Comments from Readers
I have two goals for this comment page: The first is to explain how the comments option can best be used, and the second is to give a sampling of comments about the site at large over the years. Comments on particular pages will be posted on those pages.
Fairly frequently I receive messages that I can not do much with. One common type of message asks me to compare one product with another. Variations of this are to ask me if I can recommend a particular product or to ask me if a particular product is suitable. Usually, these requests come without any link, as if the writer expects me to have an intimate acquaintance with these products. In any case, link or not, the chances of my having experience with a particular product are very small, and the chances of my being able to compare one with the other are miniscule. I buy as few consumer goods as possible, and I keep them as long as possible, so I hardly have much experience with them. Without a great deal of reading, anyone should recognize that I am not comsumer product oriented anyway; asking me about products is about like asking Rush Limbaugh about cycling.
I also get requests asking me to find information. I am not Ask Jeeves or another search engine. Because of the time I spend writing, I have less time than the average person to be cruising the net. However, I have provided links pages to help those seeking info -- I even have links to the search engines.
Also, I sometimes get extensive arguments trying to change my mind on a particular point. I have no problem with reading these messages, but the odds of convincing me are small. I have spent my life thinking very carefully about things, and I work to avoid expressing any opinions I have not thought carefully out or to make factual statements I don't know a great deal more about. Some people even warn me of the danger of having extreme opinions, as if I was born yesterday. The simple truth is that if had to give up expressing my independent and unconventional view of the world, I would give up the web page also.
Most of the messages I get, I am pleased to receive. The only pay I receive for this site consists of messages that tell me that you enjoyed reading what I have written or, better, that I have been helpful to you. I am also very happy to receive messages about errors on my pages, whether links, typos, or unclear statements. Sometimes, people wish to share similar experiences; and I'm happy to hear about those. I am also quite willing to explain some point I've made further, so you can understand it better.
I don't always reply to messages that don't ask for a reply, especially short messages. I also have had periods of time when I couldn't access my mail. Sometimes e-mail messages don't get to me as well (it's almost a secret, but true, that e-mail is not 100% dependable).
Many thanks to all the people who have supported my efforts. Your messages have encouraged me to work on and rework my site.
Comments on My Bike Pages
The following comments are word for word without changes, although I cut out material that was too lengthly or was not talking about the site. These are most of the comments that I have received, although some messages have been lost.
Bob P. wrote, Jan 5, 1998:
I enjoy your reasoned, polite messages in rec. bicycles and followed
the reference to your homepage. I especially liked "Why I Ride a
Bike". Your tour of Southern States touched some locations familiar
to me and revives in me the adventure of touring. It seems to be a
declining activity, self-contained touring, probably because we don't
have $3.00 gasoline here in the U. S. (There are just too many cars,
not only in places like Houston, but in rural places, too.) It takes
a skillful bicyclist to brave such linear trips.
Keep up the good writing.
Erik E. wrote, Jan 13, 1998:
I had a few moments at work, so I decided to hit the old newsgroups.
Stumbled upon your page and spent quite awhile reading about your
touring trips. Made my day!
Keep up the great work, and keep riding.
Let me know if you're ever coming through Kentucky!
Gary L. wrote, Jan 14, 1998:
I loved your page. I read the bit about fitness, and I, who am an MD,
agree totally with everything you wrote. I've come to the same conclusions
myself, years ago and do as you do. You may note, if you've read any of my
posts, that I always advocate training easy and long and often. I hate
cycling fast, though I am capable of it, but have always found that a 2
week tour makes one very fit.
Well done. If you're ever in Ireland, ring me and I'll go cycling with
you. Ireland has changeable weather but is a gorgeous country for cycling.
Jack R. wrote, Jan 17, 1998:
A nice home page. I enjoyed reading your conclusions on exercise.
There is no doubt that we all have a different set of genes and hence
react differently to exercise. Personally, I'm a believer in doing some
high end aerobic exercise, it keeps me interested and gives me more
staying power on physical jobs. As you mentioned, physical labor
doesn't seem to have much utility for conditioning purposes. Aerobic
exercise should be continuous, usually work involves breaks in the
action. Also, physical work is getting easier. Have you seen pictures
of men from last century? Not a fat one in the lot, except for the
Keep up the good work.
