HOLIDAY CHALLENGE: INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
I only learned of this particular holiday this morning when I woke up and saw Suzanne’s inspirational post. Sounds great! I like holiday bike rides.
Other than The Feeshko, I can’t think of any very famous women from MY Town, so I didn’t quite know how to approach this holiday. From past experience though, I’ve learned that when I start riding and thinking (if that’s what you want to call what goes on in my head) some ideas will generally bubble up. It happened again today.
The only other famous woman I came across on today’s ride was St. Elizabeth Anne Seton. The Catholic church in Hastings is named after her and I think that’s pretty cool.
I tried to think of some other ways to honor women. Once again, my thought turned to music–specifically, WOMEN of music. That seems like a pretty good way to segue into the next challenge.
THE MARCH SONG CHALLENGE
I truly like the female voice. It can achieve things no male voice can. While riding, I thought about famous female musicians–and not just vocalists. Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Grace Slick, Tina Weymouth, (thanks for the reminder yesterday, Old Grumbleface) Georgia Heubley, and Kim Gordon came quickly to mind. There are many, many more, of course.
I wanted to feature a female-themed song here. “Girl From the North Country” seemed appropriate at first. It’s a really nice song by a Minnesotan, but it’s a Bob Dylan/Johnny Cash duet. They’re MEN.
My thoughts turned to featuring a song by a Minnesota woman. There have been a few, from Judy Garland to Mary Jane Alm to Lizzo, and beyond. But how about a band formed in Minneapolis, comprised entirely of women? A band dating back to the 1980s who were performing angry, aggressive rock music before it became cool?
TOO aggressive? Try the next one by my favorite Duluth, MN band, Low. Mimi Parker, drummer and vocalist and new mom, beautifully expresses her protective instincts.
THE CYCLE LIFE LOCAL PURCHASE CHALLENGE
I did make a local purchase while on my bike ride. It’s not an impressive purchase, but I feel the need to get as many of the seven posts in as quickly as possible so that I can beat Mr. Scooter to eternal glory. As you might remember, that guy pulled two rides out of nowhere last year–on the same day–just to defeat me. It ain’t gonna happen this year unless he can do six or seven rides in a single day to pass me up.
THE INSPIRATIONAL BOOK CHALLENGE
This one isn’t really an official challenge, as far as I can tell, but it relates again to Suzanne’s last post. She revealed some books that inspired her to seek her own adventures, and she asked her readers for book titles that may have done the same for us. That was easy for me. I immediately thought of a book I read about 15 years ago.
Goran Kropp’s story is what I still consider the most amazing athletic achievement of all time. I bought the book because I was interested in mountain climbing at the time, but it turned out to be the book that inspired me to turn my lifelong interest in bicycling into my newfound interest in bike TOURING.
Kropp was a Swedish dude who loaded 250 pounds of gear onto his bicycle and trailer in Stockholm, rode 7,200 miles to Nepal, then loaded most of that weight onto his back and carried it to the Mount Everest Base Camp. Then he climbed Everest by himself with no Sherpa support and no supplemental oxygen. Then he climbed back down the mountain, retrieved his bike, and pedaled back to Sweden.
If going from sea level to 29,000 feet and back to sea level, all under his own power and totally, stubbornly, self-supported isn’t amazing enough for you, there were a couple of other details that made the journey even more incredible . . . but you’ll have to read that for yourselves. All I can say is that it inspired the hell out of me.
I think the only other cycling-related book I ever read was this one: