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Biking Down the Coast of an Overly Sensitive Soul

Archive for the ‘On The Road’ Category


Posted by atparish on August 19, 2009

Sorry about the lack of posts in the later part of our trip. With the repetitious nature of camp life, the innumerable coastal climbs up to rocky vistas, the nearly infinite pedal revolutions, it felt like there wasn’t a lot worth saying. There were certainly some exciting tidbits, though, which I’ll post soon. First, some statistics:

Final mileage: 2459.5 ( 3958 km) *

Average Daily Mileage: 65 miles (104 km)

Time Elapsed: 78 days

Total Pedal Revolutions: Easily a million.

Mechanical Failures (Lance): 0 broken spoke(s), 0 flat tire(s), 0 ruptured frame(s), 0 funky derailleur(s).

Mechanical Failures (Andy): 3 broken spoke(s), 1 flat tire(s), 0 ruptured frame(s), 1 funky derailleur(s).

Total Items Lost/Stolen (Lance): 1 wool t-shirt, 1 wool long sleeved shirt, 1 ortlieb pannier, 1 pedal wrench, 1 book, 1 moleskine journal, 1 camping towel, 1 pair wool underwear.

Value Of Said Items: $400 (plus the obviously priceless journal)

Total Items Lost/Stolen (Andy): 1 pair gloves, 2 individual socks

Value Of Said Items: $20

Items Lost to Fucking Raccoons: 3 packets ramen, 1 can potted meat, 2 bars cliff, 1 loaf fancy bread, 1/2 loaf enriched wheat bread, 1 jar organic peanut butter with flax-seed, 1 jar skippy super chunk peanut butter, 1 waterproof stuff sack, 1 bag oats.

Items Lost to Fucking Skunks: 1 packet ramen.

Items Lost to Fucking Birds: 1 cloth backpack, 1 jar honey, 5 eggs.

Items Lost to Fucking Cops: 1/2 bottle beer, dignity.

Times Struck By Automobiles (Lance): 1

Times Struck By Large Men (Lance): 1

Times Struck by Objects Thrown From Automobiles (Lance): 1

Times Pulled Over: 1

Times Fallen (Andy): 1

Total Times Blown It (Andy): 5 and counting

Times Had to Get Off And Walk It: 1

Total Sunscreen Used: 10 oz

Times Exhaled Into Inflatable Mattresses: 2000

Gorgeous Sunsets: 53

Amazingly Starry Nights: Only 2

Epic Views from Atop Huge Hills: Dozens

Gnarly Roadkill Avoided: 3 deer, 8 coyotes, 1 eagle, 5 raccoons (fuckers), 3 dogs, 4 skunks, 10 squirrels, 7 quails, 11 unidentifiable.

RVs that Passed Us Way Too Fucking Close: 7

Beer Consumed: Bucket upon bucket full.

Bourbon Consumed: Bottle upon bottle full.

Money Spent: Much too much.

*An approximation, given that my odometer runs a little low and wasn’t on the full time. This route is really only about 1900 miles long, but we took lots of side trips and spent lots of time riding around cities.

So, dear friends, we’ve done it. And you know what? It was easy. Sure there were a couple of days when we knew we had to ride far (75+ miles), but there were usually convenient campsites at regular intervals that allowed us to go on for as long as we felt like. The hills, while occasionally huge and long, were rarely all that steep. And it’s not like we climbed the Rockies or anything. My lowest gear was somewhat too high, but that just meant that I had to go faster uphill. One or two rest days every week are a good idea, but those usually coincide with city visits. We were never far enough from civilization to require us to carry much food or water.

What I’m saying is: You should go on a bike trip. If you want to do a short one, ride down the Oregon coast in the summer. It’ll take about a week, there will be strong tailwinds helping you out, and there are $4 campsites every ten miles with free showers that you never need to reserve. Do it with someone you’re sleeping with, too. That’d probably be a lot of fun.

Other recommendations: Don’t bother with additional front panniers, unless you’re really going to be leaving civilization. If you have a suitable bike, it’s no big deal having an extra 50-60 lbs in the rear. Buy gloves that give you funny tan lines, like the ones from Rivendell. I’m such a fan of the cross-hatch pattern burned into the back of my hand. It looks like I have a disease.

I can’t help but wonder if I’m in the best shape I’ll ever be in. I sure look good today. I’d better go hit the town and flaunt it while I can. Cheers.


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Leaving Portland (with pictures!)

Posted by atparish on June 23, 2009

Looks like we’re finally heading away from this place. I’m more than a little sad, actually. I feel like I’ve made some real friends here, and I hope that I’ll be able to stay in touch with them. I feel like I used to on the last day of summer camp.

