Category Archives: Undefined

June 2013

3rd – All tubes, dropouts, and little bits for the frame have been ordered.

  • Paragon Machine Works rear dropouts. “Machined from 4130 steel, this is a classic dropout, with the relief on the outside. It has two M5 x .8 rack or fender eyelets..”
  • Nova road and MTB stays and a Nova MTB 37mm diameter x 1.6mm wall head tube.
  • True Temper SuperTherm main tubes 1.25″ top tube, 1.5″ down tube.
  • External butted seat tube for 27.2mm post.
  • 68mm bottom bracket.


11th – I crashed a few times on my last tour, twice from my front tire slipping out on loose dirt and in loose gravel. I might want to try using a Panaracer Pasela Tourguard 700x32c tire on the front and a Panaracer RiBMo 700×32 on the rear. The Tourguard for tread grooves and a more rounded surface, but it has a thiner sidewall. The RiBMo for its longevity and its high point on the center/being very smooth on paved roads.


13th – Thinking about tour life. How much time is long enough and how long would be too much? Touring to the point that its just living on a bike. The conditioning of living 99% of time out of doors. The everyday standard of interactions with only strangers, the rareness of being with friends (by visiting ones around the country). How to re-enter into a regular (a home and a job) life?

The ideas of taking on a project for the duration. A charity maybe, thought of linking to something positive and just letting the blog redirect them. Kind of minimal but even doing a little bit of good would help. Also thinking about photo projects but if I do it right i’ll just make sure I could take pictures and with my time i just need to think about what to do.

Thinking about not using this blog while touring. To keep only a written journal and then after it all I could post Touring Notes with pictures after I’m done. But the question I keep thinking is – what good does it do to post any of this online? I have been looking at others touring journals on CGOAB and the ones who travel on popular routes and take snapshots of encounters with other tourists. These people in these pictures represent that there are so many that just simply tour. So.. do I want to blog my tour, or just tour?

15th – Canceled that order for the handlebars. Now think I’ll get some real wide Nitto bars.

21st – Summer Solstice. All tubes and bits have arrived for the frame. The issue of fork needs will be addressed later.

23rd – I feel very different than i did after my last tour. New York is a strange place to live, especially when thinking about how long it has been since I’ve got out of the city even for a day. I do want to travel for hundreds of days. But I might be at a point where just one or two would do some good.

24th – One of 3 things. 1, no internet at all, professional old school.  2, internet and blog as i go. But also keep a personal, written notebook that is not relayed to the internet. 3, internet to search things and check email along the way but save all blogging for until after my tour is finished. ?  So stupid to even ask myself this.. but i dont like the internet.. because i grew up without it. But i see that it is useful. but it is a shit hole.  I may just do what i did 2 years ago, email, tweet, limited-expression posts as i go. And keep a notebook for myself.

May 2013

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” – William G.T. Shedd

Having a thought that since i don’t know much about ACA except that they make maps. But their maps are set routes and not for making your own way. Ive never thought id want to buy a set of maps and do one of their routes but since I’m stuck a home, vs being on tour, i keep looking at touring stuff online and seeing more and more mentions of ACA. I think if i was on a long roaming tour i would like to meet other bikers touring and maybe ride a section of one of their routes to see if the maps are any good. So i might buy some later on. Right now im thinking the most popular single map section, to hopefully meet a high number of other riders. And the least popular section to see what they worked on without a convoy of LHTs in my way. And third, one that a person from ACA would recommend. It’s my hope these 3 maps are of areas nowhere near each other.

Thinking about making a vest. Somewhere I found mention of someone taking a vest to double as a pillow. Seems like a good idea. I’d make a pillow case the right size to fold it twice and keep shape of a pillow.

On the 5th I, and 32,000 others, rode over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on our bicycles. Rad.

Looked at the new Canon EOS SL1 DSLR. Tiny and light, might think about one to take on tour because it has the same lens mount as my SLR. But expensive.

Testing out a pair of Panaracer Pasela Tourguard 700x32c tires on my daily rider.

Picked up a 50t chain ring.

Picked out head tube style. I was thinking about going with a 45×45 headset like what is on my Brooklyn Machine Works track bike but after speaking with Joe we decided on using a Chris King 1-1/8″ NoThreadSet™ on my touring bike. So we will order a head tube to match that.

