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SPRING BREAK BIKE TREKS - February 2024


"Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s Party!’"

 

- Robin Williams

 

Spring break has many mental and health benefits.  For example:

 

·       Traveling is good for the mind, body and soul.

·       A Spring break is good for mental decompression.

·       Time spent together during Spring break is an excellent way for families and friends to catch up with one another.

 

Given the many benefits of Spring break, this Months’ Edition of MILES PEDDLED (MP) will be entitled SPRING BREAK BIKE TREKS.  Management will be outlining 3 Spring break trips that can be taken with a family or friends.  Playlist suggestion:  CAN’T STOP THE FEELING by Justin Timberlake.

 

Before we get to the subject matter of this Month’s Edition, however, a follow-up to recent issues addressed by Management is in order.  As all of the Loyal Subscribers (LS) of MP know, Management at MP has consistently argued that biking is good for the mind and body, and as a result thereof, makes cyclists “very good people.”  This was last addressed by Management in the November 2023 Edition of MP.  Past editions of MP can be accessed at:  https://milespeddled.com.

 

Recently, LifeHack in conjunction with MILES PEDDLED INSTITUTE (MPI) compiled research which establishes that cycling makes your brain and body stronger.  Please consider the following:

 

·       GROWTH:

 

Cycling increases the blood flow to the muscles, providing them with more oxygen and the ability to build more capillaries, both of which result in muscle growth.  The same process occurs in the brain.  The increased blood flow to the brain brings it more oxygen and nutrients, thereby improving your brains performance.  By biking regularly, you can double or even triple new cell production in your brain.  This increases your neurotransmitter activity thus improving your cognitive abilities.  Playlist suggestion:  FOREVER YOUNG by Bob Dylan.

 

·       MOOD:

 

Cycling increase the levels of serotonin and dopamine production in your brain.  In addition, cycling produces endorphins and cannabinoids, which are from the same chemical family of the cannabinoids associated with marijuana.  All of these are chemicals that make us feel “happy” when released in the brain. All of the happy chemicals in your brain, improve your mood, reduce anxiety, and allow you to handle stress more effectively. Playlist suggestion: I GOT A FEELING by The Black Eyed Peas. 

 

           

·       SLEEP:

 

Almost all scientific studies have established that a good night’s sleep is important to your overall health.  The exercise provided by cycling, in conjunction with your improved mood and ability to handle stress, results in the ability to fall asleep faster and enjoy a better quality of sleep.  Playlist suggestion:  GOLDEN SLUMBERS by The Beatles.

 

Now on to the subject matter of this Months’ edition: SPRING BREAK BIKING TREKS.  Management will provide its LS with 3 potential Spring break trips that will go from “rugged to refined”.  As usual, if planning your own journey, please use Google Maps or the more enhanced DMAPS.

 

Below are 3 recommended rides:

 

1.         LITTLE SWITZERLAND LOOP

 

·       Description:

 

For a low cost shorter ride, consider the Little Switzerland Loop (LSL).  As stated by the wonderful website www.bikepacking.com:

 

The LSL is an overnight bikepacking route that travels through rural Iowa among rolling hills and flowing rivers, centering around a relaxing primitive camping area.  The loop is long enough to feel the relief of everyday stress slip away but short enough to complete when time is short.

·       3 Ds

 

Bikepacking.com provides you with a detailed day-to-day description of the ride and route.  Hence, MP will only provide you with the “3 D’s,” which are:  Distance, Days, and Difficulty.  The Distance is 42 miles; the Days that it will take is 2 and the Difficulty is measured as a 3 out of 10 (10 being the most difficult).

 

·       Playlist Suggestion:

 

REGGAE MADE IN SWITZERLAND by Famara.

 

 

 

2.        ARIZONA’S SAGUARO MULTI-ADVENTURE TREK

 

·       Description:

 

A moderate cost pleasant hike and bike journey through southern Arizona.  According to BACKROADS you will hike and bike:

 

Where Saguaro cacti, standing tall as North America’s largest cactus, defy nature’s extremes.  Where you will bike up rugged hills and hike down peaceful trails in magical landscapes.  Where cougars and cactus flowers  make appearances in the Sonoran Desert and where you will fall in love with Tucson, a UNESCO City of Gastronomy.

 

·       3 D’s:

 

This trek will be taken with the assistance of BACKROADS and a day-to-day detailed itinerary is provided on their website.  Hence, Management will only provide you with the basic 3 D’s which are as follows:  Distance – choose your own ranging from a combination of hiking and biking of 45 to 105 miles; Days – the activity will be spread out over 4 days; Difficulty – you get to choose your own activity level ranging from easy to moderately difficult.

 

·       Playlist Suggestion:

 

CACTUS by the Pixies.

 

NOTE:  Past recommended TUCSON rides are detailed in the August 2023 and January 2022 Editions of MP.

