28 December 2014

Official Bicyclist Abroad Year in Review: 2014 Edition

So, Bicyclist Abroad is now one year old. That’s right-- I started this blog as a New Year’s resolution twelve months ago in Portland, Oregon and have spanned three continents since. And being that I had exactly 3 readers for the large majority of that time, there might have been some things you’ve missed, so sit back, relax, and enjoy a complimentary recap of 2014.

~All Bikepaths Lead to Voodoo Doughnut (Portland, OR)~
Shortly before the first of the year, I had acquired for myself a Univega Safari 10 to be my PDX bicycle, and in the States that heavy, cottered crank, 10-speed hunk of steel remains to this day. My first adventures on it were investigating the Springwater trail, from its Eastern terminus in Boring, OR (the joke never gets old) to where it dissolves somewhere into the East Portland wasteland next to a highway. In the middle of the trail was the oasis of tasty food, Cartlandia, which featured its own Voodoo Doughnut food cart, something I had made a previous joke about and was, in actuality, a real thing.

~A Couple Weeks of Ramen (Misawa, Japan)~
Finally, I was able to capitalize on the blog’s namesake as I was back in Japan, but only for a few weeks. Also problematic was the enormous amount of snow, so I didn’t get much riding done. Time flew by and soon I was back on a plane headed back to the States.

~ My First Folder (Biloxi, MS)~
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After a brief stint in PDX waiting for my orders, I was on my way to Biloxi, Mississippi where I would spend the next two months. Having just left the icy cold of northern Japan and the drizzly wetness of the Pacific Northwest, I was expecting to enjoy the warmer temperatures of the Gulf Coast, but instead was greeted by an unprecedented  freeze and the shutting down of all major businesses and highways. It would soon blow over and I would find a Dahon Speed 7 for sale, my first folding bike and a welcome source of sanity in Mississippi. Here I discovered that, while there have been some valiant attempts to develop cycling infrastructure, it was still a pretty dangerous place to ride a bike.

~One Last Time in the PNW (Portland/Seattle)~
Coming through the PNW on my way back to Japan, but this time I had the Dahon with me. Mass transit was a breeze, even when all the bike racks were taken. I grew to appreciate a folding bike even more.

~Land of the Rising Sun (Misawa, Japan)~
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Settled in at our Japanese residence, but only for a few more months. I did my first metric century for a legendary doughnut, photographed the Tour de Ogawara, and rode to the coast with the Mrs., trying to take in as much as we could before we had to say goodbye to Japan.

~Deutschland Bound (NRW, Germany)~
Here we finally were, arriving in Europe for our grand adventure. While waiting on our own bikes to arrive (as well as everything else we owned) we rode on heavy aluminum city bikes to the commissary and anywhere else we needed to go. After a few weeks in temporary housing, we found a place to call home and have since been basing our excursions from therein. The summer was rainy, the fall was much of the same, and the winter is turning out to be fairly wet as well. I came upon a new bicycle, the Indian-made Avon of mysterious origin, and the Mrs. left for the States for two months while I discovered my interest in riding a mountain bike and participated in some ‘coffeeneuring’ to bide the time.
And that leaves us here, about to turn the page on a new chapter. What will 2015 hold for Bicyclist Abroad? Well, there will certainly be lots to see, and while I’ve got plenty of new ideas, I’d love to hear some of yours, too. So as we count down the days until the new year arrives, let me say that I’ve had a great time riding, writing, photographing, and interacting with the cycling community, and cannot wait to do more of the same in the year to come. Thank you for reading!
Best regards,
-Bicyclist Abroad

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