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.
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)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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!
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)