 

3.        NORMANDY AND BRITTANY BIKING

 

·       Description:

 

This would be an expensive once-in-a-lifetime trek.  As described by Butterfield and Robinson (your tour guide):

 

History comes to life here, and you will too.  Let a deep appreciation for life wash over you as you ride past white-sand beaches and memorial markers, then let the spirit of the people buoy you as you sip Calvados with local nobility. Dive deep into the rich tapestry of World War II history as you explore the hallowed landing beaches of Normandy with an expert by your side.

 

As stated above, this will be an expensive trip, but please note that Management has taken other trips via Butterfield and Robinson, and they are worth every penny.  As stated by Kurt Vonnegut“Of all the words of Mice and Men, the saddest are, ‘It might have been’.”

 

Or as more succinctly stated by Marilyn Monroe“We should all start to live before we get too old.  Fear is stupid.  So are regrets.”

 

·       3 Ds

 

Visit the Butterfield and Robinson website for a detailed itinerary.  The 3 D’s are:  6 days 5 nights; 100+ miles; with a difficulty level of 2 out of 5.

 

·       Playlist Suggestion:

 

This is a video/playlist recommendation, watch JIM RADFORD, a survivor of D-Day, sing a song that he wrote entitled THE SHORES OF NORMANDY.

 

Time for this  Month’s Trivia/Quiz section.  As noted above, this edition is addressed to biking treks that can be taken during “Spring Break.”  This begs the question as to the origins of Spring break.  According to DMANOPEDIA, the origins of spring break can be traced back to the Greek celebration of “Dionysus.”  The Greeks, like their latter day Greek fraternal counterparts, like to blow off steam.  Accordingly, each spring they would have a three day awakening event dedicated to Dionysus who was the God of wine and fertility.  For three days the Greeks would dance and sing, the women would deck themselves out with flowers and the men would compete to see who could be the fastest to drain a cup of red wine.  Playlist suggestion:  RED, RED WINE by UB40.

 

The modern Spring break in the U.S. dates to the mid-1930s when college swimmers started to migrate to sunny Florida, particularly Ft. Lauderdale, to train.  Ft. Lauderdale was home to one of the few Olympic-sized swimming pools and the idea clicked with  college swim coaches.  The popularity of spending a week in Florida during spring break exploded in the early 1960s.  By 1985 more than 370,000 students were traveling to Ft. Lauderdale to enjoy their spring break.

 

Below are some trivia questions regarding Spring break.  The answers to the questions will be in the postscript section.

 

1.         What is the nickname of Ft. Lauderdale?  Party Town U.S.A.; Ft. Liquordale; Sun, Sea and Sprits, Fla; or, Venice, U.S.A.

 

2.         Currently, what are the 3 most popular Spring break destinations?  Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; Panama City, Florida; South Padre Island, Texas; or Cancun, Mexico.

 

3.         Which of the 3 mentioned above is the most popular Spring break destination?

 

4.         The average “spring breaker” spends approximately how much in one week during Spring break?  $550.00; $1,100.00; $1,750.00; or $2,225.00.

 

5.         Which cable TV channel became the first to provide extensive coverage of Spring break?  CNN; ESPN; MTV; or, Comedy Central?

 

TEASE TIME:  The March 2024 Edition of MP will discuss some biking treks that the LS can take on behalf of charities. Hence, next Month’s ed. will be entitled: CHARITY RIDES.  Playlist suggestion:  IN THE GHETTO by Elvis Presley written by Mac Davis.  In 2007, Lisa Marie Presley recorded a version of this song to benefit The Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation which helps homeless families and also contributes to the Childrens’ Defense Fund and Catholic Charities.

 

Time to go, but please remember when making your Spring break trek that:  “It’s in those quiet little towns, at the edge of the world, that you will find the salt of the earth people who make you feel right at home.” – Aaron Lauritsen.  So enjoy your trek and remember to R, R & R!


 


 

POSTSCRIPT:

 

Answers to Trivia/Quiz Section:

 

1.         Nickname:

 

Somewhat of a trick question.  For awhile Ft. Lauderdale had 2 nicknames, one associated with Spring break which was “Ft. Liquordale.”  In the late 80s, when Ft. Lauderdale made it clear that students were no longer welcome in their community during Spring break, the City fathers attempted to change the nickname to “Venice, U.S.A.” due to the 300 miles of intercoastal waterways that are located in the greater Ft. Lauderdale area.

 

2.         Destinations:

 

Currently, the 3 most common Spring break destinations are Cancun, Mexico; Padre Island, Texas; and, Panama City, Florida.

 

3.         Popularity:

 

The most popular Spring break destination is Panama City which hosts more than 370,000 students each year.  South Padre Island has around 150,000 visitors whereas Cancun gets approximately 100,000 students each years.

 

4.         Spend:

 

On average, “spring breakers” spends approximately $1,100.00 in one week during Spring break.  This is more than the average family of 4 spends on food in an entire month.

 

5.         Cable Channel:

 

MTV began its annual Spring break coverage in 1986 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  In fact, Daytona Beach entered into a contract with MTV to publicize Spring break in their city.  As one would expect, once things became a little rowdy,  Daytona cut its ties with MTV.  Playlist suggestion:  MONEY FOR NOTHING by Dire Straits.

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