Disaster March Blog Post: Presented now for the first time in List Form!

Hey there, Dear Readers,

First and foremost, I want to point out that the ISU Triathlon Club is at Collegiate Nationals in Tuscaloosa, Alabama this weekend. Before they start raining down a hellacious ass-whooping on all the other teams, I just want to congratulate them for making it that far, wish them luck and, once again, warn them about water snakes. Seriously, guys, we saw a huge one in the river last year.

You all are street-walking cheetahs with hearts full of napalm, the runaway sons of the nuclear A-bomb. And, I wish I was racing with you this weekend

In other news, Rocinante is almost completely decked out for the tour. He may need a few more tweaks, but I added a Tubus Logo Evo steel rack, a handlebar rack (not pictured), some Racktime panniers and a set of Planet Bike Cascadia fenders since last time you’ve seen him. Handsome devil, isn’t he? Better mug than that other putz, if I do say so myself. I want to give a special thanks to Main Street Bicycles over in Carpentersville, Illinois for their support and advice in getting this and other equipment. Couldn’t have done it without you guys. (Thanks, Pete)

No better place for a bike than a living room

In double other news, I have decided to do a series of lists. Between getting a job at MOX Multisport in Chicago and riding my bike back to the burbs every few days to work there, I don’t have too much time to blag. Now, it’s common knowledge that montages are the fastest way to convey information. Further, we all know that lists are the written-equivalent of montages. Therefore lists are the time-efficient’ist, information dischargin’ist way to write a blarg. So guess what I’m gonna be doing for the next few posts…? And the best part? You can suggest what you want listed! Isn’t that fun?! Feel free to suggest a theme for next week on the polls below. This week’s list is an answer to a question I’ve been hearing a lot. Here it goes:

Eight Things I Have Been Doing To Prepare For This Trip

1). Planning
I know what you’re thinking. “Golly, I’m supposin’ riding ‘cross the country with little to no prior touring experience is a synch! I’d bet my bippy there’s little logistics, training, mapping, communication, learning, prepatory work, investing, withering setbacks, consulting, research or labor involved with that!”
Oh, my Dear, Dear Readers… as it turns out there is a lot of thought that goes in to this, and planning has been a big priority for the last few months. Primarily I’ve been sticking to books and speaking to experienced friends and acquaintances. Slowly but surely I am wrangling out a means of survival despite the ever-present threat of starvation, exposure, and bears.

Good ol' sensual stress

2). Training to Murder Bears
Bears don’t kill people. Bears murder people. And yes. It is always premeditated. I say, why let those honey-slurping, picnic basket-swiping abominations get away with that? Well, I know Dale C. Peterson would have something to say to bears, and I will, too, if one attacks me on the ride. Training has been tough, but it will be worth it.

The most dangerous prey

3). Routine Bicycle Maintenance and Upgrading
It is critical to know how to swap out a busted spoke or reattach a blown handlebar streamer when out riding. Otherwise you’ll be high, dry and bear-bait. Fortunately, bears are terrible planners and I’m getting ahead of the game with all this maintenance (and hand-to-paw combat) practice.

"I guess this uh... thingamabob goes in the whatsit here."

4). Blogging, Blagging, Blargging, Balrogging
Seriously, these posts take a lot of work and time (thanks, Jenna). Now I know how Morgoth felt. What? No? Too much? Whelp, bear’s outta the bag, now. I’m a nerd.

A look into the creative process

5). Training
(Besides bears,) I am concerned about mountains. We have a couple here in Chicago and I have been working on hitting them on the bike and on runs. Even still I am worried that I won’t be prepared for, you know, some of the tallest peaks in this hemisphere. To get ready for these I have been lifting. I am shedding fat and building muscle, so I am on the right track.  Lifting will also be good since it helps ward off injuries. I need this since my skeleton is primarily glass and compressed talcum powder. Ronnie Coleman got nothin’ on me.

