A Monologue with the Æther

A Bicycle Odyssey

Days Sixty-three and -four: Thursday 30 and Friday 31 August 1990

Montpelier, ID

I awaken to a sore, stiff knee. I decide to stay and rest. I ice my knee for awhile; then, I walk about a bit in Montpelier, Idaho. I don’t remember much about the place. I do vaguely recall talking with a couple of teen aged girls who worked as house keepers at the motel to earn spending money. I think they were high school seniors. I remember they asked me a lot of questions about my ride, where I came from, and where I was heading.

As I was thinking about what to say about this date on my trip, I wandered on to the subject of shaving. I don’t remember shaving at all, but since I never had a beard, I must have been shaving regularly. I’ve been full-beard shaving since freshman year of high school; however, my beard despite being full was never thick enough until my mid to late 20s to look anything but scraggly and thin.

By this point in my trip, I am brown with hair that hangs to below the middle of my back. My face is lighter because my helmet shades my face somewhat. But, it is when I remove my bicycle shorts and my gloves that my brownness really stands out. My torso is dark as I’ve ridden most of the way sans shirt because in the humid areas east of the 100th Meridian, I was too hot.

I will spend today and tomorrow resting my knee. I am worried that I will be unable to continue riding.