Saturday, July 17, 2010

Thank You

I'm not going to try and sum up my trip because hey thats what the movie is for, but I would like to take this time to say thank you. I have learned so much about this country, other people, biking, myself, weather patterns and so forth.

I have often been told that education is a necessity and experience in invaluable. With this trip the combination of both education and experience is perfect. My mind has been filled with all sorts of survival methods from whats the best way to put my tent up, to where to find water in a desert. I have learned how to listen and pay attention to my physical body in order to make it up a 4000 ft mountain in 110 degree heat and still survive. The list can go on, but the most important thing that has been reinforced is just how much I need to connect with others.

I left on this trip to be alone and find my own path and I kept running into situations where I needed the help of others for shelter, for directions or simply a pat on the back. I feel as though there is such a push in our society to be individualistic and not to rely on others, that we become lost at sea floating around with just a life jacket keeping our head barely above water. I need others to make my clothes, to build my computers, to drill the wells that supply my water, to make the ball bearings that put my countries space shuttle on the moon . I need people to tell me that I'm doing a good job and to let me know when they feel as though I'm not being honest to myself. I need people to tell me the honest truth about how they feel for me, in order to move on in my life. And by doing this trip I have found a whole world of people that are ready and willing to do that. Yes, there are fears, and yes, I avoid scary situations like walking down a dark alley in the middle of the night, but these are not the things that guide my life, these are not the things that keep me from continuing to talk to people. The amount of energy that it takes to keep connected with people is worth every ounce.

I just want you all to know that I could not have done this trip without you, the people that I met, my family, and yes the people online that everyday made the effort to "like" a post I did or even wrote me an email. Thank you. KEEP connecting with people and KEEP traveling down this wonderful adventure called life.

ADD YOUR STORY AND JOIN THE ADVENTURE
www.bikeagainstthewind.com/stories.html

BIKE TRACKS: Givers "up, up, up"

TOTAL TRIP MILES: ~4,700 miles
TOTAL TRIP: 104 of 104 Days

Friday, July 9, 2010

What Inspires Me

I have seen quite a few things this trip and with a week left I started to think about what it is that keeps me inspired for the next day. Inspiration can come from anywhere even a random bicyclist that you meet in the middle of Arizona.

Below are some things that inspire me:

The way light can be played with.
The way the sunset hits the bottom of a cloud and creates a golden glow.
The ingenuity of humans and the pliability of nature.
This picture.
My Parents (including my dads crazy hair)


These are just a few things. Post some things that inspire you.

ADD YOUR STORY AND JOIN THE ADVENTURE
www.bikeagainstthewind.com/stories.html

BIKE TRACKS: Givers "up, up, up"

TOTAL TRIP MILES: ~4,200 miles
TOTAL TRIP: 96 of 104 Days



Help Mark Get Across the Country



Thursday, June 24, 2010

Don't be Clouded by the "Cartoon Physics" of this Oil Spill


Everyone seems to have a solution for the BP oil spill. Starting in Alabama traveling through Florida, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, I have heard people from all different backgrounds say that they know the solution to "plugging the hole". The "solutions" usually are some form of explosion usually dynamite of which allows for "mother nature" to take care of the rest.

Every time I hear somebody say this I think and ask them "If it is that easy, why hasn't it been done?" And I continue to ask that. Are there so many complications with plugging a hole 5,000 feet under the water or is there a big conspiracy with BP and the Government that they just plan on trying everything but the simplest thing using "cartoon physics"?

I don't have the answer for that but what I have observed is that when I was in Louisiana 4 weeks ago the people seem to have a hopelessness towards the spill. A sense as if this was another disaster that is happening and they will just deal with it and figure out how to rebuild their lives again.

I traveled to Venice, LA and talk to Allen, a commercial fisherman. He lives and survives off of the marsh in Venice. He lives in a 1 room home with a 8 ft dock, both of which he has hand built himself after Katrina. I asked him what he would be able to do if the oil got to the marsh and started destroying the roots that hold the ground together and killing all the fish and he looked at me, looked at the wooden floor, put his hand on his head leaning against his half built kitchen counter and said "I don't know...I.. really don't know."

Today (6-24-10) I read USA Today and there was an article about how individuals in the Gulf coast were taking action and making large barriers that will stop the oil from hitting the coast. This was very encouraging to me because I knew that the Lousiana people were strong and so within the last 4 weeks the same people that I sensed a hopelessness are hopeful.

This catastrophe deserves a repayment and a much needed look at the way our natural resources are gathered, but right now physical action seems to be the solution. So if you think you have the answer PLEASE do it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Gardening



mom, dad and me

Dad in Austin

I spent my last night in New Orleans planting vegetable seeds. I felt as though I have truly been"sown" into the fabric of New Orleans. I would have to say that I would not have changed that experience for any amount of Mardi Gras beads.