My take on the power squat

6). Spending Dollah Billz
All I will say is that this is an expensive hobby. It can be done on the cheap, like I am doing it, but that just means it was slightly less expensive. In order to disassociate myself with the debilitating pain I feel while spending enormous sums of money, I have begun bastardizing money’s name. Rather than “exchanging currency,” I “make it rain.” I think this is my mind’s feeble attempt to protect itself from emotional duress.
Brain: “If I don’t call it money, it won’t feel so bad when I spend ALL OF IT…”
This is a trend we see a lot in rappers and other popular musicians. Nice try, Brain. We’re on to you. On to you with math.

Fake Math*

True insanity resultant from over-spending

7). Gradually Getting Accustomed To People Fundamentally Struggling To Understand What I Am Doing And Why
Try as I might, some explanations just don’t seem to do it for some people. It’s cool, I don’t hold any grudges or anything; I am weird for doing this. Just stop telling me it’s stupid or pointless. I’m getting pretty tired of hearing that. And no, I don’t have a picture for this one. How about you chill the shit out?

8). Developing An Environmental Initiative
I have recently begun making large strides in associating my trip with environmental awareness. I want to use it as a means to advertise sustainable lifestyles and, more specifically, to raise money and interest in local wildlife preservation in my hometown. Hooray for legitimacy!

See what I did there?

Well, that’s it for this week, Dear Readers. Hope you liked it.


(Note the above poll has no bearing on whether I decide to continue lists)


About disastermarch

My name is Nick and I am going to spend this summer riding across the United States on my bicycle. My tentative route takes me through 11 different states, two countries and totals well over 3000 miles. This blog follows the events leading up to an including this trip.
This entry was posted in Adventure Love, Bike Love. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Disaster March Blog Post: Presented now for the first time in List Form!

  1. Peter says:

    Nice Nick. Not sure if I answered the poll the way I wanted but oh well. There are only a couple of people reading this so hopefully they won’t judge how I answered.

  2. Andrew says:

    I like the pictures a lot, especially Zero’s face during your squat.

    P.S. Your trip is stupid or pointless.

  3. Russ Sampson says:

    Stop by for pizza/wings/beer/shower/guest room.

  4. Kurt says:

    Thanks for the shout out! Having you at Nationals would have been cool as hell, especially because it is such a terrible race/ event/ reason for waking up in the morning.

    Food for thought: While on the go, I highly suggest candy and lance’s crackers (all other sandwich crackers pale in comparison). Dinners: I’m all about the instant mashed potatoes with some beef-jerkey & cheese tossed in for good measure.

    Also, I was at an outdoors store in Tuscaloosa and the guy was raving about ENO Hammocks http://www.enohammock.org/ …maybe a good thought for those nights you can’t find any room at the inn.

    • Yeah I was gonna get an ENO before I realized presenting myself in taco-form would attract even MORE bears!
      Lance’s, huh? I’ll look into it. Any other secret recipes I should know about?

  5. Katya says:

    Btdubbs I fully expect to see novelty sunglasses sometime during your trip. I may or may not now be keeping my eyes open for a panda pair to go with your little shirt there.

    P.S. you also better be at work next week or I will send hate mail to get my G&Ts. Thou hast been warned(th).

  6. Kurt says:

    Your writing is so good that I was jealous and had to update my own http://brickfeet.blogspot.com/2012/04/to-pain-usat-collegiate-national.html

  7. Adam says:

    I’m actually really interested in hearing about what you’ll be eating. Like, Ramen bombs. Maybe for your next post you can do a sampling and tell us your initial reaction. Give us pictures of your food, too. Taken with Instagram of course.

  8. kimzoph says:

    Great post, Nick! Love the list format, and your tongue-in-cheek details. Super photos too! Keep ’em coming!

  9. EarthAaronWater says:

    You had me at balrogging.

  10. Adam says:

    We, the readers, must have more.

  11. Dave Nutt says:

    That’s a lot of talk without much riding so far, or have you really been getting in shape for this? Probably doesn’t matter because you’re going to hurt like hell for the first couple of weeks anyway. That looks like a really nice setup for the tour. You are going to find the ingenuity to fix just about anything — if you can’t, just call the help line at 1-800-msbikes. Glad I finally found my way to your blog.

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