Brian's Blog
Saturday, 26 April 2008
Surrounded by Germans......
Mood:  a-ok
Have made it into eastern Germany. The ride across Holland along the bike paths thru the quiet little villages and on top of the dykes was perfect. Sometimes the thought of how far there is to go really hits hard and I miss everyone alot but then you just look at what you're rolling thru and just know you´ll never be this fortunate again. The weather has been holding for me, it' been cold but dry.Have'nt marked all the latest photos but a few are from a gasthaus in Andelst Holland where they gave me a real cheap room (but nice) and had a great blues band plying that nite. Last nite, got hooked up with the guy  Marcel on the recombint bike and stayed at his friends house here in Quidlinberg. Should be in Poland in a few days. So far just good people and nice roads, Having fun and really enjoying this awesome journey. Forgive me for not answering email right away, it's tough getting to a computer. Take care everyone.  Brian

Posted by briansride at 11:33 PM PDT
Thursday, 17 April 2008
we have taken Holland..
Mood:  a-ok

Sitting in Serini and Jerome Smit's Bakery shop in Shiedam, Holland. Serini is an old friend of my brother Kenneth's. Made it to the UK from Fla. no problem about 4/7. Hung out a week there at me Mum in laws and had a great time with all of Sheree's family. Never to far from a pub in England. Had a great ride to the coast thru small villages. Made the boat to Holland after spending a day in Capt. Fryatt's pub with a bunch of great locals.  Arrived in Holland 4/16 in the am. Short scenic ride to Jerome and Serini's and having such a good time decided to stay an extra day. Very cool to finally be on the continent. Tomorrow heading east. Hopefully I'll be able to upkeep the info along the way. This is only getting better.   

Posted by briansride at 6:59 AM PDT
Sunday, 6 April 2008
Mood:  happy
If I can ride a bicycle across America, anyone can do it! Arrived 4/2 in Orlando at my old Air Force buddy Ron Reed's house. Jim Odom, another Air Force friend whom I haven't seen in 25 yrs. flew down from Missouri and we all quickly fell into our daily routine from so many years ago: drink all day and night, wake up, have a nice breakfast, drink all day and night...  Ron's wife Danielle and son Jimmy were their to watch out for us so nobody got hurt. Ron arranged for a reporter from a local paper, The East Orlando Sun to meet us. They took pictures and asked all about the journey so far.  Went out last friday and picked up a few bike and clothing items and rode on an airboat. I can only go so many days before I have to see one more alligator. Also boxed up and shipped the bicycle and gear off Fedex. As much as I'm glad to have made it across the country, I'm truly looking forward to hitting the airport tomorrow 4/7 and heading off to England. So many towns have gone by that were at one time just names on the map. Even the act of boxing up the bike and gear was momentous to me since only months ago it seemed like such a pivotal point of the trip and now it's behind me. Every place I've stayed with friends along the route has been a great experience. I've been welcomed like family and everyone seems to enjoy the energy and excitement of this very cool ride I'm on. Leaving the states and seeing all of Sheree's family in England is going to be a fun launch for the next stage. Thanks to all my old and new found friends for checking in. Cheerio!

Posted by briansride at 6:22 AM PDT
Sunday, 30 March 2008
Getting closer
Mood:  a-ok
Arrived in Inverness Fl. at Chuck and Vanessa Karlesky's house. Chucks an old friend from United (maybe he just feels old) Rich O'Sullivan, another United Oakland vet, who works with Chuck up in Georgia also came down. Hadn't seen Rich in 13 yrs., still handsome as ever. Glad to have the Florida panhandle behind me. The long stretches out West have nothing on the endless forest/jungle here. Passing thru swamps and bayous and a gas station every 40 m or so for days. In Wakulla. camping in the woods behind a restaurant  a black bear was snooping around and didn't seem to mind me yelling at him to scat. When he finally decided to climb the tree beside my tent and hang out I resorted to the slingshot. Kept plinking him until he decide to move on. Just a curious fellow, just do it somewhere else. All along the way I keep meeting good people, all interested in my journey. It's a great conversation starter, the bike loaded down, everyone almost has to ask "where you going on that thing...?" Going to hang here for a day and then only a 2 day ride to Orlando to end the state side stage and pack up the bike and myself to England. I hope to keep the good times rolling into Europe because so far I feel fortunate on how well the trek has gone. Looking forward to Orlando, seeing some old friends there plus getting ready for the next BIG leg of the trip. Thanks for checking in and thanks for everyone's well wishes. Y'all come back now ya' heeah!

Posted by briansride at 5:45 AM PDT
Sunday, 23 March 2008
made it to Florida!
Mood:  a-ok
rode two days out of the New Orleans to Guatier MS. and hooked up with former Oakland buddy Mike Shuster at his brother Jere's place. The Shuster clan took me in and I wound up at his niece's first communion, met every Shuster ever made and in laws. Mike, Jere and I went floating out on the bayou so I could see the requisite alligator and all went well until Jere offered me the controls and I had us stuck in the mud wihtin 10 minutes.  Mike warned him about me but Jere just had to see for himself...  Then we loaded up the bike in Mike's truck and along with Mike's lovely wife Kari and 4 yr old Kylie drove two hours to Gulf Breeze Fl. to their house, picking up Kari's Mom along the way who flew into Pensacola from California. Mike lives two houses down from his sister Teresa's family. Great bunch of people. Hit the beach the next day and attended a birthday party at a friends house that evening. Excellent party, met alot of good folks and had a couple (dozen) beers. That kind of convinced me to not leave this morning, so I stuck around and had Easter dinner with everyone. Bikes ready to go, I figure I'm within 8/9 days of Orlando. I can't believe l'm almost finishing the first leg of the journey and soon will be in Europe. It has been great so far and I really appreciate seeing friends and family along the way so far. It's just going to get better and more interesting, thanks everyone for continueing to check in and I shall talk at you from Orlando.

