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In order as they appear in the book


CHAPTER 0 – Note, there is no chapter zero but this is before Chapter 1.  


Ghost Bike:  A bicycle painted all white and placed at the location where a cyclist was killed by a vehicle.




Tyre:  The British spelling of the word ‘tire’, and how I prefer to spell it to annoy my good friend Kevin who rebuts with a link to the “Siege of Tyre” where Alexander the Great defeated the Persians in 332 B.C.


Crankset:  Part of the bicycle drivetrain that drives the rear wheel from the rotation of the riders legs.


42:  In the book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, we learn that after 7.5 million years of calculating, the supercomputer Deep Thought concludes the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything is..42.


Maennerchor:  Men’s choir in German


Laurentian Divide:  A continental divide in central North America that separates the Hudson Bay watershed from the Gulf of Mexico watershed.


Kensington Runestone:  A stone found in 1898 in a farm field in Solem, Minnesota that was said to prove that the Vikings were in the United States well before Columbus.  Many believe it’s a hoax while others swear to its authenticity.




Bitumen macadam:  Fancy way of saying asphalt in an effort to impress you, the reader.


Marcus Sommers:  Kevin Costner’s character in the 1995 movie American Flyers, who heads west to race the Hell of the West, a national road bike race with his brother David, but ends up dying from an aneurysm before completing the race.


Chester:  A term for a pedophile. ‘Chester the child molester.’


MK-Ultra program:  CIA program where human subjects were given LSD in order to force confessions through mind control.


Operation Midnight Climax:  CIA safehouses where sex workers on the CIA payroll would seduce men and secretly give them LSD while agents monitored behavior behind one-way glass.


Kunlun Mountains:  One of the longest mountain ranges in Asia and the name of the mountain believed to be the Taoist paradise.  Also, the location of Shangri-La in James Hilton’s book Lost Horizon.




March 20:  National Alien Abduction Day.




Abeona:  Roman goddess of journeys.


General Zaroff:  In the book The Most Dangerous Game, Zaroff, a wealthy Russian aristocrat prefers to hunt other men, as they are ‘the most dangerous game.”


Ibogaine:  A psychoactive substance found in plants which is used in the reduction or elimination of addiction to opioids.


Ono:  Hawaiian word meaning “good to eat.”  It is commonly known as wahoo and is a close relative of the king mackerel.


Château d'If:  Prison in Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo.


Ed Gein:  Nicknamed the Butcher of Plainfield, Ed made furniture using exhumed corpses and his murdered victims, along with other ‘trophies’ using their skin and bones.


Acts 2:38:  Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the nam of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’


Duncan MacDougall:  MacDougall attempted to prove the soul had a physical weight.  While using six patents at the moment of death, it turned out one of the six subjects lost three-fourths of an ounce (21.3 grams) at the time of death, concluding the test.




Catch-22:  A problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem


Bee’s knees:  Excellent or very high quality.


Behind the eight ball:  In a bad situation, in a losing position.


On the war path:  Angry, miffed.  Ready for a fight.


Old Man River:  One of the many nicknames of the Mississippi River.


Eero Saarinen:  Finnish architect known for his neo-futuristic designs.


LV-426:  From the movie Alien, a moon thirty-nine lightyears away from earth where 158 colonists were based. 




ATC’s:  Honda trademarked the term “All Terrain Cycle” and back in the 1970-80s, it was referred to as an ATC, now referred to as an ATV.


.-- …. .- - / …. .- - …. / --. --- -.. / .-- .-. --- ..- --. …. - :  First telegraph in Morse Code: “What hath God wrought!”




Bidi Bidi Bidi, what’s up Buck?:  How Buck Rodger’s robot servant Twiki would always great him.


Blue Highways:  Defined by author William Least Heat-Moonr as “small, forgotten, out of the way roads connecting rural America which were drawn in blue on the old-style Rand McNally road atlas.”


Blue-hairs:  An elderly woman with white or gray hair that has been tinted blue.


Minnie Castevet:  Neighbor and member of the local witch’s coven in Rosemary’s Baby.


Athamé:  Ceremonial blade used in black magic arts.


Better than Sand People, with their gaffe sticks and banthas:  Reference to Star Wars when Luke Skywalker came across Sand People and was saved by Obi-Wan Kenobi.


Ravenhurst:  The estate in the movie The Legacy from where Pete Danner tries to escape, but no matter what road he travels, they all lead back to Ravenhurst.


So says the one-eyed cyclist:  In reference to the philosopher Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus’s quote, “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”


Malebolge:  The eight circle of Hell in Dante’s Inferno.




Bivouacking:  A military encampment made with tents or improvised shelters, usually without shelter or protection from enemy fire.


Do it to Julia:  In George Orwell’s 1984, Winston has a cage with two hungry rats strapped to his face.  He must choose between betraying his lover Julia or have the rats released to eat him alive.  He opts to betray Julia.




Frey:  In Norse mythology, Frey is the sacral kingship, battle, virility, peace and prosperity, with sunshine and fair weather, and with a good harvest.




Atacama:  The Atacama Desert is one of the driest places in the world.


Z Team:  Pro cycling team Greg LeMond joined in 1990 and with whom he won his third and final Tour de France.  In 1991, he took seventh and did not finish.  In 1994, he retired from a professional cycling career.




Del Gue:  A mountain man who befriends Robert Redford’s Jeremiah Johnson character in the movie Jeremiah Johnson.


Drafting:  Two or more cyclists ride in a tight single file line, with the back rider taking advantage of the slipstream create by the front rider.




Browns Park:  Originally a wintering spot for the Ute and Shoshone tribes, would later become a preferred hideout for outlaws.  




Laufmaschine:  German for running machine as it had no pedals.




Ass over teakettle:  Going over your handlebars.


Endorheic basin:  A natural basin with no outflow to exterior bodies of water which creates seasonal lakes or swamps.




Recumbent:  A bicycle design that places the rider in a laid-back reclining position.




Beulah:  A peaceful land where the pilgrim (Pilgrims Progress) awaits the call to the Celestial City.


House Beautiful:  In The Pilgrims Progress, the palace, which sits atop the Hill of Difficulty and serves as a rest stop for pilgrims to the Celestial City.

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