A few years ago, Nick and I spent a week on the Isle of Mann at the annual Tourist Trophy motorcycle races. The TT is like no other race on earth. Riders approach speeds on 200 mph while negotiating a seemingly never-ending series of bends and hairpins on public streets.
The video below highlights the terrifying experience of riding the 37-mile course from a racer’s perspective. Michael Dunlop whizzes past buildings and skirts along the edge of stone walls. He even comes within centimeters of spectators. It’s an exhilarating bit of footage – just watching it was enough to give me sweaty palms.
The passing move at the Ramsey Hairpin (8 min.) is spectacular, as are the speeds Dunlop reaches on the wide open mountain roads. Woo! Makes me want to go back with a press pass.
To celebrate six months of recovery from knee surgery, Nick and I went on a six-day bike tour through Death Valley National Park in March. While some people write the park off as “nothing but nasty rock and salt,” we thought it was amazing. A furnace-like, sub-sea-level basin is surrounded by towering peaks frosted with winter snow. Mud crusted roads are lined with delicate wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. It is a land of extremes.
On our fourth day in the park, I left the tour group in the wee pre-dawn hours and rode to Zabriskie Point to photograph sunrise. That solo-ride in and of itself was worth it – pedaling along in silence under blue moonlight. At Zabriskie Point, I waited patiently for almost an hour. The cold desert breeze blew through my thin cycling clothes. Goosebumps grew on my goosebumps. Then, slowly, the sun’s rays illuminated the Panamint Range on the far side of the valley, and night let the park slip through her cool fingers into the waiting arms of another 90-degree day.
Some of you know that I have been on a purge lately, so I was interested when the LA Times published an article about the effect of possessions on our lives. Here are some of my favorite quotes:
The average U.S. household has 300,000 things, from paper clips to ironing boards. U.S. children make up 3.7% of children on the planet but have 47% of all toys and children’s books.
Full bookshelves say, ‘I’m well-read. I have lots of books.’ But really, you just buy books.
I don’t think stuff is inherently wrong or bad . . . but if things have become obstacles to your happiness, that’s a problem.
I am impressed by the degree to which outer order controls inner calm . . . I cleaned out my fridge, and now I can change careers.
Photos by Michael Hvorecky, Janne Morin, Ally Aubry, and John Haslam, used with permission
I know many of you are waiting for pictures from Death Valley. I still haven’t had time to download them from the camera. Here are the most recent posts from my other blogs to keep you busy in the mean time!
Kneed to Know
What Carry Eats