December 19, 2009

I don't think I'm gonna make it . . .

. . . to New Orleans by New Year's Eve. After pushing on out of Savannah—thanks again to Noel and Corey for putting me up!—I made my way west. Finally, a new direction! I pedaled through Fort Stewart, GA. Highway 144 is the road that passes right through the middle of it all. I got to the border of said fort around noontime on Monday, and there was no gate guard to speak of. This is a big military base, and there is a huge armored vehicle regiment there, so a lot of it was just woods and tank paths.
As I was nearing the end of the day, I saw that there was a campground there on the base, so I followed the signs and made my way a couple miles off of 144 to the area. As I pulled up to the camp office, I was notified by the lady working there that we were not allowed to camp on the base. I was thinking it was only for military personnel and vets. When I told her that I had served five years protecting this country of ours—despite what my current appearance might imply—she said that wasn't the issue. The issue was Cooper. “Oh, you don't allow dogs?” I asked. “No, we allow dogs. Just not pit bulls.” “What? He's the nicest dog there is. We won't be any trouble; we just need a spot in the way back to set up and sleep.” “Sorry,” was her response. So we turned it around and pushed on back to 144.
When we hit the road, I noticed a couple of soldiers standing at the edge of the road that led back to the rifle range. I went over to them to find out how much farther it was to the end of the base, and to inquire about their backgrounds. We had only been talking a couple minutes when this sergeant came storming our way. He informed me that I need to leave the immediate area due to the fact that it was restricted. Where I stood, I was on the main public road; where they stood was on the dirt road that led to the range. Me, being me, told him, “I'm not in your immediate area. I'm in my area.” He didn't like that, and told me again to “vacate the area, now!” I threw out my best “Hoo-rah!” and hollered, “Yes, Sarrrrgeeent!” and made my way down the road.
A short time later an MP pulled me over and asked for my ID. When I handed him my passport, he asked if that was it. What better piece of ID does one need? When asked where I was going, I pointed west and said, “That way.” He didn't care too much for my obvious and vague responses, and informed me that he had seen me a couple of hours ago at the entrance of the base, which was eighteen miles back. He was wondering why I was still here. I told him that I only go about seven miles per hour. He started to argue the fact, and I said, “Seven miles per hour. That's fourteen miles in two hours. That's about where we are right now, correct?” I had him, and he knew it, but he still tried. That's when I fired back, “Look here, bub. I served five years in the Army as an 88L, 8th Trans Co, 24th Batt. 8 Brigade, and I have never been on a military installation that didn't have a gate guard post–9/11. I'm a vet and I live in a free country, and if I choose to ride my trike with my dog, and you have an open base, then so be it. That's what I'm gonna do. So unless there's anything else you got to say, I'll get back to getting on.” He handed me my passport and didn't say a word.
About an hour later I was still on this base, and in need of a spot for the night. I made my way back into the woods and set up for the night with no problems. The next morning, we headed out to get out of this not-so-restricted area. Around ten or so, the MP pulled up behind me and followed me for about a half mile. I looked back and shook my head in disbelief, and he passed me by without a word.
After making my way out, I came across a taxidermy place. Always intrigued and never questioned, I stopped in to gather some info. The girl who worked there explained all the ins and outs of the operation, and was very informative. She said, “It's not gross to do, but the smell can get to ya!”
After the quick lesson, we pushed on, and it was then that I decided to free myself. Free myself from this time table that I have established. When I left Savannah, I had said 40 miles a day for the next 17. I did 44 that first day and was exhausted. I slept from about 6 that night until 7 the next morning, without even eating dinner. The next day there were a lot more rolling hills that hadn't been present on the coast. Now I have made it south to the warmer weather; granted it has been wet, but that will pass soon. As I write this on Wednesday, December 16th, I have been on the road for 87 days, and gone 1,493 miles. I have been off the road, staying places for a total of 35 days. So I have pedaled those miles in 52 days worth of riding. Granted, I have stopped and spent time with people, but I haven't really stopped to talk to anyone else besides that. So after my conversation with the Taxidermist, I decided to slow down and take it all in. I have never spent any time down here, and I don't want to rush through it.
Yesterday afternoon I stopped at a gas station and got my hands on a Georgia state map to figure out my way west while keeping a little bit south. While I was there, a man by the name of Kerry started to chat with me and said that his brother lived about 8 miles down the road. He gave his bro a call to see if I could pitch my tent under his pines, and his brother told me to stop on by so he could talk with me to make sure I wasn't a crazy! 
About an hour later I pulled up to meet Kasey, Vicky, and their son Jagger. They asked me the usual questions, and were more than happy to give me a spot in the soft needles of their pines. They asked if I needed anything, and I assured them they had given me too much already. The next morning we woke to find Kerry waiting for us with some snacks and some more questions. We talked about politics, religion, family, and just life in general. He was really happy that he and his family could help us out. On her way out to work, Vicky stopped out to give me some ham and a Christmas card, and to say her goodbyes. It feels good to meet people and share a moment in their lives. So here I am in Georgia, free from all and just making my way west.
Till next time,
Love and licks,
Sean and Coop

December 12, 2009

Charleston to Savannah

So I ended up pushing out of Charleston around 3 p.m. on Tuesday. I got a late start due to the fact that I needed to put up the last couple of blog posts before I really fell behind. You guys support us and encourage us as we go, so the least I can do is keep you up to date on our whereabouts and goings on.

I worked my way southwest through Charleston towards the next spot—Savannah, GA. It is a 129-mile ride from one to the other. I wanted to get to Savannah by Friday night or Saturday afternoon. For that to happen, I would have to do 30 to 40-plus miles a day. Since I left Charleston so late, I was only able to go about 10 miles. While working my way out, I took the W. Ashley Greenway trail, which was 7.8 miles of easy, carefree riding. The trail was mostly gravel and dirt/mud, and it had already been raining that day, but the new ride easily worked its way on this path. While the old ride would have struggled in these conditions, the fact that the tires on this new ride are about two inches wide, and it is geared like a mountain bike, made riding on the trail no problem at all.

As we made our way down the path, Coop was able to run free of the harness and leash that he usually has on while running alongside me, and we encountered a young lady and her dog out for a rainy day walk. Cooper trotted up to take a sniff, and ended up getting bombarded with a serious overload of puppy love. Here was Cotton, along with his owner, Daisy. Cotton is a ten-week-old yellow lab that was raring to go. We stopped for a second to say hello to this ball of joy, and tried to pass on some suggestions to this new puppy mommy. She was very interested in our journey. Daisy, please send us some pics of your Cotton ball so I can share him with everyone, and I hope to hear from you about New Orleans. Just a little on down the line, we found a nice secluded spot to set up the tent and get some rest.

The following day showed promise of a good riding day—mostly sunny with a mild breeze. It was just what we needed to get out of this city. See, the thing is, I really liked Charleston, and I was kind of sad to push out of there so soon. I wish I could have kicked around there for about three more days. But with care packages waiting for me in Savannah, I had to get a move on.

Once we got out here on Highway 17, it was a different beast. The wind picked up tremendously, and it was right in our faces. The clouds moved in and the temperature dropped. We only did 20 miles that day before we were able to set up camp next to a building, which had outdoor power outlets and accessible Wi-Fi, so I was able to get out the laptop and do some last minute X-mas shopping. Not really—I'm broke as a joke. Sorry, family. No X-mas presents this year, just like the years before.

