Posts tagged travels
I went out to Madison, a city I love to visit, and played some games with MAD Bike Polo.
I was in MKE briefly before MAD. I made sure to stop in Ben’s to say hi to Kremin, Drew and Matt.
Of about a handful of days in the state, playing polo was only about half of one of those days.
That was enough. I nearly broke my hand in the Thunderdome.
The rest of the time I drank good coffee, ate good food, helped prep food, and did “support” for a ride called Bike The Barns.
That equaled riding 50+ miles with Johnny Mid-what, Joe and Kremin. Eating more food and changing a flat tire before laying around in a park till sunset.
Madison is always a good time.
For our first 53 miles of the day we were on AZ 60, a long straight two lane desert highway. No shade no services. I rode the first 40 solo and didn’t see any other riders till I was rolling up to the support van at about the 20 mile mark. I saw them ride away as I rolled up. I made a quick stop at Judy’s van and got back on the road to maybe catch up but that didn’t happen till just before Nick’s van at about the 40 mile mark. Chad and I caught up to Allison and Blaise. Still no shade. But now with more sun and wind. We rode the next 13 or so miles to where we were about to turn onto the I-10. I was really hoping the interchange would have an over-pass that would provide us some shade to take another break under before riding the last 15 miles to the hotel. But the ramp was more of a merging lane and I just looked way over to the over pass and thought it was too out of the way to suggest to the others we backtrack for a bit of shade. So, while traversing the 0.4 miles of road between AZ 60 and I-10 proper I was scanning the roadside for a bush or scrub large enough for the three of us to set behind and have a break from the sun for a few. No such luck. We rode to what was the shoulder of I-10 and that gave us a hill to cross over with the hope of maybe some shade on the other side. That was the majority vote. Get over the hill, look for shade. But I was hot, tired and felling sunburnt and dehydrated. At about the midway point up the hill at what was Mile Marker 30 of the I-10 in Arizona I talked the two into stopping.
This sign was our shade. The only sign I’ve seen along our entire trip that listed 3 cities we would be staying in. Yes it’s a short ride from Quartzsite to Blythe. The shortest day of the entire ride. But for us it’ll be more miles than that to Los Angeles because we will only be on the interstate when we have to be and we are hitting the coast at San Diego then riding up to LA.
While in the shade I called Judy to see where she was because all the water I had left was at least 85 degrees and I knew we still had a case of monkey pickles we needed to eat before the group of us crossed into California the next day. Judy was about 5 miles away driving towards us. She brought us some ice cold water and fruit and that made the last few miles into town a breeze. By breeze I mean a 100+ degree headwind.
Edit: yes this is old, I just got around to uploading some of the many photos I still need to work with.
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 right now I’m at a Ramada Limited hotel and I’m sitting on a chair I pulled out of our room and set in the parking lot. I’m on Nick’s laptop and this is the first time I’ve been on a computer in about a week. I’ve taken a ton of photos along the way and my cards are filling up quick. Right now the connection is so slow that only 4 photos have loaded in the last 20 minutes. I have 266 in this card over 300 on the next card and the one in my camera is filling up fast. I’m not going to be able to post a photo this time but I would love to. I remember on the first day, before we started this trip, we were all told that there was a good chance that we would all be getting some internet phones (I can’t remember what one) to blog, twitter and upload photos with. That shit never happened. I wish it would have because then I’d be able to keep in touch better and keep caught up with photos. I wonder what this trip is about sometimes. If you look on the map you’ll see that we make a huge turn at Oklahoma City. We ride straight West for days until we get to OC then from there we go straight South for days till we hit San Antonio then go West again. But for Oklahoma City there is no info about were our event is. As far as I know there is nothing confirmed. So I guess my point it that I really want to care about what I’m doing. This is a pretty rad job. I’m delivering my face and their 42Below cycling jersey to LA from NYC. Doing stops along the way to “promote”. I like the bars we go to all of them have been great. But I have yet to see anyone show up to meet us bikers, other that some of the other riders family members who live close. I’d like to be able to put it out there the I’ll be in X bar at X time at X address but the only thing I, or anyone knows is that I’ll be in X city on X date.
I feel like I’m doing a great job getting this jersey from coast to coast. I like talking to the locals in the bars we have been to. I also think if I was able to be more connected and better informed I could share more about where I’ve been what I’ve seen and where I’ll be.
