Exploratory Studies

There’s a lot you can learn from exploratory studies. In fact, it was my official major back in 1997 in Upstate NY. It was a nice phrase that private universities used at the time, replacing the previous [rejected] designation, “this Student Is Completely or Kind of Lost Evidently, but We’ll Accept their Cash and Keep it”. Within the admissions office, they whispered the acronym “SICKLE WACK” when they hooked one on the phone.

True story.

Flash Forward 13 years, and I’m still a bit of a “SICKLE WACK” at heart. I’ve learned a few sweet routes on my own and was introduced to new stomping grounds with the local bike club. But the other day after a long day of computer programming at work (which I ultimately deviated to), I wanted something new, different, undiscovered. Indeed, I was seeking to explore once again.

Although I am not the biggest fan of Google (don’t ask me why, unless you want a long non-bike related paragraph), I appreciate that they dumped a boatload of cash to outfit a fleet of cars with cameras and filled them with gas so they could take photos of roads just so that I could analyze the photos and decide it if was a “sweet road” or not. So I logged into Google Maps and dropped the little “Yellow Guy” just once on a road that looked squiggly and interesting. The first image I saw was an amazing panoramic of mountains, switchback roads, and a group of aging cyclists taking photos of themselves to commemorate their achievement. I sent the waypoint to my Garmin.

On Friday night, my GF said she wanted to go swimming at the pool and I was given the O.K. to ride as much as I wanted. Time to study!

Enough writing. I always hated English. Pictures are better. Here’s what happened. Take notes for the next 100 miles.

Chapter 1: Localize

Chapter 1: Localize

Roll With The Territory

Chapter 2: Roll With The Territory

Find Your Niche

Chapter 3: Find a Niche

Follow The Rules

Chapter 4: Follow The Rules

Work Ethic

Chapter 5: Work Ethic

Reap the Rewards

Chapter 5: Reap the Rewards

Up a Tree

Chapter 6: Sometimes You're Up a Tree Without a Paddle...

... so find a way to roll with it.

... so find a way to roll with it.

Grains and Carbohydrate-Filled Gains Go a Long Way

Chapter 7: Grains and Carbohydrate Filled Gains Go a Long Way

As Long As You Remember History

As Long As You Remember History

To Get You Where You Want To Go...

... to get you where you want to go.

Still 33 miles to go… but with pictures like this, why not keep playing with self-timers?
... until you realize, this is right where you belong.
There are many more photos… just make a contact request on Flickr to see them.
Quiz tomorrow.

This entry was posted in France, Provence, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Exploratory Studies

  1. Pro35 says:

    What I’ve learned from your photo lesson is that banana hammocks are good and swim trunks are bad.

    I’d really like to know the compelling reason why banana hammocks are mandated in public pools. My suspicion that it’s some half-ass, uneducated bias you’d expect from someone like Newt Gingrich.

    And here’s another unsavory question- where do you decide to make the high water mark for shaving? With the number of mediocre French Cyclists that frequent such facilities there must be some etiquette about hair removal.

    • thewaywardcyclist says:

      My guess is that those were photos of non-cyclists. But I must say that our favorite visiting world cup’er was keeping to his roots – and since then I’ve not been the best student in that area given the off-season status. Plus it’s freaking cold here. Have you ever tried cycling in 66° F weather… yeah, thought so.

      But enough about that, you took the course, learned something…
      so now it’s time to talk about your student loans.

  2. Holy cow, that last photo is amazing. So Beautiful. All of the photos are great, and I like how you add in the comments to help move the story along. That one with your bike in the tree made me laugh.


  3. flying says:

    Your lucky to take in such beauty on your ride.

    Thanks for the pics thoroughly enjoyed them.

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