Thursday, August 26, 2010
Maximum Speed: 43 mph
Lowest Speed: 4.2 mph
Longest total distance in one day: 96.99 miles
Flat Tires: 4 (I had one at 56th street on the last day after we were back in NYC, and Brian had 3 at different points in the trip)
Bike Shops Visited: 3
Gas Station Pit stops: 8
Illegal/Sketchy Situations: every waking moment
Cliff Bars: 7
Red Bulls: 3 (by me, the other dudes were chugging those shits)
Gatorade/Powerade: at least 2 cases
dogs: 100 - 150 (including a golden retriever that almost took charlie off his bike, and a pack of 12 daschunds)
cows: thousands (they turn their heads and would watch you pass by. so weird)
horses: hundreds (one time we saw a horse with a straight up executioners hood on it's head. it could hear us, but couldn't see us. poor guy)
insects: millions upon millions.
roadkill (in various forms of decay) count:
This day started with us trying to find some short cut to Route 7 through the scraggly network of dirt roads that exist in southwestern Vermont. We ended up riding up-hill for about a half-mile in the wrong direction. This didn't turn out to be so bad because it kind of set us up like a drop-in. A fucking half-mile drop in to a 3 mile descent down a mountain. It was absolutely wild to have started your day in this way. It was, like, wake up, bathroom break, have a coffee (which ruled, being in the woods and all), and then get on your fucking bike and shred. For miles. At close to 35 miles per hour. This might not seem that fast, but becomes interesting once you add 30 pounds of gear to your 30 pound bike. Fucking fun, I say.
This wasn't the fastest we went during the trip. I clocked us doing 43mph on the previous morning. That descent also started on a dirt road, but only lasted for about 1/2 mile. I had off-loaded my front pannier and an additional 10 pounds of shit from my bike that I thought I needed, but (of course) totally didn't. I was a little sketched out because my bike felt, well, better. Anyway we ended up passing a huge piece of heavy machinery that was being pulled by a tractor trailer. Unsafe, but totally awesome. 12 miles later, in Manchester, we stopped for coffee. Then it rained for the rest of Monday, and it was horrible.
Jumping back to our ride from VT to CT: I had low expectations. I generally dislike Massachusetts (fuck the bruins), and Pittsfield was absolutely horrible to ride through. Chud roads, no shoulders, and drivers had their heads shoved directly into their anuses. It was living hell for hours, and miles. We pulled over, checked the map, and decided to barge through the rest of this shitty state.
Three miles (up-hill and with no shoulder) later, we made the right hand turn onto US Route 7, and things changed. The clusterfuck that is Pittsfield disappeared into country nothingness, and the road opened up into rolling hills, and endless descents. The turns were epic. We passed Charles Xavier's School for the Gifted at least 3 times. We hit up an ill bicycle shop in the Berkshires, and Brian copped a sweet new cycling computer. I got up on a new pair of cycling shorts (underlayer), because the new ones I bought had shredded themselves on the morning that we left. Don't ask.
It kept on going for about 45 miles. Even the climbs were awesome, but that was only probably because there weren't any cars on the road. We were riding right in the middle of the street, and it didn't even matter. I had been snacking the whole trip on all types of shit. Cliff Bars, granola bars, shit bars, and tons of gator and/or powerade. I even might've had another Red Bull (before Pittsfield) and I hate that shit. It's horrible stuff. In any event, I wasn't that hungry but Brian was. We pulled over at some random parking spot, which turned out to be a trailhead that will hook you up with the Appalachian trail. We debated about hiking out into the woods and camping on the trail, which would have been tight. However Brian and I wanted to rage it, and chose to keep pushing on. It was only about 6 miles to the next town, and ultimately 15 miles from Macedonia Brook State park, and we had to finish at our original goal. There was no other way.
We stopped for supplies in Lakeview, and charged out. After a short hill climb, we ended up in Sharon, CT. For those that don't know this is where the ultra-elite gather and make decisions that will affect the rest of the population. You might know these people as skull and bones, the illuminati, the federal reserve bank, Bildeberg group, Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush, Halliburton, and all that shit. The place stank of Freemason sorcery. They had expensive driveways, too.
We blew past that shit, and missed our turn because we were in such shell shock from the magnitude of those ridiculous houses. We had to back track (up-hill, again) for about a mile, and then we had to walk through a fucking construction site. The bridge was out, and we had no choice but to walk the bikes through because our tent site was somewhere on the other side.
After crossing we got on the bikes and started pedaling again. The road seemed to jack straight up, and kept on going. This climb lasted for 3 miles, and the road disintegrated into mud and rock. It was wild. When it ended, and switched to downhill it was kind of like mountain biking, kind of. We were cruising at about 30mph down this shit when we saw the sign that said we had entered the state park, and we saw campsites appear out of nowhere. It was also a security-free zone, and we just set up camp without fee, or fear of hassle. It ruled. We had neighbors, a Wiccan couple who shared corn and hot dogs. They were real nice. The woods are fucking rad.
We ate, crashed out, and woke up the next day and rode back to New York City.
The ride through Massachusetts I would have to say was definitely my favorite day of the entire trip. We were surrounded by mountains the entire day and went up and down lots and lots of hills which meant lots of bad ass descents. The weather was pretty much perfect. Not too hot, not too cold. However, it was very cloudy, which I think rules and makes the world look scary. Honestly, the day couldn't have been much better. Toward the end of the day we rode through sharon CT which I have to say is possibly the richest town I have ever seen in my life. There were mansions ALL over the place. It was actually kind of absurd. Matt said he thought it must be the home of the freemasons and that they were running the country from sharon CT. Not long after, we needed to find a place to sleep for the evening. I really wanted to pull up to one of those mansions and ask to sleep in their yard just to see how hard the rejection would be, but I was too lazy to travel the extra two miles down their $20k paved driveway. We instead stopped at some potential hippie house (which I deduced from their subaru outback with a bucket of compost in the back) thinking it would be a sure bet. We were unfortunately denied and had to instead cross a broken under construction bridge by foot and then bike 3 miles up steep ass hills to get to macedonia state park. It all turned out to be pretty awesome in the end as the park was really nice and not near civilization and we met a couple of old wiccans who gave us sweet corn and hung out with us until our 9pm bed time.
The next morning we decided to suck it up and do the last 100 miles to brooklyn in one day. Honestly, 100 miles isn't shit. People get all worked up about centuries... but the way I see it is if you can do 60 you can do 100. You still feel the same at the end of the day. So yeah, the day started off really nice for about the first 40 miles until we started getting in to NYC suburbs then everything just got sort of stressful. Lots of wrong turns and re-routing to try and stay off hectic streets. However, we had to take some shit roads here and there to get things done. Once we got right outside of yonkers things got much more bike friendly as we hopped on a bike path for 8 miles or so which popped us out on broadway which we rode down to 181st street to hop on the west side highway. Basically the trip was over by then (even though we had almost 20 miles to go haha). Once we were on the westside highway we knew we were home. Amazingly, matt managed to get his first flat of the trip with 10 miles to go haha. He made it the entire way to vermont and back with no flats until the west side highway haha.
Anyway, the trip was a success. The first week was kind of boring to me as we just biked through suburbs and farmland, but the last half was super nice and very scenic. I shall post photos soon!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Back in Brooklyn tonight, sucka.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
I'll skip the part about the hamburgers and bacon wrapped chicken carcass, and also the part about the 35 foot tree we pulled out of the woods, broke, and burned. I'll also fail to mention a sweet hike, Charlie climbing up a twelve or thirteen foot tree-bridge jawn, endless games of eukert, and the part about five "bottles" of wine. instead I'll talk about the rain.
the first rain came on Friday morning while we were camped in the backyard of the dude with the kayak on his car's roof. it didn't last that long and wasn't that bad. Sunday morning was another story altogether.
sometime overnight the rain had started pouring, and was off and on throughout the day. the heaviest stuff started coming at about five pm, while Brian and I were hiking back to the tent site. Sabah, Charlie, and eli had left for their "jobs". mortals. pffsh.