The second half of my journey has begun. Four more state to travel through. After a week of rest in New Orleans (a second home to me now) I have had to readjust myself to the traveling lifestyle again. Get used to my bike, getting back into the regiment of being constantly alert. I have met up with my parents whom have been living the vagabond lifestyle for the last five years. They are following me in their small RV van from Texas to San Diego. I am prepaired for this portion of the trip to be more focused on self discovery and development of my relationship to my family, of which I am very excited for.

After two and a half months of travel, I have definitely learned and experienced allot and am everyday becoming more and more excited to share my travels with all of you. As one of the people I have met said "the two things that people should do, read and travel!" I hope that in some way the seed of adventure has been growing in each of you. And once again there is certainly More to Come...

BIKE TRACKS: Brian Regan Comedy

TOTAL TRIP MILES: 3200 miles (my odometer is broken so this is an estimate)
TOTAL TRIP: 75 of 104 Days



Help Mark Get Across the Country


Monday, May 17, 2010

Traveling to the Unknown

Florida

My imagination runs wild while I am traveling. Ranging from different ideas on how to promote the documentary, to what the dogs are thinking when they realize that they are chasing a human on a big bike instead of the largest chew toy they have ever seen. I like the fact that I am able to explore all the crazy ideas and occasionally I write them down. I keep a hand written journal along with the twitter and facebook updates and this blog. I had some trouble starting it, so what I did was let my story telling skills take the reigns and I created a alter ego that is a captain of a adventuring sea ship. My first entry was within the first couple of weeks while being on the road. At that time I was haveing some motivation problems on doing the documentary and learning how to stay alive while touring. This is how it read:

"Day 11, 4-15-10
Today I start my personal journal. My first mate found me crying over the maps in my captains quarters and it shook him to the point of inspiration. He told me that he cannot follow the command of a meek and sad individual, so if I were to lead this crew into the unknown seascape than I needed to make decisions for my self and follow them full heartedly. No more must I think about how my choices affect others, no longer must I worry about my reputation. If I am to lead this ship to victory through this treacherous voyage than I must take a stand.
After looking my first mate in the eyes I took a deep breath then stood and said, "Tell the crew to hold on to their hats, buckle down and get ready to go on the greatest adventure of their lives, because I am here and I am ready to make the choices that will lead us through the storm and into the great unknown""

I recently reread this entry and I wanted to share it with all of you because I have met some amazing people that everyday make decisions that lead them through their adventure. From Dave who is trying to see his children, but does not have the funds, Nate who was recently laid off from an oil rig and now is trying to be an inventor, Connie who works everyday getting her kids to all of their activities along with maintaining an active role in the education system, Granny who is the grandmother to anybody that needs one, to Rodz who has opened his own seafood store and is now struggling to keep it open because of peoples fear of oil contamination. Each of these peoples stories continue to inspire me to ride on, to take the lead of my ship and make the destinations that need to be made.

Now halfway through my travels I am excited to see who else I meet and what stories they have. I want so badly for all of you to meet the people that I have met and learn from them the same way that I have. I plan on keeping my imagination wild and seeing what comes up. So man the sails and hold strong, cause we are still on the adventure into the unknown.

BIKE TRACKS: Givers "up, up, up"

TOTAL TRIP MILES: 2355.2 miles
TOTAL TRIP: 45 of 90 Days



Help Mark Get Across the Country




Thursday, May 6, 2010

Things Seem to Happen

A phonebooth in the middle of the NC woods


I live a fairly simple life right now. All i have to do when I wake up in the morning is decide on where I want to bike, where I want to eat and then get on the bike and ride for how ever many miles then do it over again. I have places where I want to go, I find places along the way and then people and places seem to make them selves known at the perfect time when I most need it.
Every single day of this trip something that many people consider destine, happens.
Example:

I was staying at a campground on Jordan Lake in Central North Carolina and I was trying to decide whether I should head towards Raleigh the next day because I had 4 days till I was supposed to meet my friend Sean and the Band he is with (Lotus) for one of their concerts. I wake up and pack my bags on my bike and this red car comes to my campsite. This man and woman stick their head out and ask me if I'm leaving. I tell them yes and they start unpacking their camping gear in the campsite next to me. We start talking, I tell them about my trip and how I am trying to figure out where I am going to stay for the next couple of days. Well After helping them set up their tent and unload some other things from their car, they invite me to stay an extra day or two at their campsite. For a split second my mind goes no I was planing on going into town, my bikes all packed, but then I realized that this was exactly what I was looking for.


After Staying with this couple and their kids for the couple of days I became friends with them and now I am even playing a word game with Brian on my I-phone.


Life seems to provide if I keep my mind open.


