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.

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