Cycling in support of Limbs For Life

Cycling in support of Limbs For Life
Cycling in support of Limbs For Life

Monday, April 29, 2013

Retrospect of a Pal and another glance into "why"

Another time of many but this one sticks in my mind like a blood clot.

  I had just turned 18, Caleb was still 17. We had a couple dollars between us, skateboards and backpacks jammed with sleeping bags. About a week earlier we had skated out of Santa Cruz, California in the middle of the night. We we're bound for Baja, Mexico. Little did we know then, it would be the best and the worst adventure of our lives.
 The evening was cool after a blistering and arid day of skating and hitch-hiking. We were sitting on a stone wall above Mulege, over looking the Sea of Cortez. It was a rare, still and tranquil moment in this out of control and turbid time. I can still see it so clear. The sun was low and lit only the tips of the distant rocks. Rooster crows and muddled voices carried from the village below. So much had happened in the last week and we were seething with the experience. To see us then, we would be dirty, happy and wearing shit eating grins. We swore out loud to the cactus, rocks and the twilight. A hand shake and an honest pledge: "We'll do this forever!". I knew I wasn't joking when I made that promise, naive as it was.  All it simply meant was- Lets always live to chase down the good times in this short life. Wander free and far experiencing the unexpected. Pitch ourselves into the wind and see it all at face value. Charge into the unknown and feel its embrace when we crash through the other side, intact and euphoric. Never would we sit idle, afraid and lazy. We could do anything and go anywhere.
    Caleb and I did a lot more traveling and stupid things together. Maybe one day I'll put it in print. But life happens, years went by and we went on to do our separate things. We always hung out on the occasion when I was in town. He became an auto mechanic, had a wife and some children. He was a good dude, always meaning well and loved by us all.
   When he passed away, that old promise was seared all the deeper into my heart. That simple oath said without description between two pals. 20 years old now but a part of my everyday life. For all that I do, in search of those magical and epic moments. He is right there, with the same blissful shit eating grin.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

When you ride south on a leg eventually you arrive at the foot.

So I'm now at the bottom of the country and looking to make a jump to the next. Somebody looking to do this the easy or quick way would have been on a plane already. I on the other hand am floundering about looking/ waiting for a sailboat to Central or South America. Having a pretty good time in this lull but am more than excited about plowing on.  

  The Supply box for the next leg has arrived! Replacement parts, emergency supplies and things to get shipped further ahead.
 Somebody has some damn awesome friends!

 Paul and Lynne have just been amazing. We started out as strangers with a common interest/ obsession with bikes and riding but have grown to feel like old friends. Their niceness is truly unbelievable.
 Davie Hogan at the end of boot camp. He came through his probation and shake down with flying colors. This bike is a man now. A culmination of years of touring and the want of something more has been funneled into this dude. I have enjoyed every pedal stroke of our first 2500 miles together.
   I plan on heaving us into some seriously rugged country around the world, and I feel he and every main component of him is up to the test.
  Tire wear is my biggest concern. But after 2500 miles (rotated front to back in North Carolina)  These Origin8 (VeeRubber) "ultra light" series with 120tpi/ folding bead  have held up fantastically. With a whole sale hook up these are stupid affordable. I won't be carrying spares with me but I will be sending replacements ahead. That said. You my see from the pics that I'm running the old school Large Marge rims (65mm wide). Man, I had to search high and low for them in the discontinued 36 holes. Anyways I can seat any 26x2.2 and up. So in an emergency case like a sidewall gutting, I can throw on any basic 26" tire and keep rolling towards my replacements
 My hand-made (by me) racks and bags have been awesome. No peeps, mumbles or wiggles. Totally rock solid.
My lucky number is four billion. That doesn't come in real handy when you're gambling. Come on, four billion! F*k, seven. Not even close. I need more dice! Four billion divided by six. At least. -MHB

Thankfully its not all Disney World.

That bastard needs a diet

Its not so bad when the traffic is wild flowers

That blurry thing that looks like a rock is actually an armadillo at full gallop

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Like a raft to a ship wrecked victim.

