I still get all wishy-washy when I watch this
Certain events change our life. It tends to be things you don’t expect. When I moved home from Texas, and finished the continuation of my plans to ride a bicycle from Phoenix, AZ to the state of Maine, traversing north of the Great Lakes, I had no idea how much the trip (or rather, the plans for that trip) would change my life.
Unbeknownst to me, I wouldn’t take that trip. I would plan that trip until just fourteen days before leaving – then everything would get turned upside-down. I found a flyer online that day, by chance, on a site I hadn’t visited in years. Why not send in an application? They’re only asking for a page explaining why me and not them.
So I write it. And then I’m accepted. I’m sponsored by 42 Below (Bacardi) to ride my bicycle across the United States.
And it’s not the trip, the time away, the everything you EXPECT to change you, that changed me. It was the everything. I fostered some great friendships on this trip. I saw more than I could imagine. I covered more distance in two months on a bicycle than many people will do in their entire life. 58 days. 5,000 total miles. 44 eclectic personalities. NYC – Atlanta – OKC – San Antonio – San Diego – LA. There’s not enough time before work to find all the pictures that express my words. The video should fill in the gaps. Just picking a few quick pics to recap on good times; they pale in comparison to the trip, the relationships, the times.
For a while I’ve tried to find a clever way to note on a post I came across two or three weeks ago. Katie, a fantasmic person from my summer wrote so perfectly an excerpt of my life (and she didn’t even know it). Strangely enough, until I read it, I hadn’t actually thought about it. Now that I have, it rings so true to my life though. Who said it was okay (and possible) to have a crush on EVERYONE!? Cut it out, me. Seriously.
On a side note, I’m finally a little more pleased with life’s direction as of late. I’m spending more time with my studies, and that is a huge miss of mine from the last few months. More riding, singing, cooking and joy fill my days, and…well, who can complain about that, right?
I love crepes, and cannot stop making them.
I finally finished (re)painting one of my bikes. It turned out so surprisingly gorgeous, and I love riding it (even more so now), even if it is a crappy Nishiki conversion. On the note of bicycles: My damage claim for my damn-near-new Bianchi from this summer is finally turning a positive face. I’m being told my check is on the way, which means five months of waiting, complaining and hoping has finally paid off.
Some random pictures of a recent Faber car
I final viewing of this summer. My video hardly explains the amount of awesome the people, experience and accomplishment shared with the entire group this summer was. For me, this video is filled with complete emotion and friendship (and no word describes it quite strong enough). Beginning as complete strangers, busing into NYC at dark-thirty in the morning and venturing off across the country, everyone involved has changed my life.
For a long while I had originally planned to make some kind of epilogue declaring the end of the summer trip (ride). Sometime between the end of said trip and now, I have grown away from the feeling that I need to do quite what I set out to in that. Details here and there, things unimportant to the overall goodness to the trip that seems so vague in my mind now, seem not important to mention. Narrowing down mileage, oddities and number of xs, ys and zs no longer feel so relevant to mention. What I do feel like mentioning is how the trip and people involved changed me. As time has slowly passed by, nuances of being on the road no longer seem vital of noting. Spending such a great deal of time with certain people often leads to feelings of remorse (or something close to). While I’m sure I share many thoughts of irk during the trip, I also have my moments of regret (as I’m certain I did some irking of my own!). Everyone had something to offer, and I’m glad to have met everyone, even if we don’t/didn’t see eye to eye.
My hotel “roommates” made my trip a complete blast. Putting up with some random drunken-stupor-ness, retardation and the rare positive note, they were easily some of the funnest and most humorous people of the entire trip. I wish to party with each of them again at some point – potentially many points. Maybe the feeling isn’t mutual, perhaps it is. I don’t know.
Heated feelings one way or another, I hope everyone can say the same of the trip. It’s hard to think I will ever experience such a vast group of amazing people again in such a way. Complete strangers spending 60+ days together, in quite some intimate fashion, brings out the best (and worst) in us. If I had it to do over, I’m sure I’d change the way I acted on some parts, but the past is the past. Regret is the worst way to live life; I hope no one was overly offended by anything I did! All that said, everyone was easily the most amazing part of my summer, and I thank them for it. I needn’t hard feelings for anyone in my life, to be honest. I’m really passed that part of my life. U and O. I could go on and on about specifics for each person, because there certainly are plenty of them (and I could spend all day doing so). Some of these I have to keep short and sweet, or I risk going on and on (but that holds no complete bearing on you or your persona).
