Thoughts on the tour

Posted by Mack

Kevin Macki just thought that i should say a few words concerning this pilgrimage to mecca…

over the past few months, and countless kilometers, i have been thrashing the hog with a person you know as jayme. i don’t call him jayme. i call him uncle billy ray. ok, i call him staff sergeant. anyway, over hundreds of kilometers of fire road, singletrack, grass, jungle, river, and pavement, jayme has been a motivator. he has somehow coerced me into traveling 1969 miles across the united states. i have yet to purchase the supplies needed. as usual with these types of things, i will make do with less. you can guarantee that i will be cold and miserable while i am actually riding the bike. more than likely, i will simply go with 3 MREs and a gatorade. but, i’ll get to point b somehow.

yesterday, i was pondering whether to bring a MP3 player. it is dangerous, i know. it’s even against marine corps regulations. do i have to actually talk with jayme the whole 1969 miles? will he even be within sight on the upside of the mountains? i doubt it. i think i will bring my harmonica. i would like to enjoy myself on this venture. will there be female companionship on the way? will there be a feira da guara? can i handle getting wasted and still ride somewhat well in the morning? i have so many questions. however, the real question will be a question of self discipline and determination. this will test not only my thighs of steel but those great golf balls between them.

i am excited.

my only real fear is that i will have no way to cut my hair on the duration and will my mustache grow as well as i hope?

PayPal tour donation winner

Congratulations and a hearty thank you! goes to Shawna for a $20 donation to the already infamous Lewis and Clark mountain bike tour of 2004! Her donation is being used for 9 feet of reflective tape with which to adorn my B.O.B. trailer to keep from getting killed on the highway.

As you can see, donations are being used effectively rather than blown on hookers and whiskey, as I’m sure was the misconception when I requested fund assistance. The process is safe and indeed secure, so feel free to join the crowd and donate a buck or two so I don’t have to make people up.

Jayme and Mack in the jungleMack and I, under his direct supervision and navigation prowess, went for a ride yesterday. Within minutes of leaving the sanctuary of the fire road, we were enveloped in jungle so thick it would make an Amazonian claustrophobic. It was a team effort as I pulled my bike through the dense underbrush and Mack pushed it. We jumped ravines, crossed rivers, were bitten, stung, scraped, scratched, beaten, bruised, stabbed, gouged, and punctured, and overall had the times of our lives. The day ended with almost 45km under our belts, half of which was practically swinging Tarzan style from vine to vine.

The jungle beat us that day, but we will return triumphant! I just received my Garmin eTrex Vista GPS and the world is now our oyster. No longer will we stumble unaided through the brush and the bush and the foliage. From now on we stumble accompanied by $240 worth of navigational wonder which is practically useless in triple canopy jungle! Ah, the perks of the technological age.

Our progress continues…

Tour donations via PayPal

$100 billIn response to the flood of requests as to what I want for Christmas (all three of you), I’ve decided to make things easy. As you may well know, an undertaking such as the Lewis and Clark mountain bike tour of 2004 gets quite expensive. Rather than submit lists of items that I may or may not eventually decide on getting anyway, I given you the opportunity to donate cold, hard cash to the cause. It’s the gift that keeps on giving… until it’s spent! The beauty about donating directly to my PayPal account is it’s safe, secure, and I’ll blow it on eBay stuff for the tour anyways. Every dollar counts! Those who donate will receive full recognition and publicity on my next journal entry, and a coveted spot in my sidebar on both this page and my home page for millions of jk.com visitors to see and admire. Send me a dollar. Send me five. Hell, send me ten! With your help we can make this trip possible.

Power to the pedal!

Recruitment

Mack thumbnailDale thumbnailBefore strange, random posts start showing up and raising unneeded questions, I figured I’d give everyone the heads up. My partners in this endeavor, Mack and Dale, have been authorized writing privileges inside these very walls of jaymekohler.com in the daily log of our workup. As they continue to prepare for the infamous journey of man and machine next summer, they may occasionally scrape together brain cells and write some useful, informative quips and stories about how their own progress is coming along. I hope they do. The world waits with nervous anticipation.

There has been rapid development in my gear list. The dollar figure is slowly adding up, but I’m using my average military pay for the duration of my leave block prior to reporting to duty in back in the U.S. as a reference. I’ve already dropped $240 on the Garmin eTrex Vista GPS and $235 on the B.O.B. Yak trailer, but these two are my big ticket items that I’ll be using on a regular basis. If a Thai hooker for $240 were on my gear list, I would have to reconsider my priorities. But alas, she is not. It’s money in the bank.

Leg injuriesArm injuryIn the colorful spirit of the Christmas season, my Specialized M-4 decided to toss me over the handlebars at almost 50kmph, over a curb, and onto a sidewalk where I promptly lost approximately 14% of the skin on the right side of my body. This is an estimate only, and actual numbers could vary. The really odd thing is I was remarking to Mack not a day ago about how I haven’t had a really good wipe out since I’ve been in Brasilia. I usually leave all the falling to him and I take care of the showmanship and public flare. And you know what the really irresponsible, stupid thing of it all was? I wasn’t wearing my helmet. In fact, I haven’t worn my helmet since I’ve been here. It’s a dumb thing to do, especially when I’m weaving in and out of rush hour traffic at over 30kmph. I know the dangers, I see the dangers, I’ve experienced the dangers, but I haven’t been wearing my helmet. I actually tried to justify my actions the other day when I was trying to cross the street and a bus blew a few inches past the front of my face. In a case such as that one, what good would a helmet be? An open casket funeral? They might as well stick my perfectly preserved, intact head on the end of the spatula they used to peel my guts off the grill. Gross. I vow to do better!

Plans are really beginning to solidify. I’ve got my orders to _________ (I’m not telling yet) and have to report between 30 June and 31 July 2004. Because of the length of the bike trip, the boss man said I could leave 30 June. Assuming I leave in the morning, it will put me into Bismarck, ND late that evening or even butt-crack dawn. Regardless, I plan on using one full day to prep and pack. Then I’m hopping a plane from Bismarck, ND to Portland, OR. Mack may meet me in Bismarck or Portland depending on ticket prices. The only real wrinkle in this plan is how we will get the 97 miles from Portland to Astoria. If we ride it, it will add another day and we’ll be covering the same ground twice. Okay, but not what I want to do.

Passmore thumbnailNielsen thumbnailEnter: “Marine buddy hook-ups”. I’ve got a friend in Albany, a scant hour from Portland, who I might be able to coerce into picking Mack and I and our gear up in Portland, then dropping us off like so much garbage in Astoria. Passmore, if you’re reading this, this is me asking. If not, expect a phone call soon. Another option I have is Nielsen, currently in Medford, OR, which isn’t exactly a hop, skip, or jump from Portland. The good thing about Nielsen is I talked to him the other night and planted a bug in his ear about the trip. Him and I put some serious miles on the hogs back in my SoCal days over three years ago, and he really sounded up for it. The idea was to get his sister to drive him up in his truck, load us up, and then drop all three of us off in Astoria. Provided that Nielsen actually goes, this is the most viable option. Staring the ride in Portland in another option, but we’re just so damn close that it would be a shame.

There are still plenty of what ifs and how tos and maybes, but one way or another this is gonna happen.

The journey continues…