Last night, while trying to walk a slack-line (akin to a tightrope), I elbowed a pretty lady in the face (Moss). An hour later, I was beaten about the face with a very well-thrown dodge ball. It was an educational night for more reasons than that, too.

I’ve had two days in a row of stressful, fucked up dreams involving this girl. Maybe that means it’s time to leave. Call of the wild.

The life on the road comes back to you pretty fast.

At Jared’s at the moment, playing his PS3. It’s pretty fancy.

Lots of pictures:

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Pro tip!

Posted by atparish on June 21, 2009

Everyone in Portland has food stamps. It’s a strategic investment the government makes in keeping talented but underemployed young people around. They don’t have the same boom and bust cycles as, say, California.

It’s been exciting to meet people from all over the country, because people move here from everywhere. But it was nice to be with four other people from San Diego last night, even if we just complained about it together.

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What do vegan zombies want?

Posted by atparish on June 20, 2009

Zombie ride ->Prince v. Bowie ride ->super fun hang back at the house i’m at (full of sexual tension to boot). It’s been a good night, even though I spend the last of it alone.

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So nice it’s almost boring.

Posted by atparish on June 16, 2009

I continue to have a great time and meet great people in Portland. My days are a haze of lazy grazing in her fertile fields of fun and friends. Look up zoo-bombing.
No pictures ever, never, ever again.

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Best 3000+ naked dance party ever?

Posted by atparish on June 14, 2009

My voice is hoarse, my balls are lightly chafed, and I might be in several naughty internet videos. It’s been a sexy couple of days on bikes, man. I’m pretty sure that dance floor was the best one in the world, even though you did sometimes accidentally touch a dick.
I had a dream that someone locked my bike to a sign twenty feet up, and we took a rocket to England where it was difficult to learn to ride on the opposite side of the road. Obvious dream-signals of sexual frustration. The ladies here are even beautiful in the nude.

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Posted by atparish on June 13, 2009

Hello fellows. We made it into Portland yesterday afternoon after a bitchin’ fully-loaded paceline with Dan and Anthony, a couple of fellows from Colorado who find themselves in similar life situations as the two of us. There was a minor incident of us accidentally getting on the freeway for a few miles, but it worked out alright. Funny things happen when I’m leading the group, I tell you what.

Tonight is the World Naked Bike Ride, which promises to be interesting and a couple thousand strong. I’m pretty excited. The dance party beforehand, which is the designated time for getting naked, should be equally novel.

No photos today, maybe soon.

Peace Out!

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I’ll Give You a Scenic Pullout

Posted by atparish on June 7, 2009

Golly, where to begin?
First off, sorry it took me so long to post something, in case you were worried we’d rolled right off a cliff so early in our trip. Internet cafes are few and far between, apparently. But, good news, I can get my pictures off the camera here.
Some highlights so far:

The train ride was very long but not unpleasant. It was interesting to see the forced segregation of we proles in coach from those fatcats up in the sleeper cars. Our first karmic boon was a kind soul who sold us a bag of bud lite for a couple of bucks. Beer on the train was expensive and bad.

Vancouver is a gorgeous town, with amazing bike infrastructure. The first group of pannier-laden folks we ran into happened to be doing the BC to Mexico route as well, as part of the Agents for Change charity ride. But they were leaving a little before us, and since we’ll be spending some time hanging out in cities, we won’t be catching up to them. Which is a shame, because the ratio in that group was very favorable, eh?

The riding has been decent. The roads are windy, but our maps are good. The hills are steep, but our legs are strong. The days are hot, but our pores flow freely. We smell terrific all the time.

Camping has been similarly decent, with the exception of one motherfucker of a raccoon who tore through my bags in search of food. But some mornings, I get up and look out over the water, and hear the birds wailing in the mist, and I think, “Damn. You can’t synthesize that shit.”

Some kind war vet hobos, eager to talk to the young folks as all old folks are, showed us a good time our first night in Seattle. My friend Kate from Back In The Day has been a superb host, and things are going well. Tomorrow we’ll head for Portland, which will probably take us three or four days. Hit you up soon, Jared.

More sometime. Good luck in your various endeavors.

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35 hours on a train. I can’t wait.

Posted by atparish on May 29, 2009

We’re leaving for the train station at about 8 tomorrow. I’m full of worries about the bike, how much stuff I brought, the people I’m looking forward to seeing, and the people I’m leaving behind. Just had one of my homebrews from November and I must say it’s aged nicely. Helps keep the worries manageable, too.

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