Friday, September 2, 2011

Why is Willie Weir on my reading list?

I was introduced to Willie Weir in an article in The Sacramento Bee Thursday Scene section. It was one of those foggy January mornings. I poured myself a cup of coffee, assumed my early morning reading position, at the kitchen table, and slipped the rubber band off the paper. As is my habit, I glanced at the weather forecast, ignored the front page and went for the Scene section.
Adventure cyclist Willie Weir was featured. I had no clue who this Seattle guy Willie is. I am a sucker for anything the hints of an adventure so started reading. The article spun a tale about a man who rode across the US with no plans, no agenda, camping in peoples' yards and garages. He found the best of people, the people who care, the kind of people not featured on the front pages of most papers.
I was hooked. He was speaking that evening at REI and I had to be there. I arrived about the time the talk was starting. There was still a line outside waiting to get in. It was clear I was nsot going to hear Willie Weir speak that night. I bought his book, went home and read most of it that night.
Travels with Willie is a joy to read. I was transported from a cold dark depressing evening into a bike ride across small town, side road America.
I wished I was on an adventure like Willie's.
A couple of months later I noticed in another Thursday Scene section Willie would be back in Sacramento speaking for 3 nights in a row at REI. I signed up for all three nights.
The first night I was mesmerized about the tales of riding across Eastern Europe, the second night about cycling in Turkey and the third about adventures in Columbia. I went from disbelief that someone would embark on these adventures, to thinking I can never to this, to how can I make the spirit of his adventures part of my daily life.
Thank you Willie.

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