Friday, March 27, 2009

Riding 100 Miles......Raising Money

After much research I have decided that I am going to be doing a Biking Fundraiser.

The Audi Best Buddies Challenge.

I will be riding 100 miles to the cape on May 30th. My minimum goal is $2,750. If you can sponsor me for any amount I would greatly appreciate it (seriously, $5.00 is just fine). It will go to a very good cause. It will be going to helping intellectually challenged people all over the world integrate into the professional world. For certain amounts donated, there are gifts for you.

I think that this is not only a great opportunity for me to ride my bike but do it for a good cause. I promise you that if we can collect this amount of money I will have the trip on video for your viewing enjoyment. So please, donate, send this link to your friends and family, and keep reading about the adventures.

To Donate and find out more information click on this link HERE.


TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 42 hrs 25 min

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More the Merrier

Day 31 – 3/26/09

Experiencing something new with another person is always exciting. I am so glad that many of my friends have started biking (some for the first time is YEARS, some EVER). My friend Jesse told me several months ago that he really wanted to bike with me. So after some searching we got him a bike and today, March 26th 2009, we set off on our first adventure. We traveled to the Jamaica ponds to get on the bike path so he could warm up and get used to the bike. He was great. I could not believe that he has not ridden a bike for years, because he was fallowing me and hitting the road almost better than I was when I first started up again. After circling the ponds a couple of times Jesse pointed out that the arboretum was near by. We looked at my bike map and set off on our route. Now call me crazy but I had no idea what an arboretum was and how beautiful and calming a place it is. For those of you as lost as myself, they are places where different trees from all over the world grow together in one location. You can read about the different trees and just walk (or in our case ride) on beautiful paths without the disturbances of cars, just you and nature. Jesse and I will be traveling on many more adventures in the future and I hope that others will join us. Because it is always nice to experience something new with another person and the more is to be merrier.


TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 42 hrs 10 min

Riding With Friends

Day 30 – 3/23/09

My play, “Dark Play or Stories for Boys” Ended on a very good note. Through the entire 5-week run the thing that amazed me the most was the different types of people that would come to the shows every week. We had college students, high school students, longtime theatergoers, and first time theatergoers. It was really nice being able to talk to all of them and see all there different responses to the same play. Riding on my bike to the last show I road along the Cambridge side of the Charles River. It was a nice ride. I was able to watch the city of Boston go by as I passed through Charlestown and into Chelsea. It was overall a great ride except for the huge potholes on the back roads once I was in Chelsea. They swallowed my bike, but I survived to tell the story.
After the show I road to the cast party in Watertown. I wont say much but lets just say I am glad I have gotten good at climbing hills.

On Monday I was able to go on a ride with my friend Thomas Patrick Dunn (yes he’s Irish). It was great. I fallowed his lead south of Jamaica Plain. I learned a lot about the area. Such things as…There are so many flipping hills! Something that I did notice was that I was doing pretty well on hills but when it came to flats Tom would kick my ass. I was very interested in why he was going so much faster than me on flats? I had the road bike, I have been training my ass off, Whats Up? I was looking at his gears and he continually stays on the highest set of gears. So I thought maybe because he bikes so much on that high gear it builds up his muscles in such a way that he can go fast on flat ground. I asked him about it and he said that he is always trying to get from one place to another really fast. And most of the places he tries to go are not that far away and not really up a hill. So I think that that is what it was. His muscles have adapted to short sprints where I am training my body to go long distances at a constant speed. (Oh the cool things that our bodies do.)


TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 38 hrs 55 min

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sentimentality of Whats to Come

Day 29 – 3/22/09

This entry is a pre-ride blog. I am going to be biking to my theatre (Apollinaire Theatre) in Chelsea and then to Watertown then to my home sweet home.

Tomorrow is the last show for my play “Dark Play or Stories for Boys” It has been a fantastic 5-week run and we have had so many great people come and see it. I am a bit sad to be stopping this show but I am also excited to see what will be happening next. I have loved working with all the people (cast and crew) it has been a great ride. I think by riding to and from the theatre will be a nice combination of the things that are going on in my life and then a good send off to the play (Don’t be a hater I am a sentimental person). I am excited to see the different view of arriving at the theatre from a bike instead of by car or bus. It just simply changes perspective and make me appreciate the environment a little bit more. The show will go very well tomorrow and will be a great cast party afterwards.