Brian and I are invincible, and lucky as shit. we found a package of fire starters hidden in the corner of the lean-to at the tent site. without this we would have surely been fucked, and with it we was able to resuscitate the already resuscitated fire from the previous night. I can say "we was" because I'm from the east coast and I'm all hip-hop and shit. word.
anyway I threw, like, 10 giant logs on the fire and it raged. I can't speak for Brian, but I was actually dry and comfortable in my tent under the shelter. if we didn't have that shelter then we would have had to have slept in the woods in some near hurricane force winds. no bueno. it's all good tho, we were chilling. I made some couscous, and we mowed. the. I read a sin city graphic novel and peaced. I wish I got photos or video of the storm, but my phone was dead.
it was also raining, like, all day today. It didn't phase me at all. I dunno, maybe it was the first descent of the day: 43 mph on winding Vermont country roads, passing tractor trailers, and riding much lighter than previous days. I appreciate Sabah, Eli, and Charlie sacrificing some space in the rental car for me. I left them with about 20 pounds of gear, maybe more.
we made it to Bennington today in about two hours. I had an espresso in Manchester, and then raged the whole way down there. an awesome tailwind and descents that stretched for miles helped, too.
when we got to Bennington we re-upped on groceries, and the we hit taco smell, which for some reason had the best music selection playing inside it. all fifties shit, it totally ruled. anyway I dont eat that fast food, but Brian offered tonpay for a double down if I would eat it, and I said 'ok'. derrrrrrrrrrrr.
then it started pouring again, and we sat it out in an alley on main street in Bennington. there was a bike shop next door, and the owner was cool as shit. he let us take up floor space for a while, and make some small repairs.
after about three hours of waiting we finally decided to barge, and we headed out. rain was, again, off and on. Brian had the whole jam figured out, and took us on this route down dirt roads through some ill dairy farms. he hollered. shit was tight. we got here at this campsite that's hooked up with electrics and agua at about four pm square. I had to buy some firewood (BULL), and we ate pasta and now I'm going to sleep because we got fifty some miles to ride tomorrow to Massachusetts. boom.
I had a gallon of water and a six pack of long trail ale strapped to my bike on the last one , and both of these things were incredibly beneficial at bringing me to a complete stand still. i repeat: the climb up rupert mountain road was the hardest hill climb yet.
merck forest is, basically, a bunch of small steep mountains. nobody is really out there and when you camp there it's lime you are on a mission into the woods. the hike is steep, and you are not allowed to ride bicycles of any sort back there because of this. after climbing up that beast-hill rupert-hell our reward was bombing that trail on our fully loaded (or in my case overloaded) touring bikes. you will read the previous sentence in the voice of Emperor Palpatine. if you do not know who that is then die.
later that evening, and after hiking our bikes back up the hill and out to the visitor center, Sabah and Eli show up. in a car! WTF! how do you get o e of those things jeezus lord have mercy. we hiked, ate, and unfortunately did not jump off of forty foot cliffs into the now water-filled Dorset marble quarry. we did drive past it in the rental car on our way for pizza. this was not as extreme as I wanted to get, but I couldn't really complain because I was still on a crazy caffeine/sugar crash from the red bull Brian stegall made me drink back in Salem, ny.
Charlie told us he once was in Salem, Massachusetts for Halloween and it was wack. Charlie then demonstrated the ill switchback hill climbing technique on ruler mountainhell road. I tried to follow in suit and smashed my fender w my clumsy foot.
that's where this one ends. late.
The weather was pretty damn nice all weekend until Saturday night when it decided to pour rain until the end of time. It rained all night Saturday until I had some sweet puddles in my tent. It let up a bit by morning but drizzled all day which sort of ruled out many outdoor activities for the day.
After ZABAH and others took off matt and I trudged back in to the woods for one more night in the forest. It started raining on us pretty hard during out walk back just enough to drench me to the point of anger. We moved our tents under the wooden leanto thing at the camp site and miraculously found a pack of fire starting blocks hidden in a corner of the leanto which we used to ignite an all powerful bonfire which fought it's way all night through the pounding rain.
While we slept shit got straight bananas in some mini-hurricane bullshit. Trees were falling over all night and when we woke up and walked around outside there were tree bits all over the damn place.
After lugging our gear a mile out of the woods and doing some minor repair work to matts fenders we hit the road starting with a 3 mile descent which was pretty satisfying. Planet earth was still spitting all over us so I was rocking my rain jacket which I have decided does no good. Yeah, it blocks the rain.. But is also traps all the sweat to the point where I am still drenched and even more disgruntled. It was, however too cold to shed the jacket so I miserably peddled all day leaking sweat out of my arm holes all over myself. Those of you who know me well know how I hate being wet. With that said, I was pretty fucking annoyed all day which was unfortunate because the ride today was really pretty. I was just losing my mind after being wet for 2 days straight. Totally not cool.
Anyway, we're now straight chillin at some camp growing south of Bennington vt. The rain has let up for now and I hope it stays out of my life. Tomorrow we will tear up Maryland. BEWARE THE BENNINGTON OBELISK!!!!!
Friday, August 20, 2010
We bombed some massive hills on our way in to eagle bridge (or some shit) where we perched up along side the road by some shitty river and cooked noodles. After lunch everyone realized they were out of water and CHORLIE and I were mega low on energy so we stopped in the next town to get high on red bulls. After that we crushed the next 20 or so miles feeding matt pounds and pounds of dust until he finally caved and bought himself a red bull too which brought him up to speed.
At this point we thought we had about 9 miles left to merck forest, but google was telling us sweet little lies and it was really 15 or some shit. Not only was it way longer than we expected, it was basically all up hill. We of course decided before all this went down that we better stock up on drinks for the weekend. GREAT JOB US!!! But yeah, shit wasn't too bad until literally the last hill, which I am pretty sure was the steepest hill I have ever climbed. I could barely go 20 ft at a time up this 1.5 mile monster before I thought my heart and lungs were going to break my ribs. It was for real no joke. Luckily our camping destination was right at the top of the hill.
HOWEVER, this was not the end of our gruesome journey. We still had to bike half a mile up a gravel driveway before going yet another mile through the woods on a hiking trail that basically went straight down a mountain side. Was extra crazy and exhausting.
We then chilled a minute, set up our tents and ate a little snack before we had to hike back up the trail where we are now sitting around waiting for ZABAH and our friend Eli to arrive for the seemed of raging. Our camp site is really cool and has a huge fire pit as well as a nice lean to shelter thing. Should be an awesome weekend me thinks. I am definitely ready for a riding break after today.
All right! Off to the wilderness for two days! No phone service!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
So anyway, the ride today was pretty easy even though it was slightly longer than usual. We stayed on country roads all morning and it honestly looked a lot like Ohio which kind of bored the shit out of me. We hit up some nice back roads here and there though that were way nice and we could finally leave the confines of the shoulder.
We popped off the road for lunch in some make believe town where, apparently, icabod crane was from. We never crossed any covered bridges so I guess we are still marks for that headless creep lord to ravage us in our sleep. The picnic spot we had was ultra cozy though and totally secluded in the woods. We might have made out with eachother. MIGHT (sorry lady friends and fiancée).
CHORLIE and I chugged some red bulls after lunch and left matt in the dust. He refused to be given wings. Our destination was some suburban camp ground north of Troy ny named makora camp ground. Shit seemed fishy to me when we looked it up and upon our arrival we learned the shit didn't exist. Fucking bummout. I was set on not riding any further so we pulled up to some dudes house who had a kayak on top of his car hoping he would take pity on us as a fellow adventurer and let us camp in his yard. Fortunately for us, he and his brother are stand up dudes. We are now perched up in their woods grillin shit on a camp fire. Eat that Troy.
Tomorrow we are heading in to merk forest for a weekend of cliff diving and other mountain dew sponsored events. Hang ten!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
this a photo from Linda's (from warmshowers.com) with our tents in the background. the bikes lie beneath a cloak of invisibility. I know this because used to be on some D&D shit back in the day.
