Influence

Baked out of my tent this morning, I finished grocery shopping and cycled out by 9:30 am. Before I left one of the cyclists came over and offered me a German pretzel. Seeming odd, without the background the night before, where I gave him a box of cookies I didn’t want.

One of my psychology courses in university required us to read “Influence” by Cianaldi. I abhor pop psych books, in part due to Cianaldi’s work. Pop psych books, backed by no research, often rely on gut feelings, and relate information that’s obvious, and wrong. Cianaldi’s work speaks to the paradigms and social conventions of individual interaction, backed by research, with a focus on how other’s actions influence your own. In the case of the pretzel, people reciprocate. I’d given him something, and he felt the need to respond in kind. I still re-read this book on occasion, as it reminds me how people interact, and how their actions can affect my own.

His bicycle setup further proof that anyone can cycle. I love high-tech gear, and tour with one of the lightest, most expensive, and carefully-planned gear setups for fully self-supported touring, carefully assembled and upgraded over the years. I’m generally the exception, not the rule. Money is not required for this sport. People tour on 20-year-old bikes from the grandmother’s house and bikes bought from a junk shop, with gear piled on bikes in duffle bags and cardboard boxes. In this cyclist’s case, he saved money by not purchasing panniers, instead strapping the gear to the side of his bicycle – clever!

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Munching away on my pretzel, I planned a long day of roughly 100k, with a big jump at the end from one campground to the next, with several castle visits planned along the way.

Reconstruction had completely rebuilt the walls of the first castle, but a cemetery filled the interior. The second, pretty from the outside, housed a Napoleon museum, so today’s history lesson covered Napoleon and the conquest of Bavaria.

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The local canoe club runs this campground just outside the fortified city of Donauworth. With the Donau (and many other waterways) readily accessible, and canoe and kayak touring widespread, the clubs provide sites for people to camp along the river. While basic, I don’t need much. Donauworth is a fortified city in its own right.

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Soon I need to figure out exactly how to cycle from Germany to Geneva. Right now dusk causes me to hide in my tent from mosquitoes – not conducive to mapping.

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