Across and Down --- Of Love and Cycling

Across and Down --- Of Love and Cycling

by Ronald Zell

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This book covers about 14 years in the lives of my wife and myself. It is the story of why we decided to seek marriage, how we met, how cycling played a big role in the development of our relationship and our many cycling adventures since we met. Elizabeth was a single mother for seventeen years before she decided that since she was an empty nester, it was time to find another love. She went on, met one man, and then met me. I lost my first wife to a brain aneurysm, grieved for over two years, and woke one morning knowing it was time to meet another great woman. I also went on, and about a year into the process and after meeting 18 women, found Elizabeth. When we met, we instantly knew we were "it", and the story began. About six months after we met, we did our first touring adventure in France, and in the process of that began spending hours talking about doing some serious, long distance touring as soon as possible. As soon as possible took a while because we got married, moved to Ashland and worked to get our lives together. However, the talk continued, and we knew significant adventures were not far ahead. Our honeymoon happened a bit before we were married, and it was another foreign cycle tour which took us back to France for the second time. It was a great outing, and again, got us excited about doing more consistent cycle touring. In 2009, we did our first "big" adventure together my crossing the USA from San Francisco to Virginia via the Adventure Cycling Association's Western Express and Transamerica Routes. We were very careful in our planning, preparation and equipment selection, and had a wonderful time riding almost 4,000 miles. After completing this trip, we knew that we would be doing serious cycle touring the rest of our days when were were capable of keeping our bikes on the road. In 2010, we did our trip from Canada to Mexico following Adventure Cycling's Sierra/Cascades Route that mimics the Pacific Crest Hiking Trail as nearly as possible. Planning and preparation were easier for this trip, but we were still careful as we would be climbing more than we were used to. That trip was about 2400 miles, and we climbed some 150,000 feet in the process. We camped as much as we could, given the weather, and had a great time. When we completed the trip, we started talking about what else we would do. In 2011, our goal was to do the Southern Tier Route prepared by Adventure Cycling. We started out around Labor Day, and made it 180 miles before we ran into trouble. Elizabeth had serious heat problems, and I found out that I have Atrial fibrillation - those things stopped the trip, and stopped our long-distance touring for some time. We both worked with doctors, and were able to get ourselves back in shape to continue riding our bikes, but we were concerned about attempting a long distance again without some testing. We spent a number of years doing shorter trips in this country and overseas. We generally kept things under two weeks, but didn't make other compromises. After a year touring in Oregon, a trip to Europe, some trips with one of Elizabeth's daughters and a visit to Corsica, we decided that it was time to again take on a long trip. We like the long trips because of the lifestyle they create. Life on the road is simple after solving the problems that naturally arise on the road: you get up in the morning, dress, eat breakfast, ride for the day, return, clean up and eat and sleep. The next day you repeat, and keep repeating. You are protected from major decision-making, exposed to different socializing and don't have to make clothing decisions because you don't have much. We really enjoy that simplicity. In 2015, we decided that we were ready, so we chose to do the new Adventure Cycling Route - Historic Route 66. We did it in September and October, and after 2200 miles rolled into my daughter's driveway in Hinsdale, IL to complete our trip. We were convinced that we were back.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781483589749
Publisher: BookBaby
Publication date: 12/31/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 486
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Born and raised in Indiana. Attended school in Tipton, IN, went to college at Purdue University and spent three years in the U.S. Navy from 1962-1965. Graduated from the Wharton School (MBA) at University of Pennsylvania in 1967, spent my career in the Direct Marketing Industry and competed in running, sailing and cycling as hobby and fitness sources. Now live with my wife in Ashland, OR where the two of us cycle, hike and just plain enjoy our retirement.

Table of Contents

Book 1 It All Came Together

1 Elizabeth

2 Ron

3 It All Came Together

4 Provence, France

5 The Dordogne

6 Ice Fields Parkway Redux

7 It's Time to Go Across

Book 2 Across

8 Trip Over-view

9 California and the Sierra Nevada Mountains

10 Nevada - No More Camping

11 How light is light, and how do you haul it?

12 Nevada With New Legs

13 Wild Flowers on the Road

14 Utah and Colorado

15 Kansas

16 Missouri and Illinois

17 Preparing for Dogs in Eastern Kentucky

18 Kentucky

19 Virginia

Book 3 Down

20 Canada to Mexico

21 Preparation

22 Washington State

23 Oregon

24 Northern California

25 People on the Road

26 Southern California

Book 4 Just Rambling About

27 Boss on the Road

28 The European Sampler

29 The Czech Republic

30 Austria

31 Eastern Italy (Venice Area)

32 Tuscany

33 Across Again?

34 Odyssey Oregon - Willamette Scenic Bikeway

35 Odyssey Oregon - Aufderheidi/McKenzie Pass

36 Odyssey Oregon - The Wallawa's

37 Odyssey Oregon - Trans-Oregon

38 Olympic Ramble

39 Coursing Corsica

40 Selkirk Loop

41 Selkirk Loop - Idaho

42 Selkirk Loop - British Columbia, Canada

43 Selkirk Loop - Washington State

Book 5 Across Again, Almost

44 Trip Over-view

45 California Route 66

46 Arizona Route 66

47 New Mexico Route 66

48 Texas Route 66

49 Oklahoma and Kansas route 66

50 Missouri Route 66

51 Afterword

Summary of Touring Statistics

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