Frank R. wrote, Jan 17, 1998:
I have seen your name many many times on the newgroups messages
and just found your homepage. I have not read much of your info on the
homepage yet but what I have is wonderful. . . .
Kevin P. wrote, Jan 22, 1998:
If possible, I would like to use a condensed version of your "Why I
Ride A Bike" in our local four-page bicycling newsletter. I enjoyed
visiting your web site, many thanks for all the hard work.
Barry S. wrote, Jan 23, 1998:
I had a look at your site, too. I've only read one essay so far ("How to
Get Into Any Cave") and I was *howling* with laughter - tears streaming
down my face. Damned funny stuff! I don't know how you kept a straight
face. Did that old hippie really shoot at you guys?
[Note this essay has been moved. Read "How to Camp _Anywhere_" for a similar treat.]
Steven O. wrote, Feb 16, 1998:
I love your web site--you must have really put a lot of time in on it.
I see that you have lots of planned pages that are not up yet. What
kind of work is left to get them up? If it's just administrative stuff,
that is, typing them in or making them into HTML (things other than
writing the pages, which you do so well with on your own), then I'd be
really happy to volunteer to help. The better educated everyone is
about bikes, the safer I will be on my rides.
Bill wrote, Feb 16, 1998:
Just wanted to drop you a note to say that you have a
wonderful Homepage. I've read many of your posts to the
rec.bicycles NG, and read today's concerning the "True
Cyclist" threat with much enthusiasm...then immediately
went in search of the article on your page. Lots of smiles
in there, also worked my way through some of the other sections
of your page, and enjoyed them tremendously.....and I'm not
done...will be back again, and again.
Thank you for the entertaining information. Ride safe.
John O. wrote, Feb 17, 1998:
I like your page. Read it cover to cover. I wish more people shared in
or at least understood the enthusiasm for cycling. The more people
that do, the better it will be for all of us. Thanks for the good read.
Walt K. wrote, Feb 19, 1998:
I was reading your page on how dangerous is cycling. I found what's
probably a error. It's in this paragraph: . . .
I've enjoyed your pages, although it's going to take me a while to read
all of them.
Bob S. wrote, Feb 22, 1998:
I just visited your web page for the first time; I enjoyed it much and have
great admiration (if not some jealousy too) of you. . . .
Lou wrote, Feb 22, 1998:
Just read your touring logs. Great job on the entire site. . . .
Ken P. wrote, Feb 25, 1998:
Just browsed thru your Spruce Pine 1971 article with
photos. Great website, I am going to add a link from
mine (even though I never bike tour I appreciate cool
bike sites like yours).
Eric B. wrote, Feb 25, 1998:
I appreciate the dialogue. I just checked out your web pages briefly,
out of curiosity. It's funny how easy it is to homogenize people
when all you see is their postings - I tend to assume everyone
is approximately just like me.
I'm especially pleased to see that you are much older than I am
(I'm 25). I worry at the number of my just-out-of-college friends
who are already going cynical. I know of very few people who are
going the other way.
My living style is amusingly similar to what you describe on your
cycling page (though I don't bike as much) - I spend less than
$600/month all told, subsist mostly on root vegetables, grains,
and green produce, and put a good fraction of my mental energy
towards trying to understand the world in a useful way - with
my own thoughts, and keeping my awareness of and respect for
things I don't know.
Sometimes I think it would be good for people who really want to
live well to band together, to organize. But I realize just as
fast that there shouldn't ever be that "us". My vision of what
will (and already does) make the human world good is a
multitude of people who have separately chosen to do what
needs to be done. I often recognize this in the most amazingly
varied ways in other people - sometimes it seems like an
unintentional conspiracy: thousands of people, all living
in different ways, not coordinating at all. And sometimes
finding other people who are doing exactly the same thing
in an unrecognizably different way.
Other times I just get cynical, though.
Please stop by if you pass through this part of the country
in your travels (northwestern MA - pretty good biking
Hugh C. wrote, March 7, 1998:
I'm linking to your first Ontario tour from my Canadian Bikeways site
It's nice to have some "historical" material! :)
You've got some very good stuff on your pages -- may I suggest you add
links back to your main page from the others? Eg. if someone arrives
on your Ontario '66 page from Canadian Bikeways, there isn't currently
any easy way to explore the rest of your site.
Norman W. wrote, March 9, 1998:
I just spent a few minutes browsing the writings you've
collected in your web area. Good, thoughtful stuff.
