11.27.2010

Giving Thanks.

I hurt my knee a week ago as I got off of my bicycle, its totally still injured. I am not thankful for this.

I had a fun time at the cut throats formal at strange matter that night prior to hurting my knee! very thankful for that, and for Ryan because he knew I had very low funds that night and made sure to help me out.

This years Thanksgiving feast was the third of my life in which Vanessa and I were in charge of cooking. The first time was 3 years ago in our tiny studio apartment kitchen with a faulty stove and Mikevarga as a guest! Vanessa and I had only been living in San Diego for just over three months when mike made his way out to visit for a week. That year we all agreed it was the best Thanksgiving meal we have ever had. But I think It's gotten better each year since. That's also when Mikevarga and I drank coors light, alot of it, Saved each and every can and then on thanksgiving night we gave all the cans to the man that had been sleeping in the doorway of the building next to mine. The theme of that week was *Coors for Poors* and I have something forever marked on my leg that will reminde me of that time, as does mikevarga. I am thankful for Friends, and for traveling. Its hard at times having friends that are so far away. But I really like being a part of their reason for getting off of Long Island and having fun somewhere new.

Last year Vanessa and I cooked and ate our feast on our own in our little spot on 30th st. Then our friend gabe came over and we filled his belly with our left overs and we sat around on the floor drinking wine.
This year We decided to cook a real whole turkey. In the past we never thought it was worth it to cook a whole turkey for just the two or three of us, we'd cook a Turkey breast. We went all out this year. We have a Big house, a big kitchen and lots of friends who live in the neighborhood. So we wanted to do it right. And we did.
A turkey, Green bean casserole, sweet potatos, Macaroni and cheese, stuffing, biscuits, cranberry relish. (Everything other then the cranberry, was made from scratch) Paired with yummy beers and fancy hard cider.
We had some friends hangin around while we cooked the day away, then just as we were getting ready to eat they left to get to their own celebrations. Vanessa, Ryan, and myself sat around on the kitchen floor and filled up on the delishisness. Then We gave our plates to Riot to lick our plates clean, Because Dogs are thankful for good food also, not just us humans. Our friend Nicole came over later on and we all had some drinks while we watched Pete and Pete, It was the only DVD we could get to work at the time. I am Very Thankful for our house, our friends and everything that has been going on here in Richmond since we relocated here.

I got a 2nd job working here http://theurbanfarmhouse.net I'm now working there one or two days a week and the convenience 3 or 4 days. This along with the possibility of maybe having an additional house mate in the comming months, will make it much easier for vanessa and I to start saving money again. Its to stressfull living check to check, and whats the point of working if you cant ever take time off and go do fun things. Its not possible to do so if you dont ever have any money saved. So good things are to come I believe.

I also found this Video today. I like these guys, Grew up playing shows with two of the members of this sweet long Island based band.

11.15.2010

more music in the future of this...

lets get started with what my morning consisted of.




these along with
made for a fine start.

11.11.2010



My Big brother/cousin/lover/friend forever.
Whatever we told you, its all true.
Stephen Valsechi. I Miss you beyond words.
I wish you could come hang out with me, you'd like it. I'd like it more.

11.08.2010

Since we last spoke.

Life changes so fast at times. The more you keep yourself open to new things the faster it all happens. I've yet to find a place or job that has made me feel as if I don't need to keep searching, keep exploring. And even when one of those things falls into place I'm sure I'll find a way to keep wondering and exploring, even if it is just a little at a time.
As I last wrote, we had a really great time hanging out in Virginia, so much so that we decided it was where we wanted to go next. We set a date and decided to head down with whatever money we could save up by then. The past two years have been so full of amazing things and yet so full of sadness in my life. I continue to do and see great amazing things, but friends and family continue to get sick or pass away unexpectedly... A week before our planned date to leave for Richmond, my truly amazing friend Stephen Valsechi was robbed of his time here on earth, there was so much more for him to see and do and experience. And I along with many others are now left feeling robbed as well. I will never again feel the joy I did while spending days with steve. He lived life on his own terms and never let others stand in his way of having fun. I will take that mentality and remember it forever, try to embody it and let him live a little bit through me i suppose.
So we stayed on Long Island a bit longer then planned and it was a hard long week. On Friday the 15th we got in our car and drove south. we arrived at our good friend and now housemate, Ryan O'neill's house. He through a big party that night where we mixed up Long Island Ice Teas. Ryan is also a native Long Islander... Vanessa and him went to high school together.
We spent the remainder of the month of October sleeping on an air mattress in the spare bedroom of that house, It was a hard month. That house is on its way out. It's been a punk house forever and it shows, holes in the walls and floors, a mouse is seen every now and then. The Gas had gotten turned off right when we arrived which made it impossible for us to cook or have a hot shower... We got focused and set a goal to get out of that house and into a new one by the 1st of november, to do this we had to get ourselves some jobs asap. Vanessa started right away working with Ryan at Perlys, a great restaurant thats open for breakfast and Lunch. I had a harder time finding work. I was able to start recently working at a convenience store called the broad st. market. Its a pretty crazy place to work. The pay isn't very good. But i needed to start something. I'm continuing to search for a different source of employment. And I will work at the market until something good comes along.
Outside of responsibility, life has been good to us here. We found ourselves a great house to rent. Its a large 3 bedroom house on 36th st. in Church Hill. A block in one direction from a house full of friends and 3 blocks in another direction of another house full of friends. Its so far beyond anything Vanessa and I have ever lived in. The house as a whole, coast $25.oo more dollars then the small studio we rented in San Diego. This is one of the main reasons we came here. Life is just a little easier. The weather isnt, but the rent is at least. We have a 3 mile commute everyday to work, which is a fun bicycle ride away.
Im just so happy to be back in an area where we don't need to rely on cars as necessity. And where there is a population of like minded young people all in one community. Its already getting colder, which isnt so nice to ride bicycles in. We expect the winter to be rough, more so because Vanessa and I haven't lived through an east coast winter in three years now. I know we'll survive but its still scary.
So that's my rant about what life has been over the past two months. In the coming months I plan to become a winter bicycle ninja, Cook lots of soups, hang out at home with Vanessa, Ryan and Ryans great dog, Riot, See lots of good bands play, And hopefully find a sweet job that will make me happy to ride through the cold weather/rain/and snow to get to. We have plenty of room for visitors so come on out and sleep on our couch.

