July 15, 2003

Legend w/a Million Friends Reaches Reno

Well Mighty Jim made Reno after all. In record time so to speak. He got
there last Wednesday = 520 fully loaded miles miles in five days time.
And as he has done so, he keeps raising the bar for what it means to be
67. Because Reno is not set to receive him until July 28, however, and
because you just can't keep this spirited man down, he left his bike
with a friend and flew down to San Francisco to help another friend
move. It's no wonder this man has friends all across America willing to
help him in whatever way they can. In fact if we can work out an
earlier reception date, Jim even has friends that want to join him for
the ride down to Sacramento.

Hello, world: I made it.

At times I doubted my water would last or wondered if some coyote would
want my body to nourish her family. But, none of that happened. I am
here safely in Reno at a great Italian restaurant, Luciano's on
Virginia. I just had needed a good meal and to find one I started
walking down the street. I had decided to stop and look into every
place within reason until I found a good place to eat.

I opened one door and saw this group of tattooed folks surrounded with
smoke, holding beers. Come on in, they shouted, but I carefully backed
out, deciding I wanted something better. Next door, I opened the door
and I walked into a different world. The waiter was helpful to this
wayward soul and made me feel like they had been just waiting for me to
arrive. My meal included a delicious sauce. I recalled years ago in
Europe, when I did not allow myself to enjoy the sauce. The cook came
out took a piece of bread, dipped it in the sauce and fed it to me.
Since then I have been less shy about enjoying the whole meal, sauce
and all.

This morning I had the biggest breakfast I have ever enjoyed. There was
so much left over, I had it for lunch. I ordered eggs and a ham steak
that covered a dinner plate. I loved every ounce of it.

I loved biking into Fallen, it had real shade trees. The route also had
the most church related things I can ever recall seeing. Every
community here is different. Perhaps it is because everyone is so
thankful to have made it across this desolate area, self included.

Funny as I walk around how well I fit in with the fair number of
homeless that are present. We both are a little ragged looking. Our
clothes have some oil or other dirt on them, we could all use a bath or
shower. Often after camping I pack up kind of shiny faced, accented
with a little beard stubble and ride a few miles in search of
breakfast. Hopefully the restaurant I find will have a bathroom I can
shave in. I always assumed that if they saw my bike they would
understand. Well, let me tell you, these folks also ride bikes and I
fit right in. Well, I will always have a place to hang out.

Now I am going to disappear and recuperate for a while. Having decided
to take this route gives me a little time compared to my friend Jim
Redd who is heading to Boise and others to Portland. It would have been
fun to join them, but maybe next year when I am younger.

Love, you all. There is nothing like a challenge to make one love life
and enjoy it to its fullest.

Posted by mkrieg at 09:45 AM | Comments (9)

July 07, 2003

Jim Rides with Night Creatures and what Longmont, CO sez....

Here is the indomitable Jim Muellner, who at 67 is fully pushing the envelope for what is possible as he works to get thru the Utah desert heat by riding at night. At the end is the Longmont CO newspaper article that was written about this legendary man as he powers toward our 2nd annual Santa Cruz NBG Bike Fest where he informs me that his company, Just Two Recumbents, will be there to help him show off the trike he has been crossing America on!

Happy 4th of July Weekend
Hi, can't say more I am too dry, just kidding:

Today I received a gift from someone, a discarded section of the July 5th issue of the "New York Times". I wish they would have left the whole thing. I love reading the Times and discussing issues with someone interesting. But the article most important to me was the one about Lewis and Clark's travels and their reporting.

Here more that a century later, I have tried to show you the America I see also at a slow pace. I have tried to describe to you one small part of it in the form of some of the flowers or animals I have seen during my ride. How beautiful they are as you slowly cycle past them. And yet there is great sadness at times as I do so.

I feel for those sealed containers that go past at 60 or 70 mph, listening to a radio or munching on a treat. These travelers never see, smell or hear the beauty of their country. If you go to page A9 in the July 5th issue of the Times you will see what I mean. The pictures you will find there are real life master pieces that reinvigorate the soul about our planet. No, I have not seen herds of buffalo, but have often imagined what it would have been like.

What greatly tarnishes this image is the discarded can, thrown bottles, water bottles and the paper cups that these sealed containers of people hurl into this masterpiece. It brings tears to my eyes when I see this. It brings a little anger when a thrown beer or pop bottle shatters on the road's shoulder ready to cause the next person who rides by on a bike a flat tire.

We have such a beautiful country and yet I see various people toss things that they expect others to pick up. How can we as Americans save our beautiful country from this careless practice? When you pick up a single piece of trash you are helping repaint the American masterpiece, to re-establish its original beauty to that which it deserves. It will make a difference, even picking up one piece of trash.

It is so healthy and pure to be able to look at a world without man made distraction. When the sights and sounds are only coming from nature the allure of its wonder is magnified a thousand times.

