Thursday, October 7, 2010

f*ck the haters


But srsly, fuck em cuz WE MADE IT!!! P.S. like our fonts??? ;D

In all seriousness, though, we did actually "make it," which is to say, "we made it."

We've been here in The Bay (Gay) Area for a while, but we've been so occupied with things that this is the first time we've been able to sit down together at a computer and reflect on the past week or so. Like our workmanlike prose? ;)

At this point, we politely (though forcefully) request that you settle back in your ergonomic loveseat, allow the gentle glow from your computer's screen wash over your pimply faces, prepare your index digit for a heavy dose of linkology, and read the following:

We'll pick up our story in Carson City, town of wonders. After purchasing donuts at the Nugget Casino (which features "The World's Rarest Collection of Gold" -- ??!!%%*?), we wrote a blog post at Eli's homely home. You see, we were couchsurfing with a nice guy named Eli, who happens to be a world-class BMX bike rider (not JK). It was grrrrrrrrrreat! Then we decided to wake up (the next morning, you idiots!) and ride our bikes to meet Pistol Pete, who had ridden beyond Carson City and nighted in the town of Genoa, N(e)V(ada), the Silver State's oldest incorporated town.

Everett talking.

Pete was lucky enough to have found hosts in Genoa to the tune of a father-son duo who turned out to be the biggest couple a stoners we ever laid eyes on! The situation was like this: Todd paints airplanes by night, and by day teaches his 18-year old son Everett the Ways of the Herb. Everett works at the local General Store, and goes to Burning Man whenever he possibly can in order to unite intimately with upwards of "30 chicks a night without even trying, man." These guys were a riot, and provided us with a delicious breakfast frittata. They put Tostitos on top. You should try it sometime.

California's state marker sucks a big one

Soon enough, this recast trio o' bros was on its way into California's Sierra Nevada range, the armpit of the world, if the world were to maintain its armpit hair and odor meticulously, that is. We had a seriously serious climb up into the Sierras via Hwy 88 up and over what is locally and globally known as Kit Carson Pass. We were surrounded, practically engulfed even (omfg), by a smorgasbord of pleasant visualities: trees, rocks, slopes, rivers, streams, clouds, gravel (JK), skies, dingbats, wombats, Louisville Sluggers, X-Men characters, and other examples of God's Bounteous Creation (GBC).

Emelio makes sure to always wear his helmet when doing "the look-back"

Once we heaved our sloppy bags of flesh over the peak--nearly 9,000 feet asl(?)--our bicycle wheels started turning on their own for some completely obscure reason, as if friction ceased to exercise its full influence on our persons and/or bicycles. It was almost like we didn't have to exert as much energy as we'd had to on the way up to the peak! We liked this.

We assume this barn belongs to some rich guy who maintains it for exclusively aesthetic purposes (we don't mind; just saying)

We Three Kings cruised down a good ways until we hit an area called Silver Lake. Alex, who sympathizes with Mussolini's political ideology and shares many characteristics with a troglodyte, described this lake as "basically a mini Lake Tahoe without all the bullshit." Please note: Alex has definitely never been to Lake Tahoe. Also please note: Emelio's little jokes are hurting Alex's feelings. Please refer to a pic for a pic of our nearly-island-like campsite; it certainly was a campsite worthy of raising as our own beloved son. Pete, we should mention, when considering whether park rangers might oust us from this prime piece of not-paid-for real estate, was just about as paranoid as a 13-year old girl smoking her first joint in her parent's basement. In the end, no ranger confronted us and we spent another peaceful, illicit night under the stars.

That's the island where we camped in the background; Alex failed at wearing it as a hat

The next morning might have been possibly and perhaps our most glorious bit of riding in a long while. We basically slid down the Sierras like a slime-covered child on a moist Slip-n-Slide. Which is to say, our descent was fast and furious. Eventually, we pulled off the main road and flew down a magical, forest-shrouded back road that offered numerous views out over Sierra expanses. We even saw snow!

It's just a picture for cryin' out loud

Eventually, however, we got to Placerville, CA. Other names for this town might include 1) Whackerville, 2) Don't-Go-Backerville, 3) Stuff-it-in-a-Sackerville, 4) I'm-gonna-smack-yerville, and 5) The ShitPit of California. Placerville was hot and carfilled and we even made PB&Js at the local McDonald's.

We'll always be thankful that Pete taught us this awesome trick

Our evening ended in Folsom, where we heard a local blues band play a rousing medley of "Folsom Prison Blues" and "On the Road Again." The hot bartender danced with us and even said that we made her night, but held out when it came to any kind of meaningful sexual activity. No biggie; we had a good time anyway!

Folsom Freaks

That evening, some interesting stuff went down that you guys might be interested in reading about. You can read all about it if you simply continue reading our blog, "Just a couple a dudes trying to do something".

