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!!!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
CO2 bike pump
MSR firefly stove
WHAT I AM IN NEED OF:
small 3 season 2 person tent
I have recently had my photos taken and will be showing those soon once I have narrowed them down.