Bennett – You’re a super-computer, robot machine. Not human. Seriously. Riding with you was a blast though. Not many other people wanted to do any riding after we got to our destination. Discovering the Marfa party-house was amazing.
Chris – You’re a beast. Two of my favorite summer pictures are taken by you. I’d love to pound back the Ol’ Granddad with you someday.
Matt – You are the sexiest, most ingenious and amazing man alive. If ever I had a man-crush on someone, it would probably be you. Inspirational.
Chadwick – 11(?) flats in a day, the day we rode together across the Mississippi border. You were the life and humor of most things you were involved in. I was extremely bummed that I was in TX this Christmas, and you were in PHX.
David – Although you left us in your home state, you never failed to give me a good chuckle. I was hopeful to make it to the TX coast this winter to ride with y’all, but that fell through to busy time at work.
Fred – 20k miles in 2010? I loved sharing the trip with you.
Roy – You accomplished the most amazing feat of the lot of us, in my opinion. I hope in years to come I have the physical and mental strength to tackle thousands of miles, self-propelled.
Brian – You are the life of the world’s party. No joke. Easily the most free-spirited and “I’m going to do what I want” of all people I’ve ever met. You’ve got your own home-grown philosophy. Everyone can learn how to live life from you.
Doug D – I think we are both kind of self-kept, quiet people. I kind of wish we got to hang out a bit more. Memphis was hilarious, though.
Hongo – Dukes! You seem to love to have fun…and to meet people. Just remember: no one plans to sleep out in the gutter, sometimes it’s just the most comfortable place. Live it true.
Dan – You are a freaking polymath, and a beast. Your injury would have been enough for most to throw in the towel, but you not only stuck around, but continued to ride (and race!).
Tyler – I never really got to get to know you. From those on the trip, I gather I wish I had. Bummer.
Allison – We talked about riding together one day, and never did – that makes me sad. I think that set back being better friends than we could have been.
Crystal – Fantastically eclectic. It’s hard to come up with anything better than that.
Callie – Our adventures, getting lost (and found) and experiences are something that are impossible to forget. Summer 09 is something impossible to forget thanks to you.
Bayla – You have this amazing aura and personality. It’s hard not to smile when around you.
Brianne – You’re a fantastic person. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Ash – Breakfast in Dallas (and the ride to) is an experience I wish I could have encountered more than just once this summer.
Davide – Pink sandals and a swimsuit: I will forever envision you this way. I still swear I could not take a bad picture of you.
Francesca – Franimal! You are amazing. You needed to get drunk with us during the ride! Come ride to AK!
Katty – I almost want to leave just one word here: Marfa. I can’t believe we made it back to the hotel that night. Haha.
Lauren – You are a hoot. I don’t think I ever saw you in a bad mood? Impossible to be in a bad mood around you.
Nick – Dude. You are a sexy beast, and I *need* to party with you.
Red – No one has stories quite like you, nor do they tell them quite so well. You definitely live the dream of adventures.
Judy – “Amazing” is the only word I could come up with.
This thing didn’t come out as originally planned, or even as I planned it to recently. It’s taken me some months to get to this point, so I’m not going to dwell on what it could or should be, and let it roll. I wish I had more time to get to know the Northerners. The nature of the trip disallowed that, and nothing can be done about it, but the 20+ on the south are certainly a perfect memory of mine.
Since returning home life has been a whirlwind of nonsense. Short lived projects here and there, much needed rest and relaxation and the occasional joy ride have filled my time (but I must admit I’ve been a bit lazy since returning). As noted, this page hasn’t been updated in over 2 months, which is about 5 eternities in internet years. I’ll get back on the bandwagon, as soon as I stop hating the design of this page (and finally get it updated in a fashion that pleases me). All this said, I have been busy despite my laziness and even have something to show! Soon here I will be rewriting my whole page, trip and doing a recap on the entire summer (something I feel terribly ill over not having done). Until then, please enjoy this video I made of my trip with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met.
Assuming things would be as they were, I left at go time. The majority rode together, which would have been nice to do, but it was a hectic and confusing ride (with all kinds of weirdness on bike paths and such), so getting on the road was nice. Many people took the Metro in from Long Beach and got to avoid that headache; a very good idea. With Chris leaving later tonight, we took the chance to get started early with the night. A communal 3/4L of Bulleit and many beers later, not much was to be recalled. I took a ‘Super Shuttle’ to Anaheim to hang out with my friends that were in town. I ended up staying in Anaheim for the next few days.