Archive for August, 2009
I’m still in CA for another day. This bike made it strong from NY to LA and then some on a few rides up over 9000 feet elev. in and around Mammoth Lakes,CA. Now it’s packed up in a box and I’ll be on a flight back to the East coast time zone by this time tomorrow. Being away from the riders I spent the last two months with feels weird at first. Like it felt strange to always be around them at the beginning. Back to real life soon. But lucky for me I’m going back to getting paid to ride a bike after getting paid to ride my bike so the transition will be a smooth one. Maybe the biggest difference will be that I’ll know where I’m going and I won’t get lost getting there. And I’ll be able to play bike polo on the weekends. I’ve played just 3 time since June 21st. Once in AZ and twice in CA (a full day with 818 and one single game in Long Beach) I have photos from all three that I’ll get around to posting here after I get back to my own computer.
Well, I just have a few minutes here so I just wanted to remind my friends I’ll be adding a load of ride photos soon.
The ride is about over and I have a list of cities I’ll be visiting in the next month. Mammoth, Dayton, Philly, Madison, and of course NYC. I can’t wait to be back in New York.
I want to say thanks to 42 Below for putting on a great ride. This was a great way to spend the summer. Some highs, some lows but it was something different. I met my goals of getting tons of photos, Getting paid to ride my bike, and traveling with a group (vs. traveling alone). The support was above what I expected. I started out riding with my panniers but since the half way point those things never left the truck. The hotels we stayed in were great. Holiday Inn *Express* were the best by far. Killer beds and the breakfast was on point! Even some of the dumpy (Guin, AL) motels were pretty great in the way crappy motels can be. The Hostels (Austin, Tuscon, and San Diego) were the best indoor places because of the people and the community feel of them. More camping would have been fine by me, but that’s just because I like my tent and like to camp. Also the food and water. I must have drank and ate about $1000 in snacks and H2O along the way. Never expected so much support like that. It made the ride so much easier. Thanks. I guess some of that came from the sponsors, Arizona Vapor Water, Clif Bars, and E-Boost (I boosted some E’s for sure). The crew made sure the vans had fruit for us and bought water to fill the big jugs in the vans. I probably drank tap water 5 times in the last month. Where as with my other rides (tours really) I drank strictly tap water and some of it was nast. And the Rapha Jacket. I saw one for sale at Mellow Johnny’s for well over $200. So thanks for that hook up. I don’t think I wore it more that twice (on the SOUTHERN route) but still, I’m sure I’ll wear it a ton in New York. I guess the tire sponsor fell off before this ride even started but 42 Below picked up the bill on tires for each rider (up to $40 each tire) so thanks again for giving us a re-up on rubber. After 4000 miles (give or take) new tires are a good idea.
Mostly I just want to say I had a good time. Sometime a mid-level mood. Sometime mad or depressed of lonely but when it was fun it was really fun. I won’t ever look back and say I wish I didn’t do it.
I missed a lot of New York in the summer and some events in other cities that were really important to me. I missed keeping in touch with friends (sort of my fault for not calling them more but I was told we would be getting internet phone to blog and upload photos with and that never happened) I wish the events we did to promote the ride and product were better attended but it seemed like nobody even knew or cared that we were around. I think if this kind of thing happens again it would be the first thing 42 below does is give everybody internet phones and has them blog about the ride/events on their blogs. Forty three blogs talking about a cross county ride is better that one.
I guess the last thing I need to thank 42 Below for is my flight home. It was a great summer and it’s about over…
Also I did have some personal sponsors I want to bring a little attention to. Ben’s Cycle for setting me up with a brand new bike. Kennedy wanted to look at my bike to see how it held up after the ride and I told him the only thing I did was lube the chain (like 2 times max) and swap out the back tire. Also the only “adjustment” I needed to do was turn the barrel on the rear derailleur cable to shift better. I spun the rear wheel for him and his words were “like an arrow”. So that brings me to Squid at CycleHawk for the tires, Brooklyn Machine Works for ordering me a bomber Phil hub and ZACH at Trackstar for the build. Wheels = no problems = happy riders. Thanks again. Kyle at DQM for the kicks and Raw Revolution for the box of bars. By far the best on-the-bike snack. I want more. Damn good.
Outlier. This is a local New York City clothing company that for some reason wanted to set me up with some really nice clothes. And even though I was required to wear a branded 42 Below jersey every single day, there was not one day that I did not wear some, or all of the gear Outlier set me up with. I wore the shorts a ton. The hat was on my head every day and the pants a shirt were what I wore when we went out and didn’t want to look like I was riding a bike across the country like a dirty hippie. Some of the girls on the ride were jealous that Outlier didn’t have a women’s line.
One more thing. Nick, you look good!
So for any polo players out there in LA that want to come drink for free, watch me goldsprint, and dont mind telling me about all the polo tournys I missed this summer…. here’s where I’ll be.
Orange 20 Bike Shop
4351 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90029
Date: Saturday, August 22
-Complimentary food and drinks for all 21+ guests
In Comstock, TX we spent 5 hours outside a roadside cafe watching these 4 little birds getting fed by mama and papa bird. It was the most interesting thing in the entire state. From left to right 2 was the fat one and 3 was the runt.
But bored. We are finally out of TX. So happy about that. It feels like I woke up from a 15 day coma. This picture sums up my last week. About half of it was in the van but I really don’t care about the not-riding. It looks the same at 16MPH or 60MPH. The day we rode into NM was good, so good. A few of us went off route and that was for the better. The way-sheet had us on some shitty, dirty, dusty, loud, busy highway from El Paso to Las Cruces. But ducking over the Rio Grande onto the TX28 was like a dream. Quiet smooth well paved winding 2 lane through farm land and pecan fields. We passed a polo field too (no game going on but still cool) and made an hour plus long stop at this place full of outdoor art. We met the owner and he invited us in and showed us more stuff inside. All really cool. We then stopped at a biker type roadside bar for a few that was recomended. And later we passed through a section of road were the pecan trees were so tall and so close to the road that we had some really great shade for over a mile. Then back to the route a few miles before we hit the KOA campground. And about 30 min. later most of us got in the vans to go to the White Sands National Monument for the sunset. Very pretty.
But today was nothing more than uphill, windy, and sun sun sun. None of it was good. It looked just like this photo from about a week and a half ago. Maybe I’ll SAG tomorrow…
And I just heard that our “huge” celebration in LA for our ride finish is going to be in Culver City… uh what. All I’ve ever heard about that place is crap. Hope who ever is in charge of that decision gets told to fix it so our party doesnt end up having two (yes two) people at it like one of ours in Texas did.
And I just re-read the flier getting riders interested in doing this ride. It says “…ending in LA with another celebration at the Bicycle Film Festival!”
Someone needs a map and a calendar.