Asheville Recyclery

Here’s a place up in Asheville that I’ve driven by for years and never had the chance to go into.

Never went in.

Never.

But….it looks as cool as I expected it looked inside.

I don’t need another bike….but this is a cool thing that these folks are doing….fixing up bikes that might go to the landfill….making sure that they don’t just die in somebody’s garage….fixing….repairing….making whole again….getting bikes into the hands of folks who might have a hard time buying an expensive one “brand new”…..getting bikes into the hands of folks who might find more pleasure in rescuing something good that isn’t as “shiny” anymore.

Recycling….

We have the bins to fill with cans and bottles….that part makes sense….turn in your waste paper to be recycled….but we don’t talk as much about keeping the bicycles on the road….keeping the cars going….fixing up the old houses before they rot into the ground.

That makes good environmental sense.

That makes good economic sense.

I’m going to have to go into this place sometime soon….maybe stop in at the French Broad Co-op when I’m done looking at the bikes.

The Asheville Recyclery…. a pretty cool operation.

 

 

right here.

Awwwwww.

Sometimes I think that I need to get away to someplace more exotic to have an exciting life.

The “West Coast”….the “Other Country”….take a trip on a rocket ship (kidding)…..

Anything seems more exciting than “here”….sometimes.

When you get the wanderlust, sometimes it takes a moment to figure out that you carry the thing you’re trying to distract yourself from wherever you go.

You can’t always get away from yourself.

If you’re dissatisfied…..that dissatisfaction is going to track you down and lock you up…every time.

Here’s a biking video about the area that we live in.

I knew all this stuff already.

There’s great biking around here…and it’s not just mt. biking, either.

We live in a bunch of woods….woods everywhere….so it makes sense that the mt.biking would be great….but on any given sunny day, I see a “butt load” of road bikers come down our road…..looking at all the beauty around here that I take for granted….because I’m so used to it.

It’s kind of funny how things work like that.

I shouldn’t take any of this for granted….it’s all pretty amazing.

So….maybe instead of pining for the “big adventure”….I should get us used to enjoying what’s around us?

What a weiner I can be!

Sometimes I can’t even see the forest for all the trees.

Sometimes I can’t see the forest because I don’t need our passports to be in it.

Sometimes I wouldn’t know a forest if it jumped up and bit me.

Here’s another biking video I found this morning…..

It’s a BLAST to live where I do!!!

Look at them all having all that fun!!

more kids on a bike tour

I can’t imagine that the little flag keeps anyone really all that safe.

But, you know? What totem really keeps any of us safe?

It’s what we think keeps us safe that only ever buys us any peace of mind…..

It’s only what we think…..

I’m still trying to figure out this “cycle touring thing”.

I’m not going off somewhere by myself, either….so what I’m really working at figuring out right now is how to do it all with children.

What parent hasn’t had to figure out how to “do it all with children” before?

It’s an age-old quest.

I read a blog post recently in my searches for information where the guy writing it had the attitude that you needed to “just get on the bike”…..and, you know…..he was right.

Don’t overthink all this stuff….just work at getting on the bike…as often as you can….just….like Nike said….and what’s become a saying we can’t use anymore without being connected to Nike somehow…..just “do it”.

Nothing all that hard.

Of course, it’s better somehow if you know what you’re doing….if you have the right equipment…if your bikes are cleaned and in good repair….but lacking any of that…..the breeze is going to feel good on your cheek inbetween breakdowns and minor disasters.

Jenny helped me do some automotive repair last night.

She’s a little more clear-headed than I am, sometimes.

Most times, actually.

I get low blood sugar or something….start running around like a headless chicken….crashing through the china shop…..figuring out how to do things the most frenetic and willy-nilly way I can…..causing a commotion where there doesn’t need to be any conflict….and then she reaches out and takes the part and puts it where it needs to be and says, “You need to calm down. You need to go eat something….”

She told me that if we’re going to do any of this cycle camping that we needed to be sure that we worked together at it.

Dang.

I better learn how to do that better.

I better not get so frantic…..chill out some.

If I’m going to be out on the road with a small tool kit and some bicycles and some little kids….I better get better at holding it all together when things hit the fan.

I better learn to not squeal like a stuck pig when I have to roll with what I think are solid punches.

This bicycle touring thing could be so good if I can figure it out.

At any rate, even if I can’t figure out how to do it, it’s a fantastic excuse to buy some more gear.

Buying stuff….I’m good at that.

That part I can handle.

 

 

“old pine” Ben Howard

rolling with the kids

Here’s one answer to the question “Is it possible to bicycle tour with children?”

Of course, these folks have the proper equipment….and a lot of experience….and one child….and…..(and….and….and…..)

And….you know what?

They’re doing it. They are bicycle touring with children.

Any other conclusion is just an excuse.