Florida might be largely flat but it sure ain't boring. 

Can I cross? Or do those yellow stripes mean NO? 

I'm not gonna say exactly where I've been riding, but there is a certain narrow strip of land that runs the length of Florida. A fatbikepacker's dream! We'll one of them.

 A means to escape

Gainsville, a hidden gem for mountain biking. The trails are nicely layered like a worm infestation while shooting out in all directions like a klepto octopi.

My first bike trip of a decent length was 10 years ago from California to Florida. Nevada City to Gainsville actually. Now having rode down to Gainsville from Maine its like the golden spoke of sorts. Two points meeting in my spiderweb of tire tracks. This makes the 6th time I've ridden across the U.S. from one point or another. It felt welcoming, strange and sentimental to be back.

This trashed out and neglected spot is where I used to live 13 years ago. (yep, in the shed)

A metal roof I installed in 99, before I made a living fiddling with bicycles.  

A bunch of Great dudes (and Isis). Thanx for the everything. 

My honorary ride with the Velo Vixens

We made more than a few stops by Volta for these.

I spent a week in the G-ville.  Truly great to see Dru again (the only old friend I found from back in the time) and traipse through the old spots. It still had the smell and feel of what made me stay those years ago. Good town, super folks. Its also saturated in bike shops and there is a lot of buzz in the air of making and building the cycling infrastructure. You can find yourself made of velcro in that fuzzy place. 

The only blurry shot I got of a fantastic night ride
This is what I call a "Go Bag".

  A huge and fat Thanx to David! It was a fantastic pleasure to hold down the Ranch!  And to both  Lauren and Dustin, your tour/ trail guiding and dirtbag adoption is unparalleled. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013


This morning I stumbled upon this word:.


  [kiz-mit, -met, kis-]  
fate; destiny.

This is what came to mind:

   I must have been in first or second grade. The first term of the Reagan administration and the heyday of New Wave. We lived in Redwood city, California and I went to Clifford elementary school. Everyday at the end of class, my older sister, twin cousins and I were picked up by my mother. We would wait at the edge of the parking lot and she would drive up in a yellow VW bus. One day she was running late, so my little buddy Alex and I decided to walk home. It seemed no big deal. I told my sister to just tell mom that "I'm walking" and I'll be home later. Despite her protests we set off.
   I knew the way. I didn't think twice about getting lost. Alex and I took the creek instead of the road, sword fighting and hunting frogs along the way. I imagined that it was the way we lived and we had to survive. Balancing fences between back yards, sneaking water from garden hoses and diving in hedges. Finally the adventure was real and not just daydreams and back yard imagination. I was in a zone, it all made sense. I was never more sure of what I was doing and in complete bliss.
   Our house was about 2 1/2 miles across town from the school. Though first I walked Alex home, to a area  I had never been to. On the way back, I remember, I stopped to ask directions. The person at the pet store I went into seemed perfectly fine with a muddy seven year old asking street directions. Like it happened everyday. Once back on familiar territory it was just a simple jaunt home. It was dusk when I rounded the corner of our block.
    I had just had the best day of my young life. Little did I know then how much it would effect the rest of my life. It was the freedom I felt, but more, that point when I was in total control and so at ease in my unknown surroundings. I could see the rhythm. I could feel and taste the experience. I thought that I could mold the earth and time as I needed. I could get anywhere I wanted by just going. From that day on, I was a traveler.
  And, that day- I got in a lot of fuckin trouble. When I saw our house and saw friends and neighbors cars all parked there, I thought we were having a party. Yea, it was the recent return of the Kurt search party. I walked in the door wondering what was going on and if I could walk home everyday. After my mother was done crying and hugging me I found the answer was clearly- NO. The "journeys" would have to wait a few years.

  Word manglers note: I wrote this as the start of a small series that should help to explain "What started all of this" question.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Gainsville priorities/ Taking care of buiness

Meet some great people. Drop bags. Go Mountain biking, do a little more Mountain biking. Drink some coffee and go Mountain biking. Man, I love this town.