After looking at my old touring bike we have a rough on the geometry.
Head Tube angle 73.5
Seat Tube angle 72
Wheel Base 41″
BB drop 2.25″

Also made a deposit to order tubes.

I still need to sew the other pannier.

April 2013

This month I think i talked about bike touring to a few friends but when my friends hear me say i want to go on a long bike ride, thats nothing new. I have had a couple conversations with my roommate. We both want to tour. I think we have similar touring styles in terms of budget, amount of gear carried, attitude about motivations and expectations. Other things are a little less lined up like when to depart. He’s looking at this year, im looking at next year.

After that, I made a pannier. I still need to sew up the second of the pair but I’m pretty stoked on it.

Also, a couple short conversations with Joe and Darren at Brooklyn Machine Works about my frame. Next is to get a drawing started and pick tubing and put in an order. That will be the goal for May.

I was supposed to do a S24O with my roommate but the dates got shifted back a day and i couldn’t do it. Out of all my riding and touring i have never done a single overnighter. Next time.

A free VIP pass for the 5 Boro Bike Tour fell in my hands. I’m excited to add another big bridge to my list. On May 5th I’ll ride over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. At 4,260 feet, it has the longest bridge span in the Americas.

If I’ve been having any thoughts to myself its been things like: What camera gear to bring on a year long bike tour? and How would I feel after about 3 or 4 months? maybe do i shave or grow the beard? Then there is the regular thoughts. what will i do for money and a place to live when i end the tour? but i’m not really thinking about that one yet. Maybe it’s more about how much money should I save for this trip i’m think about? And still thinking about charities.

And I listed this blog on not sure why but i did.


For anyone who has been outside of their own town with a fully loaded  touring bike has probably had strangers ask a few questions. Stopping at a grocery store and eating some snacks in the shade by the entry is a likely place. Some common questions are things like, “where are you from?” “where are you going?” “how much does your bike weigh?” And there are variations to another common one but  to simplify it is “why?”

So here i am, thinking about what my answer is. This time. And im asking myself, not drafting an answer to dish out to locals.

I’ve toured before. My first Why was to see the Pacific Ocean. I was a good few years younger and had not done much traveling, none by myself for more than a day and I was about to ride my bike across the country. Not coast to coast, it was from my home town in Ohio to somewhere unknown in California. I didn’t have the money so i never even thought about flying to some other coastal start point. I did end up taking a bus back home but anyway, I learned a lot on that trip. I learned a lot on the first day. Meet lots of great people. The whole thing was the best thing I had done with my life. I felt great and learned some very good lessons about life and people.

A few months after that tour ended I did more traveling. I drove from Ohio to a ski town in Colorado and spent a few months there snowboarding. After Spring began I wanted to go home again but after a few months at home I thought about how easy it would be to go on another tour. It had cost me a good bit to buy a bike and panniers and all my camping gear and things for my first trip, but now I already had all that. And I had a better idea of my daily costs so i could budget more accurately. Also I’d learned how to camp for free. Going on another awesome trip was almost a given. So now the Why was to relive the experience of my first trip.

But once I got out there things weren’t the same. I did not have anywhere near the same experience. It was not very good. I could blame the area of the country i was in. And that may have been some of it, SC for example, but really I wanted it to be something defined when i should have just let thing happen how they will. My Why (the Why i told myself , not the Why i told inquisitive locals at grocery stores) had messed me up. And i didnt figure it out until too late. I had thought my second trip would be from Ohio to the Atlantic Ocean then ride down to Key West, then go up along the Gulf coast and follow that to Texas, a state I’d never been to. But being so disappointed in my trip and myself i quit in FL many miles before Miami.

After all that traveling I’d only spent less than 6 months in Ohio of the last 16. All together it was rad, but I was broke. I stayed home for a year before I did any more traveling. And for a long while all my trips were in cars. I still wanted to ride bikes but I’d basically done a coast to coast-ish ride. And I was not as excited to tour anymore.

Leap forward a few years. I’d done more traveling. Lived in CO briefly, CA for a bit, and was now residing in NYC. I for some reason started to think about planning another solo tour. Oh wait! I remember thinking about another tour before I left CA. It was to be something to do with my self before I relocated. I did not have a job or apartment waiting as i drove away from the west coast so that seemed like a good time to go on a long bike ride.