So here it is Thursday, and we're still about 100 some miles from our next stop. Once again, the weather was not on our side. I had broke down camp and hit the road without really eating any food, in hopes of getting some pavement behind us first thing in the morning. At around noon I was starving and a little cold, so I swung into the Harvest Moon Grille to get a bite to eat. As I walked in I was greeted by Jocelyn, the GM, who was also the server on the floor that day. She suggested the fried pork chop and broccoli casserole with rice and gravy. It sounded good and hearty, so I was in. While I sat there and waited for my food to arrive, she told me she had seen me earlier and was intrigued in what we had going on. After I finished my meal, a gentleman and his wife got up to leave, and said they had overheard my story and were wondering if they could buy my lunch. Thank you, John, for picking up the tab. After a hot cup of coffee, Jocelyn asked if there was anything else at all that they could get for me or do for me. I hesitated, but then asked if her guys in the kitchen happened to have any fine grit sharpening stones so I could freshen up my knives, which had become a little dull. She ran back to the kitchen, and a few seconds later poked her head out and told me to pull around back. I was excited to put a nice fresh edge on my tools, especially since I had opted against carrying around the heavy weight of a sharpening stone.

As I walked back into the kitchen, I was filled with all those warm and fuzzy feelings from back in the day. Watching the dishwasher unload the most recent order, I could hear the printer buzzing out the next order, and the frozen french fries hitting the scalding hot grease in the fryer. I set up the stone and bowl of water for sharpening. The radio was turned up loud, bumping Red Hot Chili Peppers tunes throughout the kitchen. Hearing the sauté pan hit the burner and grill spit, the plate hitting the pass, and the phrase “order up,” gave me goosebumps. It has been over a year since I turned my back on the food service industry, but those old feelings are starting to creep back up inside me as I meet different people and cook for those nice folks who have put us up on our journey.

After I was done and had some nice sharp blades, I cleaned up my mess and said my thank yous. Pushing on, we only did 20 miles or so. That night I sent an email to our host and hostess in Savannah, telling them I was trying to get to their house in South Savannah by Saturday night, which would mean riding more than 40 miles for each of the next two days. I have only done about 300 hundred miles on this new ride, so my legs still haven't gotten wrapped around it quite yet. On Friday, I put it to the pedals. The day wasn't that great for riding, and I had no shoulder most of the way, which has become more and more common the more south I've ridden down 17.

But we pushed on and did 38 miles by the time that big burning star in the sky started to do is westerly drop. The only problem was, we were in the middle of a residential area with nowhere to set up for the night. Then a pickup pulled up, and a couple of good ol' boys by the names of Gus and David asked me if I'm “pickin' up cans, 'cause if so, we got a shitload of beer cans you can have.” I informed them of my journey, and they were just amazed that some Yankee had the balls to do something like this. They asked me all the normal questions that everyone asks, and when we got to the subject of camping, I informed them that I didn't know where I was going to set up for the night. David gladly offered up a spot in his lawn, next to his trailer. Not about to miss the opportunity to have a place to sleep from a couple of good ol' boys from Beaufort, SC, I got directions and headed that way.

By the time I pulled up, the sun had gone down for the night. Coop and I hopped down and made our way to the garage, where there were some shade tree mechanics hard at work. When we walked up, we were greeted by David and his clan of friends and family. They had a couple of dogs on the run out there: Big Mac, a two-year-old boxer mix; and Ol' Girl, a 13 year old pit mix. Well, Mac and Coop got to playing when Ol' Girl came over and gave a snap at Coop. Coop, being Coop, snapped back. Then Libby, David's wife, spoke for the first time since our arrival: “If that Yankee dog f@#ks up my dogs, I'm gonna f@#k up that Yankee dog!” 'Nuff said, and she went into the trailer. I asked David if it was alright that we were there, and he said he had it under control. He told me to set up my tent and come on in once we got settled.

I set up the tent, fed Coop, and got my bed set up for the night. I was planning on getting up real early and hitting the road before the sun came up to do that last 47 miles or so that was left. When I stepped inside the trailer, I saw David, Libby, and Gus sitting around the table in a cloud of smoke, throwing back some brewskies. I stepped in, was handed a beer, and listened in on the serious trash-talking these three had going on. It was a pretty comical sight. The three of them had known each other for over twenty years, and there was a good bond of friendship there. After a bit, Libby warmed up to me and asked if I was hungry as she started pulling leftovers out of the fridge. Chicken and dumplings, deer meat, corn on the cob, and mashed taters. All very good and very filling. After a couple more beers, and lots and lots of laughs, I made my way back out to my tent and a snoring, warm pup.

We woke up at 6 a.m. and broke down the tent, packed everything up, and got to it before 7. The sun came up at about 7:15, and the rain started at about 7:45. I pulled over to put Coop's rain cover and my rain gear on. When a truck pulled up and asked us where we were headed, I informed him of our goal to get to Savannah by the end of the day. He asked if he could help us achieve that by giving us a lift. Once again I was faced with the choice of cheating or pedaling through. But while I was in Charleston, I had gotten on Google Maps and punched in my old zip code in NYC, then put in Savannah, GA as the destination and searched for walking directions, and it told me that no route was available. So I switched it over and searched for driving directions, and it came back at some 840 miles. When the truck stopped on this raining Saturday morning, I was just shy of 1,400 miles. So there is my justification for accepting the ride.

We got down into Savannah bright and early, and were given time to ride around and watch and listen to this southern town wake up. I swung by the post office, and was truly surprised by the care that was in the packages awaiting my arrival. Thanks, Sarah, Chad, Blue-Eyes, Top-Hat, Sandy, Jackie, and Mia. With all this, I won't have to buy food until after the New Year! Sandy had made a new collar for Coop, using a fabric that had bicycles on it. How fitting! As I cruised through Savannah on my way to Corey and Noel's house, I was just amazed by the trees down here. I love trees. I think they are such an important part of nature, and I find myself getting lost in just looking at them. The trees have gotten more and more beautiful as I have gone south, but there is nothing like the trees in Savannah.

Well, here we are on Sunday morning, and the rain seems to have stopped for now. I'm gonna hop on the trike and go take some pictures of the trees, and see what this town is all about. I push off tomorrow morning, then I have 625 miles or so to get to New Orleans by New Year's Eve. That's 40 miles a day for the next 17 days in a row! Wish me luck.

Till next time,
love and licks,
Sean and Coop

December 9, 2009



Till next time
love and licks

December 8, 2009


On my way to Kracke Street I had to cycle thru Mt. Plesant, but that was just before crossing over the Cooper River's two year old bridge. This bridge is amazing! Not only does it go over a river called Cooper, but it has a huge bike lane on the side- so no worries of playing in traffic. All bridges need these thingy ma things off to the side. Coasting into Charleston I felt an energy surge thru me. I had heard so many great things about Charleston and was more than ready to get on in and see for myself. Riding up to Kracke Street I had the pleasure of going thru their downtown. I couldn't help, but notice that there were a lot of great looking buildings and people every which way. Lots of history and beauty in Charleston. When I got to my destination on the Street known as Kracke I got to unloading and sorting my stuff while waiting for my host to arrive. Okay, lets stop right here so that I can explain the Charleston connection.

We'll start with Michelle. Her grandmother was celebrating another birthday recently. By the way, Happy Belated Birthday! My folks attended the festivities since their had been a friendship that was started long ago. See, Michelle's grandparents had been my neighbor back in Iowa since I was at the wee age of three. So, at the party I came up of course. And what I was having fun with. You know, only ten thousand miles of good times with my good pup Coop. After hearing about what I was doing it dawned on everyone of how I was heading towards Charleston. Michelle came up and it was all solidified of how it wouldn't be any sort of inconvenience for us to stop on through and share some good company. It was just like that; more or less. Then there's Dolly who I met in Tappahonnock, Virginia back in October. Turns out she had lived in Charleston for a couple of years. She had told me about Charleston and it was kind of far away when we first started talking of it, but now that I have passed through I have noticed how small this world can truly be. See, on this Street called Kracke where I was going to stay with Michelle was also the street that Dolly had lived on. Each on the other end of the one block long street!

