James Peters ontmoette Joeri een paar dagen voor zijn dood

Op de roets door de Verenigde Staten

James Peters ontmoette Joeri een paar dagen voor zijn dood

Berichtdoor admin » 30 jan 2009 20:44

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James Peters schreef:The way to Yosemite is a long and winding road. The Sierra's many mountains, sharp curves, and huge RVs keep us alert. One wrong turn and you fall long ways. Go bye bye. The only thing memorable about the drive there, besides passing by the prison, was this guy we saw rowing his bike up the mountain road. My buddy Jesse rode his bike cross country and told me about riding climbs that were miles long, but this guy put a rowing machine on a pair of wheels and was going up the frickin' mountain! Craziness! After stopping in a town a few miles from Yosemite, Brian and I roll into the northwest corner of the park and settle into the Hodgdon Meadow Campground, about 45 minutes northwest of the Yosemite Valley. We put our food in the bear locker, popped up the tent, and played a bit of Stratego before crashing. The moon and night stars were shining bright that night! After being in the city for so long, you forget how nice it is to look up and see the stars.

We pick up some firewood at one of the turnouts and head back to our campsite. Why buy firewood when you can grab the stuff from the forest for free? While prepping dinner and enjoying some beverages, we see the rowingbike guy coast into our campsite and we do a double take. "Wanna beer?" we ask him as we prepare the yardbird, rice, and beans. We exchange hellos, offer him a drink, and invite him to dinner. Joeri is a 30-something who is taking a break from Holland and rowing his bike all around the U.S. The rowing bike really is a series of complex levers and pulleys. The setup is just like a recumbent bicycle, but the rider does not propel himself by peddling. Instead, the chain has been replaced by a nylon rope and the rider pushes with the legs while pulling the arms. Talk about a full body workout. Joeri was in shape, but he loved cigarettes During the three hours we ate and drank he prolly smoked at least seven Marlboro Reds...We talked into the night about America, Holland, soccer, the president, and many more topics.
Weblog 5 October

James Peters schreef:This is dedicated to traveling, the outdoors, cycling and friends. It is never easy and is a shock to learn that someone you met just a few weeks ago no longer is alive. That's what I felt when I read my email this morning and learned Joeri Gorter was hit by a truck while on his rowing bike last Friday.

The thing about traveling is that it helps develop a knack for sizing people up and in just a few minutes. It doesn't take too long to tell what type of person someone is. Do I like this person? Can I trust them? Do they want something from me? What type of person is this and do I get a good vibe from them? These impressions come quickly.

The impression that Brian and I got from Joeri when we first saw him rowing his bike up Highway 120 was, "wow, that guy is in pretty good shape. that looks hard, but it also looks like fun." The impression we had when we met him in the Yosemite campground was genuine. He enthusiastically accepted our meal invitation and shared his scotch with us. Right away Brian and I could tell we had met a great character. Joeri told us stores of life in the Netherlands, taught us some Dutch slang, made us laugh with tales of Amsterdam, and his plans to ride all over the US. Brian and I envied his plans. We envied his contagious optimism and attitude.

We met as strangers and departed as friends who planned to meet up in Omaha and Amsterdam for a drink. We were looking forward to that drink. Brian and I are saddened about this loss and will miss that reunion.
Weblog 14 October
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