Its really nice writing a pre-ride entry because it gets me excited for what is to come. I am having fun planning my Cross-country trip and am excited for what is to come of this blog. I just want to let you all know that I have some pretty cool things in store for all of you that read this. Lets just say, I really like multi media.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fear the Wind

Day 28 – 3/19/09

I was talking about fears with Lara yesterday and one that she brought up was her fear of natural disasters. Which I am sure for many that is a fear. That is the sort of thing that you cannot control or prevent at all. The volcano eruption can only be watched and examined and guessed at when it will happen. The tornados can only be predicted by watching the weather. So this fear is a completely valid fear because of the lack of control, as opposed to fear of wood, Xylophobia…(if you are afraid of wood I am sorry to bring it up).

This subject made me think of the things that I will bike into as I travel across the country. I am sure that there will be lots of wind and ran and probably some snow, along with other things that I am going to have to work with as I come to it. Today the rain fell on my helmet as I was biking home and it made me interested in certain precautions that I should take. So I was looking up some information about wind and I ran into a great article. “Cycling into the Wind” it was on the BBC webpage. Here is the first paragraph and then you can click on the link to read the rest. It’s a well-written fun to read article.

“The headwind is the natural enemy of the cyclist. However, it will also be an unavoidable fact of your cycling life and you might as well learn to cope. Think of the wind as a bully - do you recall how a larger kid could simply put their hand on your forehead and keep you at arm's length while you punched away at the empty space between you with tears of frustration streaming down your cheeks? Cycling into the wind is often like that, but it needn't always be. Let's start with some basics.”

I think part of my prep for my trip is to get better at “surviving in the wild!” I will be posting more info on that as I run into it.



Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Push Yourself

Day 27 – 3/18/09

Sometime you just have to push your self. On my way back from Lowell I biked down to Bedford then took the minuteman trail all the way into Alewife T-stop. On the minuteman path a biker on a road bike passed me and I tried my best to keep up with him. Each time I found that I was falling behind I was able to keep pushing myself. It was nice to have a person that kept me focused on pushing harder (even if they didn’t know that they were helping me). I was able to keep up with the guy all the way to Lexington then he either pushed way ahead or turned off the path. I was proud.

My experience with my new bike has been fantastic. I have been able to go faster and push harder without getting tired of being on the bike. The ride is so smooth that I just never want to stop (which is good considering I am going to be going across the country).

As far as things I saw on my trip today, I got some help from some very nice women at the “Mobil On the Run” and I road by a pasture with some beautiful horses and I had some time so I stopped and petted the horses and fed them some grass. It was really nice to be interacting with animals. I don’t get allot of that in the city so to be able to pull off the side of the rode, grab some grass and have a horse eat from my hand, it really makes me feel as though humans are not the only things on this earth and we all are connected in some way. Once I hit Bedford I took a small road through some forest areas then periodically there were some high tech buildings tucked away in the back roads. I felt as though I had entered into the valley of Bio Chemical companies. I am not sure if the one I got a photo of is biochemical but this was the one that really intrigued me.

I am going to be going to Hawaii (the big island) in May and will be doing many bike trips around there. I will be constantly updating the blog with photos of the beautiful island. I am currently hoping that I will be able to get a nicer camera so that I can get you all some better quality work.


TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 33 hrs 50 min

Minuteman Bike Path

Day 26 – 3/17/09

The Minuteman trail is a bike trail that runs from Arlington to Bedford. It takes bikers and walkers and skaters off of high traffic roads and puts them onto a beautiful, enjoyable pathway. I was able to finally use that path. I was heading to Lexington to get in a ride. Lara was going to pick me up there. I focused on trying to keep a higher mph and that was made easier because of the minuteman bike path. I averaged around 11 miles an hour. That is the best I have done so far.


TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 29 hrs 50 min

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pi(e) & Ride

Day 25 – 3.14.09

Today was the best day on my travels so far. Not only was the weather fantastic but I have my new bike and was able to get free really good pie. Can life get any better, I submit that it can NOT! (thank you Brian Regan)

After riding my new bike from the shop to my apartment I met up with my friends Dom and we headed down town to meet up with the Mass Bike association. It was great to meet around 18 other bikers. There were people there from all different skills of biking. Some were triathlon competitors, some were commuters, some were one the bike for the first time in a long time, and then there was me, the cross-country nut. I am really excited to get to know these people. Shane was the organizer of the trip and he introduced himself to everybody and we set off on a nice relaxing trip to Summerville. It was nice and we got free pie. (I did not realize this but today is officially pi(e) day March 14th or 3.14…, So it all makes sense now). Here are some pictures that I took and there are some in the photo album on the side bar from trips past (coming soon).

TOTAL TIME FOR THE DAY (TTD) : 2 hr 30 min

TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 28 hrs 50 min

The Dust has Settled and There is One Bike Standing

Day 24 – 3/12/09

The battle has come to an end and the last bike still standing is non other than the Surly Long Haul Trucker. It is a fantastic ride, sturdy as an Ox and rides so very well. It is so cool that it even has 2 extra wheel spokes on spare attached to the frame. In choosing it I have done a lot of research and have talked to bike shop owners and looked on the internet and the Long Haul Trucker has everything that I need and looks so fine doing it. I am going to be picking it up tomorrow in the morning before I do my Mass Bike Pi(e) ride in the afternoon. It will be a great first ride.

On another hand…My friend Eric Gulliver whom I worked with at Emerson College has a music video on Pitch fork that I think everybody needs to see. It is a beautiful piece that expresses so much. CLICK HERE for the video.


TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 26 hrs 20 min

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sponsors - Pangaia and Eureka

Day 23 – 3/11/09

To day I was planning on going to Harris Cyclery but they did not have the bike built yet so I went to my friend Jesse’s work in Porter Square. The ride took me down N Harvard st and right through Harvard Square, which is not fun. When I got to Porter I locked my bike up and hung out with Jesse we went to a great Thai restaurant called Sugar and Spice (1933 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA 02140) if you haven’t been there…GO! The yellow curry it great.

Update on the trip: I have received some sponsors I have been sponsored by an organic farm in Hawaii called Pangaia ( to be able to buy my bike. My parents are apart of the community at Pangaia. I have also been sponsored by Eureka Puzzle and Games (1349 Beacon St. Brookline, MA 02446) for my bike jerseys. This is helping me take one step closer to my bike trip. Tomorrow I am going to go ride some bikes and see what bike I want. The two that I am going to look at is the Jamis Aurora, and Surly Long Haul Trucker. The battle will be fierce and there will be only one winner.


TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 24 hrs 50 min

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Checking In

Day 22 – 03/10/09

“Just double checking.” This is a phrase that can be taken as responsible or can it also be taken as a sign of weakness? When I pack my bike for my trip I plan on double and even triple checking to make sure that when I go off in to the wild of this crazy country that I have everything that I need. That to me is responsible. Or could that be that I doubt my packing skills so there for I am checking something that I should have gotten right in the first place?

I bring this up because today was a day of mistakes for me. Outside of my biking life I am dealing with lease problems about my current apartment and because I did not double check with the management company they think that I want to extend my lease for another year. So putting that into the mix, on my ride I completely took the wrong route to get to Harris Cyclery. I wanted to avoid the notorious Mt. Ida but with my excellent directional skills I started going around it than ran into it again. It was pretty funny because I was on the right track then I just decided to take a left for some reason and it put me between the highway and a vertical clime to get to Newtonville road, and although I love cars and trucks racing by me at 70 miles an hour I decided that the clime would be the path for me. I did get to go bombing down the other side, which almost made the mistake worth it, but man did I just want to get to the bike shop so I could do some more research for my trip.

I am nearing the time for me to buy my new bike so I have been doing many-much (it’s a word I swear) research and I have talked to many-a bike shop and read many-a websites, and I think that the Surly Long Haul Trucker is the bike for me. I am going to take the bike out for a test ride tomorrow but I have been narrowing it down and I think that for my trip and on my budget this bike is for me. It is a solid steel frame (so not as light as other bikes) it has many Braze-ons so I can attach my water bottles and racks to get a fully loaded bike. It has bar end shifters, which are going to be new for me, but I think the case for them is much better for the case against them. What they are are small levers on the end of the curved handlebars that move up and down. The reason for them is that if there were to be a crash and my shifters get damaged I can easily replace these for cheep. The other shifters are built into the brake levers so if one thing breaks the whole thing breaks, plus they are about $250 per shifter. And also one random fact is the fact that they are at the end of the bar you have to move your hands to shift them which keeps your body from being completely the same the entire time (that tidbit of info is from Elton from Harris). I have checked and double check to see if this bike is the one I want and after the test drive I think I will find out that I will not want any other.