I look forward to seeing the rest of it filled in; I'll
keep checking back from time to time.
Dennis P. wrote, March 25, 1998:
Just checked out your site didn't have enuf time to really go thru the whole
thing but what I looked at, I was very impressed with. I would like to quote
you on the Cheers subject of your Colorado page. I myself just took a 1500
mile long ride out of Amsterdam to Prague & back with a setup much like
yours, totally self contained. I am in the process of chronicling this trip
& my Ragbrai antics on a webpage of my own, I'll put your page in my cycling
links , if you don't mind? Have you ever done Ragbrai? Mebbe you should try
it some time if you haven't already. I do it every year, be careful tho it's
Gocycle wrote, March 29, 1998:
Great site! Perhaps one of the most informative and professional
bicycle sites on the web. Keep up the good work.
John B. wrote, April 6, 1998:
Just a short missive to let you know how much I've enjoyed visiting you
web site. I also very much enjoy your posts to the various bicycle news
Jesse M. wrote, April 28, 1998:
Thanks for your reply! I really enjoyed looking at your homepage. I have
only begun to read the information, but will continue to view your page as
it is really interesting and informative. It sounds like you've done a LOT
of cycling! Is it okay if I add a link to your homepage from mine? I'm
sure others would love to hear of your site!
Eric B. wrote, May 15, 1998:
Ken, just wanted you to know I appreciate all the work
you put into your WEB site. I enjoyed reading quite a
few of your articles. Hope to talk to you again in the fall.
Rick A. wrote, May 15, 1998:
I don't have a lot of time to check out your site completely; what I
saw, I like. Keep up the good work and have a nice summer.
Timothy L. wrote, May 15, 1998:
A minor nitpick on one of the pages . . .
[A long series of exchanges between us began here, looking at many aspects of the site]
Paul wrote, May 17, 1998:
While tooling around the internet looking for information on Recumbent
cycling and general riding information, I came across your note on the
Thanks for listing your webpage. It is one of the best in overall
quality sites I have seen in a long time. I have bookmarked it on both my e-
addresses and am sending the link to all my cycling buddies.
Hope you have a terrific summer and if you need anything from this
ancient cyclist, feel free to let me know.
Scott W. wrote, May 18, 1998:
Good luck on your trip. I've enjoyed perusing your web-site. . . .
Doug S. wrote, May 18, 1998:
Have a wonderful summer, Ken.
Although we've never met, you're one of the cyclists I think of as friends,
thanks to Usenet and the Web.
I'm a few years younger than you, and I am inspired by your indecision
regarding grownup responsibilities. One of my careers seems to be grinding
to an inglorious end. Thanks to cyber friends like you, I'm going to try
for a cycling-centered "lifestyle" as I enter my fifties.
If you find yourself cycling toward northern California, let me know. I'm
certain we can find superb campsites and endless hot showers, wherever you'd
like to ride.
The Bike Pages are looking great.
Bob R. wrote, May 18, 1998:
Hi Ken: My name is Bob, live in Canada, 47 yrs. old. Saw your site
via a newsgroup. Lots of good info there for a touring cyclist like
me. Planning a trip from here(Prince George, B.C.) to Winnipeg in
July. Have a great summer cycling!
Kevin B. wrote, May 26, 1998:
After having seen your many postings in the bicycling newsgroups, I
finally decided to take a peek at your bicycling WWWpages...
While I haven't done more than skim a few of your articles, I do plan
to read them at a later time.
In my opinion, you've got a very good set of WWWpages, good
Thank you for spending the time and effort to put those WWWpages
Have a good day!
Note: All comments were lost between May and Septemeber, 1998. I did get to read them as I traveled across country on my bike. I did not link to the web again until nearly October.
Narayan N. wrote, Sept. 7, 1998:
Just thought I'd let you know that I find your site informative and
well-written. I hope you had a good trip this summer, and am anxiously
awaiting a trip report on your site.
Paul C. wrote, Sept. 15, 1998:
We have a lot in common, especially your views on fitness and the effects
of LONG rides. I'm much the same, no matter how hard I've tried, the only
thing that improves my performance is to ride far and frequent!
Your site was just the push I needed to get back into camping, just did a
short shakedown ride to a state beach near (35 miles) here, had a ball.