Last night as I cycled in the moonlight everything had an eerie beauty to it. Every shadow was a surprise, a long eared rabbit or a scurrying mouse often made me laugh. My memories will forever be golden. The sunset was a act in itself. First a golden haze, turning into a red, then a blazing red horizon. Later it turned into a purple shading that many an artist has tried to capture. It was so beautiful I was wondering if I was alone in watching it unfold.

The moon light has taken over and so I must go.

Well, it is off to bed. It is cold enough, that I have been riding with my stocking cap.
The Night Rider, Jim

Local access to PocketMail mobile
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Cyclist visits Longmont
By Annalise Kinkel
The Daily Times-Call

LONGMONT — City officials declared last Saturday “National Bicycle Greenway Day” as a variety of bicycles and tricycles left for Boulder from High Gear Cyclery on Main Street. The convoy of about a dozen cyclists accompanied 67-year-old Jim Muellner for the next leg of the coast-to-coast National Mayor’s Ride. Muellner left from Washington, D.C., on May 2 and arrived in Longmont last Thursday. He had ridden nearly 2,300 miles and is expected to finish the ride in Santa Cruz, Calif., on Aug. 16.

The National Mayor’s Ride is sponsored by the National Bicycle Greenway. Muellner said the ride is intended to “encourage the officials in every city to put bike-friendly routes on their agenda.”
The ride is part of NBG’s goal to establish a network of bike paths across the country, similar to what the interstate is for cars. Muellner said The National Mayor’s Ride promotes “more transportation-oriented biking rather than just exercise-oriented biking.”

Just before the cyclists departed from High Gear, Longmont City Council member Fred Wilson presented Muellner with a proclamation. Wilson said new bike routes are planned and partially funded throughout Boulder County. “We do what we can as money allows,” Wilson said.

Muellner said the highlight of his trek has been all of the kind and supportive people he has met.
“Everyone has been so nice and encouraging. It’s been wonderful,” he said. Muellner said he gets e-mails of support from all over the country. So far, he has heard that he has fan clubs in Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and Chicago.

A bike designer from White Bear Lake, Minn., Muellner has been cycling for 15 years. This is his second ride across the country. He rode from Los Angeles to Orlando, Fla., in 1998. In the last five years, he also has ridden up the East Coast and along the northern border of the United States.
Muellner said one doesn’t have to be a “spring chicken” to be a serious cyclist.

“I felt that it’s important (to show) that older people who have the time can do this,” he said.
Muellner attributed part of his ability to ride for such long distances to his bike, which is a tricycle rather than an upright bike. The trike, Muellner said, requires the same amount of work as an upright bike, but it allows him to travel uphill at any speed he wants without worrying about maintaining balance.

After passing through Longmont, Muellner cycled to Estes Park and Steamboat Springs en route to California.

Annalise Kinkel can be reached at 303-776-2244, Ext. 389, or by e-mail at akinkel@times-call.com.

67 year old, trike riding Jim Muellner can be found at http://www.bikeroute.com/NationalMayorsRide/JimMuellner
His email on the road is: jmuellner@pocketmail.com

Posted by mkrieg at 11:51 AM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2003

Jim Muellner keeps powering thru the heat

Hi Everyone and Happy 4th of July:

Even though I have plenty of time for this next section, I decided to get on with it on a quiet weekend. I thought drivers would be friendlier on this weekend. In Salt Lake City, there was lots of construction and parades and therefore less traffic as the smart drivers took other routes.

Rode past a sign that said "Jumpers". On a horse barn, it was the first one I have ever seen.

Riding past Lake Utah there were several large flocks of white Pelicans. Some time back I had seen three of them soaring in the sky, playing in the air currents. The Blue Angels had nothing on these guys as they circled right and then left. It was beautiful to watch. Sometimes one would fall behind and with a flap or two they would be back in formation. They also have black wing tips which gives them a crisp look. I loved it. The local contractor must have too, he called it Pelican Point.

There are few flowers except for the small sun flowers that show up periodically along the road.

One thing is certain, there are no trees, as in **NO TREES**. Glad I have my umbrella, even if it is a little broken. May have to shop for a new one, like the golfers have.

After stopping in for lunch with my good friends Vic and Shirley Williams from my former life in Smarte Carte, I continued on. Later after camping in an abandoned house, I determined that some night riding would make things cooler. This despite the fact that I got a great night's sleep. You see no one knocked on the door or rang the bell

Have a great weekend.

btw: My messages may be limited for next few days as there are few places to call or send from. Park service does not seem to think anyone needs a table or covered area out here. Last place I want to sit and write, even though it is comfortable, is on my trike after hours of riding.

btw2: I am trying my best to respond to each message I receive. And I do want to keep any promises I made about getting together after the ride is over. However, in the process I may have lost your e-mail address or phone number. If you think I have forgotten something just send me a note reminding me. There are so many things going on that it is impossible to keep everything straight. Please forgive me.

Posted by mkrieg at 08:04 PM | Comments (0)