Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New Books!

Somerville, Mass - Look what came in the mail!








These two beauties will be hitting your local bookstores any day now. So NOW is the time to start planning your next trip to Moscow.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Vermont Ski Weekend

Craftsbury Common, Vermont - Last month we spent a weekend in Vermont to celebrate Jerry's birthday. I am finally getting around to organizing my photos and I found myself playing with Windows Movie Maker on my computer. Here is the result, for your viewing pleasure...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Life is difficult, we are meant to struggle

Somerville, Mass - Stage three is over. Stage four is on. That means that two more of my Lonely Planet teammates have completed their leg of the Tour d'Afrique without dying.

Actually, I have to point out that Carlo Chierotti and Jim Hsu were formidable riders, both of them winning either 1st or 2nd place in all five of the time trials they did! Way to go guys!

But more importantly, they didn't die, and in that way, they really set the standard for what I hope to achieve on my leg of the Tour d'Afrique.

Now Rana Freedman and Martin Heng are riding their way across Kenya and Tanzania. I love these two! First of all, they have named their mini-team `Lion's bait' which I think is hi-larious. Rana has has been detailing her training on her excellent blog called Highest Gear. A nonathletic girl attempts not to be the slow gazelle. I love it.

That reminds me of some correspondence I had with Mike Coo, who is one of the main guys that organizes the Tour d'Afrique.

Me: I have been reading in my guidebook about Chobe National Park and it looks like we will be riding right through it! Is this the route we are following?

Mike: We do not go through Chobe National Park because there are lions!!

I'm not sure if this actually made me feel more safe, because these guys clearly know what they are doing and they did not plan our route to go through Chobe National Park because there are lions, or less safe, because there are lions!

Anyway, back in Somerville, I am still riding. Last week I rode my bike to New Hampshire - my first 80-mile ride - which was pretty awesome. Unfortunately, it was very hilly and by the end of the day, I had developed a new, niggly pain in my right knee. It has not gone away. It's not bothering me enough to stop riding, but I did make an appointment with my sports doctor. I never had a sports doctor before, but I guess I am now entitled.

In other milestones, I have reached and exceeded my fundraising goal for BEN, which is also pretty awesome. THANK YOU to everyone who helped me reach this goal! It has been truly inspiring to watch the numbers add up. I have gotten an incredible amount of support from my church - First Parish in Cambridge - which is going to donate half of its March collections to my cause! That is in addition to the money I raised on my own, so I am thrilled. 

If you want to donate, it's not too late! All the money goes directly to BEN and they can use more! Click here to make a donation.

Meanwhile, I am desperately trying to finish my manuscript for the Boston City Guide, finalize my travel plans and - of course - keep riding my bike. I admit it, I'm exhausted.

I love this quote from the Tour d'Afrique blog, said by some wise person in answer to a complaining cyclist: "Life is difficult, we are meant to struggle".

Okay, I'm not complaining. 

Monday, March 2, 2009

I think we've all had days like this...


Hong Kong - Okay, maybe you didn't react like this when you missed your flight, but don't pretend you didn't feel like it!