Thursday, April 10, 2014

Crazy Guy on a Bike

The people you meet on Ocracoke!

My son-in-law, Fiddler David, was on tour with Molasses Creek recently. He returned home Monday on the Cedar Island ferry. Crossing the sound, David met Mark, a 49 year old cyclist from Germany who has been on the road for three years. We invited Mark for supper Monday night & Tuesday night. What an interesting guy.

Mark with his "naked" bike

Mark worked at a VW plant back in Germany. One day he just decided that the sedentary life was not for him. So he got on his bike and started pedaling. I am not sure about everywhere he has been, but he told stories about Europe, New Zealand, and the United States. Mark has covered more than 21,000 miles on his bicycle.

Mark has no long-range goal. He simply decides as he travels. I joked that he was like Yogi Berra who said, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it."

Mark posted this 7:43 minute video on his website (

Mark is something of a philosopher. We talked about freedom...the freedom of biking around the world without an itinerary...and the freedom of the settled life (not worrying about finding a place to sleep every night).

He posted this quotation by Victor Frankl on his website:

"The more a person concerns himself with pleasure, the more it recedes.
The more he pursues happiness, the more it eludes him.
To understand this, we have to overcome the popular misconception that happiness is one of man's Basic wants.
What he actually wants is a cause that allows him to be happy. Once a cause has been established,
the feeling of happiness will appear of its own accord. To the extent, however,
that man aims at happiness directly, he loses sight of established cause,
and the feeling of happiness will collapse in itself. In other words, happiness is a by-product
and cannot be approached directly".
-Victor Frankl-

Here is the original quotation, auf Deutsch:

"Je mehr er [der Mensch] nach Glück jagt, um so mehr verjagt er es auch schon.
Um dies zu verstehen, brauchen wir nur das Vorurteil zu überwinden,
daß der Mensch im Grund darauf aus sei, glücklich zu sein;
was er in Wirklichkeit will, ist nämlich, einen Grund dazu zu haben.
Und hat er einmal einen Grund dazu, dann stellt sich das Glücksgefühl
von selbst ein. In dem Maße hingegen, in dem er das Glücksgefühl direkt anpeilt,
verliert er den Grund, den er dazu haben mag, aus den Augen,
und das Glücksgefühl selbst sackt in sich zusammen.
Mit anderen Wort, Glück muß er-folgen und kann nicht er-zielt werden".

Mark left the island this morning. Happy Trails!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a reprint of a 1948 article about the Mail Boat Aleta, "Boat Hauls Mail, More." You can read it here:


  1. Julie S7:52 AM

    I'm curious. How did Mark come to find Ocracoke?

    1. It was pure serendipity. He doesn't get on his bike with any goal in mind. When he comes to a fork in the road, he takes it!

  2. Anonymous8:31 AM

    I'm sure it was in the stars. ;)

  3. I hope Mark comes my way as he takes the fork into a small mid-western town!

  4. Because do not use any travelbook, Phil talk right, i had "forking" Ocracoke. David and Phil are very nice and interesting people, i really enjoyed them.

  5. a good posting..
    i like it