Tuesday, May 28, 2013

thoughts from the road.

quick notes of random thoughts than go through my head while riding:
thoughts from the road:
->dear rainman- I said i wanted to pedal my bike across the country, not paddle a boat. no need to fill the streets with water!!
->dear asshole in the diesel that needs to "roll coal" in my face- I drive a diesel too, thanks. your not cool, your an insecure fucktard
->im hungry
->this rain sucks
->i need to lube my chain...seriously, i will tonight, no really i wont forget
-> ahhh the old disappearing shoulder act again
-> voice of kimo "you know there are planes that go there"
->god damn, why is kimos voice stuck in my head
->east to west, "the headwinds are gunna suck!" they said, "ill be fine" i said. valid point they had.
-> i honestly dont have a better answer for the question "why are you doing this" than "why not"
->why do all dogs hate bikers?
->please dont eat me, dog.
->please dont rob me, dawg.
->im hungry again
->is it pets mart, or pet smart?
-> "your ass is mine"
->this place looked a lot smaller on the map
-> haha.... prius.
-> am i there yet?
->its lunch time and i have ridden less than half of the day, less than half of yesterday, or tomorrow, and ive already ridden my bike farther in a day than most people do in a year
->o yay, lunchtime
->i just ate, why am i hungry already?
->"your gunna get fat on this trip." haha idiot
->just keep riding, just keep riding....thanks dory...
->how much wood COULD a wood chuck chuck if a woodchuck could indeed chuck wood?
->it'll get easier after this hill
->it never actually gets easier. idiot.
->im hungry.
-> SNAKE! o, just another bungee cord.
-> that one was actually a snake, sorry guy.
-> "CARRY OOOOONNN owww oowww wooowwoowww..."
-> i should take more pictures...but im not going to stop now.

Weather, It can make it, or break it.

What a difference the weather makes!
Typed on 5/26/13
No matter how prepared you think you are, the reality is never quite what you thought it would be.
I returned to Halfmoon Pond State Park in two days from home. Like an idiot, I didn't take advantage of a perfect dry shelter for the night to dry out my tent from the heavy rain and thunder storms the night before. Getting back on route, I headed west to Great Sacandaga Lake, and had another very wet night. The following day didn't not dry out at all, so I called it short in Dolgeville and got a $40 room for the night. Compared to $25-30 for camping the last two stops, it was a no brainer! This time I took full advantage and hung my tent up in my room for the night. The next morning, It was still pouring but I decide to push on, and after 50 miles or so I started getting dryer weather and heavy winds. This was the day I traded in hills for headwinds, and let me put this on record, I will take a hill over a headwind, any day of the year. Dryer weather made all the difference in my view on the world. Not that its peaches and cream when it is dry, but it certainly isn't the constant misery of pouring rain.
With a dry night of FREE camping in a practically deserted county park, and even my own private pavilion, on the western Lake Oneida Shore, I was lined up for an on schedule Canadian border crossing Wednesday. Today I tried sightseeing for the first time. I knew it was a short day, and had heard that Chimney Bluffs on Lake Oneida was worth the visit. It was alright, I suppose, but honestly not worth even the short 15 mile detour in my opinion. There was a short hike, that I am sure offered better views of the Bluff, but with afternoon passing quickly, and ~20 miles to camp that night, I didn't want to risk the unknown. Sure enough, about 7 miles out, I blew a pedal bearing, and the pedal came right off the tapered spindle. On road decision was deal with it falling off and get to camp. I rigged up a tin can washer that holds the pedal body on the spindle, spinning with out bearings bushings, or spacers, and my foot rubs the crank arm as well, but it will be better than it constantly falling off, and I cant "limp" to a fix in hopefully less than 50 miles. The biggest catch is the fact that tomorrow is Memorial Day, so most quality shops will be closed and my options are down to big box garbage, but at this point I'll take a flat pedal over a bearingless clipless.
5/28/13 update:
Haven't had internet yet, so I may as well make this up-to-date. I found a bike shop open in Rochester. Burts Bikes, the place was HUGE. They have two other stores and close to 5000 bikes between the three shops. I got some Crank Bro's Candy 3's and was on my way.
Jumped on the Erie Canal Trial for a while which was a nice change from the urban nightmare of Rochester where a beautiful bike lane in the matter of an intersection would change to a 65 mph zone, with no bike lane, no shoulder, a guard rail, no side walk, an a gravel bank past the guard rail.
Rolled into camp, I wont say where, but managed to swing free camping WITH a shower...pro status. Rain today just after I broke my tent down. 70+ miles in the rain, and still pouring, with extremely dark skies, another $40 room is warm and comfy.
I am setting into a good rhythm. I wish the weather would dry out for more than two days at most. I like being on the road, but I am getting tired of being wet and cold.
This one is going out to my amazing friends close and far. Thanks for helping out with the "Hey google this for me," and, "Whats the weather going to do?" phone calls. Thanks for talking me out of being a little bitch when things get hard. Respect and Love! Hope to see you all soon!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Well, I know, it's been a while. unfortunately due to technical difficulty and lack of urgent concern, this is my first post from the road. Technically day 11 now, but sadly only my 7th day of real mileage gain. The trip started out with a few really wet days, and boy am I glad things have dried up a bit! 
Emotions and feelings about the trip have been all over the map. To look back at my track and progress is very satisfying, but the day to day grind on the shoulder of the road, alone, is pretty lame. At the pace I have been pushing there is no time for sight-seeing or people meeting, just a day after day hammerfest. I have decided to change my route from below the great lakes to through them via Canada. this will help save some mileage and time, and will keep things a bit more interesting. The physical aspect of the push is great, however the boredom factor of being on the road all day is a bit lame.
I am looking forward to planning Ride The Divide next year, and hopefully I could find a partner. Being in the woods as opposed to the shoulder of the road sounds awesome!
I am currently returning o the trip from a short medically concerned hiatus. Since my fall about a week before the trip, the swelling turned into fluid build up, and It now seems as though I am smuggling water balloons in my hip. The doc didn't seem concerned at all, and honestly was quite uninformative and extremely unhelpful (aren't the usually?) I keep feeling like it was a huge waste of time, but I am trying to focus on the positives; I feel slightly more safe with the condition of my hip, I was forced to take some time off to reevaluate the trip from a calm stand point, and I got to ride my mountain bike a bit while I was home!
Maybe the technical difficulties were good and saved readers from reading the day by day write-up of what would probably be super boring to outsiders. Thanks for following! Extra huge thanks to my parents for everything, I know I don't say it enough, and for that I am sorry, but I truly love you guys, and I really appreciate you always having my back!
Sorry for spelling and grammar, no auto correct and modern technology has made me a rah-tard.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Thats gunna leave a mark!