What do you use to code your web pages, straight html or a software
package. I'm asking because my daughter and I did 3 weeks of riding in
England this summer where we took 35 rolls of film, and I was thinking of
doing a home page on it.
keep up the great work.
Neil C. wrote, Sept. 21, 1998:
Add one more to the true cyclist page. A True Cyclist will always carry
some form of food on them. My friends are always remarking that I start
eating at dawn and continue until bed time. I really only eat slightly
more than they do (unless I've put on enough mileage to warrant a refill)
I just eat small amounts at a time and take the rest with me.
Also a short ride to a True Cyclist is anything less than ~30 miles
(really depends on the cyclist average speed). Also True Cyclist
always describe their commuting milage in one way miles so as to
not scare off the "non believers". My commute is 30 miles one way, I
hope to increase the days I ride from 1 day to 4 days (I can also
Also clown cars have nothing on the rear pockets of a cycling jersey.
I'm also a type IID cyclist, maybe a bit more agressive, but not so
stupid to think that I would win a direct comfrontation with a 2 Ton
vehicle. Always know what is going on around you and always have at
least one escape route.
And lastly, isn't the "Why I Ride a Bike" link a bit redundant? :-)
Wilfried B. wrote, Sept. 26, 1998:
Congratulations on a most interesting website.
Your site reveals your scholarly abilities in both cycling and superior web
I shall visit it often and recommend it to others.
Marc G. wrote, Sept. 30:
just a short note to let you know i stumbled upon and really enjoyed
your web site.
though i have cycled a lot since i was a kid, i really got back into it
this summer. planning a cross usa trip next year.
thank you for posting this.
if you ever need web space, let me know.
Diarmaid McG. wrote, October 1, 1998:
Thank you for a wonderful, insightful, informative site! I love it.
How you write, discuss, and generally reach a conclusion reminds me of
my cousin at home (Ireland) who is an avid cyclist (he got me hooked!)
and sometimes brings up the most bizarre cycling-related topics, which
invariably proceed into either a raging debate or a screaming laugh
Keep up the good work!
Also, be sure to contact me if you think of a cycling holiday in
Ken S. wrote, Oct. 5, 1998:
Just wanted to write you a note of thanks for putting up your bicycle
camping page. I'm going for my first multi-day bike trip to Sombrio Beach
(Vancouver island, BC) this weekend and your site has some good information
Bob R. wrote, Oct. 18, 1998:
Hi ken: Was just checking around and saw big changes on your site.
Looks great. Was suppose to go on a long tour this summer but alas
unable to do so. I was hit by a female rcmp officer. She was stopped
at a stop sign , said she didn't see me , and proceded to cross the
intersection as I was going thru. I wasn't able to recuperate in time
to make my trip from Prince George, B.C. to Winnipeg, Man. Looking
forward to reading thru the stuff on your web pages. CYA. Bob.
Michael McD. wrote, Nov. 13, 1998:
I've just discovered your website and love it!
Your commonsense advise and great humour are both fantastic.
I just had to write this straight away,
Congratulations! Looking forward to more.
The M's wrote, Nov. 16, 1998:
Some of us have the ability to take all that time and tour by bike. I have chosen marraige and
children. Maybe someday, my daughter will tour with me. Until then, I envy you. Ride on!
If you cruise into the Bucks County, PA, area, send me an e-mail, and I'll take you on some good
routes around the country, and bake you an ENTIRE loaf of bread.
On November 25, 1998, my bike pages moved to their current location. This move included some major changes in my site to make it better.
Yitzhak M. wrote, Nov. 26, 1998:
I started reading the "wreck.bicycles" NG's recently and was always
impressed by your thoughtful, well-written posts. They're a refreshing change
from the usual "helmets suck - helmets rule" type of posts. Then I finally
got around to hitting your website- it's on my list of favorites. Keep up the
good work! I really enjoy reading your observations and ruminations.
FWIW, I commute about 25 miles per day round trip and try to get in a
ride on Sundays. My bike is a Bianchi Volpe touring machine (with all the
bells and whistles- I bought it this year, what can I say? :-) I'm training
for the California Aids Ride next summer, and I'd like to buy a road racer by
then, because the geometry is better for going downhill around curves, or so
I've noticed. So I don't know where I fit in your classification of cyclist
types, except that I ride both for utilitarian purposes and for fun, and I
follow traffic rules in the process. Anyway, I enjoy the site immensely, and
look forward to seeing the words "Ken Kifer replies" at the top of an NG post.
