Thursday, June 4, 2009


Picked up Jeremiah's touring bike today. It looks like I've made the cut, along with 41 other riders, to represent the Bicycle Film Festival and its sponsor, 42Below vodka on an expenses-paid, cross-country cycling tour called the 42Ride. I'm kind of a little bit excited. Maybe.

The bike is a truly excellent tourer, but needs a little work; the rear wheel was hastily built with inexpensive spokes, so I'll be re-lacing it with DT stock, possibly with a fun pattern. I picked up a new-old-stock 7-speed freewheel from CAT to go on the SACHS rear drum hub. I can probably find a seatpost to mount the new leather saddle I just ordered (It's the white one, to match my new helmet). I'll be repacking the front hub, but that's about it. The Schwalbe Marathons still look nearly new, and I'm really excited to use the Click-Stand.

Other than that, all I need are a few extra pairs socks, bike shorts (I have my Chrome winter knicks, some silly novelty shorts from Italy, and a set of bibs, but one can't have too many pairs of shorts on a tour), a pup tent, and a thermarest. Maybe a small dSLR or quality point-and shoot. Oh, and a huge bottle of Dr. Bronner's.

I plan to ride the bike to Portland on the 18th or so to see friends and for Pedalpalooza solstice ride on the 20th. Then on the 23rd, I'll break down the bike and take the MAX to PDX. I'll fly in to Newark, find the hotel in The City, receive some PR training. The morning of the 25th, we'll kick off the ride with a quick tour to Philadelphia. After that, the 42 riders will split into two groups; one taking the northern route, the other the south. I hope to take the more mountainous, less hot northern route:


We'll camp between media events in cities, and then meet in Los Angeles for the BFF and a big 'ol party on August 21. I'll stick around there for a day to visit my grandmother, then fly directly back to Eugene on the 23rd.

And then it's back to real life. Sigh.

I can't imagine getting this amazing opportunity without the support of so many people.

I need to thank my family for supporting me and trusting the purpose of my every endeavor, no matter how absurd.

I owe so much to all the people who have piqued and fostered my interest in the bicycle, including everybody from polo, especially those who were there from the beginning. Thanks to Sue at Blue Heron for answering all my stupid questions and cutting me a deal or two when I was trying to build my first bike, and all over again when I laced my first wheel. Thanks to anybody who's ever turned a wrench with me or showed me anything about the way anything mechanical works. I think I learned the most from Jeremiah, Big Jon, Garrett and Mikey-Mike. Thank you, Jan, for your vision of a sustainable lifestyle, and for creating institutions to realize that vision. Thank you, Irvin, for making me think big and introducing me to Karissa, who's taught me a lot about how to be a stronger rider.

Finally, thank you to anybody who I've ever met in any circumstance, because you're all a part of who I am.

Thank you.


  1. Congratulations man, that sounds incredible. I can't wait to start hearing about your adventure you lucky bastard. And you're leaving June 18th? Or July 18th?

  2. Screw that pup tent, this one's better and cheaper: I have one and it served me well on two self support Oregon to Boston bike tours.

    Speaking of, are they carrying your gear for you? If not then you CAN have too many pairs of bike shorts. Weight adds up. I only took 2 bike shorts and two bike jerseys, one long sleeve, one rain coat, one pair zipoff pants, and one off-bike button up. Any more clothing is wasted weight.

    Also, Shimano clipless sandals trump all other shoe options, especially when combined with wool and/or waterproof socks for cold, wet weather. I have 15,000 miles on mine and wouldn't wear anything else.

    Shoot me a line if you want more unsolicited touring advice, I could talk about it for hours.

    --- Seager

  3. @Kimchizzle-June.
    @Dreqan-I'm not married to the pup in my link. Yes, they are carrying our gear, but I'd like to travel light enough that I *could* carry my own. To maybe two pair is good. I'll be emailing you.
    @All-Let's ride to the coast after finals!

  4. Alex it is hella cool what you get to do. As much as I love you I need to point out that you are missing one big fat THANK YOU to whoever signs your paychecks. I'm sure you notice that sometimes i act stressed out, especially around you. its probably because you make me so envious, the freedom to run around and have 24/7 to do as you wish. I'd love to ride out to the coast after finals, you have no fucking idea, but I need to check with my work schedule...

    Just don't take for granted that you get to live a truly free lifestyle. Its an amazing opportunity for someone and one that makes other people wholheartedly jealous.

    Lets kick it soon tho, let me know when you plan to ride to the coast.