8.27.2010

BFD

last thursday vanessa, leanne, john, and myself got into vanessa's car and drove on down to Richmond, VA. we were invited to come down and party for Best Friends Day 9( www.bestfriendsday.net ) During our stay there in may while riding through Virginia. I sure am glad we lived up to our word and took the trip down. This summer has been fun, but that trip really made it great.
so we arrived thursday the 19th and stayed until monday the 23rd. Our stay in richmond was full of fun, beer, river hangin, the biggest pool party of my life, lots of bands, and some good bicycle crusin. Our first time through richmond was such a good time, and I hyped it up so much that i was worried of maybe being let down on our second time through, Not the case...
Infact vanessa and myself may just MOVE there. And this is real, we have talked about it a few times over the summer. We figured before we got the idea in our head to seriously we should take this trip down and see how we feel after. And well, we are totally into that idea. Its a city that is full of young people who are into the same kinda lifestlye and fun times as us, not only this but it is so affordable to live there. What i'd pay to live in a small studio apartment here in NY can get me a whole house with a yard in Virginia. Obviously with the coast of living going down the rate of pay goes down, but it dosen't seem to really go down all that much.
We have talked alot lately of wanting to take an extended trip to Europe, perhaps in a year. Being in NY, the only way we could possibly save the money for this would be to continue to live in our parents homes, and live a life we are not very happy living. I honestly feel we can have a good time and still save the money we need while in VA. This would most likely not be the case if we tried to move somewhere else. So I think we're going to go for it. My Job at the Bicycle store ends in a month anyway, So I have to find new work one way or another, might as well try to find it there.

In other news,
-Incredible people that have been in my life continue to pass away, and its tragic and upsetting but we try to deal and continue on.
-The weather has been great the past few days.
-we meet up with about 20 other people every Wednesday night for a group ride and hang sess, and this has led me to new friendships with people I never knew before returning back home.
-I cleaned my bedroom pretty good yesterday and i have the windows wide open and it makes waking up pretty nice.
-I just ate a bowl of curry chicken soup that vanessa made and it is so good, you can find the recipe here... www.weareallsosmall.blogspot.com
-I won $4 on a scratch off yesterday, im still trying to hit it big.
-I miss a lot of really good people who live in san diego. I owe richard like 3 postcards.
-im getting tattooed today by civ, it will be my 3rd session on my arm since our return to Long Island, Making up for lost time.
- there are a few people i wish i could hang with alot more and it sucks because they live so close compared to when i was 3000 miles away, now its just like 60 miles and i still never seem them.
Andddd thats it for now.

7.26.2010

hey

I miss sleeping in our tent.
and eating an average of 2 meals a day outside.
and sweating a lot but never smelling because the constant breeze created by riding our my bike kept me fresh!
Its been extremely disgusting lately, really humid. Today it is NOT, so I'm gonna go ride around until the sun goes down.

6.28.2010

Life On Long Island

So its been a couple of weeks now since vanessa and I have finished riding our bicycles an average of 50-55 miles a day. The transition of traveling into a normal day to day life is a strange, Exciting, fun, not so fun, boring, new, cool, up and down roller coaster kind of thing.
We made it a point to not jump straight back into the rat race of jobs and responsibilities, but sooner or later you gotta make some money if plan to keep doing fun things. I was offered a position working at a bicycle shop in the town of riverhead. I have never worked on other bikes besides vanessas and mine, so to be able to score a job doing that with no experience, i jumped on it. two out of the four days that i work each week are with my friend Devin, so we car pool together and its fun, we usually get breakfast and eat outside before heading in. My boss is a workaholic cool dude. Its nice working with only two other people when the two people you work with are fun and nice and easy to get along with. So I'm thankful to be doing what I'm doing. But the whole idea of having to travel by car and not bicycle ever day kinda gets me down.
Vanessa has landed a Gig cleaning houses. This is also something that came up through a friend. She seems to like it, its good cash money, she hangs out with her friend Lianne all day and scrubs the toilets of rich Hampton summer houses. Sounds not so awesome to some, but its really a pretty cool job. They are a different place everyday, meet new people, snoop around huge houses, and just do their thing. Its long hours but that means just a few days of work a week and you are set.
We kinds just flopped around the first few weeks, but still made it a point to ride our bicycles whenever possible. We've made some new friends since being home who are also into riding bikes, so them combined with the friends we've always had makes for a pretty good crew, we've got this thing going where we meet up for a big group ride on Wednesday nights. but we hang out on bikes almost daily in smaller groups.
Honestly, as good as things have been, I still feel as if I have fallen into a slight state of depression over the past week or so. For over two months we woke up daily with a big mission, and worked all day and completed it giving us excitement for the next day. now on my days off i find myself sitting around trying to find things to keep myself busy. For two months we met new people every day, and they changed our perspective on life and I like to think that them meeting us changed them in small ways as well. I truly miss those interactions.
Our planet is full of so much bad stuff right now, i feel this way now more then ever. All over the world bad stuff is going on. But for a short period of time we were doing something different. something that made us feel good, something that left little to no negative impact on the world around us. And we were able to explore and see more beauty then I ever knew existed within our very own country.
I expected to feel this way eventually so I try not to let myself stay down. This is a transition period and it's just effecting me a little more then i believed it would.

besides the down feelings I've been dealing with. There has absolutely been a lot of good going on.
I have some really awesome friends who I see often and enjoy doing fun stuff anytime of day.
I have been to an amazing rope swing over a lake, Two times already.
I have started growing food in my back yard with my mother.
I get paid to work on bicycles
I have an amazing girlfriend who shares the passions that I have, with out her I would have a lot less to talk about for our bicycle journey would have never happened and I wouldn't be who I am today!
It Is SUMMER.
I've been listening to new great music a lot, and I recently scored some really good older albums from selden thrift.
I am aware of the fact that our future is unwritten and I am here today but anything is still possible. This is an exciting Idea.

I picked a jalapeno pepper straight from my back yard and used it to spice up my egg/potato breakfast. LIFE IS GOOD.

as far as pictures go, vanessa and I have recently developed 4 of the 7 rolls of film i have from our trip. and i am very happy with what we have seen. We plan to get a flicker or some other photo hosting site to post everything on. far to troublesome to post pictures on this blog.