We cycled from the bar to the city park and threw down on the only patch of grass that wasn't being pummeled by godforsaken sprinklers. Unfortunately, this minuscule camping area placed us in a highly visible spot, directly adjacent to a large graveyard, I mean parking lot (cars are coffins!). A few hours after dozing off in our sleeping bags (it was so nice out that we abandoned the tent and slept 'neath the 'stars), we were rudely awakened by a local swine moonlighting as a Folsom City Police Officer. This donut-loving oinker asked us what we were doing, to which we replied, "Sleeping, you horrendous fuck." JK! In reality, we let Pete do the talking, and he placated the greasy lardass with the fabricated story that we were riding cross-country to raise money for the American Kidney Association (as Pirate Pete put it to us a day later, "Everyone knows someone on dialysis."). The Donut-Muncher took this information to heart, bid us a good evening, and let us off the hook.


Roughly three hours later, the corrupt and vile version of that Hog Lieutenant appeared at our side, holding a freaking strobe-flashlight (apparently, such devices are manufactured and distributed to cops) and aiming it into our freaking faces. This Porker was a much harder fight than the former, but ultimately Pete's elan under distress saved the day once again. The Bozo the Cop impersonator eventually got the point that we were just a couple--I mean trio--a dudes who meant no harm to anyone except perhaps he himself, and left us to our slumber.


We hopped on the American River Bike Trail first thing in the morning (we had slept no more than about 50' from its origin) and rode it like a docile Shetland all morning. The trail was quite pleasant indeed and we entertained ourselves by saluting our fellow cyclists with whom we shared the trail that lovely morn. However, we found the hello-saying in short supply along this Californian corridor. It seemed that these Californicators had picked up on our congenial Midwestern sensibility and the nano-chips that had been implanted into their electro-souls at birth (by Steve Jobs himself; who else?!!?) was unable to process our overly-human attempts at communication, thus restricting their ability to respond. Basically, we said hello with increasing enthusiasm, vigor, and volume to all those that we passed (let's say 200 people or so) and received a reciprocal greeting no more than a half dozen times. FREAKS!!!!

Alex and Greg ride the trail. Incidentally, that guy on the left would most likely not give a shit if you said hello to him.

One native Californian, wherefore, broke the mold in a sushi-rific fashion. It was Greg, who was basically a real-life superhero. Greg rode up to us and asked us if he could accompany us for a ways. "Yes," we retorted. He was interested in our story so we gave it to him like a bully giving an atomic wedgie to Dweebus McNerdlington on the first day of third grade. After a good long chat-sesh came the money-shot: Greg proffered a magnifercent lunchbonus down our gullets. "Hurrah," the three amigos dijeron (look it up, jerks!). Refer to our last post for a pic of the goings-on.

You can't tell from how cool he looks in this picture, but Pete actually isn't from California!

After eating some vastly undercooked fish (Zagat apparently knows little to nothing about good food), we proceeded to go somewhere on our bikes. This place happened to be Davis, Californyuh where we were greeted by the CouchSurfing host of a lifetime. IT WAS JASON!!!!!

Jason lives in a pretty remarkable community. It is a block of 20-something 1950s-era homes that share one sprawling, contiguous backyard as well as a central community household. You see, some years back now, after sharing a bong during a group reading of Robert Frost's "Mending Wall," a couple neighbors decided to remove their fences and ended up founding a transformative residential experience on the outskirts of this quaint university town. One by one, the other houses on the block joined in the effort. Today, the backyard wends its way in and out and around a dizzying residential landscape of homes, gardens, bee'shives, chicken coops, murals, orchards, children's playthings, lawn furniture, patios, hammocks, and etc. The community household hosts multiple shared meals each week as well as cultural events and programming. This living situation is the closest thing to Utopia that we've ever seen. Unreal.



& Frida

After freaking our neeks with le grand tour of le grounds, Jason enlisted us to help prepare the evening's meal, in a ritual shared by humans the world over since time immemorial. His particular house is a communal living arrangement of its own and we happened to be staying with Jason on the night he was responsible for cooking for the household of 6. We cooked and then proceeded to EAT yummy food with a very interesting assortment of Davis characters. Alex slept on the couch, Emelio above the laundry, and Pete in the grass. We are such HIPPIES! OMG LOLOLOL!

What a din-din!

Known as "A Session"

We regained consciousness early the next day well before the horrifying star of fire emblazoned itself on the horizon. After getting some coffee from a place where you can purchase coffee, we saddled up (read: got onto our bicycles) and set off for the final riding day of biketour2010.

The day began rather lovelely, with a sojourn through delightful walnut (maybe, or maybe another type of thing) orchards. However, other than the hot air baloons overhead, not much more was really remarkable about this final cycle-day. We wound up fighting against some frustrating wind gusts and battling up a few minor but nonetheless not-fun hills on the way to Vallejo, where our ferry lie in wait like a patient pack-mule.