While riding about on Friday I just had to stop off at Baked. It's a coffee and pastry shop that gets it right people. The original shop hails from the BK! Let me hear you, "Brooklyn!" Brooklyn was Brooklyn and all, but they came down to C town a couple of years ago to join in on the good vibes of this here Charleston! Sipping on a cup of Joe with a beard growing on in a curious couple wondering of my scenario asked, "Are you, ah, an, ah, an animal transport company? Are you in the business of transporting animals?" I got to explaining that I wasn't in any line of business such as that. We continued to talk and I got another chance to hear how small this world can get when it was slowly realized through a series of questions, the back and forth what have yous, that she was from my hometown and knew one of my old friends from NU! Turns out that old friend was someone she had befriended back in 95! Funny, right?

Back at Kracke Street I was unpacking where Michelle resided. Strolling over was her neighbor Pete. I continued to unpack and was thinking about the little things I still had interest in adding and fixing with the new Rickshaw. The things running through my mind started to come out in my conversation with Pete. He clued me in to how at school he builds sets for the theater department. He started to point out how all the things that I was thinking of working on wouldn't be that difficult to work out since he had all the tools needed to make these ideas of mine happen. With big grins we made arrangements to work on these ideas a little later, but for now it was time to get cleaned up and some good eats. After enjoying a local steakhouse we went to the Poor House! The Poor House was housing this banging band known as "Your Mammas Big Fat Booty Band" which was tickling all of our fancies with big drums, electric keys, blasting horns, a bass, and a mean guitar. I couldn't help, but move my way closer to the jamming sounds this band was pounding out. I tell you what I had a great night of music, drinks, and the beginning of prized friendships. The next morning... Well, lets say, it wasn't as easy getting on up since I hadn't played such as this in a while. I think the watch fell off the wrist around five in the morning. How we never want the good times to ever end, right?

Saturday afternoon was the start to a new day. Over at Michelle's friends, Grey's house, we sat back with some eyes on the pigskin. College football was on with another season coming to an end and there were dogs everywhere. I counted six as I was cooking up some grub for everyone to chow down on to lose some of the Friday night'ness.

As for Sunday I was back to form getting up early with Coop so that we could see some Charleston sights. Riding around downtown we watched the town getting set up for the Christmas Parade that was to happen later that day. Up in North Charleston a little needed disc golf was set to play with Ben and Grey. After a good day of plastic we headed back to Kracke Street with the Sun setting behind us. That night we got out of the college mindset and into the ultimate gridiron in the pro football arena. If you haven't figured it out yet, Michelle and her room mate Amy are huge sports fans.

As for Monday Cooper and I hit up the Bike Shoppee in the downtown area. This was the shop that Dolly had worked at while living here in C town. While Coop and I were there they gave me a class on tuning the rear derailleur which had been giving me a grind. After that we headed over to Pete's shop to do some work on the Rick. We used some U-bolts to fasten a good old mail box to the underside of the frame. Then we used some PVC that Leroy had offered up to me. With the PVC we were able to make a rain fly that would act as a covering which also had an eight inch gap so that Cooper could continue to enjoy the journey. He approved of the gap by giving his head to the breeze as we pedaled on. With thankfulness having been felt we thanked Pete and hit the road to find our way back to that ever familiar street called Kracke. Once there I had a chance to meet a thru-hiker Laro (Gnarley) had met this year while on the Appalachian Trail. Dylan (Top Hat) is living in Charleston and had read my blogspot a day or two before and wanted to get together to chat a bit. He brought a bag full of traveling food! It was too kind. He had gone as far as to dehydrate a bunch of good eats!

When the 'Girls on Kracke' got home they asked me if I would fill in the empty slot on their kickball team. Not having played kickball in about 15 years I jumped at the opportunity for some childhood games. We grabbed the needed 12 pack and headed to the field. After running the rules by me and the art of the bunt versus the smashing RKI, I felt good about it. They decided I could be the Catcher. I thought this was going to be a easy position and made a couple of mistakes right off the kick. Once I got my head in the game I was making some good plays. The best had to of been when a run was coming home and the third baseman threw the ball my way for the out. The ball and the base runner where moving at about the same speed and the runner was a pretty big dude. I stood my ground and as the ball came at me I put my arms up. It was more out of fear than the act of trying to catch the ball. The ball bounced off my forearm and ricocheted back at the runner one step from hitting home plate for the last out of the inning. I was shocked and relieved I didn't get leveled by the runner. After that the opposing team was really trying to challenge me on offense and defense. Sadly we lost the game, but it was a great time had by all. After the game we went to 'Home Team BBQ'. In the kitchen I got to mow'ndown. I started with the pulled chicken sandwich, some mac and cheese, collard greens, then some taco'ed pork, and then I finished off with a small rack of ribs, hash over mash, some baked beans, and some of that needed corn bread called muffin. I was a bit stuffed by the end. I was very happy. All the food energy to push on!

Well like I said. I've got to push on out of Charleston. Without a doubt I will be back for sure. The bar has been raised!

Love and Licks from the road,
Sean and Coop!

December 7, 2009


Okay, so this is the rundown from Wilmington, NC to Charleston, SC.

After rolling out of Wilmington on the new ride, lots of emotions were running through me. I was happy to have the Peditruck, sad about leaving my 700-pound tank behind, and relieved that Cooper would be safe and enclosed within this new rig. Trying to get a feel for the eighteen extra gears I now had, I must have looked like a fool riding this thing, skipping and jerking the whole way. After I got out of the area and found a field to set up in, I got to thinking about how I was going to arrange everything. I had to consider finding the appropriate weight distribution, while keeping Coop toward the front so he would still have a good view.

The next morning we hit the road after moving around all the cargo. That Tuesday was a damp one, with showers off and on all day. I still hadn't weatherproofed this thing, so everything and everyone was on the soak. With the afternoon approaching, a truck with an empty low-deck trailer drove by, and in a moment of fatigue and mental breakdown, I threw my hands up in a wave, sort of saying to myself, “If only I could get a 10-mile lift to catch up.” The thing was, when I had left that morning I still had some 70 miles to get to Myrtle Beach for the Thanksgiving holiday. That's almost 40 miles a day on a bike that I wasn't used to.

So after my wave and a quick thought, I put my head down and kept on pushing those pedals round and round. A couple minutes later the truck and trailer were pulled over, waiting on our arrival. The driver's name was Rick, and he asked if maybe we needed a lift. All we needed was a 10-mile pick-me-up, just so I wouldn't be killing myself.

I had pedaled over 1,100 miles on the first rickshaw, and the way I sat on it—behind the pedals, not over them—I had really used and worked up the muscles in my calves and butt. Now that I'm seated over the pedals, I have to use more thigh and knee than I've been used to, so I still need to get my legs in shape for this new rickshaw!

Rick agreed to help us as he was heading that way anyway, and was curious to hear of our adventure. We loaded everything up in five minutes, and were on the road. I told him we only needed to get a small lift, and that I didn't need to be in South Myrtle until the next day. Pretty soon I see the Welcome to South Carolina sign, and let him know that this is good enough. He said, “I'm not doing anything. How about I give you a lift to your friend's house, and you tell me more about your trip?”

