[Ken Kifer's Bike Pages]

ARTICLE: Comments from Readers

My comments on comments, plus printed comments from the many who have written to me during the last two years.


Bike Pages Home Page

The Cyclist Lifestyle

Bike Commuting and Transportation

Bicycle Camping and Touring

Cycling Health and Fitness

Bicycling Advocacy

Bicycle Traffic Safety

Basic Skills for Cyclists

Cycling Humor and Tales

Bicycling Surveys and Statistics

Links to Other Cycling Sites

Comments on This Page

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 prosperous.

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 territory).

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 addicting.

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 groups.

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 Newsgroup.

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 information... wow....

Thank you for spending the time and effort to put those WWWpages together.

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:

Neat site!

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 telecommute).

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? :-) Happy Treking!

Wilfried B. wrote, Sept. 26, 1998:

Congratulations on a most interesting website.

Your site reveals your scholarly abilities in both cycling and superior web design.

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 session!

Keep up the good work!

Also, be sure to contact me if you think of a cycling holiday in Ireland!

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 there.

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 world.

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 moving...

Scott W. wrote, Nov. 28, 1998:

Thanks for the update Ken.

You have an excellent web-site that is always interesting to visit.

Tailwinds forever!

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 updated!

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 something else.

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!

God bless!

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 automotive lifestyle.

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 great.

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 tourist.

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 earlier trip.)

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 gain.)

now you're hip.

follow YOUR tao...

and the laws of nature (another thing thoreau was all about), not just of man

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 site.

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 good info.

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 older levers.

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 I've alloted.


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