Although our journey across the country by bicycle is over, our journey through life isn't and I plan to continue my Life As Usual, trying my hardest to have No Bad Days. So keep reading and I'll try my best to keep writing.

6.04.2010

a not so finished closer

We have set our feet into the soil of Long Island. Between DC and here a whole lot happened, We went to Philly, ate cheesecakes. hung out and spent the night in the house of two amazing people who we met in Maryland, Swam in a river in south west New jersey, hung out in the dirty jerz with mikevarga for a few days and then ended our journey in an epic way with a bicycle ride from Jamaica queens to west Sayville with a crew of 7 (+vanessa and myself). the Last revolutions of our 3194 mile journey brought us right to the Door of Brocks, our favorite Long Island Watering  Hole. This is where we held our post ride festivities.  We drank beers and ate tons of food along side of some of the best friends we could ever ask for and our loving families. Very few things could have made this day any better then it was. 
     I plan to get on here sometime in the near future to talk more in depth about those last days on the road. Because they were just so soo sweet. and post pictures too of course. I just needed to put it  out there that we have completed what we set out to do when we left San Diego 2 months 1 week and 1 day prior to yesterday.  Its a strange feeling knowing we are now where we have been working so hard every day to get to.  I believe it will take some time for everything to really set in and at that point i will be able to speak about the experience with a bit more clarity.  And also a lot more pictures. Through out the entire trip i have been shooting film pictures so i now have 7 rolls that aren't even developed yet. Its going to be alot of fun to get those back and see it all from that point of view from beginning to the very end.

That's all I've got for now. Thank you, every single one of you.
Our family of friends who inspired us from the beautiful city of San Diego.
Every stranger that we met along the way that were our friends by the time we rode away.
Our Friends that put us up for a night or 3, fed us, and gave us the rest or the party that we needed at those points in the trip.
And lastly every person here in NY that welcomed us back with open arms and reminded us why it is we wanted to finish our journey right here. 


5.25.2010

alabama to The district of columbia!

I have some time now to post some pictures from the past 2 weeks
prior to getting on our train in Tuscaloosa Alabama we camped here. It was nice because we were only 20 miles from town. We woke up that morning with just that short ride, we were able to stop and eat breakfast before catching the train. That's the first time we ate at waffle house. "good food fast" it was really good we've been there a second time since that first time.


so we got our train and transported to Virginia.
we try ed really hard to find some "virgina is for lovers" apparel, like stickers or a beer coozie or something. But the best we could do was find this wall in an ally of Richmond.


This is a picture Nicole shot of us from up in the Church Hill neighborhood over looking downtown Richmond.

we spent the first night in town going to a few bars in part of a Micro brew pub crawl with Vanessas friend Nicole and her boyfriend Aaron. After that we Met Ryan at a place called "Empire" where some bands were playing.
Richmond was the first place in a long time where we were surrounded by like minded young people. Three of which Vanessa has known since long ago. It was really great.
We spent our 2nd night in town at a house show/party. After that night we felt like we could just end the trip here and start over in richmond. everyone was so fun and friendly. and into good music, and riding bicycles. It was hard for us to get ourselves to eventually move on to the next town.

A few different people told Ryan and I that we looked a lot alike, I cant argue with that.


www.twoholesarebetterthanone.com Check out the may 18th video.

The very next day nicole and ryan took us out for a day of exploring, Mostly by the River. It was really neat. its like a whole different world when you go down there.

We ate lunch everyday we were in richmond at Perlys. Its the restaurant that Ryan works at. And every day we'd get a different kind of sandwich with fries or coleslaw or potato salad, and it was always so good. And we drank a lot of good coffee while in town also, Between Aaron being way into brewing good coffee at home and Ryan being way into going to good coffee shops, we had the coffee situation covered.
It was strange getting moving again when it came time to leave the Richmond area. We feel right into the pattern of hangin out with everyone we were meeting, we took just as many days off in richmond as we had the entire trip prior to getting there.
But we did in fact have to move on, and to a great place at that. took a two day ride and got to DC. It started to rain when we were about 10 miles to where we were trying to get. But it wasn't end of the world downpour rain like the day we rode into richmond, it was like... A summer rain. So we tryed our best to not let it get to us, And the fact that we were on a bike path, not a busy road, and we could see our nations capitol forming in the skyline, these things helped. It was really pretty surreal riding into DC, to have traveled so far over the past two months and to now be here in the capitol of our country. It was an epic feeling thats hard to describe. We went straight to the Hostel on 11th and K st. Its not where we are staying but it is where Sarah works. My long time good friend, were staying with her while we are here in town. We met her there at her work so she could pass us her keys to her house which was just up the road from the hostel. That day of riding was just .3 miles short of being the 2nd longest day of the trip. 79.4 miles.
We've spent the past few days wondering the city and people watching, And last night sarah had a party for her birthday/the going away of one of her friends. It was really nice to be able to meet all of her friends from collage. We made pizzas and home made ice cream and someone supplied the party with a ton of maryland crabs, so it was pretty amazing. It has been really nice to see some more familiar faces and to spend time with sarah and her friends. These things are extra special to us. We really love that we've been able to reconnect with friends in their environments as opposed to it being on Long Island in familiar territory. To see what their life away from where we all grew up is like.
We are spending our last full day here today. Our bodies are really getting tired. Its hard for us to want to even go out and explore. But we'll do just that today because this is all coming to an end soon. I think maybe were going out to dinner with sarah and her friends tonight to have a more mellow birthday celebration, then leaving in the morning. Its a straight line from here to NY we'll stop off in A few big spots along the way, Baltimore, Philadelphia. then straight to mikevargas house.
If all goes as planned our last day of riding will be June the 3rd. That will be our ride from Hoboken NJ to sayville NY. And it sounds like we'll be joined by a group of friends that will most likely meet us In queens and ride our last 45 miles together. This will be a lot of fun, we're both just crossing our fingers that the weather will be on our side from here on out...






