But the last week has seen three separate encounters with fellow tourists! Two of them were meetings that were pre-arranged, one not.
First let's talk about the random encounter. Last Tuesday I stopped by Velo Cult in Hollywood and met two young cyclotourists from Germany. (Didn't catch their names.) I found out they were touring the Pacific Coast "the wrong way" from San Francisco to Vancouver. I also found out they were from (somewhere near) Frankfurt.
"Oh, isn't that in the north-central part of Germany?"
"No, it's more north-west."
"Ah, my geography is a bit off, as I was taught in school where towns were when there was a West and an East."
"Oh, the country re-unified when we were two."
Ugh, I felt so old. I remember watching "The Wall" fall down on TV when I was a freshman in high school. (In fact, I did possess a piece of said wall, at least they told me it was a piece.) And who can forget the inspirational anthem that came out in those heady times?
Anyways, after the chance encounter, the next one was pre-arranged. A friend of the Raving Bike Fiend, Malcolm, came to town on Thursday and was on his way to riding down the Pacific Coast towards LA. April and I met up for pizza on Thursday night, and we talked about good routes out to the coast and things to stop for along the way. He left town on Saturday and is making his way down the coast. Check out his blog, Never Get Off The Bike, to read!
And Monday I met up with Henrik and Vicky of Wooly Pigs. They've done a lot of touring over the past few years. This year they are touring the Americas, and have just spent a few months biking Chile and Argentina. Now they are in Portland for a little bit, resting and resupplying, getting ready to head down the coast to LA. From there they'll get transport to around Albuquerque where they'll travel the Great Divide route north to Glacier Park and then head eastward towards the East Coast. I met up with them over beverages and we talked about touring and tips for touring the U.S. (Hint: methyl alcohol ("meths") used for Trangia stoves can be found in gas stations in a yellow bottle labeled "HEET".)
All this talk of touring is making me itching to get out on the road. Thankfully I'll have an opportunity soon...