Jim H. wrote, Nov. 27, 1998:
Thanks for the updated link to your bike pages. I have updated my
club's link to your site. You have a terrific site, and I've enjoyed
reading many of your articles.
Thanks for sharing all the useful info and experience with the cycling
Hugh C. wrote, Nov. 28, 1998:
Thanks for the update. And for making all your material available -- it's
a good read, and helpful.
Colin T. wrote, Nov. 28, 1998:
Thank you for your site, I have spent the last hour
or so reading various articles. I found the quote
by Louis J. Halle, Jr. Spring in Washington particuarly
Scott W. wrote, Nov. 28, 1998:
Thanks for the update Ken.
You have an excellent web-site that is always interesting to visit.
Ed D. wrote, Nov. 29, 1998:
Really liked your site. Especially "how to camp anywhere" and your Colorado
stories. I live in Boulder and have done some long rides. Last year Seattle
to Fairbanks and back to Anchorage. This year I did 6 weeks in Hawaii. New
Zealand is next.
Mayby I'll see you out on the road.
Robert A. wrote, Nov. 30, 1998:
Good to hear from you. I put a link to your page from my bike page.
Thanks for the link to me. Good to see your comments on health and so
forth. Lots of riding in the midwest. A friend of mine, named Rick S___,
looks a lot like you from the picture of you. He too is from Alabama.
Quite a co-incedence. He has biked a lot around in the country, been to
about 40 states and travelled with a Quaker church group for promoting
peace. Now he lives in Port Townsend, Washington.
Jack D. wrote, Nov. 30, 1998:
How are things? I wasn't sleeping well tonight, so I thought I'd hit
the web. I haven't heard from you lately, so I looked up your web page
to see if you've posted anything new. Lo an' behold, it's moved and
It looks good. I've enjoyed a few articles, now I'm off to bed again.
Wade E. wrote, Dec. 1, 1998:
I followed the link under your signature to your bike site after reading
one of your posts to rec.bicycles.soc. It's a truly great site with lots
of good information...and humour. I haven't read all of the material
yet, but I did get a good chuckle from your how to spot a True Cyclist
(R) article. Guess maybe the permanent grease mark on my left sock, the
water bottle beside me on my desk, the bike(s) on the front landing at
home and my voracious appetite (or is it appe-slack?) give me away as a
True Cyclist (R), too. ('Course, doing my going grocery shopping at the
neighbourhood supermarket in tights is kind of a clue, too!)
It's also good to meet other cyclists who practice vehicular cycling.
There really is no other (safe) way to cycle except as the operator of a
vehicle, with the same rights and obligations as the operators of
motorized vehicles. Unfortunately, too many "bike" advocates seem to
think that segregation is the answer. As if banning us cyclists from the
road and further marginalizing us is is going to change people's
attitudes and help to promote cycling as a safe, effective and serious
means of transportation.
Thanks for your site, and, if you don't mind, I'll going to include a
link to it from my site.
George S. wrote, Dec. 3, 1998:
I am 45. I just bought a bike. I feel like I am on the road to real
changes, and it is the vehicle that will bear me along.
You have a wonderful website.
Rich C. wrote, Dec. 9, 1998:
Great site, I really appreciate the thought and research you have put into the articles on your page.
Your views and comments mirror my feelings about cycling, I hope you will continue to add pieces as
time goes by. You'll be amused to know that I occupy an office directly over Bicycling Magazine and
although I commute by bicycle EVERY day, and am often out front as they come and go, I have NEVER
had a conversation with one of the magazine staff that I did not initiate, and they are gone as fast as they
can move away. I guess it's an elitist thing, I ride a low end bike and pull a small (mostly homespun)
trailer, while they have every bicycling "toy" imaginable. They do not love bicycling, to them it's just a
living, to me it's a passion. As you imply from time to time in your work, they do NOT represent the
bulk of cyclists, just the ones that spend the bulk of the money.
Chris S. wrote, Dec. 10, 1998:
VERY Nice Web Page! I'm glad that I stumbled upon it.
