Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Biking Fanatic at Borrego Springs


No decimal points here.

©Bert Gildart: There are no decimal points in the picture of numbers on my bike’s odometer, and please don’t interpret the posting as one of simple vanity, for there’s information associated with the mileage numbers that might be of value to readers.

Simply said, biking can lower blood pressure. I know.  Just a few months ago mine was approaching dangerously high levels. That’s something I’ve never had to worry about before, and the doctor’s advice was to find something I enjoyed and then do it at least four to five times a week.

“Keep on with the ‘heroic’ weekend activities,” said my doctor, “but make exercise a daily component of your life.” Adding, “It’s more important as you get older.”

And so, about three months ago I bought a state of the art road bike (I’ve also enjoyed mountain biking here), and with it have been following the doctor’s advice down here in Anza Borrego State Park. But, now, because this is intended to be a posting about biking, let me give you some specifics.


First, biking, the kind  that retains enthusiasm, is not cheap.  I bought my road bike from Bikes Direct, an on-line store recommended to me by a friend who flirts with cycling professionalism. Some say I lucked out, that one needs to be properly sized. But I disagree, and do so because I followed the on-line instructions carefully, and because I had a good friend who knew his stuff.

I paid close to $1,600 for my Motobecane, but was told that I was almost doubling my value by ordering on-line.

My LeChampion Motobecane road bike is carbon fiber and it weighs 15.5 pounds.  It’s not an entry level bike but neither is it a Lance Armstrong bike, which probably costs over $5,000.  But it is a bike intended to sustain enthusiasm, because you can “Just cruise along.”  When I first started I was averaging about 13 mph, but now average about 19.


Of course, once you make the initial investment, you’ll then need a good helmet (better to look like a mushroom than wind up like one), good padded gloves, various types of clothing (Spandex?  Yes, I’ve got a pair), padded shorts, color coordinated socks – and a good pair of cleated riding shoes.


Motobecane bike ordered from Bikes Direct. Logos clearly visible by enlarging image.

Cleated shoes snap into the pedals and enable you to power on the upstroke as well as on the down stroke.

Of course you’ll need a bit of practice learning to break free from the pedals, and the advice given me was to find a nice soft field of grass, and practice there, as you’ll most like take a few falls before learning the technique.  I did!

Complementary gear will most likely cost another $300, but what’s your health worth?

Next, of course, you need to find a bike-friendly area, and my home near Bigfork comes close, though it is not perfect.  Ninety five percent of the drivers back home go out of their way to accommodate cyclist, but the other 5% drive with fire in their eyes and a determination to run bikers off the road.


Not so in Borrego Springs, where it seems as though there are as many bike riders as there are motorists.  Here, there are riding clubs of various types, to include a tandem bike club.  There are long-distance riding clubs.

And, so, Janie and I have found a haven for the winter activities we enjoy, and the bottom line for me is that my blood pressure is now like that of someone 30 years my junior, making my investment seem to have been a wise on.

One thousand miles?  Sure many down here double and even triple that, but I’ve reached my objectives, and suspect some would say I’ve become a fanatic.

I don’t mind.




*My Years Favorite Photos




One Response to “Biking Fanatic at Borrego Springs”

  1. webdoc Says:

    Nice bike! Those cleated shoes always seemed like they were dangerous to me. heh heh