Many of these types of stories have happened to me all through out this last month and in North Carolina they seem to just keep happening. This makes me think about a topic that I have been thinking about since High school (probably earlier). whether or not our lives are guided by Fate or freewill. IS everything already planed out for us? Am I writing this blog because I was destine to think these thoughts and do these actions? Or am I souly the one that is creating these instances?


I like to think that I have the control over my choices. That the actions I take are my own. I guess that is a common thought. I feel more in control of my life thinking that way even when I choose to not control my life and let life happen, that is my choice.


Fate is a very interesting idea though. It seems to make moments and meetings easier to explain. When I meet someone and I feel right talking to them, to think that is was completely random takes away the romanticism. But if I was fated to meet this person then the stars have aligned and I have followed the path that was meant to be. My meeting and interaction brings me to another checkpoint in my life. I feel as though this is a safe way to explain things that I don't understand.


With freewill I feel as though I can trace back my steps and choices and go "Of Course I like hanging out with you" we both went to the same type of school and we both traveled and we both chose to be actors or what ever the choices where that I made in my life and you made in yours. I don't want to think that I am who I am because it was mapped out for me, I want it to be my choices and my trials and tribulations that created who I am and why people feel the way about me that they do.


So every time that something like the Jordan Lake camping example happens I question myself on whether this was a complete and utter coincidence or was I fated to become apart of these peoples lives. Either way I am happy that all these things are happening.


-------------------------

Please keep commenting on facebook, twitter and Bikeagainstthewind.com. I am still looking for more people to videotape themselves talking about why they live where they live and what are the roots that hold you there if there are any. Please film yourself talking and post it on youtube then submit it through the SUBMISSIONS page of Bikeagainstthewind.com.
Thank you.

BIKE TRACKS: Lord Finesse
TODAY'S MILES: haven't left for today
TODAY'S TIME: 0
TOTAL TRIP MILES: 1376.5 miles
TOTAL TRIP: 32 of 90 Days


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Virginia


video
I have traveled from north Virginia (DC area) to southern Virginia (Clarksville) and I have to say that this has been an amazing state. Everybody should visit at least once. I am about to leave the state and I am kind of sad. but there will be more adventures and more people to meet and talk to and I am excited to meet them.
CORRECTION: in the video I say that the Plantation had slave writings. well that is not true but there is a great guy there who wrote his thesis on the perspective of the plantation from the slaves. He doesn't know why there is a web page had that info on it. The Plantation is still worth seeing and there are so many more things to learn about it.

BIKE TRACKS: The Wind that is blowing instead of a storm that was supposed to be coming

TODAY'S MILES: 5.8 miles
TODAY'S TIME: .5 hrs

TOTAL TRIP MILES: 979 miles
TOTAL TRIP: 21 of 90 Days

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Being Creative and Making Sacrifices to Get to Do What You Want


This is my favorite photo so far (sunset over the Hudson)

These last several days have been eye opening. I have talked to many people, from Portland, PA residents (beautiful little town by the way), to a Devotion in Motion instructor in Delta, PA. to some Tea Party members in Washington D.C. Each person was willing to let me ask questions about their beliefs without hesitation and without rejection. I have slept at friends houses, friend's relative's houses, campgrounds and the backyards of churches. I know that I have allot more to go and will be experiencing a wide range of rejection and acceptance but so far the people of this country have been very open to me and my travels. I do of course get the shocked look each time I tell them that in three months I will be in San Diego, CA but that usually wears off to a genuine well wishing.

One question that I have been getting allot that I was not expecting was "you must have worked really hard to be able to finance this trip haven't you?" It must be a sign of the times I guess. (and yes I did work very hard to be able to figure out the financial side of this trip and am still figuring it out as I go*thanks to all that have contributed so far*)

I guess I didn't think that that would be one of the first question that would cross peoples minds, I figured it would be more focused on "how crazy are you?" (I would say, medium crazy) or " does it hurt to ride on such a small seat? (yes, some times it does) but finance is on peoples mind. I found that the closer I got to D.C. the more people were concerned about finances.

I do feel very honored that I can do this trip I was not expecting to be able to do the trip at the scale that it is. I feel that because I am fortunate enough to do this I have more of a responsibility to incorporate as many people as I can. That is why I have the website for you to post your own stories so you can contribute to the documentary. If you don't want to create a video send me an email about how you came to live where you live or any story that you feel you need to let out. I want to see, read, learn your stories as I am trying to figure out my own. And always keep following me on twitter.

For all the people that are worried about the financial side of their own bike tour or doing something that you are passionate about, it is of course a legitimate concern but what I have found is that if you really want to do it, there are avenues to get what you need (don't steel). You will have to sacrifice many things that you would usually want or do but it can happen. I was always told by my mother that I need to dream about what I want first THAN I can figure out how to get it. Once you know what you want clearly than you can be open to seeing the possibilities around you. Be creative, because its out there.

