Crossing Badger and Big Hole pass, topping at 7,400 feet, we tiredly freewheeled it into the little town of Wisdom where the American Legion has a little park on the river where you can camp for free.  In Wisdom, they also don't really follow the normal rules of summer and so the next morning we awoke to temperatures of 34 degrees.  Wonderful.   Being fully donned in my warm clothes, it was about 12 miles until I was able to slowly remove my layers and bask in the growing sun.  

Two more passes, Chief Joseph and Lost Trail, and my 5th crossing of the continental divide, along with a momentary visit to Idaho left us with a killer downhill into the Bitteroot Valley towards our warm shower host in Hamilton.  We arrived sweaty and tired, and were greeted warmly as has been the case on my entire trip.  A huge dinner and awesome pancakes the next morning set us up well for the sorta downhill ride into Missoula. Had a good stretch of bike path along with a bad stretch of trafficy highway, but rolled into Missoula just in time to visit Adventure Cycling, get our free ice creams, our photos taken, and some needed info about both our upcoming routes.  We checked out the Celtic Festival before setting up camp at our warm shower host.  

And now the Swede has left for Seattle and I am once again a solo bicycle tourer.  From Missoula I will head north to Glacier National Park, first riding south of the park and then coming back east along Going to the Sun Road before heading north into Alberta and British Columbia to make my way to the fabled Banff National Park.  

Lots of mountains, lots of glacier lakes, lots of amazing scenery awaits.  My love for cycling, for the land, and for life only keeps growing.  Each day I try to encapsulate more and more the signature quote of this blog, to "divest myself of the holds that would hold me".  Remember, you can send me mail in Seattle, where I will be around the end of August:

Sonadei, LLC
PO BOX 99133
Seattle, WA 98139-0313
USA

Check out the most up to date photos of my trip at picasaweb.google.com/rossbikepics  Keep pedaling.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Interlude: Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks







Words can't really do justice for the beauty I rode in from Grand Tetons and Yellowstone, so here are a few of the over 300 (!) pictures I took.  Some are now online, but I will slowly be putting more and more up as internet time allows.  I'm now in Big Sky and will be following more or less the Adventure cycling route from West Yellowstone to Missoula, and from there head north to Glacier National Park.  I also now think I will once again ride into British Columbia Canada and go to Banff and then head back down into Washington as it seems time is on my side.

Chris posted an interesting blog about life, love and biking that all should read.  Having been on the road for nearly 3 months, I have many conversations with many different people, but the consensus is usally that they think it is great what I am doing, but they really want to know what job i worked at and what job i will work at after.  That seems to dicatate so many people's lives instead of letting thier life, the planet, the amazingness and adventure that surrounds us to lend it's gentle hand to our path.  I'm learnign everyday what freedom and love truly mean, at least to me, and will share these thoughts at a later time.

Awesome riding behind, awesome riding ahead.  I hope everyone is able to, at least briefly, to experience freedom and love at its purest, to feel alive beyond what we think capable, and of course, to go on a very long bike ride.  For now, with freedom and love in my heart, my eyes, my legs and my mind, keep pedaling.

Check out the growing picture collection at picasaweb.google.com/rossbikepics.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

From North to South to North

For a few brief days I cycled in splendid northern Utah.  Sure, the road to Vernal was one of the worst I have ever rode one, getting air horned off the road by a passing semi, but once there, not only did I have the pleasure of a days rest with a great warmshower host, but I also got to watch the new Harry Potter. Yay.

I left Vernal heading due north, despite the warnings of 8% grades and 10 switchbacks, which were true but not as bad as it sounded.  I headed north to Flaming Gorge National Recreation area, a place I knew nothing about nor had heard of till recently.  I was pleasantly surprised.  After cycling uphill for a while through various rock formations, the aspen grove began and a new world greeted me.  At the top of the climb, I hit red canyon.  The canyon is about 4,000 ft wide and 1,700 feet deep, a mini grand canyon with nobody else around.

I skirted the gorge on the west side, bombing downhill at 44.7 mph (my fastest ever) to the little town of Manila before crossing out of Utah and back into Why oh Why Wyoming and camping at the edge of the gorge.  A windy night and i was on my way back into the high desert of Wyoming, crossing through the bustling town of Green River where i visited the free museum and waited out yet another storm.  A long 95 mile day through desert and i camped at a BLM site where there were more mosquitoes then any place on earth.  also, a storm that had 40 to 50mph winds howling at my tent for 20 minutes, but i survived.

