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2000 Miles On A Bike: Everything Wants To Give You A Flat

Treks’ Trek: 2000 Miles Across On A Bike: aka How Everything Wants To Give You A Flat (Part1)

“Hi. My name is Happy Gilmore. I’m a hockey player but I’m here to play golf today.”

 Not only is it a great quote, but it pretty much sums up how I felt getting ready to depart on a 2000 mile solo unsupported bike trip just four months after picking up riding a bike for the first time since my childhood.

 Roughly 7 months ago, I talked to my good friend Brandon of Monderno about an idea I had. I was going to to ride a single speed WWII retro-GI bike I’d built across America. I would do it to help raise funds and awareness of the Brian Terry Foundation. (To learn more about the ride visit the Facebook page). For those of you out there with far more bike-sense than I had at the time, rest easy. The fixed idea went out the window immediately as the trip went from just a thought to a real plan overnight.

Trek AAR Brian Terry Foundation

 Within a month I had borrowed a friend’s Trek Mountain-bike and started training. As I mentioned – this was the first time I had really rode a bike since my childhood, where a kids bike was his only form of transportation and not exactly a way of life. Now, since my near decade of time in the military, I have become quite a runner. To date I have completed a marathon, half-marathon, duathlon, two Tough Mudders, two multi-discipline adventure races, and a few other small events.

Being good at running, I was to find out, does not translate to being good at cycling.

There were four months leading up to my 15 September departure from Flat Rock, Michigan, home town and final resting place of fallen Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry (Read about his legacy and the foundation here) to the Brian A Terry Border Patrol Station in Bisbee, Arizona. During that time I had to create my own ideas on how to train, what gear to bring and as much “what if” preparation as I could, thankfully with the input of a few veteran cyclists. After about 2000-2500 training miles under my belt and the best gear I could put based on the info I had, I departed on a chilly Michigan Monday enroute to the high-desert of Arizona.

 After an amazing, exhausting and once-in-a-lifetime journey across nine states, 2050 miles, and 25 days, I reached the Brian A Terry Border Patrol Station. I rolled into the parking lot there accompanied by an awesome entourage of Border Patrol agents to learn that over $25,000 had been raised for a great cause. I also found myself in possession of a wealth of knowledge gleaned from my transformation from cycling novice to cross-country (literally) biking veteran in just a month.

Trek AAR crossing the finish line

 In the following series articles, I hope to share what I learned on the road, how it compares to what I had expected, and most importantly how it fared with what I was told would work. Mindset/Training, Gear, and Environmental issues will be covered in depth for those interested in hearing what a newb like me learned in one hell of a pass or fail exercise.

 As a good friend noted while checking in on me during my trip,

“Keep kickin’ ass buddy! And just remember, you have the same amount of Tour De France wins as Lance!”

Trek AAR the helmet

Trek AAR Garmin

 

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