I had to think that one out for a minute. Accepting the ride would mean skipping more than 50 miles of pedaling, but I figured I had done that amount just riding around in the places I had been the past couple weeks. I gave my friend a ring to make sure it was cool that we were showing up a day early, and he said he was more than happy to have us. So Rick drove Coop, the new ride, and myself right up to the Alford's driveway and dropped us off.

We went out back and started unloading and getting things sorted while waiting for the family to get home. I set up my tent so it could dry out and store what gear I didn't need to take inside. Pretty soon the family was showing up to say their hellos and give out hugs. I got cleaned up and had some nice stories with this great family. I had been in the army with Leroy, and we had gone to Kuwait together. I was twenty years old when we were over there, and Leroy taught me a lot about being a soldier and good person. It was good to catch up with him and laugh our asses off, reminiscing with old stories. Over the next couple days it was mostly relaxing and eating for the two of us as we waited for the big feast.

For Thanksgiving we went over to Leroy's in-laws' house who lived across the street. Sandra's folks cooked up some delicious food—homemade stuffing, green bean casserole, deviled eggs, bread and spreads—while we worked on the turkey, ham, and sweet potato pie. Man, was I stuffed.

The few days following the holiday were spent hanging out with the family and getting the Rick weatherproofed. We went to Home Depot and got the necessary items: bungee cords, zip ties, and gorilla tape. With an old tarp of theirs, and Sandra's ideas, we lined the box to keep out the drops that fall from the sky. On the following Monday we hit the road, making our way to a place called Charleston, SC. I had heard a lot about it on my way down the East Coast. Lots of people kept telling me I would enjoy it down there.

Monday and Tuesday were some easy days of pedaling. We made it south of Georgetown and stopped off at a church to find a spot to set up for that night and all the next day, because the voice coming out of my Radio Shack one-speaker AM/FM radio was letting me know that it was going to be a sloppy 24 hours. Luckily this church had a carport that we were able to set up under, keeping everything dry for the most part, and we were able to move around outside the tent even when it was raining. Its was a good find. Without it, we would have been confined to the tent a majority of the time, and we would have gotten soaked. A tent can hold up to the elements for only so long. As it rained pretty much nonstop for more than 12 hours, the tent would have eventually succumbed and allowed the rain to seep through the fabric.

So after a nice day of rest and some reading, we got back to it on Thursday. We made it to Francis Marion National Forest, which is a huge state park north of Charleston. We made it about halfway through the park when it came time to start looking for that night's camping spot. I saw a sign talking about horse trails, so we took the turn down the muddy gravel road and went on back about a mile to find the sweet spot for the tent. We found this big sand impression with a nice clearing, set up the tent, and gathered some damp pine to hopefully make a fire. Cooked a meal and watched the stars appear.

Later that night we had some unexpected company. A couple of big ol' pickup trucks came back toward our site, drove a little ways down the road, stopped for a couple of minutes, then headed back to us. Since rolling out of Myrtle Beach, I have been a little nervous about some of the backwoods hillbilly whiteboys who lurk around the South. They shined their big ol' coon light at our tent and asked what we were doing. As I emerged from the tent I told them to stop blinding me with their spotlight, and explained that I was traveling around the U.S. with my dog. I was getting a not-so-good vibe from these guys, and Coop must have picked up on the same thing as he came barreling out of the tent, his chest puffed up, throwing out some deep woofs and growls. I grabbed his collar and asked the “Billy Bobs” if they had any more questions. They said no and got moving on out. I didn't sleep so well the rest of the night.

The next morning we got an early jump on it. We had to do over 40 miles to get to Charleston before dark. Pulled onto Kracke St. around 4:30. Let the fun begin!!!

December 6, 2009

November Noreaster at Nags Head

During the week of November 10th we witnessed Mother Natures wrath!
This was across the street from Prescott's house.

This was the evening tide on the second day of the storm.
Just two days before I was taking pictures of a perfect day of surfing!

Things on the float.

Stairs going down from the Public beach access.

Crazy waves and tide flow.

Stairs from the Public access gone 12 hours later!

This is the top pic 12 hours later! That's like 17 feet tall and 12 feet deep!

10 hours later!!

Mother Nature is not happy.
I have seen some crazy, and discussing things on this trip.
Keep it clean and don't over develop.

November 24, 2009

Eleven hundred miles down...

So, the day has finally come. After 1,100 miles I was in need of an upgrade. Let us start at the beginning. I, with the help of some others, built the Rick that you have all come to know and love! It was a tank with Coop, myself, and all the gear weighing in at some 700 lbs. It only had three gears which meant at every uphill battle I would have to hop off to either push it up while walking along side it, or harness myself to the front so that I could pull it behind me. True to the definition of a Rickshaw; something pulled or pedaled! Before I peaced out of the NYC I was trying to line up some sponsorships that would aid in our completion of this monolithic journey. Surprisingly none were interested, so we've been doing it by ourselves. Just like every on of those uphill battles that are now behind us. Upon our arrival in Annapolis a friend of mine, Katzander, gave the heads up to a company in Colorado known as Main Street Pedicab. Getting to the phone I was able to reach them through a representative named Dan. He gave ear as I got him up to snuff about all that Cooper and I are setting out to do. I asked if he could help me out in any way. Now, don't get me wrong here. I'm happy with what I built. I'm proud of what I built. It's just that it weighs in at an amazing 700 lbs.! I'm not training for the worlds strongest man competition. I'm just trying to make it around the United States. So after giving ear, Dan told me that he would look into it and run it by the owner of the company. It didn't take long to hear from Main Street Pedicab. They offered up a used floor demo peditruck for a deposit and all I would have to cover is the shipping. They told me that once I was done with peditruck, upon returning, they would give me back my deposit. While talking to them over the phone I noticed that my head was nodding that it was good deal. The only thing was that the deposit was over a grand and the shipping cost to the east would be five hundred dollars... At that time my head was doing the numbers. I only had three hundred dollars to this name of mine. That's where the photo contest came into play. With that first place prize money and some big loving help from my parents- I was able to bring all of it together. I had the replacement in route being shipped to Wilington, NC. As I was heading to Wilington I posted an add on Craigslist to see if anyone was interested in my original Rickshaw. As it turns out one person was interested. His is name was Seth. He was looking forward to starting a new business in the downtown area, a delivery slash courier service. How surprised was he to see that his ideas were going to come to fruition. Now my Rickshaw, or rather his Rickshaw will be his main star vehicle. For over eight months I labored on that three wheeled notion sinking over a grand into its creation. Seth as a young business man was only able to afford a couple hundred, some dinner, crunchy dog food, and a comfortable spot to pitch my tent in his back yard. It was all good enough for me. The following morning I loaded all of my gear and my good buddy Coop into his truck so that we could head on over to the Two Wheeler Dealer where my enormous package would be awaiting us. Like most things there was a bit of a wait. I sat outside for a couple of hours with all my belongings and the memory of my original Rickshaw who helped me get this far. At ten, the doors opened up and an army of employees came outside one at a time to put out all the bikes for sale today. Coop went to each one of the employees to say his hellos. I was looking for Camron the receiving guy, but he wasn't in yet. Waiting for his arrival, I started fielding every ones questions about what it is that Cooper and I are doing. For the rest of the morning and early afternoon I chatted with employees and customers about our adventures and where it was that we were intending to head towards. Get this, a woman named Kim was so smitten over Cooper that she kept asking me if she could have him! At around two o'clock it arrived. One of those familiar looking delivery trucks pulled up to reveal an enormous wooden crate. I jumped up runningly to get to the busting of it open. The time had arrived! Busting it open I was amazed to see that it was fully assembled and ready to roll. After we got it down I gave it a good once over with the staff in tow. I loaded up my gear and got Coop situated as I said my goodbyes, hitting the pedals, and getting to what I have set out to accomplish- 10,000 miles, excuse me, now only a mere eight thousand nine hundred!