Reality is a bitch. I’ve been saying lately that it isn’t truly an adventure if everything goes to plan. I still stand by that statement, however, some things that go wrong can end the adventure all together. With everything going so well, I was starting to forget about my concerns, which isn't so great either.

With less than a week to go before I leave, I hadn’t even ridding the touring bike fully loaded aside from a couple miles here and there. Sunday, (May 5th) I finally took the time to take it out for a real ride, yet still much shorter than any one proposed day on the trip. The 75lbs of gear and bike, were definitely “all there” on hills, yet it climbed nicely and rolled out on flats and descents incredibly. Instead of riding my originally planned route, I kept adding mileage, I had time, I felt great. Many of my concerns of the trip were starting to go away.

On the last leg of ride, heading back home to make some minor adjustments on the bike, repack a few things, etc I was stoked on the trip. “Given all day, I can ride a century [100 miles] everyday, no problems.”

As a road biker, you learn rather quickly who has dogs. Typically, I like dogs, not so much as a biker/cyclist. Anywho, I knew that there were dogs at this particular house, but they’ve always been behind a picket fence. Not seeing the fence, I was concerned, so I left a bit of extra room on the shoulder and kept my speed up. Just as I thought I was clear of the property, Odie made a break for it on his new leash, that apparently, allowed him into the road. Not seeing a leash, and seeing a dog making his way into the road, I attempted to swerve. Turns out my fully loaded touring bike doesn’t handle quite the same as my carbon road bike. The details of the crash are a bit blurry. Somehow my legs have zero road rash. My helmet is well scratched but preliminary check didn’t show any more damage. Some upper body road rash and my right hip took quite a slam. Extremely thankful I had a very good helmet on.

Shaken up, I hobbled the 15 feet back to my bike. Bars tweaked about 45* brake levers spun, hoods all mangled. The worst was that my beautiful waterproof Ortlieb panniers are no longer waterproof (atleast the right rear.) **Gorilla Tape saves the day**  Knowing what was to come, I got back on my bike and started home before I stiffened up and couldn’t ride. I hit my head good, I had no idea what time it was, but could remember everything else. Even though I was only a few miles from home, I felt alone, and scared. I hope to hell I don’t have a repeat on my tour, but it is a possibility.  I would definitely be taking a day+ to recover. Life goes on, and so will my trip, but the few miles after the crash was definitely emotionally testing. Those few miles were the first, and hopefully only, time I have considered bailing on the trip, since I made the commitment. This whole incident was a bummer, but perhaps a necessary reality check. Never let your guard down.

X- Rays came back clean. I haven’t been on a substantial ride since the crash. My hip is still quite swollen, but it is easier to ride a bike than it is to walk. With two and a half days until the tour, I don’t feel a need to postpone the trip. Unfortunately it looks like the past 2-3 weeks of perfect weather will end just in time for my departure and my first day might be quite wet.  

Barring major events, next post will be from on the road. Thanks for following everyone!