Being a Bike Mechanic in my Early 40's now, I was really pleased to read
someone else that appreciates old bikes like I do. Why buy something
just to have the latest. Some people get fooled into it but not me. My
Old Peugeot Road Bike (1986 Triathlon) rides just as nice as any new
bike. It has a few new parts on it married to the old shifters. The
Helicoilmatic Hub is it's only downfall. Thankfully I bought a spare
with the bike.
My First MTB (1982 Schwinn) has been re-cycled for my youngest
daughter. She road behind it in a Bugger trailer for a few years and
now rides it herself. Keep asking her if she needs a new bike and she
keeps turning me down. She just loves it.
We have a few sales people that make comments when people bring in thier
old bikes for us to fix. Some try to give these folks the old song and
dance to get them to buy a new bike. I usually try to get the
customer's attention and then talk to them about their bike. They love
their bike and you just can't knock their pride and joy.
I wish I still had my old Schwinn Paramount, bought in 1972, raced for 2
summers and then sold before I went into the service. As an Airman
Basic I could not afford to buy a new bike and it took me years to get
Thanks again for a very well written page!
Marty L. wrote, Dec. 16, 1998:
Ken: Great site - I picked it up this morning from you post on
chainguard. I haven't had a chance to read through everything, but I've
got it bookmarked on my browser and I'll be back. Nice to note that
there is at least one other cyclist that recognizes the "spiritual"
connection in cycling. One question though - the movie - is that for
real? The story-line is so close to reality I'm left wondering if you
didn't just make the whole thing up.
Jim F. wrote, Dec. 18, 1998:
Thanks for maintaining a great cycling site, Ken. I have been looking for
PA bicycle laws for weeks, and now, thanks to you, I've found them!
Kenneth C. wrote, Dec. 23, 1998:
Re: New England Bike Trip 1993
Enjoyed reading your story --- an adventure most of us will never attempt.
Gil G. wrote, Dec. 28, 1998:
I just checked out your newly renovated web pages and I wante to
espess my appreciation and compliments for the excellent job. You
write with an admirable sense of simplicity and clarity. Reading your
articles is rewarding not only for the content but the manner in which
you convey your ideas.
Quite apart from that, I'm very much in sympathy with your life style
and values. I'm also an older rider (52) and generally find myself
rather out of harmony with most of the folks who inhabit my
neighborhood, professional life, and age group. I find myself unable
to relate to their continual need to acquire an ever growing list of
material goods and even more important their commitment to a
Were it not for the net and sites like your own my sense of alienation
would be complete given the almost total absence of sensibilities like
ours in the mainstream print and broadcast medium.
I appreciate all the effort you've gone to in putting up and
maintaining your site and will certainly pass the word around to other
of my friends to surf on by.
Best wishes in your various activities.
This finishes 1998.
Darell F. wrote, Jan. 2, 1999:
I very much enjoyed your fitness article. I am of the
mindset that if I am not riding hard, then the ride is
not worth my time. Your article has me rethinking my
approach to cycling. I believe can motivate myself
easier thinking about a long, slow ride
versus a shorter, high-effort ride.
Roy D. wrote, Jan. 2, 1999:
I found your site totally by accident. I find that unfair
because I spent tons of time looking for sights like yours when I first
got my computer. But now that I find it I really enjoy it. Even though
I know a lot of what your talking about I still eat it up. First off I
really like what you said about cycling and camping. You said that both
are dependent of each other. I camp like you. I find a place on the
side of the road hidden from traffic. I like camping as much as the
cycling. I prefer to only ride 40-50km's in a day and enjoy camping the
rest of the day.
Michael Bowler wrote, Jan. 6, 1999:
I must say, wow! I have spent the last month reading all your tours and
articles and have enjoyed every minute. The tour diaries especially were
I myself am planning my first extended cycling trip from Vancouver, British
Columbia to Ottawa Ontario beginning this May. Reading your articles has given
me some great insights on things to possibly expect.
Thanks again for actually putting some useful content on the Web!
Bill M. wrote, Jan. 8, 1999:
Thanks very much for the effort you ahve put into this website - it is a
wonderful service to cyclists.
Ricky G. wrote, Jan. 8, 1999:
Nice pages, thanks.
Lou B. wrote, Jan. 11, 1999:
I discovered your web page a few days ago and have enjoyed perusing it from
time to time since then. I agree with your approach to cycling and maybe even
life itself (is there a difference?). I don't agree with all that you say but
do agree with enough of what you say to reckon you are a pretty smart guy.
