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Velocipede Verses #3: 'Burbing Woes

I'm an avid cyclist who has ridden 36,000+ miles in the past decade or so. I enjoy sharing the little I know with interested others.


Paddington Burbing

Demonstrative snapshot of a ride called "Paddington Burbing" taken by Freddie Butcher from Sydney, Australia

Demonstrative snapshot of a ride called "Paddington Burbing" taken by Freddie Butcher from Sydney, Australia

'Burbing is a Thing

I think there are probably a lot of riders, like me, who've been 'burbing or doing what amounts to a subset of 'burbing for quite some time. The times have brought out even more 'burbers because the nature of the beast is a relatively long ride that keeps you relatively close to home.

A friend recently shared this article with me and asked if I thought he and I could do it in our small town of Moscow, Idaho in a single day.

We've both looked at it in some detail and I think our agreed-upon assessment is that such a ride is doable, it'd be probably close to 100 miles long (give or take, and depending on how 'efficient' we are, and also depending on how we ultimately define the boundaries) and someday in future we are definitely going to do it.

After reading de Neef's article, "Riding 85 km within 2 km of home: Every street in my suburb without a map," I decided I'd take a page from his training plan and do some practice runs--recce runs as he calls them--in order to better prepare for the big enchilada my buddy and I will do one day. To date I've done two of these "route study" rides.

The first of these was pretty uneventful, took me about an hour to complete, was just a little something I added to my daily ride one day. Thing is, at that point I'd missed while reading de Neef's article the part where he says "no maps allowed."

So when I practiced that first go 'round, I used my Garmin gps in street map mode and I could see where I'd missed a backstreet, side road or alley, and then I backtracked, filled it in and kept on going. That actually saved me from 'gapping' on more than one occasion on that first training ride.

For route study ride #2, which this poem is about, I invested two hours of my life and rode a different, and still relatively small section of Moscow, Idaho. I didn't use a map, and when I finished the route I was anxious to get home and check out the map of my success!


And so that's the story of how this poem, #3 in the Velocipede Verses series, was born.

Hope you enjoy it.

'Burbing Woes

I am indignant

Is what I will say

It’s over a map

That ruined my day

I rode and I rode

My bike all around

‘Burbing they call it

It’s mapping your town

The “rules” of ‘burbing

They do not allow

The use of a map

While riding no how

That is the challenge

You ride in the blind

Your only ref’rence

Your keenness of mind

You ride your bike through

All streets on the map

You are so careful

You leave not a gap

It’s like your front teeth

Unnoticed when there

But when one’s missing

All eyes tend to stare

Terrain Map View of "Route Study #2" Ride

Terrain Map View of "Route Study #2" Ride

So I rode and rode

Just like I have said

Remembered all streets

Up there in my head

Meticulous work

Stopping and going

On straights you go fast

In turns you’re slowing

You zag your way here

You zig your way there

You cover all ground

With utmost of care

Each nook each cranny

Your wheels they must touch

Even back alleys

Though we have nonesuch

What made matters worse

On this given day?

It just kept raining

It rained the whole way!

So ‘magine sir, please

Imagine ma’am too

How you two might feel

If happened to you

What happened to me

On op’ning my app

The route was right there

In red on the map

But also there too

So easy to see

A plain old white line

Where red line should be

I could not believe

That I missed East 5th

It couldn’t be true

So angry! So miffed!

So then I zoomed in

With dif’rent map style

Adjusted my gaze

Blinked, stared for a while

And what do you think

My eyes found right there?

A thing so, so wrong

It caused me despair

I looked at it once

I looked at it twice

I spun my chair ‘round

Then looked at it thrice

I zoomed in some more

Further and further

I thought I just might

Scream bloody murther

What thing made me mad?

What thing was revealed?

I now can say calm

What then I just pealed

That thing in white there

A street it is not!!

You are so confused

It’s a parking lot!!

I am indignant

I’ll say it again

And prob’ly will say

‘Til I don’t know when

I’m mad here you know?

I’m frustrated, too!

Do mapmakers think

I’ve naught else to do?

Than ride all around

Repeat performance?

Won’t give it to them

Won’t give conformance

Won’t do it I say

Won’t do it at all

I’m going to fight

I’ll call City Hall!

There must be someone

To whom I can speak

I’ll make a huge ruckus

Some havoc I’ll wreak

Get satisfaction

By golly I will

This thing cannot stand!

I will not sit still!

I’ll complain I’ll whine

I’ll start a protest

I’ll call this thing names

It’s a hoax! Ah yes!

That’s the right thinking

This ain’t my damn fault

I’ll sue someone else

Full frontal assault

Divert attention

Will be my new game

No mistakes made here

I can’t be to blame

My ride was perfect

That’s all I can say

I was just bequeathed

The map in this way

I’m glad that’s settled

I’m content for now

No error from me

No way, no damn how

It’s a deal, you know

And a big one, too

‘Burbers are ruthless

They’ll throw barbs at you

If you miss one street

Street-misser for life

It’ll cause you pain

It’ll cause you strife

Nanny nanny boo

Is what you might hear

You’ve gapped it, my friend

Is a fav’rite jeer

Perfection attained

Perfection achieved

Will keep shame away

You will not be grieved

Which suddenly brings

To mind this one thought

My stance on this thing

Too crazy, too fraught?

Perhaps I could ride

The whole route again

Not raining today

Though there is that wind

But two hours it took

To ride that whole ride

Redo it again?

Should I just abide?

A man of honor

I am I will say

And do it again

Is the only way

I’ll sleep well at night

Content in knowing

I did the right thing

Can then start crowing

About this cool ride

One day that I took

I covered the town

Each cranny each nook

Still, I’m indignant

I’m just so damn mad

Or is it not that

And really I’m sad?

Or maybe it’s both

Some anger, some glum

Came so very close

To being so dumb

Was right on the verge

Of changing the truth

But I think it’s plain

It takes not a sleuth

A ride I will do

Of that be assured

And I’ve just re’lized

What made me be cured

The one here to please?

The would-be jeerer?

'TIs the rider himself

The man in the mirror


Man in the Mirror

© 2020 greg cain