I stumbled onto a website called “Crazy Guy On A Bike.”  It’s a collection of journals — blog entries if you will — of folks from all over the world who are doing pretty much what I plan to do in 2 years.

I’m following five guys right now:

East To West With A Dog  This guy is riding from Manhattan to the Pacific with his little dog Frita.

Free Range Retiree A 66 year old gent from Longview, WA.  He seems to be the most experienced one of the bunch.  I’ve picked up a lot of interesting things from reading his journals.

The Great American Double Cross A gent who’s been biking for 35+ years.  He’s planning on going coast to coast — and back again.

TransAmerica Trail 2012 A gent headed from Oregon to Yorktown Virginia among the TransAmerica trail.

And then this guy:  Riding off into the Sunset  He’s Joel Carlisle, a retired fireman who’s making is way from Connecticut to Oregon.

All five of these gents are currently on the road.  I’m using Google Reader to keep track of their postings.  As I said, I’m learning a lot from reading about their adventures.  For example, the “East To West With A Dog” guy is showing me a few things about riding with an animal.  (I don’t share that author’s penchant for sneaking his dog into restaurants and hotels where pets aren’t welcome.  But each to his own.)  The Free Range Retiree impresses me with his stamina and willingness to camp out all the time.  (If he can do it, by God, so can I!)

But it’s Joel, the retired fireman’s posts that are the most interesting — and downright scary — so far.

On Sunday, June 17, Joel was in Wyoming.  And according to him, it’s been the hardest day of his journey so far:

Today was the hardest day so far. A combination of long distance between limited services, winds blowing a steady 40 mph with gusts over 50 mph and a stretch of road that is crazy bad on a good day . . . I figured, being a Sunday, the truck traffic will be minimal. I was wrong, on top of that, being a weekend there were many motor homes and camper trailers being driven by non-professional drivers. Many of the motor homes were towing trailers . . .

I headed out pretty early and the wind was already blowing hard. By the time I was ten miles out the wind was a blasting cross wind and that not only slowed me, but made it a struggle to stay going straight. I considered heading back, but I didn’t, tomorrows forecast was for wind too. As the day went on the wind got worse, I was blown off the road more than a few times . . .

I just kept plugging along, then I got to the bad section of road . . . The road shoulder became narrow and crumbled, in addition, in this section of road they decided to add a rumble strip. The scenery was dazzling and maybe drivers run off the road while looking at it? But it leaves little room for bicycles. As if that is not bad enough, the small shoulder has cracks filled with a rubber type goop that when your tire hits it, sinks in . . .

At least the wind was blowing me off the road instead of into traffic. I ran into cyclists heading the other way that were walking, pushing their bikes because they were getting blown into traffic.

It took me from 7:45 AM until 2:30 PM to go the 33 miles from Rawlins to Lamon . . . I then went on 11 miles to Muddy Gap, I stopped at the store / gas station there and got some gatorade. While there the wind blew my bike over breaking the kickstand, it scraped the back of my left calf taking a strip of skin off with it . . . This part of the route headed directly west, into the wind. . . . I fought my my through the wind up and the wind was blowing so hard I had to fight my way downhill. It took five hours to go the 22 miles to Jeffrey City. I had run out of water. It was getting dark . . . 

I can’t find an additional part of his blog where he talks about going down hill but not more than 4 MPH because he’s afraid the wind will throw him off the side of the mountain.

Good God.

He also posted a picture of a dead rattlesnake

and the scenic place he got to pitch his tent. 

Windstorms.  Rattlesnakes.  Thrown off the side of a mountain.  Campgrounds with not a lick of grass around.

What the hell am I thinking?