BIKE TRACKS: "One Week"

TODAY'S MILES: 54.66 miles
TODAY'S TIME: 5.04 hrs

TOTAL TRIP MILES: 646.2 miles
TOTAL TRIP: 11 of 90 Days

Friday, April 9, 2010

Thought and the Basic Needs


I sit now in the northwest of New Jersey on the edge of a motel bed trying to collect my thoughts about the last week and the adventures that I have had. I have biked almost 400 miles in the last week through 4 states, left my phone 45 miles away and had to go back to get it, biked through Manhattan at sunset, and said goodbye to the east coast for the next 3 months. Those are just a few of my adventures. I have thrown myself into the touring abyss and have been floating by, learning day by day what to do and how to survive. I think that the biggest thing that I have learned so far is that paying attention to my body is an extremely important thing.
I am struggling a bit with getting into a regular sleeping pattern but I am starting to eat in a more regulated fashion, Large breakfast, medium lunch, then a big dinner (lots of nuts and granola in between). I feel as though I am relearning how to live. Its scary but fun. figuring out the basics of life and how to get them.

So sitting here I feel a bit foggy about what I need, I feel as though I am still in the learning phase so I have yet to fully organize my thoughts but I plan to continue to listen to my body and learn.

BIKE TRACKS: the Highways of New Jersey

TODAY'S MILES: 60 miles
TODAY'S TIME: 9 hrs

TOTAL TRIP MILES: 371.5 miles
TOTAL TRIP RIDE TIME: 49.5 hrs



Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Shame of Walking the Bike

As my cleat hit the ground I had so many thoughts rush through my mind. Is this the right thing? Should I just pull over and rest and then get back on the saddle? How am I going to make it across the continental divide if I can't make it through Connecticut? Will this negate my trip to the traditionalists?

The hills today were many and continued to come one after another after another. I know that this is nothing compared to what is to come but I had to get off my bike and walk the last 50-100 feet up the hill to keep my sanity and my mussels intact. for a brief moment I had all these questions run through my head but then felt as though this is just one way of traveling with the terrain. And as far as the continental divide or even the hills of Pennsylvania. I will take care of those on the day/s that I am riding them.

The cowboy had to walk his horse sometime as so I had to nurture my power source, ME. Although the fact that I had these questions in the first place puts to question, What does it mean to bike tour? Now I believe that this can not be answered in one way and shouldn't be. which is a bit exciting. To bike tour to me is to experience life from another angle, to get from A to B and truly learn why A and B are there in the first place.

Today was hard for me but I am still alive and healthy (I have a bit of stomach pain) and I am going to be getting up tomorrow, attaching my 6 bags to my Long Haul Trucker and peddle to my next stop in NY state because I am determined to see everything in between, one step at a time.

BIKE TRACKS: Some techno song that the car stopped next to me was blaring.

TODAY'S MILES: 87 miles
TODAY'S TIME: 12.5 hrs

TOTAL TRIP MILES: 147 miles
TOTAL TRIP RIDE TIME: 19.5 hrs

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Day to Be Prepared For

s video

I started my trip!!!!!! The day went very well and the send off was amazing. And so the Adventure begins. One step at a time. The entire day was strait up hill all the time....I'm not lying....vertical! MA 135 is a road to do if you want to work on your climbing skills. I am feeling excited and scared but if I take this one day at a time I will be more prepared to do this. I will go to sleep now.


TODAY'S MILES: 60 miles
TODAY'S TIME: 7 hrs

TOTAL TRIP MILES: 60 miles
TOTAL TRIP RIDE TIME: 7hrs

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The New Camera Mount


Last minute things are always there but I am feeling pretty good about leaving.  Today was a big day for bike mount testing.  My friend Scott built what I like to call the Lance.  It is a camera mount for the 7d. take a look.  It is a aluminum square rod the is attached to the front rack of my bike.  then there is a tripod head that holds the camera.  It is extremely sturdy and would only be used for short amounts of time on smooth roads but it will add alot of dynamic shots to the documentary.
It was a little scary riding with it but I got used to it pretty quickly.

So I set off on my adventure tomorrow at 10:30am EST.  Expect to hear from me on twitter and facebook.  and then when ever I get wireless I will be updating the Journal.  

And stealing from my friend David Lawson,  there will always be MORE TO COME!!!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Test Ride Down... Leaving Soon!



This last weekend I jumped on my bike and road to Portsmouth New Hampshire. Well I didn't "jump" on my bike but I did ride to New Hampshire. it was 140 miles round trip and It was a great experience. I was able to pack everything I needed into my panniers strap my pelican case onto the front rack and ride off into the freezing 25 degree sunset... I was surprised that I was able to get everything I needed onto my bike but it all worked out pretty well. on my trip back the next day I was called by the Brookline Tab (local newspaper) to get interviewed and on this last Thursday they released this article (HERE) . check it out and let me know what you think. I am very excited to see more people involved and after a day of hanging out with people tomorrow I will be leaving on Sunday for the trip. Thank you all that have been apart of this for the last year and a half and thank you for the new people that I hope to talk to soon.