So after a day of self-doubt I finish this entry with a thought about that phrase “just double checking.” There should be no judgment of character or responsibility for double-checking. Many things have been saved or changed; many destinations have been made because some one has double-checked. I hope every body is enjoying my blog and is excited for what is to come, I know that I am but I wanted to just double check with you…(ha.. wow that cheesy, that could be called a Vashroism)


TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 23 hrs 20 min

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Esplanade... Finally!

Day 21 – 3/4/09

The Esplanade, for all of you people that don’t know, is a walkway that fallows the Boston side of the Charles River. It is one of the most beautiful places in Boston. There is so much life that is along that path. There are runners and walkers, people rollerblading, and bikers. The City is on one side and the water is on the other. Today was a great day for biking in general because it was sunny and warm (finally!) So I set out towards the esplanade and ended up biking all the way to the science museum and back. It was a smooth ride where I got to see lots of people and I also was able to do some training sprints and pace work. I would take a section of the path and try and go as fast as I could from one end to the other so I could work different parts of my leg muscles. Nothing bad happened on the trip it just was a pleasant ride with pleasant weather.

As far as news for the near future I have picked up another bike that I am going to be training on till I get my tour bike. It is a mountain bike (GT Talera all terrain). Will Lubelski who is a roommate of my friend Devon is letting me barrow it for the moment. It has two side saddlebags and rides very very well. I took a 2 min ride on it and one thing that I noticed was how far over the front tire the handlebars were. It affected my riding allot (in a good way). I really am thankful that all these people are being so helpful to me. It really is nice to have support for something that is a really big challenge. I am going to be taking the other bike that my friend Becca so greatfully let me use and (with Becca’s permission) I will be handing it off to my friend Jesse Rizuko who will be starting to bike with me.

Another event that is coming up on Saturday March 14th is a bike ride with Mass Bike ( it is going to be a fun ride where we will start at the Boston Common and go to Petsi Pie in Somerville ( If anybody would like to come, click HERE and contact Shane at Please join a couple of my other friends and myself on a new pie adventure (I say new because I have gone on other pie adventures if you look at my previous posts).


TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 21 hrs 50 min

My Local Bike Shop

Day 20 - 3/3/09

Have you ever felt a feeling of completeness? Something felt when you find your one true love, a really good friend, your perfect house. A sense of everything is right in the world. Well I experienced that feeling when I stepped into Harris Cyclery and had an hour and a half talk with A.J. I have found my local bike shop! Harris Cyclery (1353 Washington St. (Route 16) West Newton, MA 02465)

My trip to the store was not going to be a very long one, it was about 5 miles away but what I didn’t realize was the route that I chose was strait up a lovely little hill called Mt. Ida. The roads went from fairly flat to 50-degree incline (or something like that). Needless to say I was huffing and puffing (this time there was no glue ☺). I reached the top of the hill and realized that I could have easily just took the next road over and it would have taken me conveniently around this bump in my trip…oh well, what goes up must come down, and I flew down the other side of Mt. Ida like it was my job.

Arriving at Harris Cyclery was nice. I walked in and the shop was covered with bikes… they all looked beautiful and I wanted to ride them all. The bikes went from reclining bikes that you lay down on and the pedals are in front of you to high performance race bikes to Bike Fridays. There were two people in the back working on bikes and there was one guy at the register. Not 30 seconds into my exploring the shop I hear a voice “hey man, can I help you out” (not exact quote, I hope he wont sew). It was my soon to be bike mentor A.J. (that’s right A.J. our relationship has jump to the next level… intimidated yet?) I told him that I have this crazy idea where I plan on getting on a bike and peddling that machine 3,700 miles to San Diego for 2 months and I need as much information as I can get. After him telling me that I am some kind of crazy (thank you) he proceeds to tell me all about bicycles. From the frame building to the handlebars to the shorts that you need to wear but don’t want to be caught in at a bar. He showed me the shops tour bikes that were in my budget. They were the Jamis Aurora Touring bike and the Surly Long Haul Trucker. There were others that he showed me, such as the Bike Friday (the Folding Bikes) and the Waterford but those were either not my taste or way out of my price range (although I really do want a Bike Friday when I am able to afford another bike). I took notes on everything he said and became more and more excited with every new bit of information I received. I was a student again and this class is my favorite. A.J. and I exchanged information and Not only am I going to be buying a bike from this place but A.J. suggested that I could get some training on bike maintenance from him also…this was exactly what I wanted.

