Archive for August, 2013
Greetings from the rooftops of Brooklyn. I arrived in the city on Thursday afternoon and have been staying with two of my best friends from college. The ride in from New London wasn’t all that bad, but my knees were still bothering me a fair amount. Haven’t been on the bike since. Just relaxing and hoping that the time off will get me back in order. Thursday night my friend Bonner and I went out to 285 Kent to see Red Fang, and the venue was…unlike anything that would ever be allowed in Boston. A lot of what goes on around here would never fly in Boston. This venue was basically a giant warehouse with spray-painted murals all over the walls. People were packed in from wall to wall. Beer was piled up in big plastic tubs full of ice. It was DIY but at the same time extremely well organized. We ran into this random French girl who could barely speak english and had to help her get into the venue. She abandoned her friends to come to this show. She “really wanted to see a metal show”. We ended up becoming friends and stayed with her the rest of the night. My other friend Liam had a late night at work, so the three of us went back to the apartment to meet up with him. The rest of the night was spent on the roof, playing music, making goofy songs, and catching up. Friday night wasn’t all the different. I met up with my other college friend Bettina in Manhattan, were we went to yet another rooftop get-together. Lots of great people, games, beer, and relaxing. We decided to head out to Crown Heights to meet up with some other friends and go around to the bars. I’ve also neglected to mention that I’ve had some great jam sessions with Liam since I’ve arrived. There will be a video posted soon that will showcase everything I’m trying to explain, which will probably help in my current vagueness for explaining New York City. I’ll be heading to Queens today for more music, cookouts, and hanging on the beach with even more New York friends, and still have to change around some of my gear for my ride out on Monday. Tomorrow’s show is at the Red Lion in lower Manhattan around 6pm. Gotta get ready for that, too!
So I left North Attleboro on Monday afternoon (19th) after a day off between shows. Only had an 11 mile ride to Providence, but it was a little tougher than anticipated because my left knee started to act up almost immediately. The amount of weight I’m carrying is something I’m not used to at all, nevermind that I should’ve been training a lot more for this trip to begin with. Showed up in Providence in the mid-afternoon to my friends place I would be staying for the night. I had a show at The Spot that night and he was also in one of the bands playing that night. I’ve known all the people living in that Providence house for quite some time now so it was a comfortable stay. Got there, walked around and grabbed some things I needed to restock for the trip (powerbars, shampoo). We would head out to the venue around 7:30 for our load in, and carpooling was the much easier route to go because I’d really like to avoid biking in the dark at all costs. However, we go to hop in my friend Dave’s car with all of our equipment and all the change was stolen out of his cupholder, as well as his brand new car battery. So…in a surprisingly calm change of plans, we just took another roommates car (it was the second time this happened to him in as many weeks). The show was put on by 990WBOB and it was aired live on their website. Quite an interesting thing to do and pretty cool actually. I was one first, then my friends in Jetty, comedy acts, and two other bands. I had a friend of mine take his motorcycle down from Boston to catch the show, and I also briefly met someone who had just finished a 40 day cycle ride from San Fran to Providence, so it was nice to get some quick advice.
The next day (20th) proved to be something I’d really like to avid from here on out. Left Providence at 9:30 for a 59 mile ride to New London. 6 hours at the most. Well…not exactly. Instantly my left leg started to flare up, and managed to get worse and worse as the ride progressed to the point where I couldn’t physically go up steep inclines. For the first time ever, I had to walk my bike at points. Physically and mentally, I was just drained all day. When you push yourself that hard physically, knowing you have to get somewhere regardless of the pain, it started to make the reality of this trip set in. I left everything. My family, girlfriend, friends, and everything I have ever known. It hit me all at once after I stopped on a bike trail and started talking to this little 6 year old kid riding a scooter. He was asking me where I was going, and asked me for how long. The innocence of this little kid when he told me “Wow that’s a lot of days. But, you’re going to have to go home” crushed me because technically, I don’t have a home at the moment. It made me want to go home horribly. It made me question my motives and also made me ask myself if i’m doing the right thing. I already appreciate my home 1,000 times more than I did before, but that home is something I can’t return to. Going back and living with my best friend and girlfriend in Allston isn’t even an option. People’s lives are moving on and so is mine, but in a completely different manner now. One that is testing my physical and mental strength and pushing me further and further away hoping that I become aware of the bigger picture. Becoming a better person. Inspiring others. Doing what I want to do with my life. It is not easy, and now I truly understand why people don’t do this. But as I arrived in New London, I was not only greeted by unbelievably nice people who were wiling to help out in every way, but also Pablo Garcia, a man who has been biking around the world for 12 years and is on his way home to Argentina. The stories this man has are incredible, and I will be posting a video showcasing these last few days, as well as a sit-down conversation with him. There is nothing that can really sum up how I feel right now. Confused. Exhausted. Homesick. And I’m not even that far away from home and just started my journey. I have to look forward to better days ahead because it’s already proven to be a lot more difficult than expected. Long Island is the next stop.