There’s nothing complacent about Keith Reed. After completing two long tours: the first across North America from Acadia, ME to Portland OR via Canada with two nieces in their twenties; the second through the Alps with his two sons; Keith decided to create the perfect warmshowers experience at his home. He began with a portable barn shed with a roll-up door, futon and wood stove, added a lean-to kitchen with bath, then a front porch across the length with a suspended bed for sleeping outdoors, and fire pit for warm conversations deep into the night.
Keith understands that cycle touring is about the people you meet rather than the sights you see. “One of the top days would have to be the first day we relied on someone else. We had just got into New Hampshire. It was pouring rain in a small town. We huddled under a shelter, which turned out to be the porch of a library. While we stood there, a children’s program let out and a bunch of mother’s came out. They decided to take care of us. After some time and phone calls they said, ‘Go down the road about a mile, someone will be there to take care of you.’ We rode in the rain. There was a woman with a parka waving us into her driveway. She took us in, made us warm, gave us supper.”
The night I arrived in Perkins Keith did much the same. The District Cycle Shop in nearby Stillwater sponsors Monday night rides. Keith invited them our way. A dozen or more cyclists sat around the fire trading stories and cycling tips. The only difference was I didn’t have the bad weather Keith described. The group was amazed at the fair weather I’ve experienced in a full year on the road. I am thankful for my good weather luck so far; content to hear other cyclists’ stories of storms rather than endure them myself.
How will we live tomorrow?
“I would have had a different answer a week ago. I am surprised at how profound the election has affected me. The word for me is ‘closer’. We need to get closer. There are more people who will need attention and care. My gut feeling is to pack it up and get out of Dodge, but I don’t want to do that. We will have to live closer.”