5.20.2010

quick

We've been hanging out in richmond, VA for a few days now.
The day we arrived was the first really rainy day we have had throughout this entire voyage, and it sucked...
We got really poured on, it started sometime in the middle of the night when we were still about 30 miles from the city area. So come morning we had to pack and ride away from where we were. We rode 21 miles that day before we had to throw in the towel. We were stopping almost every 5-7 miles. I got a flat and had to change it in the down pour, vanessas feet were both numb, and she couldn't ride with her glasses on so once we got within 10 miles of downtown the traffic was way to intense. We were able to find out info on the local bus system, take out panniers off the back of our bikes and get the bikes on the bus bike rack. The bus took us to a stop just blocks away from where vanessas friend nicole lives.
We have now taken just as many days off here in this area as we had the entire trip prior to getting here. Vanessa has a few people in the city here that she knows from back in high school days and we have spent the past three nights crashing their couches.
I dont have the time to get into all the fun stuff we've been up too. But it has been that, A lot of fun. Everyone here is way into bicycles and good times and we've been very happy to take a few days to hang with them.
We'll sleep at nicoles again tonight and leave in the morning to start heading further north. In DC we'll hang with sarah ruth and were excited for that. Im going to try and get online and post some pictures and some more words about everything thats been happening when we get there. That will be 2-3 days from today.
Things are getting really very close to the end and it is a bitter sweet kinda thing.
for now, were still partying our days away in Virginia.

5.13.2010

I forgot to mention we bought a small size of "slap ya mother, cajun Seasoning" made in ville Platte the town we met tony in!

Above is a picture of vanessa and myself with our new friend, Tony.
We stop ed in a town called Ville platte, Louisiana to get some lunch. We almost went to the first place we saw as we entered town, but instead we took a lap around the town and decided to go to this other cafe on the fact that their were way more cars outside of this place, and that's a pretty easy way to judge who's serving the good stuff.
Tony was sitting at the table next to us, he started talking to us because he wanted to know about our tattoos, and about our trip because he saw our bicycles out front on his way in. He told us about his trip to New York when he was working as a truck driver. We finished our meals, which were amazing, and said our goodbyes. We left from that cafe and rode just about 4 miles down the road to the local Wal-mart to get some food to eat later that night for dinner. In the towns that have Wal-mart, it is your only option for anything, so thats where we ended up.
We wasted some time there, even sat down and ate a small ice cream each right in the doorway. As we were getting ready to finally leave, out walks Tony. So we started talking again. He then confessed to us that he had wished earlier that he would have asked us if we need a place to stay or anything he could do to help. We let him know that we were doing just fine. But he told us he'd really love to have us stay at his place and that he would drive us back down the road the next morning to start where we would have anyway. We gave it a minute before we answered, continued talking, just last minute make sure measures to prove to ourselves Tony was not a serial killer. And he wasn't, not at all.
We headed to Tony's apartment and hung out all afternoon. He had just gone fishing the day before and had already planned to cook a bunch of them up that night with his neighbor and their friend Jan. So we ended up meeting all of them. Not only that but before all of that we stop ed by the local store so he could buy some "boudin" a local food, alot like sausage but smokey er and has rice in it as well. He insisted we get it once he found out we had never tried it before. We were happy we listened once we ate. They informed us that we were in the real heart of Cajun Culture. His neighbor Tim talked in such a thick Cajun accent, which is a mix of a thick southern speech mixed with a french twist. All of the food was amazing, but what really made it all so great was to realize how lucky we were to be able to experience Louisiana this way. We slept on the couch and got up early to hit the road.
We got this picture when Tony dropped us off at the gas station the next morning in Washington, LA. We always forget to do this, NOT THIS TIME!
So many people are to afraid of the world to let things like this ever happen. Sure you have to be careful about who you trust, and I am plenty aware that there are bad people out there in the world. But for the most part you can trust your gut, and if you can start doing that you'll find life a lot more interesting.

Its been hot out lately.

We took a Ferry ride across the Mississippi River!
And once we landed on the east side of it, everything changed. really, through my life I think I always considered the old Mississippi the divider of the east to the rest of the country, When we drove across a few years ago up in st. Louis, not much changed from one side to the other. But down here in LA. It was really like two separate worlds from the west side the east side. The lay of the land just changed, Hilly, greener, the towns just felt more east coast as opposed to Cajun land Louisiana.

swampy though, no matter where you go down here. This picture is of a creek in Mississippi. We didnt get a welcome sign into the state of Mississippi either, like texas and Louisiana. This creek was picture worthy more then the other because it ate my water bottle. It slipped from my hand and dropped all the way to the water and quickly floated down the stream.
We were only in Mississippi for about 3 days, nothing that interesting happened in Mississippi. I have to thank it though, It provided us with great weather, excellent days of bicycling. Just not all that much to see or do.
(we made flags so all of the reckless driving logging trucks can see us from further away)
Ahh Yes finally, a new sign for us to take our picture under. Alabama! The miles seem to double in size here. We ride 30 and we feel like we rode 60. Its the Hotness, Humidity, and Hills, that cause this feeling.
We are trucking along just fine though. As I mentioned in my last entry, we have been considering the idea of getting on a train from Tuscaloosa, AL ( home of the university of alabama) and taking it up to Charlettesville, VA. and that is exactly what we are going to do. We already had a route that planned to ride in the direction of this town anyway. We hit mobile ,Alabama which was a pretty neat town with loads of civil war history and from there we go north. We are officially off of the southern Tier of America, Heading north.
Undesirables are listed in order
undesirable #1=Bugs that bite
undesirable #2=Dogs that chase ( this happens way to often)
undesirable #3=Logging trucks/ Other really loud large vehicles
Vanessa cut my hair shorter the other night, it was much needed. 90 degrees with 90 percent humidity!
We are about 2 days from Tuscaloosa, we hope to get there before the rain hits us. It's headed this way apparently and should come down for a few days. From Charlettesville time will fly I'm sure(good or bad I'm not sure). We still have lots of land to cover but after being to such foreign feeling areas just being on the eastern coast will make me feel like we have made it.