Since praise is easier than criticism (no real thought required) I'll let it
go at this for now. Hope to see you on the road someday.
Regards and Downhills & Tailwinds.
Peter R. wrote, Jan. 12, 1999:
I really enjoyed this page. I'm going to show it to our trip reduction
coordinator here at work ( we get payed $15 a month to not drive to work).
A couple of minor points. . . .
Lucinda M. wrote, Jan. 12, 1999:
Great, well-reasoned and easy to read. How much of it can I steal (with
written credit) for something on which I'm working? The sections I'm
particularly interested in are the health benefits to the cyclist and
the financial benefits to an employer who promotes cycling.
Please let me know. Thanks!
Robert H. wrote, Jan. 13, 1999:
I really appreciate your web pages. Great job. . . .
Tom S. wrote, Jan. 14, 1999:
I've spent the last two days exploring your web site. You've got a
fantastic site with many interesting tour reports and thoughtful essays.
Phillip O'L. wrote, Jan. 14, 1999:
I found your web-page while surfing the net looking for travelogs and
such. I was very impressed with the quantity and quality of your
helpful articles. I live just down the road in Tuscaloosa and am taking
the first steps towards preparing for a multi-day tour. I am originally
from Ireland and used to take a lot of overnight trips there but it's
harder to cycle in Alabama. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for
putting together such a helpful resource for the beginning bicycling
Ann P. wrote, Jan. 15, 1999:
I came across the Web page with your 1996 bike trip by accident, but I
enjoyed very much reading about your travels, especially since it
covered much territory familiar to me (though I've never traveled it by
bike). Though living in Kansas City now for 15 years, I am a native of
southeastern Pennsylvania and revisit it occasionally; my husband is a
native Alabamian, and we go there twice a year; and we've had a summer
place in Boone for nearly 30 years, and spend as much time there in the
summer as possible. We've been along the stretches of the Blue Ridge
Parkway that you mention more times than I can count, especially the
sections from Boone to Asheville and from Boone north into Virginia. I
also love reading about and seeing pictures of that area, as I often say
that the Parkway was the best money the US government ever spent. (I
assume if you returned south along the Parkway from Boone to Spruce Pine
you went over the Linville Viaduct, which wasn't yet completed on your
Ron C. wrote, Jan. 18, 1999:
I feel sooo tired today for some reason! Could it be because I came across
your web site late yesterday evening and spent most of the night reading
your articles? In all of my surfing of cycling sites, I have never come
across any that were more informative. You really cut to the chase,
especially with your articles on camping and camping related equipment. I
spent 21 years in the Army Special Forces, much of which was spent
"camping" (primitive style) and the information you present to readers is
IMHO right on the money. Many of the legal issues that you mention, i.e.,
camping on public and private property, I was not aware of. Your
travelogues of your adventures had me lusting for an adventure of my own.
I have guestimated from the timeline of your articles that you are older
than I, so believe me when I say that you are truly an inspiration to me.
I will continue to read your articles, although I don't think I'll try to
do it in one sitting again, and I'll continue to try and get my rearend in
shape and try an adventure of my own this year. Many thanks to you and
please keep writing. Good Stuff!
Scott R. wrote, Jan. 19, 1999:
get a clue dude.
like you yourself, and me, *all people* obey the laws they agree with
(i.e., like, benefit from, etc., etc) and disobey, or really simply
disregard (that's easy >>>there are only 8,000,000 too many laws!!)
those they don't think are worthy of obeying. (not because they know the
laws are not truly enforceable, though that is generally the case and
one reason for many who "break" the law. that is part of what thoreau
was all about: not breaking the law for expediency, as you seem to think
is the case in SF, but because the law SUCKS for one minority group
(minority rights? o, i heard of that!) so that a majority group can
now you're hip.
follow YOUR tao...
and the laws of nature (another thing thoreau was all about), not just
Herb K. wrote, Jan. 20, 1999:
. . . I enjoyed visiting your website.
Stephen W. wrote, Jan. 21, 1999:
Greetings Ken. I visited your site from a reference at the sfbike
discussion list. This is the best bicycling website I have come across.
Nice job. I look forward to return visits.