Thanks Linda, your place is awesome, and thanks Brian for fixing my cycling computer. I mean your cycling computer
The rest of the ride was fairly uneventful. Lots of boring suburbs and cars. Nothing notable. The scenery got much nicer as we arrived at bear mountain where we had to trudge up our first major hill of the trip. Shit was intense on our wicked out of shape bodies.
After climbing and descending the mountain we perched up to camp near HESSIAN lake. There were wild metal heads everywhere circle headbanging all around us wearing corpse paint. It was totally kvlt. Anyway, we stopped and asked some total dick master where we could camp in the area and he was too much of an ass hole to be helpful and basically told us we couldn't camp anywhere. With that said we rode another half a mile and dipped off in to the woods out of site from the road and renegade camped it. Shot turned out to be tight. Matt is king of bougie campers as he whipped out some box wine and proceeded to cook pad thai.
After sleeping for about 10 hours we popped up feeling pretty good, had some breakfast and hit the road again. The scenery to Poughkeepsie was much nicer and more nature ridden. However, Poughkeepsie looks like a straight up strip mall.
We are now off to rhinebeck. Toodles!
Monday, August 16, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
DAY 1 // 8-17 // BROOKLYN TO HESSIAN LAKE
DAY 2 // 8-18 // HESSIAN LAKE to RHINEBECK NY
DAY 3 // 8-19 // RHINEBECK NY to TROY NY
DAY 4 // 8-20 // TROY NY to MERCK FOREST
DAY 5 // 8-21 // RAGING
-camping with friends
DAY 6 // 8-22 // RAGING
-camping with friends
DAY 7 // 8-23 // MERCK FOREST to OUTSIDE OF BENNINGTON
DAY 8 // 8-24 // OUTSIDE BENNINGTON to BEARTOWN STATE FOREST
DAY 9 // 8-25 // BEARTOWN STATE FOREST to MACEDONIA BROOK STATE PARK
DAY 10 // 8-26 // MACEDONIA BROOK STATE PARK to OSSINING
DAY 11 // 8-27 // OSSINING to HOME
HERE IS A LINK TO OUR ROUTE!!!!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Anyway, make sure to keep checking back here in the future because there shall be updates! I will leave you with a quick glimpse of our tentative route: CLICK THIS
I shall post more on this soon. Per usual, if any of you filth hounds out there have friends or family or luxary cabins for us to stay at anywhere along this route, DO holler at us hard.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
We hopped on our loaded ass bikes and slowly rode on to louisville. We were both pretty bummed as we had these grand visions of riding over the bridge to cincinncinati and rolling up to our favorite indian buffet and CRUSHING IT! But all in all, what does it really matter? We biked across the country. That is what we set out to do. We went from san francisco, to san diego, to austin, and now to louisville, which is 100 miles away from our original destination. We went about 3200 miles (I don't know exactly as I didn't get my odometer until halfway through the first leg) which I am extremely proud of. Cincinnati... louisville... same difference!
By the time we rolled in to louisville Zach said he was feeling completely awful and knew he wouldn't have made it anyway in his current condition. We still had a few hours to kill before my parent's would make it down to pick us up so we headed over to bardstown road to hang out for a bit and hit up some bike shops to get some tubes. We straight up headed to the most memorable building of both of our louisville past, the old BRYCC house where we have both seen countless punk and hardcore shows. That shit used to be one of the coolest DIY venues in the country in my opinion and we both used to drive down to louisville, to me what seemed like weekly, for shows. Honestly, I have only been to louisville a handful of times since that place got closed down, so you must know how bummed I felt when we rolled up and it was now a BW3's. WHAT THE FUCK LOUISVILLE?! Anyway, we milled around for a couple hours waiting for kashmir indian buffet to open so we would at least have a piece of our original vision. We crushed that shit, then headed over to the vans skatepark to wait to get picked up. Ps. vans skatepark isn't nearly as sweet as I remembered it from years ago when I used to drive down to skate it at 2am. Shit is straight up snoresville now.
So that's that! Our last day of the bike tour! Not quite as fulfilling as we would have liked, but I am not bummed it is over at this point haha. Shit got pretty difficult towards the end with our bodies giving up on us in the extreme heat and humidity. I'll be writing another post soon to sum up all of the highs and lows. I will also be uploading the photos from my camera so you can all bask in the visions of what my poorly contrived words have described this entire time. So stay tuned! this blog lives on!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
to Cincinnati, however, it has turned out to be the opposite.
Tempuratures continue to rise each day as we rode through 106 degree
weather all day. That shit is unbearable. My body hasn't felt this
weak the entire trip. I usually have a little stock pile of energy
boosts up my sleeve if I need to power up a hill or outrun a dog, but
that shit doesn't even exist anymore. Basically whatever power I have
is put forth only to propel me at my minimum speed. Shit is not
getting any easier! On top of that, we now have friends and family who
could come get us in a couple hours notice. It is so tempting to just
give the call and end it all now.
With all of that said, we biked 80 miles today in the brutal heat from
beaver dam to west point ky. As stated earlier, it was incredibly hot
and somewhat crippling as we had many huge hills to climb. I woke up
to a mystery flat front tire which is always awesome. Then descending
on a hill during our last 3 miles I hit a rock and burst my rear tire.
So now we are camping in some park in west point which has turned out
to be scary as hell due to all kinds of mutant hillbillies lurking
around at all times. Our first encounter with these inbreds was a
young man biking up to us and asking where our girlfriends were and if
we liked "just girls" because apparently everyone in this town is gay?
Needless to say, I am sort of scared he is either going to come back
in the middle of the night to steel my drying biker shorts, or he is
going to bring a clan of hill mutants to lynch us for not camping with
our girlfriends and in turn making us gays.
Next up we have a couple dill holes who keep cruising around the camp
area sitting in their car like with their entire upper bodies out the
windows, driver included. This started as one car then multiplied to
2, making sure to stare at us each time they pass. Not to mention, all
of these freak lords come lurkig up from some gravel road that leads
straight in to thick woods. What the fuck is happening?! Amidst all
this sketchiness, we are also hearing gunshots randomly. Needless to
say, Zachary has stuffed some rocks in a sock just in case things get
Tomorrow we head through louisville and up to Carrollton to stay with
an old high school friend of mine, dean johnson. That is if we aren't
skinned and eaten by hill people. Hopefully I can sleep!
Saturday, June 12, 2010
somehow Brian failed to mention that we crushed it hard all morning to make it to this hotel for USA v England today. We made it and after a tense 90 came away with a big ass point. Holler. There is a taco bell up the block, gatorades in our fridge, and AC blasting us hard. Roughing it? Not tonight posers. Life is good and Robert Green is my bf. Let's go home!
break with the weather this month? Today we biked about 60 miles from
Hopkinsville to beaver dam ky. Tempuratures were blazing around 104
degrees with the heat index. Shit got real sweaty. Turns out Zach is
some sort of mutant with water squirting abilities because he looked
like it had been raining on him solid for about 3 days. Even his shoes
were completely doused in sweat. We can't seem to figure out how he is
still alive with all of the liquid he loses.
Kentucky has brought back the hills. I don't think we had ridden on
any real hills all the way from austin until we neared the Kentucky
border. Honestly, I don't really mind them though because it breaks up
the monotony. Also, I have always thought kentucky was a pretty scenic
state and these last couple of days have confirmed my memories. Lots
of trees lining the streets and many little streams and rivers.
The only hitch we ran in to today was a closed road, which compared to
yesterday was not really a big deal. We had to take a short detour on
a gravel road and that was about it. No sweat. I am pretty glad I went
with wider tires for this trip, as thin shit would not have survived
some of these dirt and gravel roads we have ended up on.
3 days left!