As for today, It was easy. Yesterday I was one of the 7 or 8 riders to start the 90+ mile day. I rode about 80% of it before geting SAGed to the camp ground so I could set up my wet tent from the day before, eat, shower, wash some clothes and have everything ready because we were all getting in the vans to drive an hour to be in Memphis by 7:pm to do a 2 hour event then drive back and camp to wake up at 6am to ride again. Anyway, I today woke up feeling like crap, rode out of camp at 7:am with nothing to eat for breakfast but an apple a tangerine and some water. We rode a short 53 mile day with all of 3 turns if you dont count the one out of the camp ground or the one into the hotel parking lot. About the mid way point I saw some bikes at a place called the Dot In Flo Out. A small little cafe on the side of a State Route in the middle of Mississipi. I had pancakes and they were great. But any food is great when you ride 30 miles on an empty belly. I did take a photo of the cook and her mother. Then made the rest of the ride to the hotel and jumped in the pool, washed all my clothes, bought food for dinner AND for breakfast tomorrow. I also took some photos of some really cool shit I’d love to share with you all but the time online is way too limited to get to todays flicks, still working on shots from 5 states ago.
Since I’ve sat here typing 5% of my 266 photos have loaded, Allison brought me a Bolthouse Farms Protein Vanilla Chai Tea, Dan brought me some homemade apple pie, Crystal brought me a quick neck rub and a soda. I’m around a great group of people. I wanted to get a group photo tonight but not once were all the riders here at the same time. So instead I did a self portrait.
I found out that I’m going South. After the huge kick off bash during the Bicycle Film Festival, I’ll be leaving on June 25th and getting to LA August 21st. The LA BFF doesn’t start till the 26th so I guess I’ll have a few days of rest before the second celebration.
View 42Ride Southern Route in a larger map
The only problem is finding time and a good connection to upload them all. Then there is sorting and all the other little details that make me not want to sit in front of a computer. But here are the 6th Mid-West Bike Polo Champeenship winners, Beaver Boys (Kremin, Joe, Brian) from Milwaukee, WI. They finished on top of 27 teams from all around the mid-west, beating Madison A aka “Wisconsin B” (Ben H., Jonny H., Jon A.) in the final game 5-4.
This weekend was a load of fun for me! I got to team up with a pair of Dayton players I learned the game with a handfull of years ago. We had a blast tearing shit up on our home court. The game we, Wet Nitemaer, played against Triple Lex was one of the most fun games I’ve ever played. They had us by 3 points(?). Maybe it was 0-3 or 1-4 and it was a super fast paced game rushing up and down the huge rink. We got back in it and had them at 3-4 and it was about one min. left in the game. Having just gone back to our half after we scored Lexington was taking sweet time getting the ball back in play. Maybe because my team had regained momentum in the quickly closing game. I riped a turn at half court, sat on the line and yealled “Bring the ball over the line you pussies!!” The crowd was making so much noise too. One of them did bring it over and it got sent loose. Somehow it got in reach of Goldie who played the entire day on a freewheel brakeless mountain bike and he scored from beyond 3/4 court! Making it a 4-4 game. I think everyone watching went wild, I heard Goldies face was a explosion of joy. Brett, my other teammate was so happy he forgot we still had a hand full of seconds left to play. I saw Lex bring the ball back and got past me at the half court, and with a net open they retured with a game winning goal at the very end.
That was fun.
On Saturday there was the Gem City alleycat. 52 racer set to the streets of Dayton at 7pm from the polo courts and raced for the next 2 + hours. I called it that I was not aiming to win the polo because I had my sights on the race. I had the lead off the start and leading up to the 3rd check point till there was a mix up with East Babbit St. and West Babbit St. I went back and forth a couple times not finding the CP person with about 50 other racers ripping U turns right behind me. I had no idea where the CP was because they were NOT where they were suposed to be. And because of the way the race was set up, the CP was where you got a small slip of paper telling you where to go next, I had no idea where to go next!! Looking around in a panic and making calls to the organizers for the next 5 min. I got left behind by 20 or 30 other racer who had found the CP person without me knowing. Finally I got on my way. making it to the next check point late, I asked “how many?” the response was “oh man, i dont know A LOT“. I was not happy but I remembered a conversation I had with a friend about not giving up. So I rode my ass off to get all 8 slips so I could get started on the first manifest and give some colorful words to the organizers. I did not ask how many were in front of me. I looked at the list of do-in-any-order CP’s and asked where Bacon St was. “look at your map” is the answer I got back.
I took off. I was basically alone for the whole time and with some stroke of luck and residual knowledge of Dayton streets from my Brown Street Subhouse food delivery days, I somehow did the list of CP’s in perfect order. Making my way back to the bar to find out if I was in the top 18 rider (only the top 18 would go on to the last manifest).
I was in first! I started the last manifest.
I stayed in first the entire time till the end. I was wooped, the hills and the felling of defeat slowed me down at times but I kept the pace because I had no clue how much time I had on anyone. When I made it back to the Century Bar for the finish I was about 10 min ahead of the next racers.
I know there is a bunch of other details I’m leaving out but I’ll add some more details with the photos I plan on posting up in the next few days.
Thank You Dayton Ohio Bike Polo!!!!
And here are the winners of The 6th Midwest Bike Polo Champeenship, Beaver Boys aka Team Pabst. Kremin, Joe, and Brian.