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Rough Road Ahead By Joe Kurmaskie Summary

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Joe Kurmaskie in his story, "Rough Road Ahead: Do Not Exceed Posted Speed Limit" describes the adventures of a cyclist as he makes his way to Yosemite National Park. The cyclist takes some old men’s advice and takes a “shortcut,” however it proves to be far from short. The author uses setting to cause the audience to relate to and identify with the character, additionally through Kurmaskie's use of description of the desert setting, he exemplifies the effect of fear, exhaustion, and strength on the cyclist.

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In the adventure, the cyclist first feels excitement from his lonely, powerful odyssey. He feels strength from the setting and does not realize the danger he is in. After the first forty miles of his journey he claims, “the sun was beginning to beat down, but I barely noticed it. The cool pines and rushing rivers of Yosemite had my name written all over them.” As a result of his description of
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The detailed setting provides a visual of the cyclist's surreal conditions, the landscape is barren and lonely, the heat and thirst in quenching, and the pedaling is becoming monotonous and exhausting. These realities of his adventure make him realize that, “sometimes life can feel so cruel.” Furthermore, the setting shows the irony of the situation while identifying the cyclist, the cyclist's identity is one that refuses to give up. He tosses out the idea of quitting and laughing at his failure yet he pursues his destination. He toils onwards. The cyclist pushes through the rugged, dead landscape and becomes victorious. “As easily as rounding a bend, [his] troubles, thirst, and fear were all behind [him]” as he approaches an oasis of civilization. The dread and fear of the cyclist and his landscape all pass as he emerges triumphant from his adventure. The description of setting provides evidence of how setting influences the
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