BIKE TRACKS: The Pixies: Caribou

TOTAL DISTANCE FOR DAY (TDD) : 355 miles
TOTAL TIME FOR THE DAY (TTD) : - hr

TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 1 yr 4 months
TOTAL TRAINING DISTANCE TRAVELED: 2714.84 + Miles

Monday, March 15, 2010

New Sponsors and Hanging Out With My Friends


David Lawson Came up for the weekend which gave me a chance to play with the new camera (Canon 7D). It is amazing, I am so very excited to be using it for video and for stills. I will be doing a full review of it shortly. The picture above was a focus test. David would through a piece of paper at me and I tried to capture it in the frame so it was in focus and he was out of focus. This is the closest we got which I really like. I put it through photo shop to make it look 70's.
Adventure Cycling Association is Sponsoring "Bike Against the Wind" they are an amazing website for mapping and getting on a guided bike tour. I am really excited to be working with them because they promote a great lifestyle. (And they help crazies like me do the crazy things I do)

NEW!!!! Our website is about to change. we are moving on to bigger and better. Cody has been working him self to the bone to get us out new site and it is almost complete! This week when you go to www.bikeagainstthewind.com you will find a new home page with many new things. Such things like a map that will show you where I am, my latest video and blog updates and much more. I am excited to see the site develop and I hope you are to. We do also have the facebook group "Bike Against the Wind" please join and post all you want.

BIKE TRACKS: Dave Mathews Band

TOTAL DISTANCE FOR DAY (TDD) : 50 miles
TOTAL TIME FOR THE DAY (TTD) : - hr

TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 1 yr 6 wks
TOTAL DISTANCE TRAVELED: 2359.84 + Miles

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Why Biking Rocks


So I am definitely an advocate for biking. I will by no means yell at anybody for driving a car. I understand the importance of a car and well Lara has a car and I drive it quite often. So call me a fake but I still love bikes for several reasons. The exorcise I get when I ride compared to going to a gym is a million times better because I workout AND get places I need to get. Also the exciting sites that I get to see when I am on my bike is different from when I drive or walk. But best of all is something that I just discovered today. If you bike to Build a Green Bakery on 223 first ave in NYC you will get 25% off your purchases. The cookies are amazing and the place is entirely made out of recycled material (including the wall paint). This thought that since I am one to bike that I deserve a discount on goods is an interesting thought. what if bikers were to get a bigger tax cut if they road to work (all ready might be happening) or if I bike to a restaurant I would get a bit of a discount. This is an amazing Idea.

Bike Track: David Lawson's Floundering about in an Age of Terror

Friday, March 5, 2010

30 Days and Counting

video
Ladies and gents 30 Days till my trip! I need your help getting the word out about this trip and documentary. When people put comments and post videos on Facebook, Youtube, Vimeo or on Bikeagainstthewind.com they are participating in the final creation of the documentary. Your posts about places you have always wanted to go or things that you have always wanted to do could possibly be used in the final cut of the film. Plus I get to talk and meet with more people all across the country and world. So please make comments, post videos and participate with me in this project.

Watch the video update at www.bikeagainstthewind.com if you can't see it here.

BIKE TRACKS: Dave Mathews Band

TOTAL DISTANCE FOR DAY (TDD) : 30 miles
TOTAL TIME FOR THE DAY (TTD) : 2 hr

TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 1 yr 5 wks
TOTAL DISTANCE TRAVELED: 2309.84 + Miles



Monday, March 1, 2010

Starting to Say Goodbye



Tomorrow I am going up to New Hampshire so I can see my Grandparents before they leave to go to Florida. I was talking to my grandmother over the phone today and it was during that conversation that I realized that I am not going to be seeing her before my trip, so I convinced her that it would be a good idea for me to come up and see her and Grandpa even if it is for only 4 hours.

This is the start of the goodbye for now's.

One thing that I have learned growing up is how to leave a place with out much emotional trouble. Saying goodbye to people is not hard for me because I feel as though I am just a phone call or a text or facebook post away. I have moved from Garden Valley Idaho to Penang, Malaysia back to Idaho and to Boston with out much trouble (other than packing and unpacking). Some people I know have trouble even leaving their home for a day let alone 3 months. This interests me because it is different from how I feel.

What keeps people from leaving places that they have lived? What makes people so strongly attached to a person or a place that they never venture past the city limits? Is that OK? Is it the smart thing to do? Is it the Right thing to do?

Do you have trouble leaving friends and family for extended periods of time? What do you think it is that keeps you from leaving certain places?