What do they say about “will” and a “way”? It’s all doable if you work at figuring any of it out.

The couple who made this video have a website and business called “Adventure Family in Motion”.

Here’s a link to their website….. www.adventurefamilyinmotion.com

Check it out….they’re pretty interesting.

There are a lot of websites devoted to bike touring with children.

I’ll figure this stuff out…yet.

on the porch

Jenny asked me again if I was going to take off with my slow-moving vehicle….by myself.

Too many blogs about “making a break for it” worry her.

If you read any books about how to disappear in this world ….and, of course, I never have….you might find that riding a bicycle isn’t one of the prescribed methods.

I’m not going anywhere without my family.

But if you write enough blogs about how hard you think it might be to live a life of adventure with little kids, soon people are going to wonder if you don’t have some weird alternative in mind.

Maybe that’s why so many fathers spend so much time on the golf course?

Maybe that’s some weird way of getting out of the house to spend some quality time with yourself or your buddies? Golf?

Some sanctioned and selfish way of saying, “DADDY’S BUSY!!! CAN’T YOU SEE I’M WALKING ON THE GRASS HITTING BALLS WITH MY STICKS?!!”

I don’t play golf.

Maybe the point isn’t trying to figure out how to run away…..maybe it’s figuring out how to live a big life that’s inclusive….trying to figure out how to have the “big adventure” with everybody along?

Running away is easy.

I don’t want to go anywhere all by myself…..

Sitting on the porch with everybody is a lot more satisfying than sailing the seven seas “all by myself”.

“Sitting on the porch”…..I thought it might be funny to write a reassuring blog about the comforts of home….get off this two-wheeled adventure track I’ve been on for the last week and get back to the simple joys of life….just to put her mind at ease….and I found this video while I was looking for videos about porches.

I have too much time on my hands if I can look up videos about “porches”.

There are so many wild videos on YouTube.

Anyway….whether you’re sitting on a porch swing or on the seat of a bicycle….you better be doing it with your family.

You better figure out a way to do it all with the little guys along, too.

That’s a good part of the whole deal.

 

Oh….what the heck? I can’t resist….check out these guys….doing some more touring….look at those loaded packs!!! I bet there’s a little kid in one of those bags!!! Maybe that’s how they do it?!!

Maybe I can bring the computer out onto the porch….and we can all watch a video about touring some exotic location?

Nahhhhhhhhhhh……that’s no good.

“Just watching” is no good.

the safety of children

I watched these guys pushing their mountain bikes through deep streams…..skirting bubbling cauldrons of steaming, hot mud….and thought, “Wow.”

I thought, “Wow….look at that!!! LOOK AT THAT HOT MUD!!!”

I thought that it might be pretty cool to do something like that.

Then….I thought, “Man….it’d be hard to do something like that with little kids.”

You can’t really do a lot of terribly challenging and dangerous things with your children along.

Not really dangerous…..a kid needs adventure….adventure is good for everybody….but you can’t drag them into dangerous situations all the time.

That’s when I realized that it’s kind of nice to have little guys in the house again.

They keep us out of trouble.

They keep us out of the fields of hot, bubbling mud.

What a great excuse.

Of course….I didn’t do anything all that interesting before we had our children.

I guess that I didn’t need children to have an excuse to avoid dangerous or challenging things.

I seem to remember watching a lot of shows about other people doing interesting things.

That’s pretty lame.

But now I have these little guys for an excuse…..or, maybe, a new motivator.

I have a trailer hitch for the minivan coming in the next couple of days….and after I figure out how to install it, I’m going to buy a bike carrier that can handle a bunch of bikes….and, then…..

And then maybe we’ll be able to transport the bikes to a safe place to ride.

Either that or we can just ride around town with a bunch of bikes strapped to the minivan.

Our children aren’t an excuse for avoiding adventure.

I think they’re kind of a “wake-up call”….something saying, “HEY!!! YOU’RE GOING TO RUN OUT OF TIME!!! YOU BETTER GET TO THE BOILING MUD FIELDS SOON…OR YOU’RE GOING TO MISS SOMETHING!”

I hope I can figure out how to install that trailer hitch.

 

Check these guys out….you don’t have to take a boat to get here….and they speak a language I can understand…..

No fields of boiling mud, though…

carry that load

Here’s a documentary….or “part of” a documentary (the full film is a Crowdfunding project that hasn’t been completed yet)….about how to carry loads efficiently on a bicycle.

This shouldn’t be something that feels exotic.

I shouldn’t be surprised to see any of this stuff.

We should all have cool bikes that can carry big loads…..after all, this is the 21st CENTURY!!! Why don’t we have flying cars….and bikes that can carry big loads….yet?

I remember having huge metal mesh baskets on my single-speed Murray banana seat bike.

