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The Rite of Spring in the Travel Blogosphere

It is my favorite time of year as a reader of travel blogs. Bicycle touring blogs, that is. In the winter "Crazy Guy on a Bike" goes into semi-dormancy because even the "Southern Tier" route across the USA is not that popular. That leaves the southern hemisphere, which is a rather small place and expensive to get to

In particular it's worth keeping an eye out for the blogs about the GDMBR, the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, which goes from the Mexican border to the Canadian, while staying pretty close to the physical continental divide. Since it consists of dirt roads on public lands for the most part, a dog lover could at least fantasize biking it with their best friend. Not so, with the road cycling routes of course.

But I still give the roadie blogs a glance. Once in a great while, one of these is quite enjoyable. So why not celebrate the occasion? Recently that happened with "Looking for America", by Dan Schmiedt.  I have only read half of his blog up to the current date. It is fun to try to explain why a blog like his is so much more enjoyable than the average blog.

Perhaps what I am searching for, when scanning a list of mostly dreadful blogs, is the right travel-paradigm for me. Forget 'how to' blogs. Forget the 'scenery' blogs, who stubbornly disbelieve in the existence of anything between a person's ears other than a pair of eyeballs. 

Schmiedt's blog is more concerned with interesting observations, the sensual impact of cycle touring, and conversations with real people.  His title made me a bit wary: it sounded like a Charles Kurault-wannabee blog. But Schmiedt takes people as they are; he isn't looking for ostentatiously eccentric, colorful, licensed-lunatic types who fit a preconceived template for a 'feel good' story at the end of Walter Cronkite's evening news.

In contrast Schmiedt has a way of making more-or-less normal people seem interesting.

He also avoids the great besotting vice of bicycle bloggers: biting off too many miles per day, and ending the day with nothing to talk about other than ride statistics and weather reports.

Consider taking a look at his blog, especially while it is still ongoing.