5.02.2010

20 days of texas

Texas Texas Texas.
The state that at any point in time has the right and ability to split into Four separate states.
The state that has an average speed limit of 80 mph, except at night when they have to lower to 70 mph... They have "hills" here that are more like Mini Mountains. Steaks that are bigger then my head. The list goes on, the point is this... Everything really is bigger in Texas.




we crossed into the central time zone shortly after crossing into texas. This was strange for a week or so. we were still so much closer to The west coast and yet we were closer in time to the east coast. It threw us off a bit with the sun setting so much later. When it did set though, the stars were incredible. So many camp spots blew my mind once night fell.
There was this one day where I got two Flats. This was unusual, In total, from start till today Vanessa and I have gotten 5 flats combined. NOT BAD!.... A guy I became friends with through work, his name is mike. He and his two friends rode from san diego to the east coast in 2005, they only took 2 days off and did the whole ride in just 44 days. but in those 44 days they got something like 78 flats between the three of them. Im sorry to tell you mike, but you guys were doing Something wrong! He was a good guy, gave me a bunch of helpful hints before leaving. but yeah, those two flats used our last two spare tubes, causing us to make sure we stoped at the next bicycle shop on route.
This next shop was in the town of Alpine, Tx. The name of it was "Bike Man". Here we met the owner and wrench worker, John. He was the bike man. There was a painting on the outside of a superman but it was with his face and it had a B on his chest!
Anyways, he helped us out. We bought four new tubes, Puncture protection tubes at his suggestion. Some real heavy duty stuff. He also gave us the heads up on the local natural foods store, and about a Hostel/art compound 30 miles down the road that let any cyclist spend the night free of charge. He reminded Vanessa and I of an Older Seamus. Seamus is our buddy and local bicycle mechanic shop owner in downtown San Diego. He helped us out a lot prior to this trip( www.thisisabikeshop.com )

so yeah, we went to that hostel. It was in the town of Marathon, Tx. A population of somewhere between 400-600 people in the entire town, And this amazing place is a part of it.


The outdoor Kitchen. attached to the Hostel House.

The Entrance
The wash room. Laundry/Toilets/showers.
www.lalomadelchivo.com
A really inspiring place, And a free bed and roof to sleep under. On a night that rained no less!
The 5 or 6 people living and working there are "wwoof'ing" (world wide opportunities on organic farms) They are working for Room and board. There is an organic garden here but the main objective is to build this place that is sustainable and practice and experiment with different ways to do this. All the buildings are made from various recycled components. And everything is beautifully done really. Nothing is just what is needs to be, everything is turned into a piece of art.

The trains were a really big part of our trip through the south west. Everyday some times for days on end our Route followed along the same route of the train tracks. Sometimes we'd see amtrak trains but for the most part its freight trains. I really enjoyed this. Sure sometimes it was frustrating when we were camping (what felt like) only feet from the tracks and we'd be woken up multiple times in the night. But for the most part it was really nice. Everyday i'd see these huge trains fly by. I always try ed to read all the graffiti writing as it zipped by. And there was a lot of that. We'd also try and see if we could spot anyone that was getting a free ride. Never did.

Most of the rivers are marked on our map. When we ride we hardly ever go further the 20 miles without stopping for at least a few minutes. So when we see that a river will be up ahead we usually wait to take our break there. Eat an apple, Banana, Peanut butter snack, and watch the water go by. This here is one of the larger rivers we have crossed. Most of them are much smaller and we can walk right down to them from the road with our bikes, we've even been lucky enough to camp right by a few of them. That might not be ideal now a days with being on the east coast comes Humidity, humidity+More water= BUGS.

Somewhere along the line before hitting austin we camped at this campground that had a great tent area. we were tucked away from all the RV's deep into the woods. We met two guys there who were also traveling by bicycle. The one kid Kinda Dressed like a mix between a punk Rocker and a cowboy, I liked it...
We made a pretty great fire that night.
We have no digital pictures of our trip to austin at all. This trip happened a pretty funny way really.
We ended up heading into San Antonio Prior to Austin but then got stuck because of rain and had no way of getting to austin but did not want to be in san antonio. I went onto the rideshare section of Craigs list and found a listing from a women name Sarah who drives to work 5 days a week from san antonio to Austin and is always looking for someone to split the gas for the trip. After talking to her and deciding she wasn't a crazy psycho killer. We met the next morning and got a ride with our bikes and all in her ford explorer to austin, Tx!
we took two days off there, they city was cool, Its population is about half of san diegos but yet felt very crowded... I enjoyed the Bike Lanes. and the massive amount of other people who were riding bicycles. It was really nice to see a city that worked this way. where so many people were aware of the connivance and benefits to cycling instead of driving. And how the city helped make this happen.
Being in Austin wasnt everything we hoped for though really. Its just hard. When we enter a city of this sort, not knowing anyone or anything. We end up being viewed as tourist. and we aren't your average tourist who wants to hang out on 6th street and go to the shot bars. We want to experience each city and town the way the locals experience it. But how does one do that when you know no one. you don't! ahh whatever. we still had a really good time. We met some really really great people at the hostel. 3 other people, YOUNG PEOPLE traveling by bicycle! everyone we meet on the road is at least 20 years older then us. so this was great. we didn't just meet them in passing, we were able to sit all night, over drinks, and share our stories. We'll probably stay in touch with Will, He is also riding from CA-NY but going all the way south to New Orleans before heading north, so we'll be a bit ahead of him.
What I did like about Austin was the amount of grass and trees that were right there in the city itself. And that when we left town, we stooped about 10 miles away from the hostel and realized we were once again surrounded by country farms. no sign of city life. Its nice that people can live just 10 miles away and feel like they are in a different world.