Is it easy for you to leave people and places? What do you think about when you make that transition time after time?

Make a post on this blog. I would like to hear your stories.

BIKE TRACKS: Tea and Scrumpets

TOTAL DISTANCE FOR DAY (TDD) : 18 miles
TOTAL TIME FOR THE DAY (TTD) : 45 min

TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 1 yr 5 wks
TOTAL DISTANCE TRAVELED: 2279.84 + Miles

Sunday, February 28, 2010

What a Wonderfuly Squishy World We Live In

video

I got a box in the mail from Guyot Design. They were sending me their product "the Squishy Bowls" and "the Utensils" I am very excited to use these things on my trip. They are light weight bowls that can be easily cleaned and packed away. AND THEY ARE BRIGHT BLUE!!!

BIKE TRACKS: Andrew Anderson

TOTAL DISTANCE FOR DAY (TDD) : 0 miles
TOTAL TIME FOR THE DAY (TTD) : 0 min

TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 1 yr 4 wks
TOTAL DISTANCE TRAVELED: 2261.84 + Miles

Friday, February 26, 2010

Inspiration is All You Need to Start


A large part of trips and projects like this one come from inspirations in life. Some visual, spiritual, some from individuals. David Lawson has inspired me in many ways and right now he has a one man show that is going up in NYC I am going to be going to it next weekend on Saturday if anybody would like to join me. we can talk bikes and also watch a great play. His play is call Floundering About: In an Age of Terror.

His show is very much about exploring his relationship to this country and I really feel as though many of the comments that he makes in his show relate to my life and my story.

BIKE TRACKS: Pandora

TOTAL DISTANCE FOR DAY (TDD) : 1 miles
TOTAL TIME FOR THE DAY (TTD) : 10 min

TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 1 yr 4 wks
TOTAL DISTANCE TRAVELED: 2261.84 + Miles

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Testing the Tent


Ever since I started this project I have been wanting to make sure to get as much expirience as I can. So Lara and I decided to sleep in the tent tonight.

The tent is an REI - Arete 2 ASL allseason tent


TOTAL DISTANCE FOR DAY (TDD) : 30 miles
TOTAL TIME FOR THE DAY (TTD) : 1.5 hr

TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 1 yr 4 wks
TOTAL DISTANCE TRAVELED: 2260.84 + Miles

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A fantastic Frame (film people debate)


As I was on my trainer today I was watching "Enemy of the State" with Will Smith and Gene Hackman and I came across a frame in the film that caught my attention so much that I frame grabed it to talk about it. I paused the film and asked my self why I liked it. I think its because of the color contrast with the green and the gray and I really liked how the city on teh right was balanced not by a physical shape on the left but by the action of the scene. OHHH the magic of film making.

While I was peddling past mile 40 and watching this film I became extremly excited thinking about that fact that SOON I will be filming my own movie and creating something exciting and unice with all of you.

Please let me know what you all think of this shot and anything else related. or Unrelated.

BIKE TRACKS: Enemy of the State

TOTAL DISTANCE FOR DAY (TDD) : 40 miles +
TOTAL TIME FOR THE DAY (TTD) : 2 hrs 6 min

TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 1 yr 4 wks
TOTAL DISTANCE TRAVELED: 2230.84 + Miles

Monday, February 22, 2010

Training while doing research (watching Movies)



So one of the things that I have had to make sure to do is train on my bike more than I usually do. Because of the bad weather I decided to get a bike trainer. (yes its kind of like training wheels but not) This little kickstand allows me to peddle to my hearts content indoors. This gets my milage up. I am getting up to 250 miles per week because I am going to push my speed at the beginning of the trip so I dont stay in the North east to get hit by storms.

With this new trainer it allows me to double task to in the picture I am watching documentaries while I'm biking. Makes sense doesn't it?

ANY recommendations on documentaries for me to watch?

BIKE TRACKS: Barnaked Ladies: Its All Been Done

TOTAL DISTANCE FOR DAY (TDD) : 5 miles
TOTAL TIME FOR THE DAY (TTD) : 30 min

TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 1 yr 4 wks
TOTAL DISTANCE TRAVELED: 2190.84 + Miles

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Adventurer in All of Us

Imagine playing guitar hero with that guitar.

Alright so I have known that other people have biked across country. I have known that others have biked down the Americas, I have known that people have biked around the world. And each story amazes me.

I am currently trying to get in contact with anybody and everybody that has done any of these amazing trips in order to swap stories and promote each others projects. So below are a few people that have amazed me. There are plenty more but these are a few of my favorites.

Darren Alff (Bicycle Touring Pro) - www.bicycletouringpro.com (I have gathered so much information from this guy. he tours and tells you everything. he has a book also.