So, a little about the new one. It is bigger, but it is so much lighter. It isn't waterproof, but it can hold so much more. It's even aerodynamic. Coop is now fully contained which relieves a lot of unnecessary stress for me. The frame is less than 200lbs which makes it about 200 or more pounds lighter than the original. This new one has 21 gears! The old only had three. I'm over the pedals more versus the being behind them like the old one. It truly does give more leverage by being over them. All in all, it's an important upgrade. I only have two more days to go until Myrtle Beach, South Carolina! I'll be staying with an Army buddy for the whole Turkeyday Weekend. While there I plan on putting my own personal touch and style to the new ride. Till next time,
Love and Licks,
Sean and Coop!

November 12, 2009


Q. Are you a trust fund or rich?
A. No not at all at this point just over 1 month in I only have $50 dollars to my name.

Q. What are you going to do when you run out of money?
A. Well being a chef and a pretty handy person I plan on getting a job doing whatever will pay. I hope to get some cooking work to learn some more. I have also realized that when I don't stress about the money than it seems to come my way.

Q. Why are you doing this, what is your cause?
A. My cause is because. I was living in NYC for the last 5 years and the concrete jungle got to me. And after hearing about my friend Pierre's trip from Las Vegas to Southern Mexico on a bike, that really got things going for me

Q. Are you going to shave or cut your hair.
A. No I don't plan on doing either until we get back to NYC. And then I'm going to rock a mullet for a wk or so!

Q. What is your route?
A. From NY I headed over to DC area and then headed southeast to the coast and plan on riding the coast south to Savannah GA. From there I would like to go to New Orleans for Christmas. I hope to make it there in time but with all this rain and having to stop for a week at a time is really slowing me down. From the Big Easy we are going to head West across TX, NM, and AZ up to Vegas then over to Cali. Up Cali and try to go as north as possible depending on the terrain then head east thru Montana ( one of the states I'm really looking forward to riding thru, Big Sky!!) Head into the Dakotas, stop off at my brothers in Sioux Falls. then hit up my home state of Iowa try to meet up with Ragbri. Hang with my folks for a week or so. And then haul butt to NYC.

Q. Where do you sleep?
A. Mostly it is off the road camping. Campgrounds and state parks run from $20-$30 a night But I can use the shower at a state park for free even if I don't camp there! Mostly when its about an hour before sunset I start looking for a quick easy pull off into some woods and try to set up as far away from the road as possible. Sometimes if its slim pickn's I'll chose a abandoned house or a church and sometimes a cemetery. If I know I'll be in the area more than a night I'll ask the local cops or sheriffs where I can camp and not be a problem. Sometimes they direct me to a common area and I have camped behind a cop shop and a fire department. Every once and awhile some great stranger will take us in to their home or let us camp on their land. Also as I have gone I have picked up places to stay from other people. Karma baby!

Q. How many miles and how long is this going to take you?
A. Its going to be over 10,000 miles and will take some where around a year or so.

Q. What did you do with all your stuff in NY?
A. A week before we left we became voluntarily unemployed and homeless. What I couldn't sell, or give to friends I pushed to the curb. What I carry with me on the Rick is what I own. Nothing more nothing less.

Q. What does your family think of this?
A. At first 8 months before I left when I told them of this idea they didn't get it and didn't approve of it at all. The second day on this trip they were all behind me!

Q. What do you want to gain from this trip?
A. I am challenging my mental, physical and emotional state. I hope to find kindness and unasked for hospitality. I would like to find a new place to live at the coolest chillest spot that I can ride thru.

Q. How far do you ride in a day?
A. We do any where from 30 to 45 miles a day. It all depends on the weather, wind, terrain, and my legs. Our average speed is about 9 miles a hour.

Q. Do you workout, are you in good shape?
A. Um, well, lets see I pedal everyday so yeah I guess so.

If there is a question that you have for us please feel free to leave it below.

November 9, 2009


What a great couple of days. After hitting the road out of Hampton VA, I have had 3 flats, 2 hellish bridges, and a 40 mile day!
1st flat. Got it about 10 miles from Ennis house at the beginning of the James River Bridge. I had used my spare tube earlier and had to call a bike shop that was about 1.5 miles from the James River Bridge to come and bring me a couple tubes and a new pump mine had broken that day. The guy came and helped me change the tire out and I was on my way.
1st bridge. That was the James River Bridge. This Bridge is about 4.5 miles long about a mile in is a climb to the draw bridge part. I tried to inquire about a shuttle service or something along the lines as a friendly lift. None to be had. So we did what we always do just pedal our way over. About a half mile in a car came up behind us and told me I need to pull over to the side right before the draw and he was going to call me a tow. So I did as I was told and 15 min later there was a flatbed pulling up to give me a lift. All paid for by the great state of VA! After we unloaded the Rick and talked to a cop about what we where doing we where back to the push of the pedals.
After that we had good riding thru the rest of VA on our way to NC. Once we got past Suffolk VA, we where in some pretty big swampy area referred to as the Great Dismal Swamps. It is pretty dismal. Camping was a lot harder due to the fact that all the wooded area was mostly in the swamp so we found ourselves camping behind old rundown abandoned houses and one night slept next to a old gas station that was now a church. Price of gas was still on the sign at $1.73 a gallon but the sign on the building was for the church. The beginning of NC we had a couple nights of frost and developed a lot of condensation in the tent, luckily I got the tent and most of my supplies at REI and they sent me a new tent for free! Thanks REI for supporting people and their adventures.
After we got into NC, we got out second flat on the other back tire. We rode for about half a mile before I saw a car in a driveway and a lady working in the yard, I stopped to ask if I could use her car jack so I could change this back tire with ease. She said yes and kept Coop occupied while I changed the flat all done in less than 30 min. Back on the road.
As we neared the Outer Banks we got out of the swamps and closer to the shore. After the night outside the Church Gas Station we decided to do a 45 plus mile day. We hit the road bright and early and where making good time. Until...
...we hit the 2nd hellish bridge. This wasn't a long bridge but it was a big climb with no shoulder. I had taken pics of this bridge and decent but am unable to find the card. It took about 4 min for me to hike up this bridge and about 1 min to come down. After that we went about another 20 some miles before getting our third and final flat of this leg. Luckily we had been able to make a hook up thru Dolly for a surfer friend of hers that lived down in Nags. Luckily he had a big ol truck and was able to come and pick us up with his friend John and give us a lift the rest of the way in to his house. He and his girl have a guest cottage in the back that Coop and I had all to ourselves. The next day we woke up early and got to the beach.
I wanted to give surfing a try but the waves where a little to big for me so I stuck to body boarding. I only did it for about 30. min or so, the waves were really starting to pick up and I wanted to get some good pictures of the surfers.
The next hour or so I ran up and down the beach to different beach front houses to climb their multilevel decks to capture these great locals shredding and riding the barrels. I took over 1,200 pictures and they all turned out great. Afterward we ate some food and headed to another beach to do some more surfing and picture taking. It was a great day of great waves beautiful weather and new friends. Off to bed I luckily got some work the following day.
After finding Johns house I got to it doing some landscaping work he had a couple of paver paths that had become over grown with weeds and beach grass with sand burrs. It took a couple hours and when John got home we took the dogs to the beach and he grabbed his stand up paddle board. Raglan Johns black lab is a 2 yr old big goof ball. Cooper and him got along great, and gave me a lot of great shots. Watch John out on the calm water with the sun setting behind us was a great sight. I will be coming back here during the summer months once this trip is over. The rain started the next day. And hasn't stopped!
The beach across the street from where I am staying is rapidly getting eaten away from all the wind and water. I have never seen anything like this. I went out there last night during high tide and the stairs going down from the pier we were standing on where getting water up to the 3rd step or so and today when I went back over there during low tide the stairs where completely gone! Just a 15 foot drop to the beach. There was also a house not to far from here that the stilts got washed out from under it and it fell to the beach. Mother nature is a amazing bitch!
I want to leave Saturday but its looking like we won't taking off till Sunday there are some roads that have water or sand blocking them.

