Monday, October 04, 2010

OLC's 2nd Annual Summer Tour

I know you guys love free stuff. We want to give you some stickers! All you have to do is send us a short story about bicycling- we prefer true stories, with a picture if possible to be published every Friday!
Send them to me- brandon at 1lesscar dotcom and be sure to include your address! Reviews on Wednesday!!!

The asterisked numbers (the little star looking things) in the story below are my two cents & are at the bottom of the story. Without further ado, here's Cole with a short recap of our summer tour:It’s now been two weeks since my childhood friend and I took off on our annual bike tour. *1 I guess it's annual- it’s the second year in a row. As soon as we got back, I started to type up a story about it but never finished. I'm happy I didn’t finish it then because it gave me time to think about what we had done and how it affected me. *2
The route was nothing huge. *3 It wasn't across the country or through India but simply from Chicago to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, where we picked up the oldest car ferry *4 running on Lake Michigan *5 and then rode from the ferry dock in Ludington, MI, to my traveling partner Brandon's house in Frankfort, Michigan. *6
In theory, the whole trip was five days long. We left on a Sunday and arrived on Thursday. During that time we rode in oppressive heat *7, on limestone trails *8 for waaay to many miles resulting in us looking like we had been wading in cocaine. *9 I pulled my spd out of my shoe. *10 There was a pretty good storm one night- We found out Brandon’s tent was about as sweet as it looked (and that’s not that sweet). *11 Raccoons stole our pita bread, our dried pineapple, and a banana.
Then we were two hours late on the ferry, because they decided that it would be a good idea to carry 3 large semis with parts *12 of those new giant windmills that are going to save the world. We climbed the .5 mile, 11% grade hill. *13 We fixed some crappy ass fenders with a few glue-less patches. *14 We got fresh fruit from roadside stands. *15 We rode so long we literally fell down. *16 We found out that a natural bug spray that cost $6.00 may actually attract mosquitos. We thought better of staying with the guy who said “the hell with that, you'll be sleeping with me” *17 and then continued on about his dossiers and the 45,000 in his safe- he never did say 45,000 what. *18
We learned self registration did not apply to us. *19 We learned that Kodak batteries that cost $.99 don't last long in a gps. *20 We used Google Maps bike route and think it's pretty rad. Brandon lost his hat…more than once. *21 We tested a crap load of gear for reviews. *22 But most of all, we got to hang out together and just leave our problems and lives behind. *23 It was such a good time to just be with a close friend and have no real place to be, to wake up and know all you have to do is ride 'til you are tired. *24
The night we finished, I was tired, sore, and ready to be off my bike, but the next morning when my alarm went off at 6:30 am I was bummed I had to turn it off. *25


brandon's notes:
*1 i wrote the title for this post before reading cole's story. crazy...that's what's rad about an old friend, and I couldn't ask for a better one.
*2 thinking time is good. my dad died a week before & i needed to get away. perfect!
*3 that's what she said! sorry, i love that stupid joke. i swear we rode farther this year though. and my route started earlier- taking an automobile from Frankfort to Holland, MI, then Amtrak from there to Chicago, then bike, boat, bike...
*4 i also love trains. what we know today as car ferries used to haul rail cars, not automobiles. the ferry is also a steam ship running on coal.
*5 not a big fan of getting in water, but i did go in that lake twice this year. splashing around with my niece made it totally worth it. i'ved lived by it my entire life, but can't swim. sucks.
*6 we took the long, HILLY, scenic route. beautiful.
*7 we managed to do this during the hottest days of the year, 2 years in a row. nice!
*8 everything was covered in limestone. i don't know how much i ate just from my water bottle.
*9 or asbestos, but right on! no serious partying took place. sorry.
*10 we need some shoes!!!
*11 it looked sweet on the interwebs, but not so much. review coming soon. needless to say i want a different tent. i'll name names *cough*topeak*cough* later...
*12 three sections of pipe, four trailers per piece with the piece in between. money hungry ferry owners should run freight separate, but it did all work out in the end.
*13 NOT cool or any fun at all. period. accomplished, yet why do i feel like i'm making mountains outta mole hills?
*14 thank you Topeak...for real! no thanks SKS...
*15 love your peaches... your plumbs. all that. good, good fruit.
*16 i did fall down at the top of a hill. i fell a few other times too. don't know why, but i crash a lot. i blame it on bad gravity.
*17 which is odd, because sketchy or not I'm usually up for adventure. looking back it felt a little House of 1000 Corpsesish... but yeah buddy!!!
*18 i always attract the town crazy/goon/challenged in any way people for some reason
*19 free is key...
*20 ...but sometimes you get what you pay for
*21 and somehow it was always on me. go figure.
*22 lots of reviews on the way!!!
*23 long overdue, and i missed my old lady & my dog (always do). ...but yeah- I couldn't ask for a better friend.
*24 i couldn't have said it better myself.
*25 some tours feel like they just shouldn't end yet. so far it's been two in a row, and I can't wait to hit the road again!!!

I'd also like to thank the handful of people who ordered shirts & stickers while we were on the road so we could eat, and the following companies for making this possible for me: Raleigh, Arkel, Old Man Mountain, Topeak, Kelty, Profile Design, Axiom, Bern, Pace, and SOG. Most of all, I'd like to thank Cole for taking the risk to start OLC in the first place and making things like this trip happen. It wouldn't have happened without him.