Journal Entry (Friday November 4, 2022)
Odd numbered years of course. Why? There are no significant elections in odd numbered years. This gives our over-amped population the largest window they get to decompress before the political parties (one in particular) once again stir them into inhuman madness. I suspect at least one person reading this (I don’t know who you are, but I know you must be out there) thinks I’m being overly dramatic. I’m not. This has been the shape of things political for the last seven years or so, and this appears to be the new collective insanity that will be with us until who knows when.
What does this have to do with the best time to ride you ask? I have found from experience that people are very kind and generous to touring cyclists, that is generally speaking, but my only experience with long distance touring by bicycle was in an off election year. I think this says a couple of things, first and foremost, our new election strategy which is to scare and/or anger the voting public has the potential to spill over into other facets of life, and already has. I believe it also tends to alienate some people from reality. It seems to me that someone on a bicycle could be categorized as a “target” in some parts of the country, target of political angst. (I have red states in mind here, I don’t think that’s a far-fetched proposition.) Another reason to be apprehensive is that I am, simply put, something of a coward.
I could try an experiment. In 2019 I crossed the country following the “Southern Tier” route. I suppose I could try that again in 2024, between September and November, and see what happens. I’m not that curious. Reason number two above steers me away from that plan. Instead I’m going to cross again in 2023 during the months of May and June, using a route further north. Fingers crossed. It has been said that discretion is the better part of valor. I believe it was Shakespeare’s Falstaff who said that in King Henry IV. Not a lot has changed really in 422 years. At least when it comes to valor, I’m inclined to take Shakespeare’s advice.