Cows. They were everywhere, we saw some other farm animals also. Donkeys, horses, Sheep, Goats. Mostly cows though. We always say hi to the animals as we pass them. I often try and Moo at the cows in hopes that i'll make some sort of sense to them. sometimes i think i do. They often stand up and stare at us. Maybe my moo translates to ( stand up and stare at me.)
Many night time thunder storms!
we've been really lucky though. To this date we have only had that one day from san antonio where we felt we didn't want to ride because of the weather. It has rained, A LOT. but mostly at night and alot of those nights we've been able to find an over hang of sorts to set our tent up under. we have had a few motels though, like right now, im in one. The 6th one of the trip. we hate em, but they let us update with the Internet world and do laundry and shower and all of that.
Not often but at times we have gotten stuck. Not sure where we are going to sleep. Tired and thirsty with no water. destroyed tire with 60 miles to the nearest bicycle shop, the sun about to set and in the middle of no where... These things happen and have happened. But somehow it never lasts due to the goodness of the people we have met along the way. I have started to call them "Road Angels". Our first morning on the road set the pace and it has continued along the way. That first morning waking up away from san diego we met two really great people who invited us in for coffee and breakfast, which included mimosas. our visit to the hostel in Phoenix hardly dented our pockets because of the women working who only wanted to charge us half price. The TWO separate store owners we met in Texas who took it upon themselves to invite us to camp in a safe spot behind their store under an overhang rather then a not so great place down the road. And most Recently and older man named Dave and his Neighbors Mark, Willow, and Kyle.
In austin Vanessa and I both got brand New back Tires and new chains. (we were also given the travelers discount at that shop as well) and here we are not even a week later. We found this great spot to camp down by the river, we rested our bikes up against a pole and sat down to eat an orange. Only minutes later a loud "POW" vanessa's back tire exploded... Her bike was apparently sitting in a not so old fire pit. There was no sign of heat or anything when we put the bikes there, but there was apparently still some hot embers. completely melted through the tire and tube destroying them both. We were in the sticks. really nothing around, nearest bike shop was off route by 60 miles. With plans to hitch hike because we saw no other options, we headed down the road towards the nearest gas station. Along the way an older man waved us into his yard and offered us some cold water. This led to us talking, which led to him offering his front yard as a camp spot and a ride the next morning to the bicycle shop 60 miles away.
Dave is a retired navy worker. He mentioned many times of his Seven tours in Vietnam, And that he sleeps with a gun in his hand so we better not come inside at night because he'd kill us without thinking...
Meeting dave and having that offer to stay also led us to meet His neighbors, they came over after talking to dave and hearing our story. Mark told us they had a big tent set up in his backyard from when his son wanted to camp out the week before and that we should sleep in it. It really was a big tent. we thanked him and moved our sleeping bags into it. They had a big Bon fire going in their backyard and they then invited us into their house to eat dinner with them "sausage and potatoes". These people were so kind, So sooo different from us. a world away. In any other setting we would have never even talked. But we had dinner and talked about what they all did for work, how they just moved into this house and were fixing it up. they offered us some canned food for the road and mark gave me a whole roll of toilet paper haha. Things got really southern when after dinner the guys went out back to shoot some guns off into the fire.... true story.
Anyway, we got our ride the next day and were on our way, still got just as far as we planned to prior to the tire thing. Point is. We had a tire explode and sound like a gun shot and later that night there really were guns being shot... with some really amazing people. and im glad we had that happen to Vanessa's bike.
And then it happened, WE MADE IT OUT OF TEXAS. Were officially in Louisiana. The home of Gumbo, Jambalaya, and Po' Boys. which we ate within the first 48 hours in the state!


Brian Lynch asked me if the hype is real, and it is. So Sooo good. were going through a section of Louisiana that has a good mix of southern style home cooking and Cajun kitchen style cooking. MMMmmm. so yeah. those pictures are of the lunch Vanessa and I ate yesterday.
We spoke about headed north off our original route to take the Natchez Trace Parkway from Natchez Mississippi - Nashville, Tn.
Pretty sure we aren't going to do this. There is some really Terrible weather going on right now north of us in northern Alabama,Mississippi and Tennessee. So we really aren't in a rush to get up there.
With the Oil spills in the gulf right now that is completely out of control. and Tornado's with flooding and other terrible stuff going on to the north of us. We're in wild spot. A safe spot but wild.
Right now it is 94% humidity outside. with a chance of thunderstorms this afternoon. but supposed to clear up tomorrow.
From here we continue east and a bit further south to Mobil, Alabama then north up through Alabama, following the "underground railroad Route" thanks to Adventure cycling Association. If the weather stays this way, or maybe just for the heck of it we may take a train ride from a spot in mid Alabama to a spot in Virginia, Taking a chunk of riding out but overall saving us $ time and possibly our lives. The foot of rain Tenn. has gotten over the past 24 hours dosen't sound very exciting.
So for now here we are. Im sure our next week or so of riding will provide us with wet weather, hot humid weather, and probably a lot of roadside frogs. The stereotypes are real. They are everywhere down here.
This trip continues to surprise and inspire us. We miss our san diego friends very much, NY family and friends as well, but really SD because we both know we wont be seeing those people anytime soon. Hope you are all well. Love and miss you. Thank you for everything.
With best regards to everyone from coast to coast
NobadDays from Louisiana!








4.13.2010

news! no pictures 4/13/10

We have made it into the biggest state in the lower 48, Texas.
The few days we had in New Mexico were amazing. we truly enjoyed every day of bicycling through the south part of the state. Everyone there was really friendly. literally almost every car that passed waved to us. We camped for free in the town park of Hillsboro the day we rode over Emery Pass. The next morning we had an amazing breakfast at their General Store. The Next night we spent in a state park camp ground where we met a really great park ranger. so great it made me kinda want to be a park ranger.... He hooked us up with a site for the night plus gave us a good amount of water and some food to snack on. He also makes Jewelery and is quite good at it http://www.benhoffacker.com/. We went to a bike shop the next day in Las Cruces. Before that we stoped and had coffee and some oatmeal and a chocolate scone at a place called "The Bean" We really liked that coffee shop, it was in the town of Mesilla which also happens to be known because its where Billy The Kid got locked up! So our 4th and final night in NM... We planned to go all the way into El Paso and cross into Texas but we got side tracked just a few miles before that boarder. We stop ed at a house that looked interesting. It had Large metal sculptures covering the yard mixed in with airstream trailers. we ended up talking to the owner and artist. his name is Willie Ray Parish. good him. he's awesome. His wife and him are both art professors and artist. They have an amazing space there and we were lucky enough to camp right there in the middle of what they call the sculpture garden.
We have pictures of everything i've been speaking about, they just aren't on the computer yet. but one day i'll post the best of the best.
Our first meal in texas was a mexican breakfast that blew us away. Absolutely amazing. I even dreamed about the cafe we ate it in that night.
so far texas has not been as great. but were just getting going and this isn't the best part of the state really. With all the terrible things happening right now along the boarder we are constantly aware of our surroundings and sometimes feel as if we cant stop and rest even if we want to...
We had prime conditions riding the first day, but yesterday was just the pitts. we ran out of water because one of the service stations that we were told was ahead was actually closed, and we had a terrible head wind all day long. The upside is upon our arrival into sierra Blanca, WE FOUND HUEY!! ha, so we caught up with him, shared our hate for the day that just ended. talked about where we have been since we last rode together, which was in california.
We were glad to see he was still on the road. He constantly gives off vibes that he might pack it in at any moment and head back to Colorado.
Anyways, thats where were at. hopefully today the winds on our backs. Were excited to keep riding and make our way into austin. we have a lot of good things ahead. Hopefully next time i post i can get some pictures as well.
$NBD$

4.08.2010

4/08/10 New Mexico!