Till next time
Love and Licks from the road
Sean and Cooper.

November 2, 2009

Ol Army days

Here I sit in Hampton VA, at my friends house on Monday Nov 2nd I have been on this adventure for just over a month. Things have been great so far. Once I rolled out of Pipers house we made our way south east thru Maryland towards VA. The roads in MD had ample shoulders but lacked a steady water supply so I was having to stop wherever I could to ask for water.
One such place was New Life Wesleyan Church just outside La Plata MD. There I was given water, food, a shower and a place to sleep. These folks are big believers in JC and want to let you know he is there for you. One thing they did bring to my attention was a project that they are working on its called the Jericho Project in coordination with Living Water they are trying to rebuild the community of Nanjamoy its about 45 min from our nations capital and it is a one of the worst areas of poverty that we have in this country. They have no running water, sewage, electricity, and very substandard housing. You don't have to go to a foreign land to find people to help.
After a delicious homemade breakfast Coop and I headed out to make our way to the Harry Nice bridge. This bridge is a toll bridge that is a massive climb and fast decent. Luckily the great state of MD gave us a lift over the bridge so as not to cause problems with ourselves and other motorist. Once over we had to get some more help from the road crew from MD to get some extra bolts for the freewheel gear in the back, after that we were on our way. Pedaling in VA is a little different than MD they have this thing they like to do. I call it the Disappearing Shoulder Act one minute I'm cruising down the state highway on a 4 foot wide shoulder then it goes down to about 6 inches. I know your worried family but this is all part of the journey some days are going to be easier traveling than others. We'll be fine. Anyway we didn't have any real problems until we hit the Downing bridge right outside Tappahonnock VA. This bridge is over a mile long and has no shoulder at all we got to highway 360 with a 2 mile ride to the bridge which also had no shoulder to speak of. This had to be the scariest part so far on this trip. I talked it over with Coop and we decided lets do it we can't have anything getting in our way, all a bridge is is a road over the water and since we own all roads then this was also ours. So Coop laid down and I hit the pedals with a furry. The first 1/2 mile of this bridge is a flat shot out over the water than shoots up at about a 45 degree angle for the next 1/4 mile before coming down at a 30 degree angle when we hit the up hill I had to jump off and start the uphill push to get us to the peak before I could hop on for the free ride down. The whole time I'm pushing I keep looking back at Coop and he just has is eyes locked on me saying "keep going bud you can do it" his tail was on the wag, he was really enjoying it to bad the huge line of cars behind us wasn't. Once we got to the end of this thing I fell to the ground in a parking lot to catch my breath and Coop hopped down to give me a face full of approving licks! Then we heading over to the local sheriffs office to inquire about a good safe spot for us to camp that night and the following day there was a big rain storm moving in and we didn't want to move in the rain if we didn't have to. They directed us over to the cemetery with a picnic area, we set up had some dinner and crashed out for the night. The next day was filled with light showers on and off and while sitting there reading a car pulls up to ask about us. Come to find out she had done the TransAm, that's Yorktown, VA to Astoria, OR. 4,200 miles, back in 76. And her daughter Dolly had just done it this last summer, She called Dolly and a couple hours later she was pulling up to see this rig and talk to us. It was good to swap stories with another traveler of the bike world and get some good tips. She and Coop hit it off and she told me she was going to be moving to NYC with her boyfriend in a couple weeks. Small world! Check out her web page got some really great stories and she put up some stuff about us.
The next day we hit the road it took a couple days for us to make our way down to the Hampton Roads area. Once we got to Yorktown we pulled into a bike shop Back Alley Bikes to get some much needed rubber. My tires were pretty worn and I was getting really worried about getting a flat. They hooked us up with some new tires, a used cushy seat for my tushy, and some new bike shorts. I left the Rick there and Staci came and picked up Coop and I and all our gear we returned the next day to pick it up. She took us back to her house where I was greeted by my extended family. Ennis, I was in the Army with him, Jermain 15, Ennis V 9, Will 8, and Maya 5. Got cleaned up and caught up with everyone. These kids are so big now. I am Ennis and Wills godfather and unfortunately haven't been able to see them very much over the past 8 years. My friend Nick and I came down here about 3 years ago for Thanksgiving. Coop and I have spent the last week resting up, and spending time with this great family. Cooper has become apart of this family more than me. He sleeps with Will every night and comes to their rescue whenever anyone plays rough with them! Halloween day we watched them dominate on the soccer fields and that night having fun trick or treating. Its been all to good to be here but once again its time to get back on the road.
One last thing. I am really trying to work on how I word these post. I am not very good at the writing part of communications. I wish I could talk to you all on the phone it would be more entertaining for you and easier for me! Also I am trying to free my mind completely for this trip but about a month before I left I met a unbelievable woman in NYC. We didn't plan on it really turning into anything but of course as it worked out I really developed some big feelings for this woman. For my own good I have had to cut off all communications with her until I can completely free my mind and heart. Hopefully that will be very soon I would love to talk to her again and continue on our friendship.

Until next time,
love and licks from the road
Sean and Cooper

October 19, 2009

Rain Rain go away

Finally the sun is out. Here it is Monday Oct 19th, and the sun is shining finally and things are starting to dry up after the 5 days of continual rain that the greater DC area has gotten. I arrived at my friend Pipers house last Tue the 13th and was immediately one of the family. Her and her folks live at the end of a cul-de-sak with a huge backyard and woods that Cooper claimed as his own. Her folks let me store the Rick in the garage to prevent anymore rust from getting to this thing. I was able to go thru all my stuff to try to figure out what to get rid of and what to keep. I need to lighten this thing up a bit 700lbs is just to much weight to be moving around. Started some laundry and gave Coop a bath. After I showered and had a beer we sat down to the first of many delicious dinners. Her family is very laid back and was happy that Coop and I made ourselves at home. That night I slept like a baby in the nice soft bed that they had waiting for me. The next couple of days consisted of resting, eating and spending time with this great family. I have been able to do more research for the trip and get into contact with some old friends down in VA. I will be leaving first thing tomorrow morning and heading south. My next destination is Hampton VA. Where I will meet up with an old friend and rest my head for a couple of days before moving more south. I have had a great time I have learned a lot about cycling and photography from Piper. And helped her dad become a better cook. I doesn't even feel like I am on bike tour at all. I feel that I am getting comfy here and that means its time to go. Its been a great week to rest up and prepare for more and couldn't ask for a better house and family to wait out the rain with. Thanks again Piper, Red, Mark and Susan. You have made us feel like one of the family and I hope that we can come back thru again on our way back. Till next time love and licks from the road, Sean and Cooper.

