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Part 5: Bicycling the Continental Divide--Mexico to Canada--loving the art

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By Frosty Wooldridge

“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.  Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.”  ~Ernest Hemingway

A bicycle lets you know you’re alive.  You feel a mountain grade like few others.  Hills and valleys etch their memories into your thighs.  Your lungs heave at a 10 percent grade, but delight in a downhill rolling free gravity ride. Your skin recognizes coolness in the early morning while it glistens with sweat in the afternoon when the temperatures climb into the 90s.

On a bicycle, every mile means something to your emotions, heart, muscles and head.  Describing what I call “pedaling bliss” may be challenging:  I flow with life rhythms in a fluid coalescence body, mind and spirit.  The bicycle engages my energy forward toward exploration, expression and physical delight.  When I pedal into the inner kingdom of Mother Nature such as a mountain river flowing out of a snowfield, a certain glee invades every cell in my body.  When I reach the crest of a mountain pass, my muscles relax, then release when gravity becomes my motor.  At that point, I feel a wondrous sense of flight.

Within an hour of leaving Evan’s house, I walked into Mary’s office at her William and Joseph Art Gallery on Canyon Road in Santa Fe. .  She took me to her home for a glorious shower and clean up.  Laird arrived.  We took off for “Cowgirls Restaurant” in downtown Santa Fe.  We sat out under the stars as the sun set.  Excellent dinner, conversation and fellowship. 

Santa Fe enjoys the second largest art sales in the United States. Great energy in a vortex of creative expression as to paintings, sculpting, metal work and so much more.

In the morning, Laird took me back to Mary’s gallery.  He snapped a picture of me inside the gallery with all the artwork.  Beautiful way to start the morning.  Laird gave me a big hug before I left on my journey.

Within minutes, I traveled down Canyon Road to take pictures of all the sculptors’ works in front of the buildings.  Such a delight for my eyes and spirit.  Art moves the very best in humanity.

Needing some screws for Condor, I pedaled over to in the middle of the city.  Stu and Kelly offered me a free breakfast, which of course, I gobbled a breakfast burrito.  Ironically, Stu heard me on the Diane Leis show “Outspoken Cyclist.” 

(Mare encouraging her colt toward life.)

As luck would have it, Kelly, at 44, suffered a heart attack and Stu’s father died from a heart attack. I told them of my dad’s early passing and my brother’s heart attack death at 50 last year and my brother’s stroke from arrhythmia. I told them both about to solve high blood pressure, arrhythmia and other heart problems with nutrition.  They thanked me for sharing my knowledge.

(This girl represents what I feel when I am cycling Condor around the world.)

Heading out of town, I tanked up on juices, energy bars, fruits and veggies. I added four liters of water  to my pack to make sure I kept hydrated in the 96 degree F. heat.  I pedaled northward on Route 285.

Smoke: billows of smoke streamed skyward from massive wild fires on the west side of the road.  I struggled against inhaling smoke all day from the fires. 

(Sculptor of kids flying their airplanes in joyful flight.)

Once in Australia, I suffered a day inside a horrendous wildfire that filled the sky with smoke and blotted out the sun. I felt that like I faced my last day on Earth.  One thing about Mother Nature, she does what she does and humans must work their way around the edges of survival.  Fortunately, in my world travels, I have survived earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and bridges being washed out.

In this game of life, if a person lucks out and lives, he or she keeps on pedaling.  I keep on pedaling.

(Having a bad hair day?)


Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents – from the Arctic to the South Pole – as well as eight times across the USA, coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece. In 2012, he bicycled coast to coast across America.  In 2013, he bicycled 2,500 miles,  climbed 150,000 vertical feet and five states from Mexico to Canada on the Continental Divide with 19 pass crossings. He presents “The Coming Population Crisis facing America: what to do about it.”  His latest book is: How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World by Frosty Wooldridge, copies at 1 888 280 7715/ Motivational program: How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World by Frosty Wooldridge, click:

Live well, laugh often, celebrate daily and enjoy the ride,

Frosty Wooldridge

Golden, Colorado

6 Continent world bicycle traveler




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