“I sense the world might be more dreamlike, metaphorical,
and poetic than we currently believe—but just as irrational as sympathetic
magic when looked at in a typically scientific way. I wouldn't be surprised if
poetry—poetry in the broadest sense, in the sense of a world filled with
metaphor, rhyme, and recurring patterns, shapes, and designs—is how the world
works. The world isn't logical, it's a song.”
― David Byrne
If I may, waking up to a babbling brook near my tent creates
a song on my lips, a song in my whole body. Often times, I find myself
singing as I pedal down the road—songs such as “Zipity do da, zipity ay, my oh
my what a wonderful day, plenty of sunshine coming my way, zipity do da, zipity
ay, oh Mr. Blue Bird’s on my shoulder, it’s a snap, it’s actual, everything is
satisfactual, zipity do da, zipity ay, my oh my what a wonderful day….”
You get the picture. Bicycling involves rotating
wheels that fly across the good Earth. It involves constant motion of my
feet pressing on the pedals that transfer energy to the chain that turns
the freewheel, that moves the bike and me toward unknown destinations and
moments. Lots of times, I break out in a smile or another song that
crosses my mind. I enjoy being a kid with limitless possibilities, no
problems and I am conscious of the fun I am enjoying.
Have you ever awoken wondering, “What kind of amazing things
will happen to me today?”
Most people don’t, however, on a bicycle, I don’t have to
ask because invariably, something happens on a bicycle tour at any moment that
can “make my day.”
After breakfast, I pulled out of Winter Park, Colorado on my
way to Granby on Route 40. I stopped at an old buddy’s rental business
along the rolling route through a wide valley. Mike and I worked together
three decades ago. We skied together at Winter Park. I used to think of
him as a dear friend. However, over the years, I discovered he only liked
my friendship when I made all the effort. He made no effort and only if I
hung around— would he be friends with me.
(My old friend VJ helping me to learn how to ride a tricycle.)
Friendship can be very disappointing when one person likes
another, but the other makes no effort to reciprocate. That happened to
me more times than I can remember. Many times, I burned myself out trying
to be best friends with some dude. I once spent 18 years being friends
with a guy from Detroit whom I worked with in the summer.
I sent him presents,
visited him, called him and sent him birthday and Christmas cards. In all those
18 years, I never received a return phone call or card or visit or any message
or even an email. When my first book published, I sent him a
copy. He knew a published book constituted my highest goal in life.
His response: nothing.
His lack of reciprocation taught me one thing: if
someone doesn’t show interest or doesn’t respond to your friendship overtures—get
out, get gone and leave that person in your rear view mirrors.
After his non-response, I never sent another message again. I never heard from
him. He never cared. I wrote about friendships and how to protect
yourself from detrimental ones as my message to others in a book: Losing
Your Best Friend: Vacancies of the Heart. www.Amazon.com
I stopped into Mike’s place. He shook my hand as if I were a
total stranger. As I suspected, he never considered me a friend. I
wished him well and pedaled out of the parking lot within five minutes.
In the end, dear friends maintain your connection to
life. Treasure them. Nurture them. For the ones that cannot
show emotion or care for you—ditch them quickly and avoid wasting time chasing
As luck would slip into my life, a reporter in Granby for
the Sky Hi News interviewed me on my journey. So much fun! Minutes later,
I pedaled past the Full Circle Cyclery at www.fullcirclecyclery.com
noticed a man that looked familiar. Instantly I shouted, “VJ!”
He turned, “ Well, I’ll be danged, Frosty old buddy!”
I pedaled up to him and we embraced. He used to be the
repair man at the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park for
the ski program. I have been a volunteer instructor for 23 years.
They restructured and
VJ lost his job so he worked for Sol Vista in Granby at their ski resort.
Now, he ran a bicycle shop in the summers in Granby.
We shared conversation and memories from our days together
at Winter Park with the NSCD. He showed me his shop and all his
activities. He even married a lovely lady. If you ever ride through Granby,
Colorado, VJ and Sue will give you the best and most honest service for your
bicycle repairs, rentals and other mechanical needs. VJ, I love you big
(Three retired Army buddies cycling across America.)
Back on the road, I pedaled through Hot Sulphur Springs
where I met three military gray-haired guys on a coast to coast ride.
They stopped for the day at noon to enjoy a motel, food, showers and lazy
time. That’s the cool thing about bicycle travel, you get to do whatever
the heck you want with your day. We shared a few stories and I continued
onward toward Kremmling.
Soon, I rolled along the headwaters of the Colorado River
with fly fishermen slinging their lines out into the current. Beauty in
motion! I still love Brad Pitt in Robert Redford’s “A River Runs Through
Soon, I rolled into Byer’s Canyon where the road rises 300
feet above the river with steep canyon walls on both sides. I hugged the
south side of the river with sheer rock cliffs hanging over my head all the way
along the canyon. Later, I crossed over the river and into a wide valley.
Kremmling provided a Subway veggie sandwich late in the
day. I pedaled 28 miles through stupendous scenery, river and
mountains. Lots of ranches, hay fields, horses and cows. As always,
hawks circled overhead on their daily dinner patrols.
Finally, I climbed hard for two miles to Muddy Pass,
Continental Divide, 8,700 feet. The sun set low in the sky. I took
some shots and camped out in back of the sign in a patch of golden flowers,
purple mountain blue bells and trembling aspen leaves.
With a quick airing up of my mattress and fluffing up of my
sleeping bag, I fell asleep after 75 miles through gorgeous mountain scenery,
meeting old friends and climbing yet another pass on the Continental Divide.
(How does this tent work?)
(Finally, sleeping in a bed of flowers on Muddy Pass,
Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents - from the
Arctic to the South Pole - as well as eight times across the USA, coast to
coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic Circle, Norway
to Athens, Greece. In 2012, he bicycled coast to coast across America. In
2013, he bicycled 2,500 miles, climbed 150,000 vertical feet and five states
from Mexico to Canada on the Continental Divide with 19 pass crossings. He
presents “The Coming Population Crisis facing America: what to do about
. His latest
book is: How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World by
Frosty Wooldridge, copies at 1 888 280 7715/ Motivational program: How to Live a Life of Adventure:
The Art of Exploring the World by Frosty Wooldridge, click: www.HowToLiveALifeOfAdventure.com
Live well, laugh often, celebrate daily
and enjoy the ride,
6 Continent world bicycle traveler