October 10, 2009









OK so here I am pushing thru DE, windy is an understatement for what its like here! Gail force winds!! Not a very eventful night at the church camp good thing I ended up getting a killer
migraine headache. Went to bed at 7 and slept the night. Got up to more wind and a little bit of rain. Broke down camp and got to it went about 10 miles and had to pull the Rick and Coop into a gazebo in Ellendale DE. Waited about an hour for the rain to pass and got back to it. Went about a mile down the road and saw a veg stand. Came to a stop and got an apple and inquired about boiled peanuts. One thing led to another and I had a plate of meatballs, mac and cheese and wings in my lap and hungry dog at my feet. Turns out I stopped right in front of Ronald Whites place (pictured above). This man is know thru out these parts as a man of charity and good ol BBQ. He has organized and hosted many local and national organizations. He is also involved in the fight against lupus which his wife of 20 years suffers from. I just happened to pull up on the 1 year celebration of one of his grandsons. I was shown great hospitality and Coop got lots of attention from young and old. Its been an amazing trip so far. I have met so many great people, to the folks I met on the ferry from NJ to De to the biker I shared a campsite with to the folks I met outside the grocery store earlier. And to my gracious host Ron White, thank you sir and I look forward to steak and eggs with potatoes in the morning.

Till next time! Love and licks from the road!
Sean and Cooper.

Somewhere in Delaware

Met these folks outside Trenton. Been cool meeting people. Camped out in Delaware last night split the site with a Harley Man on his way to Mass to Key West. Cool dude. Cooper really softened him up. Peoples guards tend to drop with Coop so I get to really talk to these people. Really windy today only did 15 miles . Camping tonight at a Zion church camp ground. Close to the highway 1 and hway 16 in Delaware. Didn't charge me for the site should be a interesting fri night at church camp! Heading to Annapolis east of DC. Should get there on tue. Taking it slow. There is a Bike ride in DC next sat that my friend Piper got Coop and I in. Should be a lot of fun. Don't want to stay at Pipers to long she's not going to ride out until the spring she's getting photo work right now so she's hanging back. She said I could stay for a whole wk but I'll get stir crazy. Gonna roll out of there next sun. If anyone wants to send me anything I'll give u her address. Looking forward to heading south. Nice weather here but really windy. 82 today. Will gotta set up the tent and take a shower. One love from the road. I miss you all.
Sean and Coop.

October 7, 2009

Last few days

Trenton to South Jersey

Day 4 began with us heading south towards Trenton on the lookout for a vet. Came across a group of people out and about. Stopped and talked and they snapped some pics (still waiting on those to be emailed to me!). Asked about a vet and they directed me a couple miles back where I just came from to a vet that was open on Sat and not to expensive. They even threw us some green backs to help with the bill. Rode back and checked in with them. While waiting outside the couple who had donated money to our adventure stopped in to see how everything was going, we started talking pizza and they told me about a spot in NJ that grows most there own stuff on ground. Nice people. I'm really liking this part, meeting all these nice strangers they believe in what I'm doing. They might not understand but they believe. For me this trip is about the challenge of doing what I'm doing physically but also the random encounters I have with people something good always comes out of it. It may be kind words, a little bit of cash, some food or a place to stay its all good. People love Cooper and they love the fact that I am talking my dog around the US in style, not to many dogs have had it as good as him. After the vet had checked out Coop the staff all came outside to check us out. Took some group photos and they gave Coop some canned dog food. Thanks West Trenton Animal Hospital.

Got back on the road and made it across Trenton. Lots of horse ranches around. Horses love the Rick they come running up and stare and follow us down the fence. Coop used to bark at them but now he doesn't care. Stopped to ask a lady for water. Just to make sure everyone under stands how I'm doing this. The only two things I will ask for is Money and drugs. Kidding. Its Directions or Water. That's it I don't beg for money or food. If its offered I usually don't refuse. Its kindness I'm after. So Lisa filled me up on water and asked where I sleep told her I sleep off the road mostly. She said I could sleep on her property if I wanted I got directions and headed that way took longer then expected and I had to ride for a bit after sun down. Scary but wide shoulders. Not trying to make a habit of it. When I got there I was able to use the grill to cook up some grub. Pitched my tent next to the barn and got some zzzs.

Next morning woke up to a heavy fog. Slept good knowing I wasn't trespassing. Lisa sent us on our way with some doggie treats. Thanks Lisa for the spot in the lawn. Rode a couple miles and stopped off at the WaWa for a sunday morning coffee. Sat there sipping my joe and all sorts of people where coming up talking to us giving us good lucks and God bless. Some gave us the thumbs up and some gave us some dollars. Everyone loved Cooper. Honestly if it wasn't for him no one would talk to me. Everyone loves them some Coop. Got back on the rode kinda windy today so wasn't able to move to fast. Stopped for an orange break and a cop rolls up. I was worried because I don't have the best conversations with cops but Officer Chuck with the Manchester Sheriffs department proved me wrong he was very interested in our adventure and gave up a couple bottles of water and apple and some cheddar. Thanks Chuck for the gifts. Ended up camping by this small lake off the side of the rode there was a path that went to the backside. Its been pretty easy to spot the good camping situations. Set up a fire listened to some football on my little AM FM radio and did some cosmetic work to the Rick. Gotta keep up on maintenance if this thing is gonna run right. Made a good meal of rice veg and sausage over the fire. Took some nice pics of the full moon and just relaxed. Coops paw is much better tonight he was running around trying his hardest to catch some rabbits. They smoke him every time.

Got up with the sun tried to make some eggs over the fire but they stuck to my pot. So when we got to the WaWa. I asked if I could wash my pot in there sink. Nice people let me so I washed the couple dishes and pans they had back there. Karma! On our way out a lady stopped us to give us some dog treats I think her name was Deborah Thanks. Got to moving. My legs are feeling good and we put the boots on Cooper he looks like a new born deer trying to walk but once we start moving he gets to going. Did close to 37 miles today the flat roads and Coopers 76 lbs on the ground part of the time helped. Lots of cranberry fields down here one field just got picked and there was some stray crans floating on the edge right next to the road so I stopped to have a snack. Coop doesn't like them at all I think he was a little mad at me for trying. Big wind come off those fields I couldn't image trying to do this with the original Rick I would of been blown over. Hard finding camping due to the fact so close to sea level everything is swampy. And the camp grounds they do have are RV and closed so I found one and rode all the way in the back onto a service road and set up camp made some great sauce and pasta dish. Good night

Woke up had some fruit for breakfast. And hit the rode. about a mile out something went wrong. My pedals were moving but the wheels weren't turning. Tried taking a look at it but its all internal system made some phone calls and the closest place was 16 miles south so I walked and walked and walked came across a road crew asked a dude how far to Tuckahoe and he said about 7 miles. Then he gave me a Turkey sandwich a bunch of fruit and a coke. Thanks Jose. Good food. Then I walked and walked and walked. Finally I pulled up to the Tuckahoe bike shop and had some words with Al the man in charge. He told me we had to get the axel off so I had to take this thing back down to the frame everything out cover off box off wheel off axel off free spin gear off replace and repeat. This part is only for bikes with two side by side wheels or axle bikes. Coop and Al got along great and Al sent us on our way with a no charge. Thanks Al your a good man and you helped me back up onto my pedals. Set up camp not to far away under a telephone tower. Not to bad of a first wk only 51 more to go. !

October 3, 2009

Trenton, NJ is so beautiful this time of year.

