Sunday, April 26, 2009

Thirty Three Days Until The Pirate Tour Sets Sail


The Pirate Tour, aka the Tour de Seth, gets underway on May 29 in Gainesville. If all goes according to plan we will reach our destination port in Key West on Saturday, June 6. It is not entirely clear how this became the Pirate Tour, but it has something to do with our destination, tattoos, earrings, and the manly exclamation, “Aaaargh!”

At any rate, in keeping with the motivation for our first long, carry-your-own-stuff bike tour last year, the Tour de Fred (which was a celebration of Fred’s 60th birthday), this one is a celebration of my 60th. Officially, therefore, the trip is the Tour de Seth. It is the second of what will be, probably, five annual bike trips that will together represent a significant geezer achievement: bicycling from the one side of the US to the other, and then some. If you read the blog posts from last year, you already know that Fred and I cycled 1,200 miles from Little Rock, Arkansas to Gainesville, Florida in 2008. The original plan was to go from Colorado Springs to Key West, but that turned out, for various reasons, to be impossible (though one of our co-travelers, Ray, did most of it, half by himself).

This year it looks like Fred and I will be pedaling the 600 miles of intense solar radiation and headwinds by ourselves. Regarding the latter, I had a moment of weakness a few days ago and suggested to Fred that we might consider reversing our course to convert the expected southeast winds from foe to friend. He set my mind right, however, and the trip remains north to south. It is already a short ride, and pancake flat to boot, so without the wind in our faces it would hardly be manly at all! The whole point is to prove to ourselves that we may be sixty, but we’ve still got the RIGHT STUFF! I’m not entirely certain what the RIGHT STUFF is, but one thing for sure – it involves suffering and laughing in the face of it. The sun and wind offer many possibilities in the suffering department, and last year’s experience all but guarantees plenty of laughter, so all is well with our plan.