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initiated 4-6-08

What in the world is a MAP check?

That is what I wanted to know almost forty years ago. I never did get to find out what a MAP check was, but I came very near getting a ticket for my attempt to find out.

Shortly after the '70's began I took my first long bike ride. Well, not actually my first, but nearly so. My first trip was a 120 mile bike ride from about L.A. to San Diego. My fencing team was having a meet at one of the colleges, and instead of riding in a car with the team, I decided to ride my bike. I left very early the day before the meet, and slept off the road in one of the hills between the two towns.

Since the meet began fairly early, I was late. But not too late as it turned out. I arrived just in time for my first match. In fact they stopped everything and waited for me to shower and dress in my fencing togs.

(I guess I was a celebrity of sorts since it was unheard of for someone to ride a bike that many miles to a meet. My celebration didn't last long, however).

With a hail of hardy: "Come on! Hurry!!'s," I scurried up to my fencing strip and hooked myself up to the electronic score box. After a quick salute, I donned my helmet, and the match began. Less than two minutes later my opponent had made all five of the mandatory hits on me for him to win the game. I ripped off my helmet, shook his hand and said: "I hope I didn't wear you out." (He hadn't even worked up a sweat the match was over so quickly), and I was out of the game altogether, dragging my teammates with me.

My second ride. I took a vacation from the factory I worked for and rode my bicycle north through Bakersfield, then over the mountains to Paso Robles, then back to L.A. This trip was 800 miles. In Corcoran I stopped and visited my cousins I hadn't seen since childhood. They were very glad to see me! They had an old, old truck with no brakes (I found out later) and no one to drive it to the cotton fields where they were picking cotton with their big machinery.

What about the MAP check??

I'm getting to that now. Be patient.

Soon after I returned from this bike ride, the factory I had worked for went on strike. We expected the strike to last for months, which it did, so I decided to take a bike tour. I headed over the Black Hills (Don't let the name fool you, they were mountains), around Los Vegas, where I thought for sure I was going to die of thirst riding next to Lake Mead, on to Zion National Park, then Jacob Lake on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, then down, around the canyon, and up the 5,000 foot climb to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, where I blew an emotional fuse and was going to abandon it all, I was so tired. (The details I will share later, I'm only hitting the highlights so I can get to the MAP check.)

After a five day stay at the Canyon, I zoomed down the mountain to Phoenix, had a tail wind pushing me 125 miles to Yuma (that was my longest day), and tried to find somewhere off the ground to keep the scorpions, rattle snakes, and Gila monsters out of my sleeping bag. I finally found a bill board with a foot rail about 6 feet off the ground. It was two boards laid across a cross member where the sign painters stood to repair the sign. I locked my bike to the posts, climbed to the boards, slept in my bag with my arms dangling over the sides to keep me steady, and hoped I didn't roll over in my sleep and fall the six feet and land on my head.

I woke up in exactly the same position I fell asleep. Had I not, I fear I wouldn't be here to tell you this story.

Then, back to the highway.

All through Arizona, and the Eastern part of So. Cal it was legal for bikes to ride the freeway because there was no alternate route. I finally reached a turn off where there was a side road a few miles east of San Diego. There before me was a big sign that said: "No bicycles allowed on the freeway." But just beyond that sign was another sign that said: "Map check two miles ahead."

Just a couple miles, I thought, no one will care. For some reason finding out what a "Map check" was, was very important to me.

So I continued on the freeway.

I hadn't gone 20 feet and there was a red light behind me. I pulled over and the young officer approached me like I was Jesse James and he had just witnessed me rob a train. While he sternly bawled me out ("These hippies think they can ride any where they want to" was the gist of what he was saying), I real friendly-like told him about my trip, how exciting it was, and in general portrayed myself a traveler, and not a local hippie out for a joyride.

The officer eventually cooled down, decided not to give me a ticket, and told me to walk my bike down the ramp to the side road. I did so. And I never did get to find out what a Map Check was.

So I have started my own MAP check.

Why did I start my own MAP check? Because perhaps there is someone in this big, wide world who might be interested in my journey to seek out a MAP.

By the way. This was not the only time I was caught riding my bicycle on the freeway. No indeed. But the other time, don't you know, the officer wasn't looking so kindly on me and I was given a ticket. I held on to that ticket for a long time, and when someone would ask me for what reason I got a ticket, I would tell them it was for speeding on the freeway with my bicycle.

In some ways it was worth the 75 bucks I had to pay the "man."

Enough about bicycles and freeways. Maybe there's something else I can talk to myself about. Yes, by golly, I do believe there is:

Do I have the attention of anyone out there in cyberland? If so, and you would like to learn more about the foolhardy adventures of misguided Tumbleweed, read on.

MAP Check?
What is MAP Check, and why?

As hard as it to believe, not everyone who writes books and articles such as appear here on this website are educated. In fact, I am far from educated, especially in the field of writing and the English language. In order to compensate for my lack, I need editors (or an editor) to help me smooth over my rough drafts. MAP is aid to do just that. MAP is an area where I store unprepared junk manuscripts that are likely to never be published in the form they are in. In fact, they are not real documents at all, but rather unworked articles that are merely taking up space on this website.


All past updates have been deleted to make room for new updates.


MAP update 4-7-08 .

MAP update 4-8-08

MAP update 4-9-08

MAP update 4-10-08 .

MAP update 4-11-08

MAP update 4-12-07

MAP update 5-13-07

MAP update 6-14-07

MAP update 8-15-07

MAP update 11-16-07

MAP update 1-17-08

MAP update 2-18-08 .

MAP update 4-9-08 .







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