Joined May 2018 Message
  • Day14

    There will be no intermission

    September 11, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    When I was 15, my dad took me to a concert at the metro in Wrigleyville with my best friend, Amy.

    We went to see the Dresden Dolls, and afterwards we got cheese fries at Wrigleyville Dogs across the street. It was back in the day of all-ages shows and smoking in bars. They played punk-cabaret and I was enraptured with the singer, Amanda Palmer, who was so raw and honest and personable.

    Over the years, I have watched from a distance as she went from punk singer to piano-playing songwriter extraordinaire. She is always pushing boundaries, highly controversial, and though imperfect (who isn't?), immensely inspiring to me for her honesty and compassion.

    She used to live in Regensburg, Germany, and while I was there I realized she was playing a show the same night that I had decided to take a day off, a short train ride away in Munich.

    She has always cultivated a kind and generous community online, and before I even had time to make a decision about going, a fellow fan offered to host me in her home so I could go to the show and not have to worry about finding a hostel.

    It turns out she is a construction site manager and bicycle tourer.

    I don't believe in fate, but it was obviously fate.

    So I went to see Amanda Palmer, and just like every other time I've seen her, it was an uplifting and beautiful experience. She talked about motherhood and abortion, about autonomy and responsibility, art and politics. And she played the piano.

    It was a perfect show to see while bike touring. This is when I feel free and inspired to be a better person, when I am extra susceptible to such influence.

    I had been sorry to miss the show when she came to Chicago, but now I know. Fate
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  • Day13

    Regensburg

    September 10, 2019 in Germany ⋅ 🌙 13 °C

    Nobody wants to hear this, but I nearly had a very bad crash today. Literally one mile from the city, my handlebar bolts loosened and I spent a terrifying five seconds or so imagining how terribly this was going to hurt and how hopefully I didn't die, but surviving a crash like this seemed pretty inconvenient, too, and there was just no good way out, and I hoped no one would be put off from cycling forever because of this, etc.

    Luckily, I lost a lot of momentum at the bottom and was able to brake enough to coast to a stop without falling. One of the bolts was stripped, but I tightened the rest enough to get me to my hostel. It should be an easy replacement.

    It was a very stressful end to a rough several days.

    I decided to take a day off to re-evaluate my trip (my initial 80-miles-a-day plan was a bit ambitious given the weather and the climbing....have I mentioned the climbing?), work on my bike, hydrate, figure out the rest of my route, do some laundry, catch up on these posts so no one worries I've crashed my bike (only almost), clear my head, you know, "rest." I wasn't scheduled to do all of this until Friday, but I think it's time.

    Anyway, Regensburg was one of the cities I was most looking forward to visiting, so I am not disappointed to have to spend a little extra time here.
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  • Day13

    Dackel

    September 10, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    I'm back in Germany. I stopped for coffee and apple strudel (you have to, right?) and was delighted to find that Passau, Germany, is the homeland of the dachshund.

    TIL that even though dachshund is a very German word (the "chsh" kinda gives it away), they're actually called Dackels here.Read more

  • Day12

    Eating my feelings

    September 9, 2019 in Germany ⋅ 🌧 9 °C

    When it never stops raining

    1. Anchovy pizza (I ate the whole thing in about 15 minutes)

    2. Danube riverfish and potato salat

    3. Spaghetti alla carbonara. Pasta, eggs, pork, and cream: the highest density of calories in a food that was available after climbing a mountain

    4. Fried mountain cheese patties

    5. Ice cream, of course

    I'm still hungry
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  • Day12

    Today I learned

    September 9, 2019 in Austria ⋅ 🌧 10 °C

    That if it rains all night and it's still raining in the morning, it is entirely possible to break down your tent without taking down the rainfly

    I mean, it involves quite the circus act of crouching and contorting but it's worth it to keep the extra water out.Read more

  • Day11

    Fog

    September 8, 2019 in Austria ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

    Austria gifted me with about five glorious, rainless hours, but they were not enough.

    I'm feeling weary. Of the weather and the wind, of having a cold and being cold. But it is beautiful.

    I camped in the yard of a nice penzion, which is like a bed and breakfast. You know those 5,000 piece puzzles of the Alps that were really popular in the 90s? I was always like, who does those?

    The owners of penzions in Austria, that's who.
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  • Day11

    It's all downhill from here, for today

    September 8, 2019 in Austria ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    This is an unpopular opinion for a cyclist, but I'm not crazy about downhills. I think they're scary and I spend them worrying that I'm going to break my neck in the European countryside.

    So, while I was looking forward to being done with so much climbing, I was a bit nervous about riding into Linz, Austria, because it really appeared to be at the bottom of a cliff.Read more

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