Two more day riding in the desert, camping in BLM land and I am now literally at the foot of the Grand Tetons in Jackson hole.  I am staying with friends of a warmshower host who have warmly welcomed me to their home.  Tomorrow, I will actually bike to the park and spend a night or two there before heading north into Yellowstone where I will battle RV's and Bison and Bears, spending again a few days camping and hiking before finally heading into western Montana.


Thats where I's at yo.  Check I say Check out the photos: picasaweb.google.com/rossbikepics and remember you can send me mail at

Ross Guberman
Sonadei, LLC
PO BOX 99133
Seattle, WA 98139-0313
USA



Keep pedaling.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Crossing Colorado

Colorful Colorado has been full of colorful surprises. For a state that I hadn't intended on biking to when I first left Burlington, I now couldn’t be happier that I did. The wonderful front range towns of fort Collins and Boulder, with their biking, beers and babes were all so wonderful and relaxing. And of course crossing the highest point on my trip in Rocky Mountain National Park wasn't too bad either. But there is another side to Colorado, and it lies west of the mountains.

Having crossed RMNP, I descended into Grand Lake, which sits at over 8,000ft high. Did a small day hike to Adams Falls and generally allowed my legs to return to normal. Leaving Grand Lake, about 2 miles out, my drive side pedal began screaming the most hideous sound I have ever heard. So I prayed for a bike shop in Granby, and lo, there was. A scant 2 hours later after rebuilding both corroded pedals and I was on my way, but not alone. No, it seems 30 other bikers were going my way. Bike and Build, a non-profit that has crossed the country for over 8 years on various routes, has bikers biking and then stopping and building for Habitat for Humanity. Their route mirrors mine all the way to the Tetons, and in Colorado I saw a lot of them. From Granby it was a wonderful downhill day to Kremmling. A night of camping and the next day it was off to Steamboat.

On the way I had two passes, Muddy and Rabbit Ears. And I had to cross the divide twice. Accomplishing this was well worth the 7 mile, 7% grade descent into Steamboat Springs where I maxed at 38 mph. Stayed with a group of amazing people and on my day off went to a concert to see my home town music star, Grace Potter. All in all, I enjoyed the Boat and the relaxed attitude. Leaving Boat had me heading on an 85 mile day to Maybell, which I was told is conveniently located in the middle of nowhere. But, it did have me and 30 other people camping in their little park for the night. Got some dinner, talked about Peace Corps, meet a guy walking west to east carrying a cross, and enjoyed watching the comradeship these people had with each other. I left early the next morning on a 90 mile stint that took me through the desolate but pretty western edge of Colorado, past Dinosaur National Monument, into the actual town of Dinosaur, and finally into Vernal, Utah where I am now.

I entered Colorado on July 1st and left on July 16th, having taken nearly a week off in Boulder. The altitude isn't as bad now that I'm only around 5,000 to 6,000 feet. Making better time, got high spirits and lots of amazingness on the way. Next up is Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, home to the largest aspen grove and perhaps the largest living organism, excluding the planet. From there it's back into Wyoming and towards the Tetons and Yellowstone. For now, I'm loving the desert landscape, the sagebrush, the sandstone cliffs, the red and white and bluish mountains. I so look forward to coming back to Utah, but ion the south and in October. But this landscape is breathtakingly beautiful, quiet, and harsh.

Check out all of my Colorado pics , and of course, as always, with freedom and love, keep pedaling.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Interlude: Rocky Mountain National Park

It's not too often that in one day you can bike 25 miles, all uphill, gain over 5,000 ft in elevation, crossing alpine, sub alpine and tundra environments, and then bomb downhill, for 25 miles losing 5,000 ft in elevation. I got the pleasure to do this on Trail ridge, the scenic road that traverse Rocky Mountain National Park.  At the highest, the road hits about 12,100 feet, before descending and crossing the continental divide somewhere around 10,000 ft.  At the 11,000 foot mark, the trees stop, the tundra starts and man oh man was it COLD.  had to put on all my warm clothes.  Brrrr, lots of snow, and lots of beauty.  







Of course, many more pictures of this amazing place can be seen here: https://picasaweb.google.com/rossbikepics.  For now, from Grand Lake, and until I possibly get internet again, keep pedaling.

PS: Here is my next mailing address where you can send me letters, well wishes, and/or other goodies and surprises.  I will most likely be in Seattle sometime in mid/late august.

Ross Guberman
c/o
Sonadei, LLC
PO BOX 99133
Seattle, WA 98139-0313
USA

Friday, July 8, 2011

Radical Changes...