Mike Beauchamp (the Cross Canada Project) - www.mikebeauchamp.com/crosscanada/index.php (Mike biked across Canada and made a documentary)

Lee Hughes (The Adventure of a Life Time) - www.leehughes.co.uk (Lee is doing "The Adventure of a life time" biking, climbing, walking and paddling, check it out)

Mark Cooper - www.runwithmark.com (This guy is running from Amsterdam to Barcelona, just look at is)

BIKE TRACKS: NPR

TOTAL DISTANCE FOR DAY (TDD) : Rest Day
TOTAL TIME FOR THE DAY (TTD) : ~ hr

TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 1 yr 4 wks
TOTAL DISTANCE TRAVELED: 2185.84 + Miles

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Is Twelve Minutes all the time I Need?


When selling a story or pitching an idea I am told to have the elevator pitch, a 1 minute description of the project that you can get out to somebody before the elevator doors open for them to get off. I feel as though I have gotten pretty good at that over my time of creating this project. Obviously 1 minute is not allot of time and to create a full story i am going to need many 1 minutes strung together.

I am currently looking for cameras to film this adventure and have come upon and been recommended cannon's 7D camera. This is a Still camera that shoots digital video 1080p 24fps(23.987) this cameras quality is amazing it looks like film, in fact many people have shot films on this camera and have been successful. The price is just right also 1800 for a functioning camera and then some more for all the other features (new lens, light, casing, compact flashes etc) the only complaints that I have heard are the sound is not an XLR plug (a big three pronged plug), there is over heating if you shoot with it for an extended period of time in the heat (which is normal among cameras) and last but not least you have to hit record every 12 minutes. Now this last one is throwing me for a loop. 12 minutes, that's not allot of time. what if I am interviewing someone and they are telling a great story and the thing stops? what if I forget to hit record again what if. I would have to look at my filming structure in a 12 minute structure. Is it worth the sacrifice for the quality and potential future things that can be done with this? Is it worth retraining my thoughts into fragments and living by that 12 minute rule? I am still undecided but i guess if I can get somebody excited to be apart of this project in 1 minute what stories could I tell in 12 minutes.



I worked at the store all day but I did ride to work fully loaded once again. I am starting to really feel comfortable with all the bags and tent. The bike is becoming an extension of me again instead of me being the motor for the bike.



BIKE TRACKS: Billy Joel

TOTAL DISTANCE FOR DAY (TDD) : 5 miles
TOTAL TIME FOR THE DAY (TTD) : ~ hr

TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 1 yr 4 wks
TOTAL DISTANCE TRAVELED: 2185.84 + Miles

The Windy Rhode



Today I went down to Providence Rhode Island. Not completely by bike but also definitely not sans bike. I took the commuter rail then rhode around. I was going to a meeting with The 989 Project. Which is a film production company run by Anthony Ambrosino and Nicholas Delmenico. I had worked with these guys in the past on a feature film and they were going to give me some advice for BIKE AGAINST THE WIND.

This was the first time that I had truly spent any time in Rhode Island and I have to say that despite the major head winds that almost blew me over it was a nice place to ride around. The buildings and landscape was pleasant and plentiful, and there were many historic landmarks to learn about. The rhodes were marked well for bikers as far as there were bike trail signs but man the rhodes were full of potholes and debris. I was up on my peddles for most of my ride.

After a great meeting with "the 989 project" of which consisted of great creative and logistic suggestions, I headed back into Providence and had a couple hours to just be a tourist. So I biked up and down the river walk and then headed for this historic hill which was a clime but the view was a great pay off (check photo # 2). Providence was definitely a place I would like to come back to and ride some more at, I almost considered altering my route to swing through it but I think it will be one of those day trips that i will take in the future, NEXT time thought no commuter rail for me.

BTW Anthony I took your advice on "All the Way" and was not disappointed.

BIKE TRACKS: Kate Nash

TOTAL DISTANCE FOR DAY (TDD) : 32 miles
TOTAL TIME FOR THE DAY (TTD) : ~ hr

TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 1 yr 4 wks
TOTAL DISTANCE TRAVELED: 2180.84 + Miles

Thursday, February 18, 2010

NYC from a Different Angle


I was able to visit my friend David Lawson this Monday who has a one man show opening this next week (Floundering about: in the age of terror). We walked from southern Manhattan to Queens which was one heck of a walk but I was able to see a side of NYC that I had not previously seen. It was great. One thing that I noticed was that even though there was many streets with out bike lanes the ones that did has very serious bike lanes with partitions between the cars and the bikes. It made me a bit more at ease when I make my way into the city on my ride.


BIKE TRACKS: Cake: Never There

TOTAL DISTANCE FOR DAY (TDD) : 45 miles
TOTAL TIME FOR THE DAY (TTD) : ~ hr

TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 1 yr 4 wks
TOTAL DISTANCE TRAVELED: 2148.84 + Miles

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Relationships and Cross Country Adventures...Do they Mix?

