Roll up!

We hit the road today!

Enough talk! Let’s ride!

But if you need another fix of the Beatles (in phenomenal cover versions), visit: https://www.youtube.com/user/AllYouNeedIsLub

OK, I gotta add to an earlier post about 1968. We were discussing the Mexico City Olympics and the fact that John Carlos and Tommie Smith were kicked off the US Olympic team and sent home after winning gold and bronze. As Paul Harvey used to say, “here’s the rest of the story”, thanks to Dave Zirin in the Progressive.

The silver medalist was Australian Peter Norman. He wore a button reading “Olympic Project for Human Rights” on the podium that day, standing in solidarity with the two black athletes with whom he shared that podium.

He was ostracized in Australia and left off the next Olympic team. When San Jose State University erected a statue to Carlos and Smith, they left the silver medal spot empty. Carlos said he would have nothing to do with the statue if it did not honor Norman. Norman then told him that the spot was left empty at his (Norman’s) request so visitors “can climb the statue and stand where I stood and feel what it felt for me to be a part of history.”

When he died in 2006, Smith and Carlos were pallbearers at his funeral. And that’s the rest of the story. Sorry, no time to add links. Time to check out of the hotel and meet the Cycle America gang.

Here is our route for week one.

We’re in Everett, Washington.The mountains are in sight. Sunday morning we will dip our tires in the Pacific. (I will also seal up a vial of Pacific Ocean water to take across the country. When we ceremoniously dip our tires in the Atlantic, I will add the Pacific water to the Atlantic.) I am wearing a shirt given to me by Curtis to honor his memory. For those who haven’t read that post, he was my riding partner for my last supported tour.

My bike arrived safely. (It came out in the Cycle America trailer.) I took it for a short ride this afternoon. It goes, it stops, it shifts. The motor seems a little weak.

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Hit the road, Jack!

Tomorrow is the day! I’m in Seattle, enjoying the fabulous view from an airport hotel, no need to unpack and repack everything. If I forgot it, I probably don’t really need it.

We meet in the hotel lobby at 10:30 and head to Everett.

I left Madison in a thunderstorm. We headed due east before turning south to Chicago, in order to miss most of it.

After a walk around the neighborhood near the Seattle airport, I ran into some other riders in the hotel lobby. As one of them mentioned, we from the US appear to be in the minority. I met one person from Melbourne, Australia, one from Dublin, Ireland, one from Niagara Falls, Ontario, and one from Minnesota. The Australian and Canadian rode across Canada together two years ago and are now opting for this shorter ride. For all of you who have asked, they tell me there will be 24 of us on the ride. I’ll know for sure when we all meet up Saturday.

And for the soccer fans out there, while waiting for my room to be ready, I watched Spain and Portugal play to a 3-3 tie in a World Cup match. Cristiano Ronaldo scored all of Portugal’s goals, the last on a beautiful free kick:

And, finally, how you know you aren’t in Kansas anymore:

To the Emerald City!

By the time most of you read this, I will be on a plane to Seattle. Tomorrow we head to Everett for a pre-trip briefing, then Sunday we saddle up and hit the road!

And here’s a shout out to a couple of other half-fast riders embarking on journeys of their own this weekend. Tenny will be doing a self-contained tour in the Adirondacks and Gina will be riding Route 66.