Tuesday, June 15, 2010

trip photos posted!

our press kit photos

Click on me to peruse the filthy imagery!


It is all over! I am writing this from my own computer in clarksville ohio at my parent's house after finally sleeping in a familiar place for the first time in two months. So, you may be saying to yourself "wait, I thought you guys had two days left not one?" That is correct! We ended up calling it quits in louisville yesterday. Yesterday morning we woke up to the sounds of rain pitter pattering on our tents after an extremely strange evening. We went about our usual routine of packing up our shit, and just as routine would serve... I had a mystery flat on my rear tire which I had just changed the tube the night before after I hit a rock. Mystery flats have been pissing me off extremely this entire trip, but this one sent me over the edge. We were out of tubes for a quick swap, I didn't even feel like bothering with patching it, so I turned to zach and was like "I'm done if you're done." Just so happens that Zach was feeling really nauseous and was about to say he didn't think he was going to be able to ride the rest of the miles anyway as the temperatures for the day were going to be the highest of the entire trip. Not to mention, his ass had been killing him for the past few days for some unknown reason. Basically everything was seemingly falling apart and it didn't take a lot of convincing at this point for us to throw in the towel. We decided we would at least try to ride 30 miles out of west point to the other side of louisville where we would chill at the vans skatepark and wait for my parent's to drive down and pick us up. I decided I didn't feel like fucking with my tire situation, so I just pumped it up and hoped it would still have air by the time we made it to louisville and I could buy some new tubes.

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

2 days to go... Will we make it

I thought this trip was going to get mentally easier the closer we got
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

Big Deuce! GET IN!!

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!

I thought shit was supposed to get cooler up north

What's with this bogus record setting heat wave? Why can't we catch a
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

Today was pure insanity!

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

That's about right.

Last evening in Tennessee

We are currently chillaxing on a state park resort at Paris landing Tennessee. Our tents are of course set up across the street at a camp site, but we are chillin in some fancy hotel lobby where Zach is going to try and score us a free room haha. We shall see about that.

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

Only cool thing in Memphis

Another state down. Welcome to Tennessee.

Here we are in Memphis Tennessee. Home of Elvis Presley and shit.
Today turned out to be quite unlucky all around, but I will get to
that later.

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!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Duck hunt

Greetings from stuttgart Arkansas. Today was our second half day in a
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

To follow up..

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.

PINE BLUFF. the place to be

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

How a vegan consumes 5000 calories a day

A less grueling a schedule has been adopted

This morning we started riding and my legs for real were struggling to
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
back early.

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

Our first real state sign welcoming

The dirt road to louissiana

Two more states crushed!

So finally we have a day worth writing about. Today was the first
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
random find.

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

Last night in Texas. Of course it sucks!

So yesterday I didn't even bother to blog. Nothing really happened. I woke up to a mystery flat tire, this time on my front tire for a change. I broke my chain in Palestine. I luckily had a spare so whatever. We rode in hot ass humid weather as usual. Went 82 miles from I forget where to Jacksonville. We were both completely filthy and soaked in sweat and didn't feel like looking for camping so we got a cheap hotel.

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.