Josh S. wrote, Jan. 22, 1999:
I am really enjoying your website. Thanks for pushing it a little in
your last post. I confess to getting a little teary reading about
your "$100 new bike"...
Tom B. wrote, Jan. 22, 1999:
I must complement you on your page. I have been biking for a few years
and want to be able to see more of the country without resorting to the
use of a car. Other sites I visited seemed more interested in endorsing
products than actually explaining the ins and outs of touring. Like
yourself I strive to limit my impact on this earth and live simply and
sensibly. As I'm sure you know, this is not easy in our culture.
Currently, my plans are to do some weekend touring in New Jersey. I
plan to use my bike as a way to gain intimate knowledge of my
homestate. I own a road racing type bike and therefore need to be able
to travel as light as possible. I especially liked your tarp-tent idea
and plan to use it this summer. I do alot of riding in the pine barrens
and feel this peice of nature is sorely underappreciated. I have been
doing some writing and I am attempting to learn photography. I wish to
use these skills to show the natural beauty that exists here in the
garden state. I don't e-mail people as a habit, but you seem to be
someone who shares many of my veiws and attitudes. Once again thanks
for your wealth of information and feel free to write back if you want.
Chuck C. wrote, Jan. 28, 1999:
forgive the bother - have browsed your web pages with browser here at work
that seems to not allow me to e-mail from there - Really enjoy your
accounts and travels. Ride safe.
Greg A. wrote, Jan. 28, 1999:
Having just spent almost fours hours on your site, I have to tell you
that I enjoyed it as much as anything I have seen on the internet. I am
a bike commuter in Pittsburgh, and I share many of the views you express
about motorists, traffics laws, and the like. Thanks for such a great
Scott W. wrote, Jan. 29, 1999:
I really appreciate your web-site. It's a very useful resource, which I
have a linked on mine and enjoy visiting when I have time to do some
extra reading. Keep up the good work!
Bill E. wrote, Jan. 29, 1999:
A cyclist in Tallahassee sent me the address of your Web pages and
recommended it. I've spent a few hours there already. Great reading and
I especially liked the ethic of using what you need, not what the
manufacturers and bike shops push on you. I'm riding a 14-year-old mountain
bike as my street machine (threw on some thinner semi-balds for better
handling than the original grip treads, which, oddly enough, I simply
couldn't wear out!). I love it, but I get something less than respect from
the bike shop boys. But I love the feel of this bike (a "slack" frame,
according to one bike-shop hondo) and those ancient (pre-index) shifters
glide so well that I'd hate to have to buy new and go to the push-button
dash transmission. I have one on my new trail bike. Works fine - quite
well, actually. But on the street, I definitely prefer the feel of the
Very interesting reading on bike camping. Love that Svea! Talk
about excellent older equipment that doesn't get its due! I use a special
cook kit (a Sigg Tourist) that is matched to the stove (less the brass
cover). Works like a charm, and has for more than 10 years.
I do a lot of camping - car and backpacking - but am only now
getting the nerve to try it via two wheels. I'm perfectly comfortable in
the trees (and I've always wondered if anyone ever sacked out in some of
those wooded traffic islands) but still not sure I can muster the wheel
work of a camping tour. I've been riding regularly for about 15 months. Try
to get in the saddle every day, which in reality means about five days a
week (you can do that in the winter here in Tallahassee). I'm in the best
shape I've been in for many years (I'm 44) and have burned off 30 pounds,
but I don't know if I could keep chugging for hours that I assume is needed
for a road trip. . . .
Thanks for listening, and keep up the good work on the page. It's a
great read and an inspiration.
Janet wrote, Jan. 30, 1999:
absolutley gorgeous website!!!! I used to bike a lot in huntsville. Our
family has ridden BAMA the past 4 years.
Mike C. wrote, Jan. 31, 1999:
Excellent bicycle web site. I heartily agree with your approach to
cycling. I have been riding for over 25 years, touring and commuting,
and still amazes me that solid, practical use of the bicycle has not
caught on in the US. Somehow the bicycling industry, and the public,
has remained fixated on the supposed competitive aspects of cycling,
which I suppose lends itself well to more profitable and continuous
cosmetic changes in bicycle 'style'.
My next tour is in June. I'm riding solo and unsagged from Anchorage to
Spokane, Washington. Hopefully I can complete the trip in the 30 days
MORE COMMENTS WILL BE PUBLISHED SOON!