Judy's "Haiku Bike Journey"
My friend Judy is back from her 1815 mile solo bike ride across the west and has posted gorgeous pictures, commentary, and haiku at "crazyguyonabike.com."
I decided during my training rides prior to the trip that I should perhaps find a way to focus my head through poetry. I tried writing a Haiku as I rode-a short poem that captured the essence of that day's ride. It worked like a charm: I spent time really absorbing my environment to find the most important thing to capture, and then I spent time working with words to express most perfectly what I felt or saw. Hills went by without suffering; the miles passed easily as I considered images and counted off syllables: 5, 7, 5.
And so, on June 14, 2008, after a reasonable amount of preparation and a little Haiku practice, I flew out to Western Oregon and began the last, long leg of my journey. I traveled light: I brought no cell phone, no odometer, no IPod, no laptop. I brought minimum supplies and clothes, a set of maps, and a small flip book of index cards with my pre-planned daily itinerary on each page. At the end of each day of riding I would jot down notes of the day on the back of the card and then write down the Haiku I had finalized during that day. Over 31 days I biked across Oregon and Idaho, down through Montana and Wyoming, and into a little of Colorado, absorbing the scenery at close range and writing my poems as I went along, to complete my journey near Denver.
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