I proudly present to the entire Bingelverse, the new and improved "Eduardo the Touring Bike" !!!!!
Before

After
It'll take a little getting used to have the different distribution of weight, but I think this will end up working out better than the trailer.  Packing is a little different, as I can't willy nilley throw stuff in the trailer, and I had to rid myself of nearly 10 lbs of extra bits and pieces.  Got a handle bar bag to house my valuable items, like my multi tool, and some extra storage containers for water when i hit those lonely western Wyoming stretches.

my green highlighted route thus far


From Boulder, I will go to Estes Park, get used to being 8,000 feet up, then cycle along the highest, continuously paved road in north america, Trail Ridge Road in Rock Mountain National Park, where I'll hit an altitude of a bit over 12,000 feet before freewheeling to Grand Lake.  Then its across western Colorado and into Utah before making a sharp turn north, threw Flaming Gorge National recreation Area and heading northwest towards the Tetons and Yellowstone and into Montana.  Check out the ever growing pictures I update on my picasa page, https://picasaweb.google.com/rossbikepics and as always, keep pedaling.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ye Olde Two Month Update

Some would call it 61 days, others would call it 2 months. No matter your vocular of choice, I have cycled from Burlington, Vermont to Boulder, Colorado. Who would have thunk it? I suppose I would since its sorta what I had planned. But not really. When I left Burlington I didn’t think I'd be coming south to Boulder, I had thought I would be cycling across Wyoming. Thankfully that idea was scrapped. And so many Bingler's are asking how its been going, what have been highlights, lowlights, stats, etc etc? So many questions my little Binglets, and since I have so much time, I can answer some of them.

But first, an important topic needs to be discussed. Its something I haven't talked about in this blog, only a little in letters to a friend. Its about food. In particular, animal based food. We all know that living vegan is the 100% only correct way to live, but what happens when your diet is put to the strains of location, phsyical demands, and extreme lusting of ice cream? You get a mental war if you's be's me's. As the saying goes, “Go Vegan or Go Home”. I do not and will never eat the flesh of an animal, but I have been eating, sometimes out of necessity from the kindness of my hosts, and sometimes of my own choice, some animal by-product food such as ice cream, dairy, and eggs. And really, these food items are absolutely equal in the suffering they cause the sentient beings they come from as meat. And this is really hard for me. Can I expect those willing to host me, already going out of their way to show me kindness, to sometimes rack their brains about cooking a way they know nothing about? Is it so bad to every once in a while to have dairy or eggs in my food? Maybe yes, maybe no. The real problem, and what has been hardest on me, is when it's done by deliberate choice. Lordy I crave ice cream, or at least I think I do. Because after wards, was it really that good, was it really worth the money or the mental back and forth I go through after wards? It never is. But it is and perhaps will be something I continue to struggle with on my journey, and I hope to be able to share more on this important topic for me with my compassionate Binglers as time marches on.

But now its time, drum roll please, for the TWO MONTH CYCLING STATSITICS:
Left Burlington, Vermont May 3rd – arrived Boulder, Colorado July 3rd.
61 days: 55 days cycling, 6 days rest
3,425.1 miles cycled
62.2 average miles per day
Longest mile day: 105.98 miles
Longest cycling day: 9 hours, 9 minutes
8 National Parks/Monuments/Lakeshores: Sleeping Bear Dunes, Pictured Rocks, Apostle Islands, Pipestone, Badlands, Minuteman, Mount Rushmore, Wind Cave
One broken spoke
Countless Nomad flats
Thee rear tire flats
One fall
One bear, one wolf, one moose
19 free/wild/stealth camping
7 paid camping
22 warmshower
11 couchsurfing
2 other hosts
8 states: Vermont, New York, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota,Wyoming and Colorado
2 Countries: USA and Canada
7 jars of peanut butter

Highlights include cycling along Lake Michigan, the bike trails in Minnesota, the Badlands and Black Hills, and riding into Boulder yesterday knowing it was my last day riding with the trailer. Many highlights await. Lowlights include mid-Michigan, South Dakota, and eastern Wyoming. Blah. I have revised and revised again possible routes forward for the next two months, and I am slowly getting a better picture of how I might go, with a few spots still up for debate. Idaho really throws me for a loop. But, it looks like I might ride Glacier in Montana the opposite way I had originally planned, I think I'll go east to west across, then drop down maybe into Missoula? Who knows?

During my sabbatical in Boulder I'll take care of bike stuff and will soon post some before and after pictures of my steel steed, Eduardo, in all his glory. Hope you have all enjoyed the journey so far, and thanks to everyone who reads and comments. I look forward to continue sharing my journey and hope you all stick along for the ride.

Happy July 4th

Well my flag waving, patriotic Binglers, happy July 4th.  Here's to freedom, to biking, to Life.