Tuesdays with Dirty: Oh the Places

After spending a week in Kathmandu getting organized, I finalized my route and obtained the proper permits needed to set out on an extended tour in the Himalayas. I chose a route that would take me around the area of the popular Annapurna Trekking Circuit. Inititially, I would set out on a fairly well beaten path, but I would also be on the lookout for hidden gems along the way. According to all of my maps and research, the Nepali countryside was dotted with small villages and there were little to no roads for motorized travel. That meant only one thing, lots of trails. I spent a total of 22 days on the bike hunting these trails as I made my way around some of the biggest mountains in the world.

Before I set out into the mountains, I jokingly put up this picture on my social media as an away message.

places

When I got home to Arizona and started to sift through all my pictures and videos, it became clear that this caption held a lot more truth than I first realized. I pedaled at altitudes I never thought possible. I met amazing people and was immersed in a wonderful new culture. I saw stunning beauty and bonked harder than I ever have before. I failed at my main objective only to rearrange my plans and end up on an even more beautiful journey. This trip was so intense and personal to me, that it really was MY mountain out there waiting for me.

I decided that a little show-and-tell of my pictures and some video clips were in order. Why not use that famous Dr. Seuss poem to narrate it? One of the videos is of me at an incredibly low point. I can’t remember a time in my life where I have been that tired and that disappointed. The other, is just one of those funny moments you have talking to yourself (and animals) when you are alone on a ride. There are more stories to come. I hope you enjoy the photos for now.

_________________

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

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Yup. I’m definitely in China right now and this is really happening

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

map

The map that would become my best friend for the next 21 days

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ‘em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

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Riot police on the streets of Kathmandu during a general strike

And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.

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It’s opener there
in the wide open air.

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Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

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Nothing quite like smoking a set of brake pads really far from home in the middle of a 4 hour downhill. Good thing I packed a spare set.

And when things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.

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Get asked to drink rice whiskey with strangers? Go with it.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

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Way up there

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

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I dropped these jackasses on the climb

Except when you don’ t
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.

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Alone at 13,000ft – 10 hours into a 14 hour day. Suffer face.

You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.

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Not a slump, but definitely a rut.

And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

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I wasn’t feeling well so I sat down in this field of “flowers” and watched the sun come up on Annapurna II

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both you elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

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And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

which way

…and I chose the road less traveled

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

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the wiggled trail taken at break neck pace

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

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Waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

wait

I was struck down by a fever 10 days into my ride and was forced to wait here, with this view, for two days

NO!
That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

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Beautiful bright places.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

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Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

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No TV coverage, but these guys thought I was half rockstar and half insane.

Except when they don’t.
Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.

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The most alone I felt the entire trip. Singletrack at 17,000ft descending into the clouds

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.

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Alone, and not minding much.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

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My sneakers definitely leaked

On and on you will hike
and I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

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This bridge looks perfectly safe. Step with care.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

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Elated to be atop 17,769ft Torong La Pass

So…
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

 

 

Keep it dirty…

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About dirty biker

I am a fan of singletrack, singlespeeds, single malt, and single women. Tempe, Arizona, USA

26 thoughts on “Tuesdays with Dirty: Oh the Places

  1. Thank you, this is awesome. Congrats on your trip. At this time in my life, it is nice to have my fond childhood memories fused to my present day therapy. Here’s to Dirty, Dr Seuss, and dirt…the triple d’s….thanks

  2. Thanks for sharing. Wonderful application of the great Dr. I’ll tipple a malt to your story tonite (Glenmorangie Nectar D’or my Dad just bought).

  3. Wow. Superb.

    Lest we forget, Maurice Herzog had the last word on Annapurna in 1952:

    “There are other Annapurnas in the lives of men.”

    Get some.

  4. Nice post ODB. A reason to keep coming back to DC.

    Way better than the Ben Berden / one-armed-man saga. That was fucking lame, btw. Both of them totally in the wrong.

  5. Awesome story, beautiful pics, thanks so much for sharing.

    Though, just to bring it back to DC roots for a brief moment, the woman in blue did seem to be staring rather intently at you as you sipped that whisky……

  6. Great pictures. I was on the Annapurna circuit this spring with my brother and another guy. We were mostly on steep rocky stepped trails. Had no idea there was that much singletrack around

  7. omg! i love it. who else would take the all mighty annapurna and a- scare the shit out of poor sweet israeli girls innocently turning the corner on a cliff that she almost fell off of to her death because of a reckless arizonian bike rider and b- make it cool with the suess. you rock my friend.

  8. yes, and sharing the doctor’s words of wisdom fills my heart with joy. your annapurna was amazing and us being a part of your experience was beyond amazing. love us, gabi, kobi, dhanya, orazi, and solai

  9. Pingback: Oh, the Places You’ll Go- Everywhere This Family Travel Blog RTW Bunch Has Been- Photo Essay | The Nomadic Family Travel Blog

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