Fresh from CA, I was in Ohio only a week before I got a call from a friend in NYC asking if I wanted to move into an empty room they had and get a job with them. So I did. And so i did not go on another tour.

But! After about 3 years in NYC i did think I really wanted to do a big tour. More than coast to coast. Something better described as all over, or maybe a perimeter tour. The crazy thing was that at that same time there was a call for riders to be hired to do a promotional group ride from NY to LA. I wasnt amped on the route but i didnt mind either. On the plus side I’d be in a group and I’d get paid to do it (still cant believe that part). I did get that job and I did another tour. So that Why was really a Why Not!

Jump another couple years of still living in NYC and I do another tour. This time I’d started planing it to begin at the end of a lease on an apartment I/we had no interest in renewing. I was wanting to do something like an independent tour i might have done in 2009. And I was somewhat miserable. I needed a change. I wanted to see more of North America and I had not much else going on. My Why was, if I’m going to be down, the least i can do is get on my bike, see new places and take pictures along the way.

Not that i had grown up but i had lived enough to know that riding my bike, seeing new places, and taking pictures is what makes me happy. Also I sleep better if its in a tent after riding a heavy ass bike for 80 miles or so. Really then my Why was to see if i’d get better sleep.

Now. here I am almost exactly 18 months after my last ride ended and im looking forward to another. Why?

March 2013

I guess its been a full month of thoughts and little else regarding touring. The last bit of winter into spring. but spring is still cold and not spring-like yet. Being in the house too much. not getting out of the city at all. Thinking about things i miss. Traveling and photos of people and new places.

I’m going to call this the month i decided that i will def go on another bike tour. A shitty January and February might have had something to do with it.

The ideas might have roots in the further past but this month has been thoughts of a custom built touring frame. This was solidified just this week after completing a task i was given and compensated for nicely. That would never have happened if not for the recommendation of my friend, who happens to be a frame builder. So i think I’m going to take a little of my winnings and commission him to build me a frame. Win win.

As for tour duration, I want to aim for a year + a season probably starting end of summer, prob not till 2014.

Also i don’t really put much thought into where to go specifically really just the wanting to go. No lines drawn on maps. Maybe some dots though.

A new idea is to pick a charity so if i can point attention of well meaning people i might meet to it, all the better. Not picked one yet, my thoughts are kids or the homeless.

Something to focus on for myself as i travel around is to locate people and businesses of different sizes that have a made in USA ethic and make a photo series out of that. People and the things they make here in North America.

I think this will be a solo trip but I’m open to riding with another bikers.

A worry, how to make money while on tour.


Wind Map

Wind Map

This is fun to watch and one of the few instances I’d agree that it makes sense to omit the rest of North America and still be a map worth looking at.


2013.. thinking about another tour

It seems a long time ago. The summer into the fall of 2011 was the last time I spend a good many days on the road, camping, seeing new places, and all the things that are Bike Touring.

Now that feeling is coming back, I need to go on another tour. I cant right now for the regular reasons. but i know if i set it up, and start setting it up by spring or early summer, i could go for a shorter tour this fall. Maybe a couple weeks. But I’ve never done a 2 week tour. All my touring has been 8 weeks or more. And i feel like I’m due for a good one. I’m thinking 5 seasons and fall is the best so prob two falls.

That would take much more prep time. In my mind I’m thinking a year to get ready, making the end of summer 2014 an ideal start time.

Right now I’m bouncing around the idea of building a new bike. Having a custom frame built to replace my 15 year old touring bike. A local builder, US made tubing, lots of details worked out, geometry similar to my current bike.

Anyway, all that is a long way off. In the mean time I’m just looking at a bunch of new and old bike touring stuff on the web.



Days later

Days later

I’ve been back in Brooklyn for a number of days. I’ve got a better grasp of how a long solo bike trip throughout a quiet area of north America has changed me. Or what it has let me see about myself.

The easiest way to explain it is that I left new york to find something and in over two months on the road not only did I not really find it. I forgot I was looking. I was not looking for one thing though. A mix of things absent.
It was not until I got back to the place I left that I found what I was looking for.


I was here before and everything around me is the same as I left it. I changed. And I feel for the better. It sounds dumb but I was serious. Now I’m tranquil.