Friday, June 11, 2010
Hey y'all, we're in tucky! And the ride to get here today was by far the most insane shit of the entire trip. I think today was one of the most terrifying days of my life for real haha. The plan for the day was to do an easy 50 miles from Paris landing staten park to Hopkinsville ky but that turned in to a ridiculous 70 miles of obstacles and gunfire.
The morning started off pretty intimidating as we woke up hearing thunder and seeing lightning in the distance. We were pretty sure we were going to get hammered by mother nature but somehow the crazy storms missed us all day. Right off the bat we rode over a huge bridge and straight in to the first of many large hills of the day. The ride was pretty scenic all day I must say, so the hills didn't really bother me.
So the main obstacle of the day was that the easiest and most direct route to Hopkinsville was to go through fort Campbell army base on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee. We were thinking it would be an easy stroll through just like camp pendleton in California so we went for it. However, once we got to the edge of the base we were greated with basically a small bar across the road saying do not enter. We only had like 7 miles to go through the base and the roads we would be taking were sort of on the outskirts, so we figured fuck it, let's just go for it.
We rode about 2 miles in to the base on gravel roads until we saw some signs that said "UNEXPLODRD DUDS! KEEP OUT!". These signs were pretty scary, but we didn't have much further to go so we continued on. About half a mile later we found ourselves coming up on a stretch of road lined with target dummies! It was at this point we decided we better not keep going and tried to find a different route out of this place ASAP. Almost instantly after this decision we here an explosion in the distance. At this point I started to panic and was like "LETS JUST GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE AND GO BACK THE WAY WE CAME!!". I didn't want to risk getting lost, or getting shot, or whatever. We just had to get the fuck out. So as we started backtracking we start hearing machine guns firing in the direction we are heading. With no better idea we kept going that way riding as fast as we could on the gravel roads (which let me tell you, wasn't very fast!). I was like riding with my head super low just chugging but trying not to make any noise. We finally got out of the place and just through our bikes down and paced around collecting ourselves haha. It was soo fucking scary and I was so stressed. All I wanted to do in the middle of that place was freeze but I knew we had to get the fuck out. Seriously, one of the scariest and most stressful experiences of my life. At least it is funny now!
So after we were out of that shit storm we figured out a new route around the base which unfortunately tacked 20 miles on to our day. Not to mention, we ended up riding on some back road that was straight up rocks. Not gravel, big ass rocks. Not to mention, this road was like a straight down hill. How the hell were we even supposed to know if this road actually lead anywhere in the first place? So once the hill got so steep that there was no way we would be able to get our bikes back up it, we got off and walked down the hill a ways to see if it was going to meet up with the next road we needed. We walked quite a while and never saw the end, however we saw a house with a mini van and I figured the road had to get more passable as it went on, because there is no way that mini van took the piece of shit road we were riding down to go anywhere. So we walked back up and hopped on our bikes and headed in to our destiny. Lucky for us, the road took us where we needed to be. Aye aye aye.
Shortly after that we crossed in to Kentucky, which before all the excitemet of the day I was pretty stoked for. However, after nearly dying multiple times the border crossing was just sort of blah. What we now came to realize was that we had about 30 miles left, thanks to our new route, and we were both pretty much out of water. Oof. There of course wasn't shit around for the rest of the day so we just had to suck it up and ride. In the end we had about a 52 mile stretch today with no services. There were a lot of houses around though, so we weren't like completely screwed if we ran out of water. Though it was hot as shit and water was pretty crucial today.
Anyway, we made it! Totally sketchy day, but we survived with only 260 miles to go until Cincinnati. Four more days!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
The past couple of days have been pretty easy rides. Nothing to complain about. We had good tail winds, the scenery has been wooded, shady and nice. Tennessee hasn't been too bad. We got a super cheap motel last night in humboldt which had a pretty large room with a large TV to match. The owner didn't like that we sat our clothes outside in the parking lot to dry so he passive aggressively offered to wash them for us for free. I was confused. Was he mad, or was he doing us a favor? I am confused by his actions. Regardless, free laundry.
The area we are in now, Paris landing, is pretty nice. Lots of parks and Kentucky lake or some shit. ESPN is hosting some huge fishing contest in the park where we are camping. If I gave even barely a shit about fishing it might be cool.
Tomorrow we leave Tennessee and get all up in Kentucky which will be our last state to conquer!!!!! We only have 312 miles left which if we wanted to we could probably crush in 3 days. However, Zach must watch USA in the world cup on Saturday so we have to plan our route with a place to watch it so we will unfortunately have to spread it over 4 to 5 days. Most likely 5. The finish line is so close!
Almost time to get the early bird special on this hotel buffet. I'm about to eat myself silly.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Today turned out to be quite unlucky all around, but I will get to
Yesterday was pretty uneventful. The only reason I am going to mention
it is to give a shout out to this dude Josh that pulled over to chat
with us right outside of clarendon ar. He ended up giving us a ride in
his truck about five miles after warning us about how shady the
bridges to ahead of us are. They were indeed sketchy with absolutely
no shoulder and tall concrete walls to make it even more
clostrophobic. The ride was much appreciated. The only other thing
mentionable about yesterday was how incredibly bored Zach and I have
become with the rides. We aren't even tired anymore, the rides are
just super uneventful and boring. It is difficult to keep going every
day when there is nothing to look forward to.
With that said, today we were crossing another state border and going
through Memphis which was somewhat exciting because we haven't been
through a real city since leaving Austin. However, from everything we
read, it is really difficult to get across the Mississippi river. With
that in mind we tried stopping at many different gas stations to try
to hitch a ride over the bridge in to Memphis. Unfortunately for us,
people in west Memphis Arkansas are not very eager to help out.
Therefore we had to improvise.
We knew there was an old blocked off walkway on one of the bridges,
however we were told you had to take a dirt path to get to it safely
without riding on the interstate. We found this dirt path, but due to
the moist ass weather it was now a mud path. We tried pushing our
bikes through it for about 20 feet before our fenders were completely
clogged with mud to the point where our wheels wouldn't turn. We
clearly had to give up on this idea as we turned back and scraped the
mud off our rigs.
This lead us to plan B of just sucking it up and riding on the
interstate for a bit until we got to the bridge where the walkway
began. As we pulled up we had to get off and go around a barrier
through tall ass weeds for about 100 ft to get on the retired walkway
which was pretty much only as wide as our bikes which lead to a fairly
challenging ride over the Mississippi. Ps. That river is ugly.
So yeah, we got in to Memphis and things were sort of exciting except
that the city is pretty lame. We randomly stopped to get drinks across
from sun records where Elvis, johnny cash and many others made many of
their early recordings. Shortly after that things shat the bed all
over the place.
Our plan was to ride all the way through Memphis so we could get right
on the road again in the morning. Unfortunately, this put us right in
the middle of Memphis rush hour. I had read a lot of shit on the
Internet about Memphis being a non-bike friendly town, and that shit
is dead on true. No shoulders in the city. People have no idea what to
do when a bike is on the street. This all lead to me getting side
swiped by some dill weed in an el camino. I managed to just power
through it as my pannier took all the impact and got ripped off my
rack. I turned around and was all like "what the fuck you idiot" and
dude was straight up about to be a dick when it turned out there was a
cop behind him who yelled at him on his loud speaker. Dude pulled over
and looked all burnt out and dumb at me while I popped my undammaged
quality crafted ortlieb pannier back on. I told dude I was fine then
just took off. Idiot.
Our luck didn't get much better as we tried to go to like 3 or 4
restaurants to eat and they were either not there (thanks yelp), not
open, or out of falafel. I got super disenchanted at this point as we
ended up in an overpriced Mexican place.
Originaly we were going to try camping at our first KOA only to find
out it cost $27. Fuck that man. I am not paying $27 to sweat my ass
off in my tent when or $10 more we can get another motel. So that is
what we decided to do. However, this turned out to blow an ass too as
we pulled up to multpile cheap shits only to find out they had no
vacancy. COME ON!! I just wanted to lay down after this shit day!
Fortunately, ramada had a $39 special and they have showtine and shit.