Posted by briansride at 4:47 PM PDT
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
into the south
Mood:  a-ok
Had a good stay in San Antonio. Rick's family made me feel right at home. Made a few days good progress heading e then started hitting headwinds and cross winds. Very interesting crossing texas. It's cactus  out west and you slowly transfer thru the hill country and into the bayous. My sons Shay and Cody flew into New Orleans and drove west to hook up with me in Lake Charles. It is great to see them. We said the hell with it all, loaded up the bike and drove back to New Orleans. I'll head out of here heading east again tomorrow but hopefully tonight we can head into the french quarter and get arrested.. ..  Having some rear wheel issues so I'm having my new set sent to a friends place in Gulf Breeze fl. Other than that everything is still going well and I'm feeling good.  Meeting alot of great people from all directions of life. Hey! I've pedaled my bike so far I'm seeing alligators! Thanks for looking... Brian

Posted by briansride at 1:23 PM PDT
Monday, 10 March 2008
deep in the heart
Mood:  a-ok
500 m into Texas at Kerrville. Been pushing it pretty good since deming. Still in the desert for a few days pulling a few 70 m days. Rode along the border for a while, border patrol everywhere and people a bit skittish when you tell them you've been camping out. Scared of them foreigners I guess. Had some good days then I hit the Texas hill country. Day after day of rolling climbs. Tired of it. should lessen after San Antonio tomorrow. Pouring here today so I'm holding out here instead of the original down day plan in SA. Yesterday was the toughest day since Tehatchapi. Lot of climbing and going against a head wind that had me pedaling downhill! Surprised on how good I feel so far. Got turned away from an RV park late one day (no cash, just a card) so I put up in a deer stand. It was cool. About 12 ft off the ground and weather tight. Next morning in Junction I walk into a cafe and a older guy leaving just up and offered to buy my breakfast. I must have been a pitiful sight starting day 4 without a shave and shower! Tomorrow I'll make it to buddy Ron's brother's house (Rick) for a visit and then begin the slow transition into the south! Hey! I just pedaled my bicycle to TEXAS! so far it's working out. couple of broken spokes and 3 flats but no real trouble at all. Enjoy the new pics. I know pictures of Tx. aren't too unique but it's going to be all a very transitional collection as time goes on. Thanks for checking in, and I'll try to hit the emails next, the computer in Deming wasn't letting me send any replies. Later  Brian

Posted by briansride at 11:03 AM PDT
Thursday, 28 February 2008
greetings from nm
Mood:  chillin'
Sitting in Deming NM. Never did wind up taking a day off since leaving Mom's in Hemet. Had about 2 1/2 days of climbing east of Phoenix and mostly flat going thru Lordsburg NM. Taking a day off today. Everythings going well, feeling good but the legs are wanting a down day. High desert, flat as can be but at 4000+ ft. Weathers been great. Met a couple of other riders, hell I think I'm getting by with the minimums, the one French guy I met made my bike look like a Cadillac. I've sent a few clothing items home to shed about 5 lbs. of weight. Camping way out in the desert a few nights is weird and cool. You just lie there and listen to the coyotes. Starting tomorrow it's a 2 day ride to Texas. San Antonio is my next down day. So far, so good.   Brian

Posted by briansride at 10:35 AM PST
Thursday, 21 February 2008
2nd road update
Mood:  a-ok
Well  I made it to Phoenix. Sitting in the Mesa library. Coming across the desert so far has been good. Putting in 55-60m days on I 10. Feeling better already as far as staying in the saddle all day. Weather has been great, wind's been with me. You don't even ponder the fact you're out in the middle of nowhere. Just do the water bottle math, keep a little chow on board and know you'll make it to the next oasis. Hit a Koa in Blythe, desert camped the next night and then made the outskirts of Phoenix. Can't worry about hurrying thru the big towns, it's too frustrating. taking it easy here today 2/21 then if the weather holds climb up to Superior and Globe over the Superstition Mountains. Should have some good declineing terrain all the way to Lordsburg NM. This is such a process of starting the day with the right attitude and keeping positive. It's just starting to hit me that I haven't been to work in awhile and that is helping. I ride my bicycle all day 8 or 9 am to dusk. No complaints about this choice so far. Hope everyone is well. catch you next time, somewhere in Texas.

Posted by briansride at 10:09 AM PST
Updated: Thursday, 21 February 2008 11:35 AM PST
Monday, 11 February 2008
1st Road Entry
Mood:  not sure
Allright I made it brother Geoff's place in Highland near San Bernadino. It's been quite a week mentally and physically. The first few days it was raining and at night I just kept thinking about  home and how long I'll be gone. The weather has been great since and no wind issues. The bike (or "the rack") as I've begin to refer to it is performing flawlessly. Every few minutes you have to come up with a new reason to keep at it. This is mostly a mental game. The climb out of Bakersfield up to Tehachapi was a bear. 4000 ft climb. just turn up the music and keep pedaling. Been splitting the motels and camping, in Palmdale I spent a night stealth camping in a vacant lot beside a trailer park. Got up and  rode 70m from 3000 ft. over a 4800 ft. pass to make it to Highland. That first leg has taken me several days longer than I had thought but I must have thought I was in shape! Anyways chillin' here for a day, a short ride to Mom's in Hemet and spend a day there then start heading east again. My legs are sore, my right knee is aching, my ass is a whole 'nother story but I have flashes as the long days go by that I can do this. Just shut up and pedal. I loaded some pics but if it seems their just endless photos of far off horizons, that's pretty much the story so far. Thanks all, be cool and catch ya' next time.   Brian

Posted by briansride at 8:47 PM PST

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