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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How to blog and bike




You have to be willing to stop.

Really stop.

When you are careening down a hill topping 35 miles per hour, the wind whistling in your ears and the handlebars beginning to shudder in your grip....

...if at that moment you have the perfect thought for a blog -

...or a perfect photo-op -

...you have to squeeze those brake handles and grind those tires to a screeching halt so you can jot down your idea immediately.

Because if you wait until you've lumbered up the inevitable uphill...

...well, if you're like me, your mind will have turned to mush and that perfect turn of phrase will be gone forever.

I've noticed there's a certain synergy between bikers and bloggers.
It seems a lot of bloggers like to bike and vice versa.



I would think the most likely candidate would be a long-distance biker, like myself, who entertains herself on the long miles with self-dialog



She would turn to blogging - especially when facing the adventure of a lifetime - biking across the American continent!

But then there's Katie who was a blogger long before she began to pedal.




I suppose you can blog any way you like.


I think of blogging as the verbal version of impressionist painting - you're out there in the "plein aire" and you want to capture the sensations...

...the shimmer of the light on the leaves
the interplay of shadow and sound.






I like to capture the moment in an instant using small words, brief sentences - phrases with loose rules of punctuation...

...and then mesh the words with photos tightly cropped to capture only the necessary essence of the image.





I'll stop on a shoulder or a grassy knoll and grab pen and paper to jot down my impressions. Not being much of a techno-writer I prefer pen and paper.


And if paper isn't at hand I've been known to chase down a piece of trash from the roadside to document my thoughts.

After all if Harry Potter was written on cafe napkins surely my opus can be written on the package of a chocolate chip cookie.


Even so, having jotted down my notes in the midst of the bike ride, I rush to my computer as soon as I arrive home.

I need to pixillate my ideas while my heart is still quickened and the flush remains in my cheeks and mind.

Besides if I don't transcribe my notes right away I often find trouble deciphering them later.



That post-ride shower washes away the passion of the bike ride and leaves a mellowness that is not quite so literary.

So I blog and bike on a daily basis now... and I guess I have for 117 days.

It's good preparation for the ride across America when I'll want to capture every moment in a blog post.








Because this is one experience in my life I will never want to forget!
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