Big ups. So yeah, moral of the story: Memphis can get flooded with
shit for all I care. Hopefully the rest of our time in Tennessee goes
better. Severe thunderstorms predicted for tomorrow! NICE!
Monday, June 7, 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
row to add up to a full day off. We are in the duck hunting capital of
the world apparently. Today we slept in a bit before heading out of
pine bluff around 9:30 or something. It would have been nice to chill
a bit longer in the mornig, but we wanted to get going before it got
stupid hot. Lucky for us, it was already stupid hot and humid by 9:30.
We only had to ride 37 miles to stuttgart but not long after we
started the tempusature popped over 100 degrees. Pretty awesome! Due
to this heat we stopped twice to chill out and drink cold drinks at
gas stations. We met lots of people intrigued with our trip and were
warned by two people not to go outsid after dark or we will get
wrecked by Mosquitos. That doesn't sound very cool. Fortunately for
us, motels in this part of the country are dirt cheap so we aren't
forced to sleep outside all the time. The unfortunate thing is that
even if we don't want to spend the money on a hotel, easy camping
spots are non-existent. None of the cities in this region seem to have
camp sites or rv parks. We are usually quite desparate to rest in the
evenings, so we typically are too lazy to get creative and find
aomewhere to set up camp. Oh well, this trip is almost at it's end so
a little motel pampering is fine with us.
Tomorrow we will start going at our new pace of 65ish miles a day to
Forrest city. Hopefully these days will basically feel super easy to
us after our usual long days. Estimated 9 days until Cincinnati! Wooo!
Saturday, June 5, 2010
When I finally rode into Austin, my body was just about done for. I had clearly lost weight in that last week.. it was obvious in my face. My appetite was totally gone.. most likely due to dehydration. The last 45 miles to Austin took me like 8 hours.. stopping every ten minutes and dry heaving on the side of the road. I pretty much felt like ending the ride. I think it was a combination of terrible head winds, long stretches between towns for food and water, and Brian and I just being completely thrown off our routine (which up until that point was working flawlessly for me) anywho.. after two days of rest and stuffing my face with food, pedialyte, water, and gatorade, I felt great and good to go again. Our first day out of Austin was hot as all get out but short and smooth. The following days, however, were all big mile days since we were racing to get home by the 12th.. it turns out that my body just can't take that anymore. I think I am again (or still) dehydrated a bit and it is still affecting my appetite. I drink all I can but my body is pushing out sweat at an insane rate that doesn't even make sense to me and I just can't seem to keep up. So there's my explanation for cutting down our miles per day and giving up on getting home for the world cup. It is really frustrating to feel totally depleted after only 50 miles or so when just three weeks ago 100 felt fine but life goes on. It was nice of Brian to attempt to race home for something he doesn't give a fuck about but now maybe I can get over this shit and enjoy the rides again. straight edge.
Greetings cowards. Zach speaking. Big day today. Woke up in our bug covered hotel in Fordyce around 5:30am.. got on the road by 630 with the intention of riding 80 miles to Stuttgart but you know.. fuck that. Rode 40 miles and quit at 10am here in Pine Bluff. So what to do.. strolled a boring mall, went to the grocery, ate veggie burgers, and then went to see Get Him To The Greek. It was alright. It's hot out. United States beat Australia today. FTW EDSON BUDDLE. We did like the short shorts/cowboy boot combo on the girl at journeys. Oh yeah.. we rode through Kingsland this morning which is the birth place of Johnny Cash for all you hillbillies and yokels who are interested in all that. I personally prefer the walk the line soundtrack over his recordings but hey.. anyway I'm going to eat this cereal and ignore Brian for the rest of the night. XXX Arkansas straight edge
Friday, June 4, 2010
pedal that shit. We had a minor head wind, but shit just didn't seem
normal. We rode about 16 miles and took a break in which Zach informed
me that he felt like shit as well. We discussed our future a bit and
it was decided that zachs viewing of the world cup is not worth 7 more
days of struggling through the heat at 80 to 90 miles a day. Womp womp.
So with that said we are going to pair down our miles and possilbly
take a day off. Out original plan was to be home no later than the
16th which can be done at around 56 miles a day. That sounds pretty
damn easy so we are going to instead do around 65 a day and still get
To kick things off we only rode 67 miles today to fordyce. We got here
by like 2:15 and basically just sat around the rest of the day and
relaxed our decimated muscles. The exciting part of the day was when I
discovered mrs. Freshlys makes a vegan oatmeal cream pie. I am pretty
sure this was discovered years ago on some dead hate the living tour,
however, mrs. Freshlys is not sold in the Yankee states so I forgot.
Not only are their oatmeal cream pies vegan, but do are their iced,
and non-iced, honey buns. Fuck yeah! Plus, one iced honey bun is 650
calories. That to me is mind boggling!
Anyway, fuck cycling. I am so bored with it right now haha. I am even
more bored with sore leg muscles. I'm going to get like 8 more honey
buns before I sleep it up. See you chumps in Stuttgart tomorrow.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
enjoyable day of riding I think I have had since fort Davis. Wouldn't
you know a good day comes as soon as we leave that shit dumpster of a
state known as Texas. I can't really express how awful that state is
and the fact that we spent a rather large chunk of our trip there
saddens me. Honesty, my morale was at rock bottom many days in Texas.
This morning we decided to try a new schedule of waking up at 5:30 to
ride longer during the cool hours of the morning. However, that shit
didn't even matter today as it was rainy and overcast the entire day.
Though we got caught in the rain more today than any other day of the
trip, it was a million times better than riding in humid heat. We are
soaked with sweat in the heat, soaked with water in the rain. I would
much prefer being cooled down and wet than sweltering and wet.
Anyway, today was full of all kinds of interesting shit. We took
googles recomendation on a back road which turned out to be a dirt
road for 10 miles. We pulled up to the road and looked down it and it
looked really cool as it cut through a forest and was like a tree
tunnel. The road looked like shit, but we were like "fuck it, looks
tight" and indeed it was. We road that dirt path for 10 miles through
thick forest and a swamp. It was awesome. The only thing that sucked
were the enormous horse flies that bit the shit out of us as we
climbed hills and the occasional sand areas that were hard to roll
That road lead us in to louissiana which was like a dream come true.
Instantly the flies were gone as if they didn't dare cross the state
line. The road became perfectly paved right at the line just showing
how superior louissiana is to Texas. The road was lined with tall
green trees shading us from the sun. It was seriously like a dream
after spending the last couple of weeks in Texas waste lands.
The first town we stopped in across the border was a town called
Vivian where we pulled up to a small grocery store. As we were
checking out I saw a screen saver on a cash register displaying behind
the scenes photos from the recent remake film "the mist". I have seen
this movie a couple times on cable so I began looking around and
realized everything looked familiar. I asked the cashier, and sure
enough this was the store they filmed the movie in. Pretty awesome
We weren't in louissiana for very long before we crossed over in to
Arkansas. We were only in LA for about 40 miles. Once we entered
Arkansas we were both pretty sluggish with 26 miles to go to magnolia.
I decided to try pounding a red bull to kill the last 20 which maybe
helped me go about 10 miles. Whatever, it was a nice experiment.
So here we are in magnolia Arkansas after riding 92 miles. We will be
in this state for maybe 2 more nights before conquering tennessee. You
can't even fathom how exciting it is to be out of texas. Shit.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Today was more of the same but even hotter. I would like to say this is probably the hottest day we have had. I know we breaches 100 in the desert, but with this humidity I feel like this is way worse. The UV rating is high as shit too So no matter how much sun screen I put on I am still getting burned. All in all today was pretty shitty and also boring. We rode 92 miles to caddo state park through rolling hills the entire day which are pretty exhausting in this heat. On the bright side the scenery finally improved slightly the last 15 miles to caddo lake. We are finally seeing trees again.
