Patrick Colleran
Hometown: Boise, Idaho
Bike: A 1976 Sam Braxton (#23) refurbished for it's second cross country trip
Favorite piece of gear: B17 brooks saddle
Go-to road food:Corndogs
Best touring specific trick: Poppin curbs and riding wheelies
Last employment: Field leader for citizen science backpacking trips for wilderness character monitoring in the HPBH WSA just north of Yellowstone
Most anticipated destination: Austin, Texas
Best bike related experience: Touring the San Juan Islands with Alison E. Riley

Max Horrowitz-Burdick
Hometown: Longmont, CO.
Salsa Vaya
Favorite piece of gear:
Go-to road food:
Best touring specific trick:
on bike sunscreen application
Last employment:
Denali National Park trail crew
Most anticipated destination:
middle of nowhere mississippi
Best bike experience:
first wheely

Vince Roubitchek
Hometown: Mt. Prospect, Illinois
Bike: Surly Long Haul Trucker (Fatties Fit Fine)
Favorite piece of gear: Bear Spray
Go-to road food: Jalapeno Cheddar Cheetos
Best touring specific trick: Limbo under gates of closed campsites....while riding
Last employment: Raft/Backpack Guide in West Glacier, Montana
Most anticipated destination: Beers on the beach in MIAMI!
Best bike experience: Cruisin' Avenue of the Giants in Nor Cal

Kyle Lehman
Hometown: Corbett, Oregon
Bike: Surly Cross Check with a dented rear wheel and noisy brakes.
Favorite piece of gear: Michael Jordan tank top
Go-to road food: Corn doggies
Best touring specific trick: No handed jacket removal
Last employment: Wildland Firefighter for the State of Montana
Most anticipated destination: New Orleans
Best bike experience: Crashing so hard while dirt jumping that I shit my pants.

Danny Thuerer
Hometown: Boise, Idaho
Bike: Surly Long haul Trucker
Favorite piece of gear: GoLite nickers
Go-to road food: Milky way
Best touring specific trick: Riding forward
Last employment: Helena National forest
Most anticipated destination: The South
Best bike experience: Riding down hill

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Messin' With Texas

We just wrapped up fifteen days in a state that I personally thought never warranted much more than an airport layover. But the state has proven it deserves much more than that, and from our first night in an old El Paso brothel to our last in a funeral home in Kountze, we have all relished the experience. One of our first suprises came in the small town of Marathon, where we ran into a group of Texas Democrats who found kindred spirits in our group of bearded bicyclists and invited us over to imbibe in several bottles of tequila and a crock pot bubbling with velvety green mole lengua. The next morning I found perhaps one true mark of a Texas Democrat: They only have two guns in thier guest room closet.

From Marathon we burned east through rolling Texas desert in a blind push for Austin. With no big climbs to separate the group we generally stuck together in one raggedy, foul smelling pelaton. There are times when we've been riding for hours over mellow terrain that it feels like all of our minds are caught in the same groove, like separate needles finding the same track on a record. When you're drafting behind someone mere inches separate your wheels, and we're all tied together by the slipstream thats cut open by the lead bike and breaks around each of us like a rolling wave. When you're in that pocket of air its easy to think of us all as just parts of one vehicle: Some eight wheeled, mutant caterpillar of rubber and steel slinking its way east towards the Atlantic Ocean, leaving behind a trail of beer cans and greasy fast food wrappers.

Beyond showing us our longest ride yet, Texas also marked the first time on the trip we have paid for camping. This occurred near the Amistad Reservoir when a trio of Park Rangers, likely attracted by the smell of our recently barbequed venison cutlets, trundeled into the closed campsite we were poaching and ordered us to pay up. The only part harder then finally shelling out money for a place to sleep was finding close to eight dollars in change and fitting it into the drop-box slot.

With this travesty still fresh in our minds, the posse rolled into San Antonio on Thanksgiving evening and sniffed out a small bar for burgers and beer. Then it was time for a little stickin' it to the man at the Occupy movement's San Antonio camp out. The occupiers were stationed in a park downtown and happy to accomidate a few more folks if we didn't mind a little drum practice they had planned for later. We chose to occupy a small tree on the far side of the park and drifted off to sleep while some moron beat out the bass line to various Metalica tracks on what sounded like the underside of a plastic bucket. Those fat cats on Wall Street had better be shaking in thier penny loafers.

After the bright lights of San Antonio we cut north to Austin, which we had all been looking forward to since the beginning of our trip. As a heavy rain fell in the state capitol, we cruised some bars on sixth street and found ourselves denied entry for a host of reasons (baggy pants, flip-flops, general drunkeness). Despite these setbacks we found our way into several bars and even wrangled a living room floor to crash on from a warm hearted bike mechanic named Sterling. Some highlights from our remaining rest days in Austin were lounging at the downtown Marriot's pool, catching the premier of Empire BMX's "Bad Idea" video, and the minting of an ass tattoo on one member of the crew.

Thats all for now, check back as we dive into the deep south on the final leg of our journey.


  1. Texas Dems with guns. Makes me remember the good old days of LBJ. May more adventure and good luck follow each of you on the last leg.
    Safety first, suz

  2. hey, that was my place that all that eating and tequila-drinking happened! I had a great time, and was glad to have met you guys!

  3. By the way, Nancy - the owner of the Marathon Coffee Shop, claims y'all absconded with the roll of toilet paper in her restroom. She then laughed and said "but that's ok - they probably needed it more than any of my other customers."