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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Going to Where on a Bike?

bikeman
click on the picture to embiggen

This cool rig caught my attention, so I turned around to take a picture of frugal travel. I took his picture without his permission because he was turned away. He turned as I took the picture. Oh, that embarrassed me!
 
I tried to recover. "I like that rig you have."
 
"It seemed about right to me."
 
"Where are you headed?"
 
"I am going to Florida. It's getting too cold up here."
 
"It is cold. Good luck on your travels."
 
And, I left, just like that. Looking at his picture tonight, I think I missed a good story or missed getting killed by a crazy person. At any rate, there was no place for us to talk since he was on the side of the road and it was a ways to anywhere!
 
When I saw him, he was pushing the bike uphill with one hand pushing on the seat. When I left him, he was pushing the bike uphill with one hand pushing on the seat. He was struggling and old. That bothered me.I wonder if he knows the hills that await him for fifty miles toward Birmingham. It is all gently rolling hills, beautiful scenery but not pushing a bike.
 
Maybe someone with a truck will give him, his bike, and rig a lift.

Giveaway
Go HERE to see the camera and paracord bracelet I am giving away. I am adding a battery charger!
 
Your turn
Someone look over his rig and give me some insight on what he has, please. What kind of tires? The wagons? The bike? Why does he have those pool noodles? Is there a tent in there? The kitchen sink?

19 comments:

  1. That's a lot of tarps. Maybe those are part of his camp. He's an interesting looking dude. He's taken safety precautions with the hunter orange toque and reflective vest. I wish him well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sue,
      I was impressed with his using a safety vest. I wish I could se his camp. Yes, he was interesting looking. I was so curious.

      Delete
  2. You need pool noodles in Florida for swimming??? LOL! At any rate, what a set-up he has. I like those wagons--they're expensive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sue,
      Swimming was all I could think of. I thought the wagons looked extremely sturdy and expensive.

      Delete
  3. Both wagons are utility wagons, which are substantial and, probably, carrying a heavy load. The bike is a ten speed and looks like it has either a composite fiber, or aluminum frame, which makes it either a middle end, or upper end bicycle.

    He has two spares for the bike, tarps for covering the load and providing shelter. It looks like a frame for his tarps, or a tent in the bag on the back. Underneath, I'm betting are cooking utensils, a portable stove, folding chairs and food supplies.

    His cap, to me, indicates former military service and the flag just about guarantees my suspicion. Since he's basically vulnerable, I'd think he's well able to take care of himself and attempts to harm him would end with terrible result.

    If I had to guess about the man, I'd say he's a Viet Nam vet, never really fit back into society after his service and leads a nomadic life that lets him feel comfortable. He's well equipped, doesn't care what anyone thinks about his lifestyle and is comfortable with himself.

    The pool noodles? They make an efficient berm around a tent to keep running water out when it rains.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jess,
      I thought someone would be able to read the clues. Noodles=berm. Good idea. I'm glad he can take care of himself. There are too many bad people out there.

      The cap meant nothing to me, so thank you. Yes, I can see how the flag would mean something.

      It is good he is taking care of himself so well.

      Thanks so much for helping me out. If you see anything else, just let me know.

      I still need to know about the paint that sprays on and will reflect at night.

      Delete
    2. Jess,
      Exactly how do you use the noodles as a berm? Do you put them under a ground cloth so water does not run over that. Or, just put them around the tent? They would float away or float up if they are not weighted down. I need to see this in my mind.

      Delete
    3. I'd stake them on the uphill side of the tent and pull some mulch, or dirt against them.

      I noticed his noodles are hollow. He might use them to show his ropes, if he doesn't use a dome tent.

      I googled "reflective paint in a spray can". From what I found, Krylon makes it and you might find it at Lowe's.

      My only experience with reflective paint is the thermal plastic used for striping on highways. It's heated to around three hundred degrees and glass beads are added to the wet "paint" to make the stripes reflective. All is done by a machine that places the 10 foot stripes every 40 feet.

      Delete
    4. Jess, I foolishly located my chicken pen of a slight slope. Then, I wondered why the pen was muddy after a rain. I put bricks along the upward side of the pen. Eventually, the bricks were covered with dirt. But, it did the trick as far as keeping the rain from running in the pen.

      The foam noodles are so light that he can carry them without adding extra weight. Thanks.

      Delete
  4. Interesting, as there were two fellows in town from Argentina traveling with something similar as this man. Only they were heading to Alaska in winter ... brrrr ! I asked them about their pool noodles and they said they help in keeping rain or snow out.

    Jess summed it up very well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whisper Mist,
      To Alaska? Wow, they are adventuresome. Interesting--so the berm with noodles popular. Thanks.

      Delete
  5. I am sure that you missed a story (or six) and wish him all the best in his travels. And I love the comment from Jess - I learned such a lot about what he was carrying, and a little (perhaps) about the intrepid adventurer.
    Thank you for setting my mind free to follow him this morning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EC,
      I know. I wish I had gotten his email address to send the picture to him. I could talk that way if he weren't amenable to talking right then. Let your mind follow him South to warmer weather. Since it was 20F one night, I suppose he broke camp to move south./

      Delete
  6. That's sad. I hope someone takes him to a safe shelter.

    Love,
    Janie

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    Replies
    1. Janie,
      He probably would NOT want to go to a shelter. But, since that load would hurt a young man going up all these hills, he does need a ride..

      Delete
  7. On a desert island, I want Jess with me.

    The man has everything he possesses in those wagons and I wouldn't want to be the fool in Floruba who decides to lighten his load. (Or Birmingham either) Nam vet? You betcha.

    We saw an old man peddling his bike last week with an extra heavy load in FRONT (the better to guard it?). It reminded me of photos I've seen of Africans carrying half the field on top of their heads. I knew that every rag or rusty screw he's ever come across was in that load. Two vagabonds, but with different mental and survival capacities. Sad, either way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lotta joy,
      Yes, he is a good choice and a desert island. He is probably experienced with taking care of himself. I was sort of taken aback at the look he gave me. The fact he was not overly friendly told me he was not just some lunatic. If he had gotten friendly, I would have run that 4 feet back to my car...lol. He was not unfriendly, just cautious.

      I am always amazed how much people can carry on bikes--like you said, half the field. This vagabond looked like he would not be a collector of rusty screws. The tarps alone told me he was protecting something more than garbage.

      I really, really wanted to stop him and talk awhile.

      Delete
  8. You realize, or course that he was Santa. The spectacles give him away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HaHa! Or should I say HO HO HO Rita, you are so right! Thanks.

      Delete

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