It takes both time and energy to sit down and write on the computer, Today is going to be a really big day for us, we'll be climbing up and over the largest peak of our entire trip at 8,228 ft. above sea level. But I am going to try and quickly update as to what the past week has been filled with!
First and foremost, in my last update I talked about how we were in Phoenix and were going to leave that day. That isnt what ended up happening, we decided to stick around for the day and spend one more night at the Hostel. The weather was perfect and there was talk of a large art walk that evening just up the street.
I am so soo glad we decided to stay, the art walk was hardly that. It was more of a festival. They apparently do this every first friday of each month. There were Bands playing all over the place, the streets were lined with vendors selling art and food of all kinds. We spent an hour or so walking around with our friends from london that we made at the hostel then parted ways so we could get a beer. We headed over to "hoodRide" which is a house/bikeshop/art gallery where a band was playing in the front yard and a dj in the back. 5th st is lined with places of this nature. There are houses families live in but in between there are these houses that have been converted into businesses. Another favorite of ours was "Conspire" which was a house that doubled as a gallery selling clothes and zines/library and a full stage in the back yard area where bands were playing all night. Here is where we met a fellow cross country traveler. Her name is Shay, She was on week 5 of her journey Walking across america. She was super inspiring and you can read all about her journey at http://www.fakeplasticshay.blogspot.com/
So we did eventually leave Phoenix after sitting in the morning for about an hour with shay sharing stories over coffee from our new favorite coffee spot. We have been making good mileage since that day off. We want to travel far every day for two reasons, 1. Everyday we travel further then average gives us more opportunity down the road to take time off and hang out. and 2. We DO in fact want to make it to New York before it gets two hot and humid on the east coast.
We have had a few more nights camping on the lawns of RV parks, One night In the grass next to the camping area in the parking lot of APACHE GOLD CASINO. And one night In a great camping area at 6,290 ft. elevation In the mountains 8 miles to the Arizona/new mexico boarder.
2 Days ago was probably the most visually stunning bicycling of our lives. Arizona was absolutely full of things we did not expect. We climbed up and over a Larger pass that day and on the back side we were welcomed by miles and miles of poppy flowers. It was unlike anything either of us have ever seen with our own eyes. It made me think of the wizard of Oz. We later climbed back up into the mountains and into a real pine forest which is unlike anything we have seen so far. Thats where we camped and thats were we froze. We are traveling quite lite and therefor not really prepared for almost freezing temp.
So this brings me to yesterday which was quite big for us. The day started with us coasting down from our camp site into the state of New Mexico. with that means we hit a new time zone. We took a picture to remember it. New mexico is nothing like the new mexico we saw when driving through a few years ago. Its much more "Home on the range"ish. And its quite nice. We later in the day fought through some hard uphills all the way back to the same elevation we camped at the night before and crossed the great continental divide.
Southern New mexico is Mountainous, which is what were dealing with right now. But after today things will mellow out again for a while as we head into Texas.
I'll try to upload a few pictures now but that can sometimes take alot of time so i'll see what i can get done before vanessa gets on here.
(hoodride. Phoenix, Az)(Oz is just beyond that hill, Arizona)
(self explanatory, New Mexico!)

4.02.2010

4/2/10 down the road

here's a snap shot of Huey and myself. I spoke about Huey in the last post but we haven't seen him in a Few days, He's staying in hotels and what not so we ended up going separate ways at some point.


The day after my last post we rode through some really movie picture book like desert spots in california. This was taking outside of Glamis, CA which they call "the sand Toy Capital of the world" on the weekends in the winter months 100's of 1,000's of people come out and camp with their Rv to ride their Quads/dirt bikes/dune buggies here.
That day we rode 75 miles to the closet place to camp from the day before. We stayed at an RV park that charged us 6 bucks to camp on their land. and we were very happy to pay 6 dollars. We woke up early to the sound of the birds. Which by the way is how we've woken almost every day, SO many birds in the desert. Who knew... Anyway, we rode on. It was a pretty mellow day, we saw some sheep!
And then we crossed the California state line! woo, were in Arizona!
This is a sweet picture of our bikes after that day, we camped at an over 55 Rv park for a whopping $3.50! wOooo
along the next day we stop ed for lunch at the Kofa Cafe, and it was great. I had a Sea Dog, It was a foot long Beer battered Fish on a hot dog bun also a foot long. with fries and coleslaw. vanessa got a nice Grilled cheese and we split a piece of coconut cream pie. we really splurged that day on lunch, we figured we deserved it for saving so much money on sleeping arraignments the 2 days prior.
We rode along and made our way to another Rv park to camp in, Rv parks is all there is to stay at when traveling through the desert. and its mostly people who are retired living there or what they call "snow birds" these people live up north most of the year and travel south and stay at these parks for the winter to get away from the snow.
Anyways, we made it safe to our destination and camped in grass instead of rocks for the first time in days. We also played a mean game of horse shoes. and vanessa beat me pretty bad.

Yesterday was the longest yet. We rode 90.93 miles all the way into Phoenix Arizona, the next week wont call for so many long days but we don't mind them to much, if we get enough of them in we can feel like we can take a day off. We stayed at a hostel last night, and they gave us a 2 for 1 deal. People have been really good to us once we let them know what we are doing, where we are coming from and where we are going. We had a nice dinner and shared some pasta with a guy named shane whos staying here from Seattle. Its a really nice place, it's just a big house.
so here we are, One full week on the road and over 400 miles behind us. We absolutely look like we have been living on the road, We are both very sun tanned / Burnt. With really weird tan lines, like the straps to our helmets and vanessas glasses. so we kinda look crazy. But its funny and we dont mind.
Were making today a mellow day. were not gonna leave town till the after noon and only go about 35 miles, then wake up tomorrow and start the new week fresh.
Our bikes bags and bodies have been holding up just fine. so all signs are go for a good first week.
Until next time. NBD




