June 19, 2009

Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Coop and I took a ride today over to Flushing Meadows Corona Park. It was about 6 miles from my house so this was a nice light ride. Really nice over there.

Can't wait to go over here for the U.S. Open .

The only problem I had with it was there was no Corona. I was thirsty.

June 16, 2009


So I finally got the footage from the 5 Boro up. Couple of things. Carlos did the filming and we weren't able to get him a pass to ride in the event so he was stuck on the sidelines, so therefor there is not a lot of me at all in this. But there is a lot of great footage and it was hard to decide what to keep. So we sped everything up and put it all on there to the Beastie Boys, An Open Letter to NYC off of their The 5 Boroughs CD. And as of right now if you click on the video it well come up as an error. If you click on the You Tube logo at the bottom of the strip of clips you can watch directly on my channel on You Tube. So please enjoy and don't watch over and over because it might make you throw up.


P.S. Thanks C-Los for putting this all together for me.

June 14, 2009

June 13-14

I brought the Rickshaw into the city via C-los's truck to check out the Subway Series (go Yankees), and cruised around 161st and River avenue, talking to various people along the way. I had a small setback when I broke a pedal on the McCombs Dam Bridge, which subsequently forced me to walk the Rickshaw to the doorstep of the new Yankee Stadium. To deal with my broken pedal, I was forced to pull the Rickshaw up on the curb and onto the sidewalk, in order to not block road traffic. I talked to a group of interested police officers, who reacted in amazement as I explained the plans for my journey. Our conversation was then broken up by a hard nosed commander, who went berserk, that the men in his command had not given me a ticket for having the Rickshaw parked on the sidewalk. He ORDERED one of his men to give me a ticket. I argued and pleaded my case, explaining that I had to deal with the broken pedal, and didn't want to block traffic, but none of it impressed the commander, who continued to shout at everything around him. As the officer wrote me the ticket, I could tell on his face, that he thought it was bullshit, but he was just following orders. I guess the city really needs my 35$! I was able to procure another pedal from a bike shop about five blocks away, and was back on the road in no time, but my time at the Stadium was done. I rode back into the city and made my way uptown, where I found a garage that let me put the Rickshaw to bed for the night.

The next day, I took the Shaw down to the "Big Apple BBQ," at Madison Square Park, I rode around awhile, but the long lines prevented me from trying any of the food (epic fail!)

So then we scrambled over to Pinch & S'mac, this was the last spot that I was a Chef at. I love this food. If your in the city or here on a visit this is a place to go. Its on 81st and Columbus.

I then made my way to the Bike Path that runs along the West Side, and I was smooth sailing along the "bicycle super highway", as I cruised uptown, I was joined by a fellow Rickshaw operator that was out for a nice Sunday ride. His name is J.C and he works the downtown circuit.
While we were riding and talking I really didn't focus on the road ahead and was surprised how easy it was to go up the hills on the west side when not thinking about them, I'm glad I'll have a traveling partner to ride with to make the time go by.

I could sense an approaching tide, that grew as the streets went from double digits, to triple digits. The music blared louder and louder, as massive throngs of Puerto Ricans partied and danced by the Hudson River, boys chasing girls, men chasing women, all happening as I weaved slowly through the crowds of celebrating Puerto Ricans. They were most certainly in charge here! Celebrating in the shadows of the George Washington Bridge.
The weekend trip turned out to be a
successful one, the Yankees won the series (Thanks Castillo), I'm learning more and more about my Rickshaw, and most importantly, I didn't get arrested.

June 10, 2009


I recived this the other day. It makes me feel great that I have inspired someone like this. I hope I have inspired all of you in one way or another. Everyone should have an adventure no matter how big or small. You have to have love to do what you want. Go out and get it no matter what, I am.

I wanted to write and say thanks.

Back in March you were at Piper's Kilt for St. Patrick's Day
The bar was packed
We were three, drinking some Guinness
As we were talking a hand nudged it's way into our conversation, slowly pushing a piece of paper.
We took the paper and read it.
Rickshaw what?
America huh?
Then we met you. When we asked you why you said,
"In this economy, might as well have some fun."

What you may not have realized was 5 minutes prior to your marketing campaign I had been crying. Stupidly... uncontrollably..embarrassingly in a bar...over a beer. I was planning a big change in my life and I was confused and scared. Your comment, in that moment, fit so perfectly with what my friends and I were talking about that a part of my decision crystallized and came clear...a sign I guess...that my decisions were good.

It's funny the way our lives work. We make decisions and go with them and trust and pray that they are good and hopefully beautiful. But I think it's important to thank the people that help us along the way. Our friends, our families, our students, and teachers, and even strangers.

