I never figured I would go this long without having access to a computer. We're in Fremont, Ohio right now, I've ridden 590 miles thus far. I posted links to some other riders' blogs. We just joined up with a film crew who are making a documentary and a book about the ride, that should be interesting.
If you've been looking for me on the WeLikeBike site or the twitter I won't be on there until I'm 25. In short, it's an industry standard to not have anyone under 25 represent alcohol. But subscribe to the twitter, if 100,000 people join they'll give $42k to the Alliance for Biking and Walking.
This whole experience is absolutely ridiculous. A vodka company is paying us, well, to ride our bikes across the country. We're fully supported with two vans and a truck and nice campsites and hotels. It feels like cheating. I feel dirty when I run into other people on tour. Kind of like the punk-guilt you have for coming from a middle class background but still talking up about how little money you don't have (when you actually do). But still - it's been amazing thus far. The riders range from couriers, racers, commuters, and people who are really new to long distance biking. I have so much respect for those whose longest ride before this trip was a 30 mile ride, and who still continue to go all day.
There is so much to say about the last 9 days, I really don't have the time or energy to go into detail. A few snippets however:
-New Jersey is an utter hellhole. Aside from the mediocre guilty pleasures hardcore and pop punk you tossed out in the late 90's, the boss, and Alicia Lahey, I am not a fan. Also, Ohio? No thanks.
-Lancaster County is absolutely gorgeous. I bought root beer from Amish children of the damned and it tasted like real beer.
-We got lost on the day we climbed the Allegheny Mountains and ended up doing a century. Rode past Napier, PA, the Cannondale factory, and over about 4 mountains. This was the day I cracked after the routing being messed up, and almost swore at an old lady. In hindsight, it was my favorite day. As horrible as I am at climbing, it's really fun and the scenery is unfuckwithable.
-Pittsburgh was amazing. Ran into an old roommate, got vegan pizza and wings and a cookie dough milkshake.
- I have basically only listened to Shelter and a Harry Potter audiobook.
-We've been eating ridiculously well - the other vegan on this trip, Jen, makes me feel bad for eating anything processed. I don't think I've ever eaten this well.
Overall, this is still an amazing trip and every thing that goes wrong is nowhere as near as bad as a good day at work. My knee has been bothering me so I took yesterday and today off, but should be back on tomorrow.
Tomorrow we head to Detroit, and from there we go down into the Midwest and back up to Denver. I can't wait for the mountains.
Giving up the ghost leaving Cleveland
The beginning. meeting at the Newark airport.
Jen and I during our century through Amish country
Hitting the first of two 100+ mile days thus far.
Fuck New Jersey.
Welcome to Philly.
Jen at the vegan ice cream place in Pittsburgh
We ran into these guys coming into Ohio. They're on a self supported tour raising money for Project Rwanda. Two of them were actually from DC. I felt totally humbled and spoiled being on such a plush tour while these guys were roughing it and not getting paid.