Anyways, these three doods were sure relieved to get to Vallejo's ferry terminal. Our spirits were high; even the extremely freaky dude who kept talking to himself while hunched dangerously over his laptop didn't bum us out or even scare us. With tickets purchased, we loaded our horses (aka bicycles) onto the deck and boarded the ferry. Soon enough, the motor sprung to life and our watermobile transport-thing was chugging its way 'cross the San Francisco Bay!

When was the last time you saw a windswept beard?

This final leg of our journey, a ferry ride into San Francisco, was a relaxingly cathartic experience. We three guys just basically took it easy on some seats inside, making small talk and letting the peace of our completed journey permeate through our wearied bodies. Eventually, the Golden Gate Bridge appeared on the horizon, and the boat nearly tipped over from the rush of globular tourists who rushed to one side of the cabin to slime their slobbery faces all over the glass.

Our stop was the historic Ferry Building San Francisco. Steve Bingham was waiting excitedly for us at the ferry terminal, and our joyous reunion was immediately preceded by Steve saying, "Holy shit you made it." Steve and Pete met each other, and then our loyal third man made his way out into the city to find his pal. We can't tell you freaks enough how great it was to find Pete and ride with him for the last five or so days of this monumental journey; he sure made it fun and more-than-a-couple-dudes.

Steve, no pictures, please!

After riding a bit around the Embarcardero--one of S.F.'s famous boulevards--us couple dudes and Steve caught another ferry, this one on its way to Marin County. Marin is the landmass directly north of San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge. It plays host to many communities, including San Rafael. Steve bought us each a drink on the boat ride over to celebrate our arrival; we drank to friendship.

Steve had brought his bicycle so that he could ride us the last few miles to his home. He led us through downtown San Rafael and up to the house in an area called Terra Linda; it was more than a few miles, up some significant hills and through some traffic, but Steve held his own like a pro! We couple dudes were definitely impressed.

Marin County bike advocates recently celebrated the opening of this bike path that runs along Hwy 101!

When we rolled up to the house, Francoise was waiting for us in the driveway, and she was so happy to finally see our hairy, putrid-smelling selves. We had some nifty photo-ops and lumbered through the door into their spacious and beautiful home. It certainly was an emotional experience to arrive here, at the place where Sylvia spent much of her life. Over the course of the next few days, we spent our time with Steve and Francoise, having long breakfasts that blended into long lunches that blended into long dinners. We just basically relaxed big-time, sitting back with these two wonderful people and talking and laughing and sharing many stories about Sylvia.

It was a very interesting experience for us to be somewhere without the urgent need to move on, but Steve and Francoise insisted on us taking it as freaking easy as possible, and we even watched a movie together one night! On Sunday night, Steve drove us across the Silver Portal Span into the city so that we could attend one of the most far-out free music festivals on this blessed rock we call home, the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. After Emmylou Harris nearly bored our beards off, we made our way to the funktastic freaksounds pouring out of the Rooster Stage to find Sharon Jones and her band, the Dap-Kings. These guys and Sharon were basically smashing the audience with a bombastic Soul-Hammer till our ears bled joyful streams of Faygo red pop. Steve remarked that it was extremely special to have shared that experience with us; we felt the same way about being there with him.

The rest at this point is history. We rode into San Francisco on Monday morning and met up with Emelio's good friend Jessi, who showed us a great time. We crashed at her pad in Oakland that night, and the next day we ventured out and explored Berkeley for a few hours, checking out music stores and book shops and freaky freakdudes and dudettes on Telegraph Avenue (believe us, they're freaks!). Emelio even chopped off his freaktastic beard! We met up with Iris, another Emelio-friend from Oberlin, who took us to a great diner where we purchased prepared food for consumption. Later that evening, we met up with more friends in the Mission District (a famous neighborhood in S.F. known for its fabulous alley-murals and Mexican-food) and had a delicious dinner party. All was well. For the first time in 66 days, we two dudes slept in different places. Our sleep, naturally, was restless as we simultaneously reached out and found no one beside us to grope.

The dudes with Francoise, dwarfed by our beards

We two dudes are currently at Francoise's high school (she still hasn't graduated, can ya buh-leeve it?!), where we gave a short presentation to a group of students and faculty about our trip. Francoise had been talking to her students about this trip and why we decided to ride out here; the group was very interested in hearing what we had to say and seeing our photographs. We really enjoyed talking to them all and especially hope that we were able to convince some of the students to make similar journeys of their own. One of the faculty members filmed our talk, if you want to check it out you should visit this link.

