Posts in Life on a Bike - 2017
Waking Up Alive

Surviving a creepy night alone, fraught with strange noises and dark imaginings, makes for a euphoric morning. “I MADE IT,” I wrote on more than one occasion in my journal. “Survived another night!!!” Those three exclamation points only seem ridiculous if you’ve never spent 8 hours on your back, breathing shallowly through the shrinking space in your throat, every bit of your body tingling with terror.

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Gratitude - For All of You

Thank you to all the women who shared their stories of bicycle travel with me this year. Whether you recounted trips to the grocery store, surviving abuse, impressing yourself, or riding across the continent (or around the world), I’m inspired by each and every one of you.

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Adulting

I’ve got a resting “baby face.” I’m pushing thirty, but strangers often ask if I’m in school… and they don’t always mean college. Last spring, when high school graduation rolled around, several customers at the plant nursery asked me if I was excited to be done with high school.

“Yes,” I replied. “And I was even more excited ten years ago, when I graduated.”

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PNWA Seattle Writer's Conference 2018

I was embarassed. After all, I’d gotten everything I wanted and more: a supportive circle of new writer friends, 9 agents and editors interested in my manuscript, and a new plot-charting technique that will help me write faster, forever. To top it off, my submission in the PNWA literary contest had won me a spot among 9 Finalists in the Memoir/Nonfiction Category. But as I sat in my favorite purple dress at the Awards Banquet, my heart thumping loudly against my sternum, they announced the first, second, and third place winners in my category. And none of them were me.

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"The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle" - An Adorable Read

I know what you're thinking: "adorable" isn't a respectful word for someone's literary masterpiece. You can't call another writer's work "adorable” and expect to forge a lasting friendship with them. I get it. But in the same breath, it's a young adult novel. "Adorable" is part of the appeal. And author Christina Uss may well agree with me. 

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Business or Pleasure? My Time at the Port Townsend Writer's Conference

There were a lot of women at the Port Townsend Writer's Conference. And, there were a decent amount of young women. But I think I was the only one who showed up by bicycle.

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Waitlisted - A Story of Hope at the Port Townsend Writer's Conference

In a moment of bravery, I emailed Melissa Febos' speaking agent. I had to try. I explained my memoir project, my respect for Ms Febos' work, and asked if there was any way to admit one more student into her course. To my great surprise, Melissa herself responded: "I appreciate your heartfelt appeal, but the enrollment for these classes is totally out of my control."

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Interviewed on Tough Girl Challenges

British podcast host Sarah Williams and I discuss my cross-country tour by bicycle, the obstacles women face on solo travels, and how fear can shape our lives.

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Smile If You Love Me

"Where's that smile?!" yells the disappointed stranger. He's just trying to save face at this point, feeling embarrassed and frustrated that you're ignoring him. He's really confused right about now, because you definitely smiled at him earlier. Didn't you?

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Men Aren't Monsters

"Men can't be trusted," people would tell me. "They all want the same thing." And it's kinda stupid, but I actually grew up believing them. I believed that half of the human race didn't deserve my trust, simply because of the body they were born with. 

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Why Bicyclists Gotta Cross-Train

There’s this pesky lil’ thing called “cross-training,” and it’s important. Cross-training means practicing a sport or skill other than bicycling, in order to balance your body's musculature. For example, many of the women I've interviewed do yoga or lift weights as their cross-training.  It’s not always easy to do, especially on a bike tour when you’re already exhausted from a day’s ride and lack equipment. But cross-training is essential to preventing injuries.

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Your Creative Side is Anorexic

Where'd that big booty go? When you were a kid, your creativity was well-fed.  All day long, teachers and parents and baby sitters and best friends were asking you to draw, paint, cut out, glue together, and play with things. You didn't even think it was weird, to sit at the kitchen table with a pile of play-dough and spend twenty minutes trying to make it look like a zebra.

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My 10 Minutes of Fame at Stoked Spoke!

Oh, how I love being the center of attention. Thank you to Swift Industries of Seattle, for hosting a fabulous night of route-sharing and cycling enthusiasm! (That was hands-down one of the most appreciative crowds I've ever performed for.)

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Of Bugs & Bicycles

Another writing piece featured on the Adventure Cycling Association's blog! This one's about insects: slapping them, dodging them, and (accidentally) swallowing them. In the sport of cycling, your face is your windshield. And in Kansas, my windshield was covered in bugs. 

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