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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

"Handbook For Touring Bicyclists" by Frosty Wooldridge

Oh Frosty, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways... Ah! Hello gentle blog reader! Did you have a relaxing Labor Day holiday? Horseback steeplechase followed by beluga caviar and absinthe cocktails? Yes? It is good to see we have similar "interests". In addition to my various recreational activities, I was able to catch up on some much needed reading. This past weekend's fare was the inimitable Frosty Wooldridge's "Handbook For Touring Bicyclists". If the cover of a mustachioed Lothario in chef hat and women's cut spandex shorts was any indication of this book's value, then I had stumbled upon a potential treasure trove. "Handbook" is a comprehensive A to Z guide for preparing meals while bicycle touring, but written with a rapier sharp wit and sense of humor comparable to a youthful Rich Little or Ray Stevens. It is divided into three parts: "Touring Tips", "Food On Tour" and the always enthralling "Appendices".
In "Touring Tips", Frosty provides the hapless reader with a VAST panoply of different packing lists for different touring agendas. As expected, the always trusty cook stove, fuel and mess kit are dutifully included. However, the wily Frosty throws us a few curveballs with eyebrow raising suggestions like petroleum jelly, frisbee(s) and analog tape recorder (yes, these are actual thing to pack). Oh Frosty, you think of everything... and nothing!
After you've machete-ed your way through the veritable jungle of worthless knowledge in Part One, it's on to Part Two, "Food On Tour". This section is comprised of different recipes that will dumbfound and stupefy even the most experienced bicycle tourer. A "succinct shopping list" includes 65 food items and ingredients you'll need to stuff into your two rear panniers. You'll also need a doctorate in quantum physics as you alter time and space to accommodate your pallet-load of food. But not to worry, a couple Burley Flatbeds (ordered from your favorite Hawley supplied dealer) should accommodate the extra zucchinis, pilaf and falafel mix. All aboard for deliciousness! My favorite recipe is "Sally's Saddle Sore" Tortillas. It's a basic burrito but with a twist: cumin! In addition to the cumin, the recipe's namesake is actually an infected boil on your butt. Appetite suppression? I think not! I tried this recipe last night and the results were explosive.
Part Three is the appendix, or "Appendices". People who use appendices should be shot... with a harpoon gun... on their birthday. But I digress. The appendix is loaded with useful addresses and contact info for companies related to bicycle touring. Unfortunately, since this book's publishing in 1978, most of the companies listed are out of business. Their founders are either dead or ruined, alcoholic shells of their former selves, dreading the inherent misery each new day brings. In conclusion, "Handbook For Touring Bicyclists" is a delightful, lusty romp for readers young and old, alive and dead!

If you've followed all of Frosty's advice, you'll be in the mood for taking your own life. Frosty shows you how!!!

Grizzlies, the blood-thirsty comedians of the great outdoors.
A feverish and disoriented bicycle tourer consumes a rat as he begins his spiritual Vision Quest. This is known as pulling a "Jim Snyder"...


dicky said...

The real non-ghost of Jerry Reed died.

Are you his ghost's ghost now?


dicky said...

Best role ever:

Jack in Survivors

Spankye said...

seriously?? i can't believe people are still buying books published in 1974.

spokejunky said...

Furry bear wants a hug. So misunderstood.