Anyway, we finally made it to this park and headed through the entrance to go to the camping area only to find it was at the bottom of the hugest hill in east Texas. As we were descending I slammed the brakes and was like "fuck this, there is no way I am biking up this hill in the morning." we promptly turned around and set up camp at top of the hill. Unfortunately the restrooms are at the bottom of the hill and we at cici's pizza buffet for dinner. Shit. Tomorrow morning is going to be unpleasant as we are no where near a bathroom with all this buffet to unload. Oof.
Anyway, it is still hot as shit. I'm laying in a pool of sweat in my tent. I have a feeling I won't get much sleep in these conditions. Oh well! More of the same tomorrow! Hopefully louissiana and Arkansas won't be as dismal.
Monday, May 31, 2010
marquez. The ride was incredibly boring. The plus side was that it was
an easy ride, aside from the heat and overwhelming humidity. We have
been riding up 79 pretty much the entire time which is sprinkled with
small towns every 10 to 20 miles which makes things pretty easy on us.
We don't have to carry any extra supplies, there are cheap diners in
every town that will make us whatever we want to eat most of the time,
and there are cold drinks a plenty. If only there was something even a
little bit interesting to look at. I haven't even had the urge to pull
out my camera in days. Texas is just that boring. At least maybe once
we get in to Arkansas and Tennessee thing will get mega americana and
at least be humorous.
I suppose the biggest plus to Texas is that the people here are over
all very nice. Everyone is friendly and a lot of times willing to help
us out. The rv parks seem to not know what to do with bikers and let
us perch up for free. I will say it is stupidly hot in our tents at
night. Makes for very gross sleeping while wallowing in our own sweat
after sweating ourselves to death all day. I suppose it will only get
cooler the further we go north (I hope).
Anyway, sorry for not posting pictures in a while. Shit is ugly and
unexciting here. No one would want to see this shit. The most exciting
thing in this area is us!
Sunday, May 30, 2010
have asked me a few days ago if I was ready to ride 1250 more miles to
Ohio I would have definitely told you fuck no. However, the past few
days of not riding were just what my body needed. Once we hit the road
today I felt revitalized. My legs felt super powerful and my bike felt
brand new. Before I get in to that shit I want to say some tid bits
On Tuesday I rode my bike around downtown Austin in search of a new
deraellieur. I hit up lance armstrongs joint, mello johnnys, first
which was a failure. I then headed over to bicycle sports shop or
whatever and got straight hooked up. Thanks to shimano having a sick
warranty policy on their higher end shit I got a brand new xt deore,
just like the one I broke, for straight up free. The shop even
installed it for me and gave me some new extraneous parts for free
which was awesome. To top it all off the dude working on it, who was
rocking a suicidal tendancies hat, adjusted it lightning fast and I
have to say it works better than it ever has before. The shit shifts
so damn smooth. This leads me to believe that I had a defective first
xt from the get go because this shit feels amazing. No wonder this
dérailleur has nothing but stellar reviews. Anyway, it is really great
to not shift with my finger pushing the chain anymore. So much better
As for chaos in tejas 2010, I had a pretty good time. It was great
seeing friends from all over the country like Todd and allie, Dennis
and Amanda, Pittsburgh and Philly people... Got to catch up with a lot
of friends. It was also good to see Lenora after our week or so of
separation. I was really happy that she was well and she ovarall had a
great experience on the ride, even though things got really tough
towards the end of her time with us.
As for bands... There were honestly only a handful of bands I wanted
to see or even bothered to watch. Bastard was definitely the crown
jewl for me. They are my favorite Japanese band by far and it was
icredible screaming "MISEREYYYYYYY" along with every other shit neck
in that place. Crow were pretty ripping, but played some stinker
songs. Talk is poison was my second favorite of the fest. Really
awesome to see them. Slang took the prize for best sounding band of
the fest. They had their shit together. Other than that, everyting
else was basically filler. Oh yeah, thanks a ton to bniesz for letting
us take over his place for the week! Was great seeing him as well.
Thank to Ashley too for taking care of me while I was sick. No thanks
for leaving the weekend I came to visit. Coward!
So this morning I couldn't really sleep in anticipation of getting
back on the road. Woke up at like 8:30 and fixed some issues with my
rear fender and put on a new rear tire as that shit was balding like
Nicolas cage. We kind of took our time this morning getting groceries
and making sure we had everything before leaving Austin. We didn't
really get going until about 1pm.
The ride today was pretty uneventful. Boring suburban scenery. We rode
about 42 miles and we were both dozing off from being sleep deprived
the past few days. I don't think I slept a good night of sleep the
entire time I was in Austin. We stopped at an RV park in Taylor tx to
take a quick nap. The dude who runs the place came up and offered us
to stay in his camper for $30. This sounded kind of exciting to us, we
were also pretty sleepy so we went for it. Trying something new!
Anyway, we went to taco bell to chillax and have dinner. Today is the
first day of us riding without a bike map and making up our own route
so we are officially riding through areas where people are blown away
by the fact that we are riding cross country. The entire trip we had
been riding on common routes where bike touring was nothing new to
those towns. This shit was like space travel to the employees of the
Taylor taco bell. They were super amazed.
Anyway, Ima hit the sack early as all get out. Tomorrow we are going
to ride an adult sized portion of miles and not be wangs.
GIVE UP ALL HOPE! GIVE UP ALL HOPE! GIVE UP ALL HOPE!
-inspiring words by crow
Friday, May 28, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Gone solo. I always knew I was the Bobby Brown of the group. So to recap the past two days..
Yesterday Brian woke up having puked himself into dehydration and a splitting headache. He worked himself a ride to Austin and I was left with a choice to make. Initially, I said fuck this I'm getting a ride too.. but then three hours later I decided that fear and laziness were horrible excuses for bailing. So around noon I hit the road alone. The ride? Well it sucked. Painfully hot. Painfully humid. Painfully drab. A set of four 1000 ft climbs in a row. As I was descending the 4th, I saw a jeep w/ cop lights flashing and some cars pulled over. Like any cyclist would do, I attempted to just go around. Duh. Not ok. Pig ran out from his jeep into the road in front of me and I slammed my brakes. This earned me a shove in the breast. When I replied "don't Fucking touch me" I was threatened with a beating I wouldn't ride away from. Nice. Went back and forth a bit before I wised up and walked away. Eventually the road cleared.. there was a fender bender up the road. Big Fucking deal. So I had lost nearly an hour and then what.. thunder and lightning and the sky opened up. Bum out. Rushed to make it to Hunt before dark and look for a camp. No luck. Hunt is posh. Weird. On the edge of the town was a convenient store so I ducked in to get out of the rain. Girl working the counter was some type of alternative and had an anarchy tattoo so I tried to holler and scam a place to stay. No luck. The beard doesn't work for me like it does for my brother. Sooo I crushed more miles into a.town called Ingram and found an rv park. I pitched up out of site behind this dumpster and went to bed. Woke up super early and wad able to get in and out for free. Baller. For anyone reading this considering a bike tour.. rv parks are great and you can almost always creep in after the office is closed and creep out before its open.
So today started off alright. Little towns every 7 miles. Nice. Then around noon.. road closed. Can't pass. Called Brian to help find another route. It was not fun. I don't want to talk about it. Austin tomorrow. Never expected to be riding in alone but I should count myself lucky u suppose. In Blanco, tx right now. Killed a burrito and grabbed a mango gatorade. End of text. XXX
I would have to say the lowest points of this leg were all within the last week. We lost lenora, we encountered horrible head winds, we were let down by the lost finale, and I suffered from crippling food poisoning for 2 days. Other hard times included the second day of the leg climbing in to live oaks springs, the 60 some mile stretch of endless heat through glamis, and the climb over emory pass. I would also have to say the scenery in general for about half of this leg was pretty lack luster. Especially west texas. I really can't think of a more boring place on earth other than maybe kansas. I think by far the biggest bummer for me was the food poison that disabled me from riding the last 170 miles. I am pretty bummed about hitching a ride in to austin, but I guess some things are out of my control. At least zach will finish the ride by himself! Way to go zach.
