Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Magical Mystery Tour!!!

I have never been a Beatles super-fan.  I respect their music, but I have never been tempted to see Sgt. Lefferts' Phony Hearts Club Band at the local fair ground and I have been know to change the channel when "Let It Be" comes on the radio.  I was, at one point, quite the Eric Clapton fan, so "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" does hold a special place in my heart.

Anyway, Beatles songs have always confused me and left me with many questions.  Was Jude a guy or a girl?  Are Bono and John Lennon really temporary incarnations of the same entity, a psychedelic, philanthropic, funny-spectacle wearing shape-shifter called "The Egg Man"?  And what makes a tour a "Magical Mystery Tour"?

I have managed to find an answer to one of these questions.  I have recently been overcome with a sense of magic and mystery as our transcontinental bike trip approaches and have now found evidence that the Fab Four were actually singing about bicycle touring!

When I think about our impending tour, I realize how magical travel by bicycle is.   The bicycle is truly a magical invention in the way it allows people to ride infinitely far under their own power.   The  hard work of engineers, designers, fabricators, and mechanics  has created a unique contraption that magically (some would say mechanically) multiplies the human energy put into it.  Ever since it was first invented, the bicycle has given people a sense of unlimited freedom by allowing them to travel nearly anywhere under their own power.  It is a simple machine with miraculous power and unlimited potential.

The sense of mystery that has made day dreaming about the next two months nearly impossible is inspired not only by my awe of the mechanical magic of the bicycle, but also by sheer lack of knowledge or foresight into the events that will unfold.  There are so many unknowns.  What roads are we going to ride on?  In what way will my bicycle break?  At what point will I break mentally (or physically?  How will Joe and Nate put me back together?  Where are we going to find 6,000 calories every day?  Who are we going to meet?  What will we learn from them?  How long will it take for me to get on Nate and Joe nerves?  In what ways will our friendship grow?  What memories will be with me for the rest of my life?  What will I learn about myself?  How will I change?  Will we even make it to the east coast?  So many mysteries!

Our bikes have arrived in Portland.  Nate has graduated and is saying good by to his high school friends.  I'm piecing together the final logistics.  Mom and Dad have begun the "empty nest" grieving process.  Tomorrow we set off on a magical and mysterious journey!


  1. You will all be in my heart and prayers as you head across the country . .. I can't wait to see your updates . . and know that lots of us will be there for your mom and dad as they miss you and are excited for you at the same time.


  2. Good luck Ben, Nate and Joe! We can't wait to hear about your great adventureS (that capital "S" is intentional). Enjoy every moment....soak it all in....I am SO jealous.