Our plans, thank you very much for asking (trouser-wearing jerkfaces), are more-or-less as follows:

Emelio will be hanging out in Palo Alto with his enemy Hunter McCurry, and tomorrow they'll be going whale-watching (not JK!!!!!). On Saturday, in a bizarre twist of events, he'll be taking a plane to China where he will visit his girlfriend Becca who is currently studying in Beijing. WTF, right!!!!!!!!! When he gets back, sometime at the end of October, he'll spend a couple nights in San Francisco before catching a train back to the good ole Midwest.

Alex plans to remain in the Bay Area for a while longer (read: about 5 days). He still has family and friends he has yet to visit. Then, he hopes to hitch a ride, along with his bike, up the Pacific Coast to Washington to visit a couple folks up there in that there state there. Amen. Once that's over and done with, his plan is to ride his bike down to Portland, OR to visit a couple people (ESPESH CLAIRE), then proceed by bike to Crescent City and Arcata, CA to see some cuzzies. Can't wait to see all these great people! Yum. When that's over and done with, it'll be back to the Midwest sometime in November. Can't wait to see all those great people back over there in that there place there in the middle of the country but not really (in the middle of the country, that is).

We gotta send major props to ya'll for sticking with us for the entirety of this blogtrip. You might not have picked it up from our frenetic and neurotic writings, but we basically thrived on comments from you guys on this blog.

Some statistics to close out our life (JK our blog):

We left on August 4th from Cleveland, and arrived on October 1st.

That makes 59 days to complete the trip.

We took 7 rest days.

Our longest day of riding covered 105 miles.

Our fastest speed was 43.9 mph; our steepest grade was 14%.

We passed through 10 states, 4 state capitals, 4 time zones, and 2 state fairs.

We crossed water via ferry 5 times.

We traveled over 3500 miles (a more exact figure will come once we learn basic arithmetic).

We have 1 beard each.

Peace out our brothas and sistas and everyone in between.


  1. well I'm excited I get to be the first one to comment CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    really amazing, inspiring journey, couple dudes.

    also psyched you got to see Davis, I've heard some good things about it and look forward to hearing some more..

    I hope you each find a way to continue to update this blog, as it seems the journey is not over for either of you right now. the cast of characters and ridiculous happenings is worthy of Cervantes.

    once again, congratulations

    jon keyes

  2. ah, yes, the 13 year old girl paranoia.... only it was my friend's parents' basement...

    the post-apocalyptic smog is rolling in quickly, just in time for your arrival. i think china might hate you

    and i agree with "jon", you should both keep posting here! i bet you could even write posts in under 3 hours!

    see you in two days (holy shit) <3

  3. Wowza! What a bunch of dudes!!!! This is (was? :( :'( ) the best blog ever.

  4. i'm planning to write some fanfic based on this blog because i can't bring myself to say goodbye

  5. score! you met someone named eli. did you (as in emelio) let this bmx rider know about your sweet brother back in the io of oh?

    also, the blog was awesome. i loved reading updates on it, and i will sorely miss the adventures of you two couple a dudes. alex, enjoy the rest of your time out in the west coast. it was great meeting you, even though it was only for about 10 minutes in my driveway. pio, hope to see you at thanksgiving (if not sooner). have fun in china, and remember not to play with any of those commies' toys (they probably have lead in them)

  6. Thanks for bringing us along! I'll miss your hairy posts (that's what she said). Have fun with all your adverturos. Come back to visit anytime!!

  7. that was sweet. here's a song to listen to. gnite.

  8. Awesome trip. Thanks for all the hairy details. Alex - Check out the Green Tortoise bus for going up to Washington. Your bike gets put on top and there are bunks inside. The trip includes an amazing breakfast in the woods somewhere along the way. (from Martha on Piet's computer)

  9. dear heroes,

    i love you guys. lots!

    <3 M

  10. I love you dudes too! I was happy to read this culmination of an article (even if it kept me up later than my bedtime).

    I wish Emelio all the funnest times in China. Hopefully you are back in the Cleveland for CCM on October 29th!

    I wish Alex a spectacular west coast trip and I am SUPER jealous you are going to Crescent City. Enjoy our friends (espesh Claire) and family (espesh Connor). Hopefully you are back in the Cleveland for Thanksgiving on November 25th!

    I echo "craffel" that this is the best blog ever, but it is also the second blog I've ever read...

  11. Oh, and even though Blogger says that I posted this at 7:46 PM (which is NOT past my bedtime), I am posting this at 10:47 PM (which IS past my bedtime when I'm this busy at work).

  12. What a wonderful experience. Thanks much for sharing it with us all the way. Alex, you don't tell us how you are getting home - you are not riding, right??? I cannot imagine the glory of what you just did. Sylvia is smiling! Love, Auntie Annie

  13. Congratulations! Hope to see you back in Ohio one day. Have fun! Lisa from YS