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Updated 9-12-12
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Reflections From the Road

1. It’s an amazing experience to see yourself reflected in the waves of shiny heat coming up from the asphalt as you’re cycling.

2. The United States is an awesome place – the people, the weather, the geography, the variety – it is truly an awesome country.

3. Bicycling is a totally awesome way to see the country.

4. Bicycling across the country is not for the faint of heart (or faint of butt).

5. Anything is possible one day at a time. 104 days of one-day adventures got us across the country on a bicycle.

6. Stepping or sitting in fire ants on rest breaks will get you back on the bike almost as soon as you can say "fire ants". (This brings whole new meaning to the expression " ants in your pants".)

7. Staying in a truly awful hotel will get you back out on the road with record speed and efficiency.

8. "Hilly" is a relative term. So is "flat".

9. Getting up between 4:30 and 6 a.m. every day and riding 4 to 7 hours a day in some combination of heat, high humidity, wind, cold, and challenging terrain leads to early bedtimes.

10. It’s wise to get over caring what you look like.

11. Setting priorities becomes paramount. When time and/or resources are severely limited, you’ll figure out what’s most important.

12. Quickly identifying what you need and want is a good thing.

13. Being adaptable is a good thing.

14. Getting along with others is a good thing.

15. Sleep deprivation makes getting along with others a bit more challenging, as does extreme heat, and serious cold.

16. Good campgrounds and good campsites are truly an awesome thing.

17. Difficult or challenging circumstances provide wonderful contrast so you can figure out what you really do want.

18. Weather changes will keep you on your toes or completely flattened out.

19. Technology has come a long way in supporting wonderful adventures.

20. Consider relaxing your standards when needed.

21. You will learn more geography and weather than you ever thought possible.

22. Indoor plumbing is a truly awesome thing.

23. Always take the locals’ comments and advice about the road ahead with a large grain of salt. They may have lived there all their lives, but they haven’t seen their area through the eyes of a touring cyclist.

24. Don’t second-guess your Adventure Cycling maps, especially with locals’ advice about "better" routes.

25. You never know how little you need until you’ve been on the road awhile.