“This is going to be the biggest adventure of my life…”
I never thought that I would be saying these words at the age of 30. I thought I was past the big adventure section of my life…thankfully, I was wrong.
My day to day life is pretty normal…I work as an accountant at Lids (you know, that place in the mall that just sells baseball hats? Yep, I work for that place). I love animals and am the proud parent of two adorable and often crazy dogs – Rudy the puggle and Louie the mutt. I’ve been married almost a year to my best friend and love of my life, Erica. I was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana and have lived in Minneapolis, MN and lived in a beautiful placed called Grand Junction out in Colorado. I love traveling, reading, quality conversations, going to concerts, tattoos, and camping. However, I love sharing life experiences and laughing more than anything.
Riding a bicycle across the country is by far, the most challenging, ridiculous, exciting goal I’ve ever had. And it sort of came out of nowhere. Up until a few years ago, I had not really been on a bike for quite a long time. In second grade, I won a bicycle through a fundraiser for a youth basketball league. I remember the prize very clearly, though…
A shiny silver bike with neon paint splatters on the frame.
Bright pink neon rims supporting the flashy white tires.
I tricked this prize out, too. My dad and I added a Mickey Mouse windsock, neon spoke beads, and pink tassels for my handlebars.
And…that’s pretty much one of the only memories I have of riding a bike as a kid. I never really rode again until a few years ago, when my fiancée (now wife) Erica started telling me about these adventures people went on, riding across the United States on a trail called the TransAmerica on their bicycles. I had heard of people doing this before, but never thought that it might be something I would do someday. It wasn’t long before we had purchased our own bikes, gear, and started making plans to maybe take on this challenge ourselves. Purchasing a bike for Erica seemed to be pretty easy, but finding a bike for me presented some interesting challenges, considering I’m only about 5’ tall. I went through a couple of initial bikes that were great, but just didn’t fit quite right. Finally, we spent some extra money and purchased the absolute smallest version of the Surly Long Haul Trucker available. Erica had already purchased this bike for her, and I secretly was jealous of her noble steed for quite some time. Now, that I have a noble steed of my own (Erica’s is a speedy racing blue color and mine is bad ass black), I’m pretty excited every time we go out to ride. I feel like a kid again, ready for adventure!
I have to admit, I had my doubts that I would ever do something like this. I kept finding excuses for why I couldn’t have such an adventure...jobs, bills, dogs to take care of. I felt sad that this seemed to be just a dream. Thankfully, I happen to be married to someone who challenges my way of thinking and believes that any problem can be solved, any dream is possible. With Erica’s help, I started to believe we could actually go on this adventure together. And the truth is, I need this journey we are about to take. I know I could use an opportunity to slow down my pace of life, see the world from a different perspective, see people from a different perspective...which is really what this trip is all about.
More than anything, Erica and I believe that our journey should be shared. We believe that we can make an impact on the world by helping others through our experience. It is because of this that we have proudly partnered with the Looking Out Foundation, founded by musician Brandi Carlile. We have been inspired by so many other people who have taken the journey across the TransAm and also have been inspired by Brandi’s giving spirit. We want our adventure to do something good in the world, so we were thrilled to find out that this opportunity would allow us to raise money to help some incredible charities and organizations. We are honored and excited to share this experience with you all, to tap into that childhood spirit of adventure, and embark on a voyage that will make a lasting impact in the lives of others.