3.28.2010

vanessas blog

first road post! day three 140 miles

Here we are, day three on the trip we've been talking about doing for so long now. I'll start with the beginning.
We left From Richard and Bridget's apartment on friday morning. We had a small but sweet escort to presidio park and a few others came to see us off from the street. We rode really hard the whole first day up hill. starting from san diego and heading east is a huge climb. But we eventually made it to our sleeping spot. a campground on an indian reservation. we must have come through after office hours so no one was around. Some other people camping suggested we just put our tent up on one of the many open camp sites and see if anyone says anything. we did just that, and fell asleep by 8pm. The high winds came rolling through by 5am, but we were able to stay asleep for the most part until 8ish. Around the time we were packing up A man named Art who told us to just throw our tent up the night before came over and asked us about our trip then invited us over to his trailer for coffee. Coffee then turned into eggs,bacon,potatoes and mimosas! We sat and spoke to art and his wife Juna for quite a while. they were really warm hearted people and were so happy to have us over for breakfast, they told us their story and we told them ours. we then exchanged our info and headed out for day two.
Day two we hit the road late after our breakfast and continued out up hill battle. Along the way we met two like minded cyclist, Huey, who is a 61 year old retired ups driver is riding the same way we are but has hardly any baggage and is staying in hotels the entire way. THEN we met Nancy Wright who was heading the opposite way on a really cool set up and doing a really long ride around the entire perimeter of the usa. http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=RrzKj&doc_id=5131&v=19e check out her story and check out her post about her ride into alpine on the 27th she posted a picture of vanessa and myself! That night we slept at a campground in Live oak springs, before sleep we were able to grab a burger and fries from the restaurant on the same property. I had a beer while vanessa had a milkshake.
we woke up and met a man named jim bob and his dog cig sour! they travel by motor cycle and sidecar. very cool. We mixed up some cold coffee with the via we brought! then headed on our way. and who did we come across? HUEY. we ended up riding with huey all day actually. He would shoot up ahead and we would just keep our pace and sooner or later catch up and we would do this over and over all day. He's on a bike that weighs about 4lbs. so he has the ability to go quite fast! The day started with more climbs as we rode away from the mexican boarder(i took a picture of the fence). but once at the top we realized just what we have been doing and why it was all worth it. we hoped back onto I-8 and dropped from 4,500ft elevation into below sea level over the course of 25 miles. hardly pedaling and cruising at 25 mph. Then looking back as we entered the Yuha desert. it was incredible to see the giants we just rode over. Huey, vanessa and myself pedaled along The Evan Hughes highway for 20 more miles before stopping at the one and only gas station/market. Vanessa and I realized there was no where to safely camp within riding distance for the day. We ended up pulling a huey tonight and got a motel for a real cheap price in El centro. The three of us then ate at the chinese buffet and called it a night.
so here we are, using the WIFI while we can, we've put 140 miles behinde us and about 100 of them were up hill. Tomorrow we plan to get started nice and early and try and get 80 miles in so we can camp out by the colorado river. Vanessa has been snapping digital pictures i've just got film so follow her page to catch up on the cool snap shots.
so please stay tuned. we'll be out here on the road for quite a while but so far the road has been better then good to us, and that's more then i can ask for.
NoBadDays

3.25.2010

so here we are.

It is the 25th of march.

Today was our last full day here in San Diego. We spent the morning changing our address at the post office/ cleaning out appartment. Then turning in our keys to our appartment. We then rode into the sunset with friend Dominic SOLIDGOLD towards ocean beach. He took a bunch of cool pictures of us riding and then Dipping our tires into the Pacific Ocean! Hopefully that gives us the luck we need to make it to the Atlantic.
Were slumbo partying at Richard and Bridgets this evening then waking and having some homies meet up around 10Am tomorrow and riding out as a crew. Most likely the crew will quit pretty early on considering it gets really hilly really fast and everyone but us will be on fixed gears and have to turn around and get to work eventually.

THANK YOU every person who has been apart of this happening. You all know who you are. We have amazing friends here in San Diego and amazing friends on the east coast in New York and a few here and there in between. If things go as planned we will have a few more by the end of this journey. Please keep in touch and we'll try our best to do the same. Follow vanessas words @ www.weareallsosmall.blogspot.com
its hard to say how often we will really get to update but we will do our best!
Forever Forward
nbd
solidgold
bikeclub
AK

3.10.2010

words about webcamtest

the uploading of the video of richard singing worked! but the words dont seem to match up which is strange because the video plays perfect when its not on the blog site. whatever. maybe we'll figure this problem out, MAYBE NOT! cool though huh! now i can take videos on the road and even if its not with sound you can atleast see some vids of our campsites and stuff like that!. stay tuned get psyched. we leave in 16 days!

webcam test!

3.09.2010

NEW

Vanessa and I bought a new computer yesterday

Its a "notebook" weighs less then 3 pounds, is only 10.1 inches wide and has a battery life of almost 10 hours. this is perfect for what we will be doing over the next few months, TRAVELING. which we originally thought we would be doing with no computer at all. The one we currently have other then our new one is a big tank of a laptop and it didnt make sense to us to drag it along just so we could connect to the web here and there. But now that we've got this little guy, Im guessing we'll be doing just that more then we would have! Im excited, now i can upload pictures and maybe web cam vids and write in this here blog as we travel across the country.

Blogging made easy.

3.07.2010

new look

I changed some colors on this here blog due to the dullness of the outside world the last few days. Black was too downer for me. Needed to brighten it all up!
not much time left here on the left coast. I wish it would just be beautiful like usual.

3.02.2010

LAST RESORT

my last day servin up lattes in the neighborhood of little italy, in the city of san diego, in the state of califonia.... is in three weeks exactly.
then i'll probably start back up again come summer. but in NY this time.

Im ready to go, times movin to slow now.

Rob Hotte might come out and visit/tattoo at superfly tattoo in downtown,SD the 15th-23rd.
anddddd
also were having a big ol bash on the 19th.
it will be the day of my birth and also a week before we leave town on our bicycle road rage tour. some the next few weeks, although im wishing would fly by. will also be really great and party time excellent!

2.16.2010

www.weareallsosmall.blogspot.com

read vanessa here.

BikeRides in order(mountains)

last sunday we had a nice long Day off. We Rode out to where the mountains start. It was the first 20 miles or so of the route we are leaving San Diego on. I love California so much. I love that I go west 5-10 miles and im swiming in the ocean. South 15 miles and Im in Mexico, Or east 20 miles and im in the mountains.
So yeah, heres a recap of the mountain trip, mostly us just messing around once we got to where we were goin.