Day 1
Carlos and Nick dropped me off in the parking lot of the first of what I'm sure will be several strip malls so I could load up all my gear. Somehow everything fit in the back of the rickshaw, and I rolled out of South Plainfield, New Jersey at around 1:15. Got a little turned around at first, but eventually found my way again. So far there seems to be much fewer hills than I've been used to in NYC. No one has talked to us yet, but I expect that will change soon. It's my first day out here, and I've already had my first big test: the chain fell off the rickshaw. In times like these it's good to have friends, as my good buddy Katzander hooked me up with some knowledge over the phone, helping me to replace the chain and get back out there. Wasn't sure exactly where I was when it started to get dark. Eventually I pulled off onto a dirt road and set up illegally next to the Raritan River near South Branch. I figured I had gone about 20 miles. Made pasta for dinner. The combination of first-day nerves and Cooper's monstrous snoring prevented me from getting a decent sleep.
Day 2
Got up with the sunrise and broke down camp while making oatmeal. After I dumped the oatmeal in the pot I forgot to turn down the flame, so everything boiled over and soaked my burner before the oatmeal was finished. Two years of fancy culinary education in New York and there I was, eating undercooked oats. Today's ride saw many more hills and fewer buildings. The recession doesn't seem to be affecting many of the nice homes I saw where lots of remodeling is taking place. Besides that, lots of stables and cornfields. Pulled into New Hope, PA, where I stopped at a farmer's market for some fruits and vegetables. I met Susan, the lady running the market, who graciously invited me to stay on her couch. The directions she gave me showed that her home was off my path, but I was grateful for this first offer of kindness. Most of the way there was uphill. My body was getting tired and I wasn't making good time at all. About 10 minutes from her place I stopped for an apple and met a guynamed Eddie who liked my ride and invited me to his place only a mile away. He also offered to help me with a few mechanical problems I was having with the rickshaw, so I took him up on it. The night turned into a welcome surprise of poker and beer with Eddie and a big group of his friends (an eclectic mix of teachers, masonry workers, and even a statistician), and the hot shower in the morning was definitely much needed. His next door neighbor, a German gentleman named Klaus, noticed the rickshaw and got really excited. He even gave me a few bucks and some joint oil for my aching knees.
Danke schön, Klaus!
Day 3
Eddie and the boys turned me on to a more level route than what I had planned, so I backtracked past New Hope and down to the Tow Path, which is an old Donkey trail from the early 20th century that runs along the Delaware River. The nice thing about this path for me is that it's strictly for bikes and pedestrians, so no cars to deal with. Cooper had a limp in the morning, so I took him to a vet. His paw is sore, probably due to a sticker or something. They gave me some antibiotics for him to prevent any infection. Cooper being on the DL means that he has to ride in the seat all day, so it was a good thing my new route is all flat. So far the ride is nice as I roll into Trenton to get him looked at further if necessary. I set up camp off the trail next to the river, made a small fire, and cooked up some rice, vegetables, and potatoes. Good eats, and this time no water boiling over!

September 20, 2009


Well after many hours of sweat, blood and lots of swearing, I am proud to present my Rickshaw. The cover is cut glued and is attached with Velcro, the seat cushions are foam with a waterproof fabric. and the whole set up is sitting on 4 large springs. It seems lighter than the original set up, and has a bunch more storage. The interior in completely water-resistant. My friend Mia has helped me so much with the fabrication and assembly of this box, Thank You Mia! I owe you big time. We are only 11 days out, I'm getting nervous but still very excited. I'll write more later after I have rode this thing some more.

September 10, 2009


So I built the frame for the box over the holiday weekend and made up the mock cover. I just got the cover material, and the springs for the suspension in the mail today. So we will be putting that together this weekend. The box is solid but not pretty, luckily I have a friend Mia who is helping me construct the cover! The material is more like plastic but it is completely waterproof. We'll have to work on the seat cushions for Coop.
I put up the address for mail and care packages to be sent to. It is my friend Nicks place he is going to receive all of them and then put together packs to send me on the road. There is a couple of Jr. High school classes that are going to be following us, and are going to be sending packages and emails for us. Some stuff we would like is baked goods, wool socks, and pet store gift cards for Coop so we can get him food, treats, and toys.

After it is all built I'll throw up some pics. 21 days. later

August 28, 2009

34 and counting!

This is not my age but how many days I have left before I embark on this adventure. It’s been 8 months in the making and it’s all falling into place.

I have made some big changes.

Unfortunately my good friend LaRo will not be going with Coop and I.

He has been on the road for the past couple of years and needs to get back to the grind he can only find in NYC. Before he left on the Appalachion Trail, I told him if he finds what he is looking for or decides not to go it is fine by me. When I first came up with this idea it was just for Coop and me, so now we are right where it first started: a man and his dog on a Rickshaw.

Due to the fact that I have lost a traveling partner and my camera man I will be doing all of the filming myself. So instead of it being me and Coop traveling around this country of ours it will be “where is Cooper now”. I think it will be good. Less dialogue, but good.

Because I am filming this all myself I have decided to change the design of the Rick. All the white fiberglass shell is now gone. I have built a frame out of plywood and 2x2 and 2x4. I will then cover it with either Plexiglas or a ploy-canvass; this will house all of our gear and give Cooper a larger seat. It is going to be a little heavier but it will be more practical. The top portion is going to be framed out with PVC piping and covered with a removable tinted vinyl that will be in sections so we can have the top on and not the sides and front and back and so on. With the PVC piping I’ll be able to set up the camera with the clamp and mount anywhere and on the frame of the bike.

I still plan on talking to people and filming it. I’m not going to go and chase people down, I feel that people will be drawn to us. It's not everyday you see something like this. Basically I'm just going to find out peoples opinions of this country of ours, i.e... War, money, politics. Blah blah blah.

The route I am taking is one that a friend recommended. It is from the Adventure Cycling Association, these guys have been mapping out the US for the past 30 years and have done close to 40,000 miles. It will take me thru a lot of the back roads that don't have a lot of traffic. Due to the fact that these maps have been going people on bikes are welcomed and taken care. It will be nice to ride thru 'real America' as my grandpa used to call it. The maps are great. They are in sections, so for me to get from NY to GA it is 3 different maps. They are made of thin plastic so they are weather resistant and they tell you where bike shops are and where there is free camping and so on. My friend who showed me the light with these maps is Piper Watson . She is an amazing photographer and she lives right outside of DC. We met at the 5 boro and exchanged info. She is very experienced in biking long distances. She calls or sends emails letting me know what to checkout to help me. In one of our first conversations she told me that she was planning a similar trip down the east coast to Houston TX this fall. And it has worked out that she plans on leaving DC around the same time that I will be riding through there in mid-Oct. She is also taking her dog but has opted for a trailer made for dogs to be pulled behind her bike. We have decided we will try to travel together as much as possible. Her mission is to go to non-kill animal shelters and train the staff for free how to take better pictures of the animals to increase the chances of adoption. I am sure she will be moving at a quicker pace than me but from my experience it all evens out in the long run.

As far as supplies go we are doing alright. All I really need for surivial is a tent, but that will be coming from LaRo when he gets back. As far as film/photo gear we have 1 mini DV camcorder that Sunnie is letting me use, LaRos camera is dead. and for digital camara I have a older Sony Cybershot. I’m sure as we get closer I will have to buy a few things, like extra batteries, and chargers and a ton of the mini DV tapes. As far as sponsorships go there are none. I am currently trying to work with AT&T on my phone but that is still up in the air. So it looks like we will be rolling out with a couple grand that should last us until January. I’m honestly not to worried about anything. Things have really fallen into place over the last 8 months and I’m sure they will continue to do so for the next 13. Til next time, Peace Out.