In-Saddle Entertainment

One of my sister's photos... makes me want to go... anywhere!

As I’ve intimately described in past posts, Michigan is a fabulous place to ride a bicycle. On so many bike paths everything is so perfect, with a nicely angled view of Lake Michigan and every blade of grass arranged just so. It’s just like riding a bike in a movie, where filmmakers conveniently forget stoplights every ten feet, illiterate drivers, gravel, and an unwavering sun hell-bent on delivering sunstroke, sunburn, sun poisoning, and/or death. 

If Michigan is like riding a bicycle through a Hallmark classic, Indiana is more like riding through something by Quentin Tarantino. I’m being dramatic, but I know I’m going to feel the lack of the Lake Effect when we return home. 

And so, I have a couple of ideas to distract myself on the bike back home — mostly with music, of course. While we’ve been on vacation I haven’t felt the urge to put on music because I was comfortable in the climate and focused on the scenery. On pretty much all long rides in Franklin, one must inevitably follow a long road through cornfields — usually some sort of highway. When there’s no change in scenery, it doesn’t feel as if you’ve gone anywhere! I found that the 80-miler on Highway US 40 through Indiana was much harder on me than the century through scenic northern Michigan. There were many substantial hills on the Michigan route and the mileage was greater — but my ability to distract myself was much, much greater. I think it’s all part of the mental game, which is worse for me than the physical one. Anyway, I’m planning to use music to battle fatigue, discomfort, and even boredom on the bike. To do this, I need some new song suggestions! I will admit that OneDirection is my favorite for biking (and my dad’s - Dad says he's more about the 80's tunes, but you should see him dance on the bike when "You Don't Know You're Beautiful" comes on!), but anyway, my musical tastes are varied and I love new music in general. 

If you have any ideas, please comment! I’d love to try out any suggestions and I’ll probably be thinking of you when your song comes on :)

Other than that, you can also be sure that I’d love any ideas you may have for in-saddle entertainment. I will most definitely be involved in a cutthroat game of Yellow Car with dad, but I’m happy to try out any other ideas. 

Side Note: Yellow Car is an integral part of my life. My aunt and uncle and their children started playing this game a few years ago and now everyone in the Catlin family has taken it as our God-given mission to carry on the practice of this game and to initiate into the game anyone and everyone who is present in a moving vehicle with us at any time. The strict rules for the practice of Yellow Car are as follows: When you see a yellow car, you say, "Yellow car." Now you have a point. Congratulations. 

I’m kidding, there are actually very important strictures like: the car must not be a commercial vehicle; you cannot count the same car twice; two people cannot count the same car; motorcycles don’t count; taxis don’t count; gold cars don’t count; yellow VW Bugs count double; and if you’re that one kid who goes to my high school and has a yellow car, then your car counts double. Except that you can’t count a car you’re currently in. 

Now you, too, can play Yellow Car. :)

And on that note, I will post again soon! Thanks for reading, 




P.S. Also, I would like to take a quick moment to point out that my Amazon Wishlist is now online! You can access it here if you’d like. Many of you have already generously donated to the National Arthritis Foundation, and that is my #1 priority, so I thank you for that. I put this Wishlist on the site after a couple people asked if they could help me out on some of the funding for the trip itself. Much of the cost of gear and travel has been covered by my family and me, but I thought I might as list a few items I’m going to need on the trip so people could donate to the effort in that way if they so desired. Dad has a rack and set of panniers but I don't, and think I'll need them, and I only have two pair of bike shorts, and won't be able to do laundry every night so am hoping to get a third, and I put in a few other nice-to-have items. Thank you!