High points were the views climbing out of superior and emory pass, the insane descents out of the mountains, walking around the dunes of glamis, the rolling hills crossing in to new mexico from arizona, the abandoned towns outside of el paso, and the nice people who helped us out in various cities with places to stay or whatever.
Would I ever ride this route again? Probably not. Maybe on a supported tour where I could just blast through on a rode bike at 25mph. But I think I am content with only doing it once haha.
So zach and I have ridden somewhere around 2200 miles so far. We have 1 leg left to cincinnti which is around 1200 miles. I can't really imagine this last leg to be very exciting really. As zach has put it, "this leg will be all business." We are changing things up quite a bit for this one by not following any sort of cycling map and sort of just winging it. I have planned out a route and have written down directions, but in general we don't exactly know what to expect. The plan for this leg is sort of just to straight up kill it and ride as far as we possibly can each day to get to cincinnati as quickly as possible. Zach is trying to get home for the world cup on june 12th at 2pm. We'll see how that goes haha. If we can do at least 100 miles every day we should be able to do it. If the weather doesn't shit all over us this goal is realistic.
All right, it's time for me to finally go get a new working front deraellieur and try to eat a real meal for the first time in 2 days. See you filth nasties at chaos in tejas! No riding until sunday! bye bye for now
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
let down. What a cop out ending. Anyway, yesterday's riding conditions
actually improved quite a bit from the days before as we switched
directions and began heading north. It was still super windy, but at
least it wasn't in our face for a change. We rode about 25 miles and
stopped for lunch on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.
Almost imediately after lunch I started feeling pretty weak and
shitty. We rode another 25 miles with me feeling like shit before
stopping in camp wood for lunch.
After lunch we hopped back on our bikes to head in to the mountains
for leakey. We rode about 3 miles before I had to stop and lay down. I
was feeling like complete shit and thought I was going to puke. I laid
on the side of the road for about 40 minutes until we saw a wall of
rain coming straight for us. It had been raining off and on all day,
but this wall was no joke. We jumped up and ran to a nearby bridge in
which we used for shelter. All of this running ended up doing me in
unfortunately. I started vomitting all over the place and feeling
We decided the best thing to do would be to head back to camp wood and
let me rest in a motel for the evening. For the rest of the day I
basically laid in bed until it was time to puke again. This went on
all night. Shitty. Mother nature doesn't want us to bike to austin.
So today I am feeling much better, but I still got that pee butt and I
am pretty sure I am dehydrated from all the vomitting. At this point
with losing this day the chances of making it to Austin on time are
pretty slim. I am unfortunately going to have to get picked up by my
friend Ashley who lives in Austin with only 170 miles to go. It realy
sucks because now I feel like I am cheating. I guess shit happens. Oh
well I guess... It is only 170 miles of the 2100 we have already
Monday, May 24, 2010
means only 60 a day to get there in time for the fest. That is totally
doable, though if the winds don't let up will be quite exhausting. Let
me tell you, if those winds do let up we will most definitely crush it
and get there by Wednesday for some nap time. Otherwise, I'll be
napping until talk is poison on Thursday.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
it isn't going to let up for at least 2 more days. This shit is
torturous. Today, however, was supposed to be the strongest winds of
the week so it should only get easier.. Though it will still suck for
a couple more days.
Our original plan was to take the day off in del rio today to sit out
what was supposed to be the final, and worst, day of winds. To our
dismay, we checked the weather report this morning to see that the
winds were going to shit all over us for days to come. This sort of
forced us to ride today to decrease the mileage for the next couple of
days just to make it bearable.
The day started off imediately like shit. I tried installing my new
deraellier first thing in morning only to find that dude in alpine
sold me a deraellieur with missing parts. I tried to install it anyway
and use some spare parts to get it working only to have wasted 2 hours
and make myself completely furious. I ended up just taking off all
signs of front shifting capabilities and plan to just deal with this
shit in Austin.
We finally got out of the hotel right around 11am. Right out of the
gate I pulled up to a stop light and straight fell over straight on to
the street because my foot got stuck in my foot strap. Zach thought I
passed out, which I suppose could have been possible with the way shit
was going. Real dumb.
Anyway, we started riding and it was misery as usual. The only
highlitght of the day was a 10 mile stretch where we slightly turned
north and the wind was less in our face so we didn't have to try quite
as hard. However, after stopping for a Short break, we had to go south
again which made the day agonizing again. Shitty! All I could think
about at this point were the emergency days off we spent in safford
and van horn where we had incredible tail winds and we didn't take
advantage of them and now we were doing this! Fuck us!
We only went 30 miles today due to the next city being way too far to
get to in these conditions. We stopped here in bracketville and got a
hotel at this weird fort resort thing so we can watch lost. This will
be our last opportunity to use lost as an excuse to get a hotel haha.
Oof! Anyway, this place is pretty cool and has a sort of natural
swimming pool thing that we swam in for a bit after goingn to some
restaraunt where they made us off the menu vegan food. A pretty nice
ending to a super exhausting day.
Time to watch lost! Holy shit!
Saturday, May 22, 2010
against brutal head winds yet again. However, at times the winds were
much stronger than the past couple days.
Firstly I will mention that it is very hard to sleep when the wind is
pummeling your tent all night long. Shit is loud and at times
worrisome that your tent is going to get blown away. I was even scared
we were about to be caught in a tornado at some point as the winds
were that strong. Besides all that, we woke up at 6am only to find
that it was raining. Luckily it let up after about an hour so we began
to mobilize around 7. We ate some chips and pretzels for breakfast, as
they were all we had, before heading out against severely strong winds
and 100% humidity. The humidity was almost as bad as the wind. It was
sort of like riding through jello. Everything was wet and my hair was
just dripping all over the damn place.
We miserably struggled through this shit for about 12 miles. After
about 4 of those I was more exhausted than any other point in the
entire trip. Since we both felt like dying we decided to try to hitch
a ride. No one would bite and we weren't exactly trying very hard to
look desperate. That is until the bolts holding my rear rack broke
off. I guess with all the weight and the strong ass winds pushing on
my panniers the bolts couldn't take it. So here we were with a
legitimate reason to hitch as I could no longer carry my shit. Lucky
for us it wasn't long before an old man named Melvin picked us up and
drove us 15 miles to the next town, comstock, where he lived. He had a
huge tool shed and helped me get my rack back in order with some wire
and a new bolt. Thanks Melvin! Thanks to weiner dog too!
We were now ahead of schedule so we chilled and had some shitty lunch
at a small restaraunt in comstock. The food was basically freezer
food, bet it wad better than what we had been eating. From this point
we had 30 more miles to our destination of del rio. We decided the
best way to handle it was to straight kill it and ride as hard as we
could to get it over with. I suppose you could say it was like
removing a band aid. It is either over quick and sort of painful, or
slow and sort of torturous.
Our method worked out fairly well. We both pushed hard as shit and
knocked out the 30 miles in about 3.5 hours. I must say, those were
the most intense 30 miles I have ever ridden. We were both completely
spent by the time we were finished. Fortunately, del rio has a super
cheap motel six for $30 and we were stoked to chillax in it. We both
needed to get out of the wind so we could actually sleep tonight.
So now our new pickle is that tomorrow the winds are supposed to be at
their strongest and we are both physically drained. We feel like
taking a day off to rest might help with upcoming days, however, the
wind may not go away by monday and if we don't ride tomorrow we will
basically be gambling and could easily screw ourselves. Oof!
On a brighter note! Tomorrow is the series finale of lost! We will
HAVE to get another hotel to watch it.
Deep down the Fresh Prince always seemed to appreciate everything Aunt Viv and Uncle Phil did for him. Every compromise and every sacrifice. I hope in the future we can all learn to do the same. In the meantime, Brian and I continue to battle mother nature in our rush to make up for lost time and reach Austin before this warped tour or whatever hippy fest he is attending. We have another couple days before our brutal headwind subsides. The plus side is that we will head north sometime in there and the winds can do fuck all about THAT.