After my stay at the bike shop I left in a daze and a Boston Bike map (which shows all the routes that are safe for bikers) my mind was full of information and I was re energized about my trip. I started biking back to my place (the not so hilly way) and decided to stop at this wonderful pizza shop called SWEET TOMATOES (1279 Washington St. W. Newton, MA 0465). It is a great little place on the corner of a block. It was a clean modern hangout with great pizza ranging from traditional to a white three cheese pizza (which was fantastic). I got my two slices and took my time to study my new map and see what adventures await me. I was complete. My stomach was being filled, I have taken another step in my bike adventure and the day was beautiful. I wouldn’t say that I could die now but my mind was clear and everything was right with the world (and still is).

Note about Pictures. they are coming I have lost my cord to connect my camera to my they are coming.


TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 20 hrs 50 min

Monday, March 2, 2009

New Cards, New Cameras, New Bike!

Day 19(2) – 2/24/09 + 2/25/09

The weather was great then the one-day I was able to actually go biking snowfalls like that’s its job. Well I have to say it does make me sad that getting on my bike is dangerous, but I can’t be too sad because these last couple of days have been very productive for the planning stages of my trip. I have received my business cards so it is easier to tell people about my blog ( and I have received some funding to buy a new bike! This trip is really coming around. I have been looking at bikes of all different brands. The ones that have peeked my interest so far has been Fuji bikes (, and Bike Fridays ( and there are many more that I haven’t checked out yet. The fuji bike is probably no what I am going to go with, I just like the look and the name but I think fuji focuses on race bikes more and I don’t need a race bike. Bike Fridays are a very interesting type of bike. I was told about them by my mom (Kathy) because when she biked across the country for her 50th (that’s right she did it!), one of the women that she was riding with is now continuing to bike all around the world using a Bike Friday. It is a folding bike that has a high amount of gears so it can counteract the size of the wheels and then the case that the bike folds up into, after getting off the plan in, I don’t know…New Zealand, you can just use it as a trailer to store your travel goods. This bike really interests me, it’s the right price $999, it is specifically designed for what I want to do, it would be very useful in the future after my trip across the country, but there is just something that bothers me about the size of the wheels. I feel as though no matter how many gears you add, the amount of energy you exert will still be greater than if you had larger wheels. I could be wrong but it just doesn’t feel right. I looked at some reviews and they said that the bike is fantastic and the only down side is that when going up hills the speed is slower and also the amount of shock that gets absorbed by the wheels is significantly less than a larger wheel type. There is a bike shop not far away from my apartment called Harris Cyclery ( this shop has several Bike Fridays so I was going to go check it out and see what I’m missing out on. I am going to continue to keep looking and researching for the best bike for me and then I will get it…ride it, and well obsess over it.

So along with this exiting news of finances for my bike I have been doing some research on cameras and storage devices. I went to Boston camera (which is a rental place) and asked around about lipstick camera…which are called that because they look like a tube of lipstick….I was told to check out Rule (S/P) in Watertown because they could definitely advise me on more details about what I am going to want to get the picture that I want. I plan on having 3 cameras. I would have one lipstick on my bike, one in my parents RV (to capture their day to day activity), and one HD camera that I can use to capture locations that I stop at. I would store these to a hard drive and upload them to a server so Cody my friend/producer can start editing the footage together so we can release the documentary in sections as I travel. This style of creation will allow for people to interact with me through the Internet and in person and be directly involved in the documentary and my trip.

I keep looking outside while I am writing this and saying to my self I can get on my bike in that amazing wind and small pellets of snow…. I probably shouldn’t though. Well I will just continue to plan my trip and keep you all up to date on my next adventures.

P.S. There is a Facebook fan page names “Against the Wind” please join it and help support me and the documentary. Thank you all.


TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 19 hrs 20 min