Valentines day is loved by many and loathed by everybody else. I tend to enjoy it just because it is a day that I know I have scheduled to spend with the person that I love. It is extremely nice to simply spend a whole day without worrying about things that I have to do or being anywhere else. This alone time with Lara is becoming more and more important to me as I get closer to my tour, March 20th. And the effect that the tour will have on the relationship is also becoming a more and more important subject that Lara and I talk about.


The three months apart is something that is a topic that is brought up in jest and in all seriousness. Instead of just dealing with this worry when it comes Lara and myself have talked about it several times, which has strengthened not only our relationship but also has my desire and excitement for the trip.

The conversations ranged from missing each other to WHY THE HELL AM I DOING THIS! both of which have validity. By talking about these things it always brings up emotions, but to deal with the emotions while we are together and able to look at each other in the eye and feel each others energy I think is much better than when I am in the middle of Texas all by my self. Lara still says that she is going to miss me and instead of that being something that I would take as her not wanting me to go, we have communicated enough to know that she will miss me AND she is excited for me to go on my great adventure.

So standing overlooking North Adams, MA Lara and I take a photo that is now a yearly tradition of ours. And I think about how nice it is to have a full day in which I can spend uninterrupted time with someone that supports me in my bike touring and that I love.

NEW EQUIPMENT:
-Lone peak front handle bar bag
-bike trainer (Bell Motivator Mag Indoor Bicycle Trainer)

THINGS FOR YOU:
Is there ever a time when you should not communicate about something with your partner?

BIKE TRACKS: Beirut

TOTAL DISTANCE FOR DAY (TDD) : 45 miles
TOTAL TIME FOR THE DAY (TTD) : ~ hr

TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 1 yr 4 wks
TOTAL DISTANCE TRAVELED: 2148.84 + Miles

Monday, February 1, 2010

-11 Degree Weather and Still Biking

Biking in -11 degree weather is reserved for the special people. I happen to be one of those special people. What drove me to put on my bike shorts, my wind breaker, my gloves, face mask, leggings, wool sock, and beanie? I want to say that it is my drive and will to keep biking no matter what but I can not tell you that with out saying that I needed to go to Melrose and I didn't want to pay for the commuter rail.

Though my toes were frozen by the end and I had to use a hot pack to thaw them out I did not encounter any trouble with the trip. When it gets that cold the world stops and I felt as though I was in a ghost city where even the tumbleweeds would not roll.

LESSON LEARNED: My clip shoes are make to keep my feet dry so there is allot of air flow. to keep my feet warm I Velcroed some hand warmers to the from of my shoe. It kept it warm for about ten minutes than when the feet started the sweat the shoe would do its job and let the air flow right into my foot thus causing them to freeze. So in the future put your hand warmers inside your shoe if it fits that way you wont leave a nice jet stream for some nice air-conditioning in your shoe.

It has been some months since I have updated you on my preparation for my trip. since then I have been going full steam collecting all the necessary items to make this dream a reality. some of those things are(brands and more specifics are to come when new site is launched):

Lone peak panniers (saddle bags for to carry things) (p-500)(p-100)
Back and a Front rack
leggings
winterbike gloves
facemask
CO2 bike pump
road tires
wind jacket
MSR firefly stove
sleeping bag

WHAT I AM IN NEED OF:
small 3 season 2 person tent
handlebar bag

I have recently had my photos taken and will be showing those soon once I have narrowed them down.

BIKE TRACKS: Red Hot Chilly Peppers

TOTAL DISTANCE FOR DAY (TDD) : 14 miles
TOTAL TIME FOR THE DAY (TTD) : 1.5 hr

TOTAL TIME TRAINING: ~
TOTAL DISTANCE TRAVELED: 2103.84Miles


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fear.


I have had a pretty easy going life. I don't struggle very much to feed my self, although I do eat Ramen noodles a bit to much, but for me to get through my day and pay my bills, its pretty easy. I find that because I have been extremely fortunate to have the fundamentals of life (food, shelter, health) I feel as though I MUST never waist time. There seems to always be in the back of my head a little voice telling me that there are people literally sleeping in mud and scrounging for food every day. My fear is that I am wasting the opportunities that are given to me. My fear is that if I don't do something with my life that when I get old and there is one last breath for me to take, that I take it with relaxation and a sense of accomplishment.

Why do I put so much pressure on myself to succeed? Because if I fail then I have wasted everything.

Those two sentences are extremely dramatic. I am not asking for any consoling I am just confused by all the pressure I put on my self. I just need to be cool with my actions and know that I am not trying to take advantage of anybody. I am trying to do something that I am passionate about and that I think will influence people in someway to have them think about their life from a different angle. From my 23 years of experience in this life I feel as though there is allot that I will never learn but that's ok because I have learned allot and will continue to learn everyday.