So thanks Sean - for sharing a bit of your light in a bar over a beer


June 4, 2009

So busy

Well, here it is: a short run down of what's happened since the last post.
LaRo hit the trail on Easter weekend. I haven't heard from him, but I have faith he is fine and loving it all. I sent a couple of disposable cameras with him in hopes that he will capture the beauty of the hills.
Cooper and I rode in the Five Boro Bike Tour at the beginning of May. It rained pretty much all day and I didn't get a chance to cover the top, so we were pretty soaked. My friend and producer Carlos (a.k.a. C-Los) helped me out a lot that weekend getting everything loaded up in my neighbor's truck, filming, and all sorts of stuff. It was a great ride. Cooper ran over half of it that day. The tour itself is 44 miles through all five boroughs, but because of where we parked the truck we did 51 miles. Cooper is a trooper; he had a blast. There are a couple of people I would like to thank: Leon, my neighbor, for letting me use his pickup; C-Los for his help with everything that day and everything else for this project; the man who gave me a windbreaker on the BQE when I was feeling very defeated and ready to call it quits, but the dry, warm windbreaker helped a lot; the nice ladies who gave me water and chocolate, much needed and much thanks; and to everyone out there that day riding or watching. The words of encouragement and all the "how cools" really made our legs move. Oh, and don't worry about Cooper. He is in better shape than most of you, and he gets plenty of rest.
I went home for a week in the middle of May for my niece's high school graduation. It was amazing to see because it seems like just yesterday when my mom was pulling me out of my 6th grade class to go see her at the hospital. It was nice to see all my family and really talk to them about my adventure. It was clear to them that I am serious about this. I feel they can see the change in me from last year when they saw me, and I think it all has something to do with having Cooper now. My sister even said if I would have gotten a dog a long time ago I probably would have saved myself a couple of marriages. Thanks, Nessa.

At the end of May I was flown down to Texas by C-Los' family. C-Los got a beautiful Ford F-150 extended cab pickup truck from his folks, and they wanted me to help him drive it up to the city. I flew into San Antonio on Saturday afternoon and slept in the backseat while C-Los and his dad drove us back to Corpus Christi where they are from. Took a shower, then jumped in the truck and swung by K-Rod's (C-Los' girl) folks' place to pick her up. Sat by the pool, sipping on cervezas and eating nachos.

Then we rolled over to the island to hit up Sushi Bar (http://www.sushibar.tv/). Holy shit, this place was amazing. The food was great and the people that work there were great. This place needs to be in the LES within a year because it is hot. Hip-hop lil' homies comic book sushi joint. After a killer meal we went out to a couple bars and did so many big TX shots that I blacked out! Yikes! The next morning C-Los' madre hooked us up with some fresh tortillas and barbacoa tacos. So good, and just what I needed.

After breakfast we went to the beach with K-Rod and her friend, Leslie. It was great to play in the waves in the Gulf of Mexico, which was a first for me. The sand was so nice and soft, the water was really warm, and you could walk out at least 50 yards.

After the beach we headed back to the Rodriguez family home for a BBQ pool party. "Papa Rod" has a restaurant-style smoker, so this is really TX-style BBQ: four big beef ribs and three pork ribs smoked f
or more than three hours. There was also potatoe salad two ways, bean and chorizo soup,and lots more. While the ribs were cooking we had shrimp and avocado dip, pico, mango salsa, fajitas, and lots of beer. Mix in a pool with music and you have an authentic TX-style BBQ party. People came and went, and the party went on. Any chance I got to talk about the adventure, I took it. I've gotten into the habit of carrying around a pocket full of flyers and handing them out to anyone. People in TX are excited to see us this winter. As the party died down around midnight I decided I was going to sleep poolside in the hammock for the night. It was a good sleep other than getting eaten alive by mosquitoes.
After returning to C-Los' house we showered and got packed up to hit the road. C-Los started out and drove us out of TX. Once we were in Louisiana I started to drive. I have never driven in LA and it was cool driving through the swamps on the elevated roads for miles and miles. We took turns throughout the day and night, and after 30-plus hours of driving we arrived back in Zoo York City.

Since then I've been riding and going through all the pics that I've taken over the past couple months. Now we are having camera problems—we have hours of footage, but are lacking the means of loading them onto the computer. My brother John is working on logos of some companies that I would like to ask for sponsorship. It's getting done, but there is still a long road ahead.

Because it takes me about 3 days to put one of these post together things change. I talk to LaRo yesterday. He is in VA "having a good ol time" he plans on being in PA in a couple weeks and wants us to go out and see him and camp with him for a couple days.