Woke up in our sweaty wet tents this morning after an on and off sleep. Heavy winds and some rain kept me up. Ate our slim breakfast rations of pretzels and chips then jumped into the shit. Brutal headwinds. Yes.. you get it. Headwinds. Did I mention the wind? Shut up. Brians rear rack busted. Piss off, tubus. Had to hitch a 15 mile ride to Comstock with our pals Melvin and his weiner dog. I think Melvin is about the age of Jacob from Lost. He was a huge help and even helped fix Brians rack in his tool shed. That shed was massive. Massive.
Out of comstock we just decided to ride as hard as we could the rest of the day as we were desperate to end the nightmare. It worked. Amistad was lackluster. Del Rio is where we are. We ate Chinese buffet and Nascar oreos. What? Yes. Exactly. Mhmm. Well. Whatever. Feels good to be straight edge in Texas.
Friday, May 21, 2010
start off with the bad news. Lenora unortunately has dropped off the
trip. Due to the schedule getting down to the wire and her knee
problems not getting any better, she has been struggling to keep
going. Unfortunately, we are unable to extend the schedule to a
comfortable pace as our emergency days off have worn too thin.
Yesterday we broke our mileage record again by going 112 miles from
fort Davis to sanderson. I woke up to be the recipient of the days
morning mystery flat, which has become quite the ritual lately. We
were served breakfast from our wonderful hosts before hitting the
road. The day started off pretty well, the ride to alpine was fairly
scenic. Once we got to alpine we hit up the grocery and a bike shop so
I could get a new deraellieur (which I still have not had time to
After leaving alpine the rest of the day was pretty boring. The ride
was pretty easy until we got about 15 miles outside of sanderson where
we got caught in an awful head wind. We were already exhausted so this
was like the nail in the coffin as we were almost there. During that
15 miles I seriously thought I wasn't going to make it. This is the
first time of the entire trip that I seriously didn't think I could go
on. However, we all struggled through it, but by the end everyone was
super cranky. That day ended up being the deal breaker for Lenora
However, lucky for her, today was much much worse haha. She definitely
chose the right time to dip out because today was for real the
absolute worst day of the entire trip.
We got up after sleeping terribly due to loud ass winds all night and
traffic from the nearby road. Also, it was humid as shit so everytime
I woke up my entire body was covered in slime. Anyway, we got our shit
together and started riding only to realize we had the same exact
shitty head wind and we were most likely going to have it all day. Let
me tell you, this was by far the strongest head wind we had ever
ridden in. It was even worse than the night before when I thought I
couldn't go on.
With no other choice we kept going at an exhaustingly slow pace. We
rode about 20 miles before stopping in dryden to get some lunch. The
only thing in the entire store that we could eat was condensed cambels
tomato soup which we ate straight out of the can dipping peanut butter
crackers in it.
We consulted the map to see how far it was to the next town only to
see that it was 40 miles. We still really had no choice but to ride
even though we were both already dead from the first 20. Lucky for us,
the winds only got stronger as the day continued. It seriously felt
like we were getting physically slammed by boards or something as we
were getting plastered by 20-40 mph winds for 40 miles. My favorite
points in the day were when I was pedeling as hard as I could down
mega descents only to go 9mph. These were descents that I would
regularly go 28 to 34 down. Unreal.
With 20 miles left we had to climb 3 large hills that would have been
difficult with no wind. At this point the wind was stronger than any
other throughout the day. We were going about 4mph up these hills
pedelling harder than I think I ever have. Our bodies could no longer
take it at this point so we decided to walk our bikes up the hill and
attempt to hitch a ride for the last 10 miles. We couldn't get anyone
to stop so we sucked it up and destroyed ourselves all the way to
whatever small town this is.
The map showed that the town has a grocery store so we were so stoked
to get there and eat everything they had. However, after climbing yet
another hill to get tocthe grocery we were greated with a "closed"
sign that said they closed at 5. SHIT!!!! We barely had any food so we
resorted to eating a can of spaghetti sauce and some leftover chips
from lunch. There really was no good spot to camp in the area so we
just set up behind the store hoping to drop in as soon as they opened
in the morning, otherwise we wouldn't have shit to eat for half of
tomorrow. Luckily, the store owner showed up to get somethig so we
popped in to buy what little offerings they had. Hopefully what we got
will last us until the next store...
So yeah, today was awful and the forecast for the next 3 days is
exactly the same. So we are in for a real struggle. Today we did 60
miles in 11 hours which is pretty gnarly. We have shuffled around
some miles and think we have a new plan which should get us in to
Austin by Wednesday night. Shit is going to really suck for the next 3
days though with these winds. Hopefully our bodies can take it. Oof.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
After we checked in to our hotel I popped out to walk to the grocery to get some snacks when I saw a punkish looking girl walking across the street who totally looked out of place. We both sort of eye balled eachother until she crossed over and guessed that I was biking cross country as I didn't look like I should be in that town. Her name was Shay and she was walking cross country from Santa monica or something. Anyway, we chatted a bit and she seemed stoked to meet a like minded individual as she has been travelling on her own. I invited her to come hang at our hotel room if she got bored later (however, I informed her we were only in the hotel to watch lost that evening. Luckily she showed up before it came on). Anyway, she came over and we shot the shit and it was cool to meet her. She also has a blog if you readers want to check it out. Www.Fakeplasticshay.blogspot.com
Now, back to today. We got out the door for the most part on time and problem number one struck early. Zach had a flat. We fixed that shit then raged out of van horn on some frontage road and were in Kent tx in no time. So a few days ago we ran in to some bikers going the opposite way than us and they warned us about how Kent had Jack shit other than alcohol and beef jerky. They were liars. It was like a Gatorade utopia in there. We were all stocked out of our minds thinking we wouldn't see shit all day. Well Kent was a fine stop. So all you hatred can step off.
We perched up in an abandoned school house right off the Kent exit for lunch and I had noticed my deraellier was acting funny again. I wheeled my bike up in the dirt to adjust only to blow out my tire on a broke bottle. Sweet! After I changed my tube it turned out my skewer was also wonky and it was hard as shit to put my wheel back on. The icing on the cake was that when I went to adjust my deraillieur I found out it was truly broken this time. The arm snapped in half. I furiously decided to just take the damn thing off and ride without it. Just so happens it was the least awesome day to not have a front deraillieur as we were biking through the mountains. Luckily, I experimented a bit and figured out that I could easily shift down with my foot and up by bending down and popping the chain over with my finger. Not really a perfect process, but it works for now until I find a new deraillieur. I rode 50 mile theough the mountains like that and honeslty it
wasn't too bad. Who needs a front dérailleur anyway?!
That aside the ride was exhausting. We had brutal head winds while climbing all day. Once the head winds let up we had to climb super steep shit. I also was periodically getting mystery flats which I believe are from clbimg in the extreme heat with too much weight. I had to stop and pump up 3 times.
After, we finally got out of the mountains we were about 9 miles to the end of our 94 mile day when lenoras tire goes flat too. All three of us got flats today! I had multiple! So shitty. So we changed her shit and started riding again and I noticed my skit was flat yet again. At this point I justnpumped it up and rode off furiously for the last few miles to the town.
Fortunately the day ended wonderfully. We made our first successful use of warmshowers.com and are staying with a great couple here in fort Davis. Susan and matt welcomed us in to their home with dinner ready and towels for showers. They even read in our blog that we were vegan so they accomodated by buying us daiya cheese to put on the delicious vegan food they made us. They offered to loan me a dérailleur or drive me to the bike shop in the morning in the next town over. They even recorded lost for us as we were originally supposed to watch it last night. We couldn't ask for better hosts. Thanks so much if you are reading this. Oh yeah, and they just so happened to have 2 spare queen size beds. Get out of town! We will have to try warm showers more often!
Anyway, I gotta sleep. Supposed to break our mileage record tomorrow. Hope I don't tear off my finger in my chain ring haha.