An Italian Biker and the 1890s Outpost

As I pulled out of the RV park and headed towards my morning espresso office, I racked my brain to try and think of something to write about.  Something a little different then the “lifestyle design” soapbox I’ve been standing on lately, something interesting and compelling.  And, I was at a loss.

I walked up to the coffeeshop/outpost/Jerry Springer live episode and a gorgeous road racing bicycle with baggage expertly strapped on-top sat outside the door.  Remember, I’m in a town where the locals ride bicycles with lawnmower motors attached because they are too lazy to peddle or don’t have a drivers license, so an expensive Italian road-bike is reason to take notice.

Main street in Quartzsite, AZ.

Main street in Quartzsite, AZ.

Inside the coffeeshop is a tall, Italian man ordering espresso, decked out in road biking gear.  Am I in the right place?  Or, better yet, is he? We started chatting and he asked me to pull up his blog on my computer.  He has been riding and posting articles since San Diego from his iPhone and has no idea what his blog looks like.  How fabulous!  His face lit up when he saw his images and his journey through the eyes of his audience.

Lucas is from Italy, just outside of Florence and is riding cross-country on the trip of a lifetime.  We talked over our espresso- finally- someone else who drinks straight espresso in the morning.  Though he did chase his espresso with a cappuccino. So Italian!

I digress.  Lucas said he’s a taxi driver in Italy and had planned on returning to work after his journey, but, he said with a shrug, “now, I don’t know.” He mentioned maybe returning to San Francisco and writing a book.

I just love it!  Here’s a person who stepped back, looked at his life and found this one thing that he must do.  And in doing this one thing, he’s opened up a myriad of opportunities and different perspectives.

We talked a little further and he mentioned his girlfriend who he had planned this adventure with.  He said she was unable to accompany him because she was in an accident back in Italy and had passed away.  “This trip is in her honor.  Its a little sad, but wonderful.”  He said this with sad eyes, but a genuine smile.  Lucas has a warm smile that kind of lights up his whole face.  Refreshing to say the least.

And now the whole picture makes a little more sense.  A bittersweet journey on a bike across a foreign country and the shedding of the past in the process.  Or, at least a little bit of the past.

So, I guess the coffeeshop/outpost/wild-west saloon (I actually saw a fellow in here the other day wearing a side-arm- with a 12 inch long barrel- yea-that’s real) held a little story for me today.  It never ceases to amaze me the people that will cross into our lives during the most mundane or routine events. How many people have you met over coffee or a beer and had your life or your perspective shift- even just a little.  I can think of many in my life.  And, when we open our eyes a little, it seems that life puts a little lesson in front of us or a living embodiment of a perspective or philosophy we are embracing.

In parting, Lucas said goodbye to everyone in the outpost and said, “I see you next time.  Maybe on a Harley then!”  And with a big smile, he put his hands on his imaginary Harley handle bars and walked out the door saying, “Ciao!”

Just fabulous!

The 1890s outpost/office/espresso shop/jerry springer show/wild west saloon.

The 1890s outpost/office/espresso shop/jerry springer show/wild west saloon.


  1. says

    Hi cstreet….hope you are well and you can read this message….thinking of you a lot and wish to know about you….I’m ok and I’m in Italy working and being busy…..looks like my journey was long time ago but you and quartzsite still in my heart…all the best to you and Yor mom and family….luha….

  2. says

    When I arrived in Quartzsite, the day before, I was disappoined because there was nothing that I liked in the city…so many caravan! Then we meet at the old cafe, after our conversation Quortzsite was nice and different…that morning, after I left, for many miles I though at the girl in the cafe….and though maybe I should back…but I did’t, the journey continue…sometime is sad outher times is happy….but makes me in peace day after day…I can say thanks to you for this, thanks because you makes my eys to see in the right direction…and my heart to…
    That is what I says about Quartzsite that evening in Wickenburg on the blog….always there is a reson to go on, always….and you are one of these…
    Thankyou, Luha!

    • says

      Luca! You’ve given me a huge smile and made my day! Thank you so much for your wonderful words! You are one of the highlights of my visit in Quartzsite as well. I’m so glad your journey is continuing forward and our chance meeting gave you a little motivation! Ride safe and I will be sending you fabulous thoughts and well wishes for your journey. I’m sure our paths will cross again and you can tell me all your wonderful stories from your adventure. Thanks again for the words and the smile I’m now wearing! Take care!

  3. Pat says

    “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered with failure….than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much….’cause they live in the grey twilight which knows not victory nor defeat.”
    —Theodore Roosevelt
    This is my all time favorite quote, copied off a poster hanging in an advertising agency in Portland, Maine. I was cleaning offices at night, 30 hrs a week, when I first came across it. Humbling but rewarding just the same. That was above and beyond my carpentry work 40 hrs a week. It enabled me to help fund our wedding and return trip to Alaska with my new bride. A similar message, albeit shorter and more blunt, was on a t-shirt a patron was wearing at the Roar-N-Pour Tavern in Bangor, ME, a couple three yrs prior to that. It simply read: “Go For The Gusto Or Stay The Hell Home!”

    • says

      Wonderful quotes, Pat! Thanks for sharing!! Wow, that’s quite a work schedule to fund your wedding- I’m sure the sacrifice was worth it and then some! Take care and thanks for all your fabulous comments!

  4. mom says

    i looked at his website and wished there was an english version. was tempted to leave him a message.

    • says

      Hi mom! Lucas did mention something about a few English posts- said he originally was going to write in English, but his family back home in Italy wanted to follow him! Miss you!