I had a newspaper route when I was 11….and even though it seems like I only had about 25 customers, the bike baskets handled my load just fine.

Except on Sunday.

Sundays were heavy and hard.

These cargo bikes make it look easier than carrying everything in metal baskets.

Riding a bike….so good.

more than a rack

I bought a receiver hitch yesterday to go on the minivan.

Soon….when I figure out the best deal….I’ll buy a 5 bike rack to go into the hitch…and it will be easier to take the bikes where we need to be to actually ride them.

That’s a small step.

Little steps….we’ll get “there” someday soon.

I don’t think that having a 5 bike carrier is going to get us to “here”, though.

It takes more than a minivan and a decent bike rack to get to Japan.

Whether I ever make it to Japan is kind of irrelevant, I guess….but it looks COOL.

This whole idea of bicycle touring has really captured my attention lately.

It must be the nicer weather….or a renewed interest in the bike….or the inability to ignore the ever-present wanderlust….something…..something is making me think about getting out with some bikes and doing a TRIP “somewhere”.

That would be pretty exciting with little guys.

Little guys out on the road….on bicycles.

Is that “do-able”?

Jenny said, “How are we going to do all this?”

That’s a good question.

I think our eyes are bigger than our stomachs.

Music, Art….gardening and small animal husbandry….carpentry and home reclamation….mechanic-ing…cycling….running….child-raising….traveling….

What else?

Lots of other things….I’m too busy thinking about being busy to remember them all.

Too busy “doing” …and thinking about doing….to remember all the things that I want to do.

I should make a list.

I mowed some over at the property we bought…yesterday, I mowed.

We didn’t buy the property yesterday.

I mowed with our push mower….big areas of grass on the 7 acres….me walking around with the push mower.

People who know the right way to mow big areas must laugh at me when they see me walking behind a push mower.

I told Jenny that it’s a good way to get some good exercise…but that it must look funny to all the “riders” and “bush-hoggers” to see me walking.

Why would you do it the hard way when you can let the machine get all the exercise?

People always stop and ask Jenny if she needs a ride when she’s out walking.

Why would you walk for pleasure when you can ride in a car?

I could turn this whole “bicycle touring fetish” into a broken record pretty easily.

I could keep posting about this for a while….ad nauseum.

I guess that it’s a pretty healthy obsession, though.

What a cool thing to get the kids interested in…..travelling around slowly under your own power would be a good way to see the world.

To “see the world”….sounds good.

hah!! cheaper bikes!!

If you weren’t into bicycles, this would be horribly boring to watch.

If you were into bicycles, this might be….kind of boring to you, too.

This is a great video, though.

I can’t remember the exact quote….but at the beginning of this video the guy doing it says something about seeing the sport of bicycling move from a fitness based activity to an equipment based activity.

The rest of the video, he talks about how you don’t need to spend a lot of money on a really high-end bike….especially if you’re what he calls a “recreational cyclist”….and describes all the characteristics of the very expensive and the “high value” bikes that’s he’s had experience with.

If your bike is maintained and fits your frame, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to get a high-end bike that won’t really improve your biking performance all that much.

Right now, we all have thrift store bikes that we’ve picked up as we find good deals.

You don’t have a lot of help from the sales floor when you buy a thrift store bike.

You don’t have one of the cashiers come back to make sure the frame and components are set up to suit your body and riding style.

Thrift stores, from what I’ve noticed, are pretty far from being a full-service bike shop.

And….thrift stores don’t smell as good as a bike shop, either.

You can buy some good bikes “cheap” if you keep your eyes open, though.

I appreciate videos like this.

This guy lays it all out…real expense….real value.

YouTube….what can’t I learn watching YouTube?

Pretty cool.

all these bikes

All these bikes….

Here’s another documentary about people riding….or fixing….or enjoying bikes.

This one is in two parts….about a bike shop.

Did you ever notice how great bike shops SMELL? It must be the TriFlow or something.

They smell great.

Today’s my sister’s birthday.

We used to ride bikes a lot….before we knew we were supposed to wear helmets all the time.

Did you ever think that helmets are just a reminder of all the horrible things that can happen to us when we’re riding a bike?

I never thought about stuff like that before I started wearing a helmet.

That doesn’t sound like something that has anything to do with my sister’s birthday, though.

This is my “little” sister I’m talking about.

She’s three years younger than me….so no matter how mature she gets, she’s always going to be my little sister.

Funny how that works.

Now….here’s another thing that doesn’t have anything to do with my sister’s birthday…..

Ask me how often I take my bike out for a ride.

Ask me.

I’d tell you…..”just about never.”

But….I want to.

I got my Jeep back last night…..new used transmission….throwing some codes that it wasn’t throwing before….shifting OK.

A bike would be simpler….cheaper.

I need to go into a bike shop soon and just smell the good smell soon.

Happy birthday to my sister!!