Hey Oppo! This post is a bit overdue but it is fair to say there have been some speed bumps along the way. Some of you may know that I took some time off last year to travel (link here) Little did I know how much I would end up treasuring this experience.
Obviously, this is partly due to travel plans being curtailed by the pandemic but I was also recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The good news is it was caught early enough, it’s highly curable, and surgery went well. But it was still weird hearing, “If you’re going to get cancer, this is the one to get” ... thanks Doc? At least I get a gnarly-looking scar out of it.
Anywho since I can’t do much of anything while I recover, I figure this is a good time to share some pieces of the journey. As fate would have it, the trip starts and ends in NJ. The first leg was up through the northeast before it got too cold/snowy and I could still pick up a new bike before shops switched up their inventory. Then it was the yearly Grand Prix trip with my best friend, this time to Circuit of the Americas in Austin. After flying back to NJ from Texas, I headed south til I hit Key West and then west to California. The original “plan” was to continue up through the PNW, stay with some friends, and then into Canada but decided the best course of action would be to return to NJ as the states were beginning to react to Covid.
2005 Subaru Legacy GT
2015 Ghost Kato 5 Hardtail
2019 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp - Got lucky finding this demo bike in Waterbury, VT. Half off MSRP and a full service before being subject to further abuse.
~20,000 miles by car, ~800 miles by bike
71 fuel ups with a best of 27.7 MPG and worst of 19.6 MPG
28 states with 7 National Parks, 15 State Parks
Meeting some Oppofolk and seeing friends from high school, college, and previous trips.
All the different type of driving from mountain, canyon and coastal drives to off roading through mud, sand, and forest trails.
Camping on/near Air Force Ranges and waking up to sonic booms.
All the different reactions from people! Some thought the trip was an awesome idea while others (former coworkers especially) thought I was crazy ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Was called everything from a bum/vagabond to an heir/millionaire. I like to think I fall somewhere in the middle.
And some lowlights...
Seized brake caliper (link)
Broken starter in the middle of nowhere, turns out tapping the starter with a ratchet actually works!
Accidentally punching a cholla cactus while biking in Tucson. Left hand was shedding barbs for a few months.
Crashing my mountain bike and having to take two weeks off of riding while my knee healed up.
I took hundreds of photos, but here are some of my favorites. All shot with a Pixel 3.
If you made it this far, thank you! Hope you enjoyed. It’s been a hell of a ride.