It been a month since I have come back home. As I write about my experiences its amazing to see how many people have helped me to finish the ride.
Andrew (fondly called Coach) : A few months ago i was sitting on my ass at home and wondering how to even go about this. What gear to use, what kind of bike to ride and most of all how to even start to plan for this. I discovered unlike India there would be stretches without food or water. Andrew pinged me on FB and helped me out with everything. Helped me calm down and even made a plan for me. I had a day by day itinerary on where to ride. He sent me a bunch of things that i couldn’t source in India. All of this in spite of not being to race due to a back injury. Its amazing how much help I have got from him. The most memorable one of it all was on the 2nd day when he told my head out my ass and keep rinding. The picture at the halfway mark was due to him. He discovered the place exists and told me about it. I think when i finished he was the most relieved.
Alan and Peggy: I wrote to Alan on Warmshowers a few months before the race. He hosted me at Seattle. Starting from picking me up at the airport and getting me familiar with riding on the right side of the road to setting up bike and showing me around i Seattle he did everything in his power to ensure I would be race ready. Peggy who is a fan of the Indian culture was amazing to talk too. I could get all of the politically incorrect questions out of the way. The hospitality that they showed me was phenomenal. Hopefully i would be able to repay it when they come to India.
Steve: We stayed with him at Astoria. He opened up the entire house to us and let us pretty much do what ever we wanted. He even let Bowlek stay with us unannounced. At one time there were about 10 of us at home. He even made us dinner on the night before the race. For 4 days we sat on our asses at a comfortable house in Astoria eating and drinking.
Bowlek : The polish guy was super fun. On our ride to Astoria i think he was grateful that i dint get him shot. He helped me understand the culture of the country he was from. I now know that if i travelled through Europe i would need to follow the rules. Hopefully he knows if he comes to India he doesnt really have to do that.
Brad: A super funny and amazing racer. Stayed with him at Steve’s house. HE helped me with pretty much everything about the ride. I learnt the phrase ride yr bike from him. If you ever see a racer with clouds drawn on his knees thats Brad.
Chad: If you want to learn to build a fire he’s your man. He insisted on not asking for help even if it was available because he wanted his race to be fully self supported. Met him again at Dillan and shared a few laughs. He told me about another route across America without having to climb every hill in the country.
Rolf: Firstly he’s British. We got to be friends on facebook even before the start of the race. As we chilled outside the coop he gave me and Don the most valuable piece of advise, ” the cheapest way to go home if through Yorktown”. This was my mantra on days i wanted to quit. It was sad to see his ride was cut short but i ate enough cheese sandwiches with crisps in his honour.
Spoke’n hostel, Oregon: The wonderful folks at the hostel were super hospitable. The hostel was in the middle of the desert and was the most comfortable place i have ever been too. They did everything to make us feel welcome. The folks running the place are pastors but never did they ask or talk about religion. I am looking forward to going there again.
Larry at Dillon : The nicest person i have met. He picked us up from the main road, took us home, fed us and ensured we were dry before we left. He showed me around and helped me understand how to build a house.
Crazy Larry: The nicest chap i have met. He kept me entertained with stories about his life. I am hoping he recovers and gets better soon. The best hostel in the town of Damascus.
David Elliot : He climbed up the mountain just to see me. The grapes that he gave m the worlds best. Also kept me safe from the ghosts in the bushes. Thank you for waiting at the bottom of the hill for me to come down.
Victoria at the Bike House: Incredible amounts of hospitality. She stayed up till i could get to the bike house, invited me for breakfast and just helped me get comfortable. All of this just because she could. Its hard to come across such nice people.
Isabelle: After driving an hour just to come to say hello she even offered to send Dave Mathew a message from me. I also heard that they had to pay for me to stay at the Bike House since someone else had blocked it for the night.
Tom: He waited for me at the monument and took me to the bike shop. We went out to dinner with his lovely wife and talked about the race and the history of the town. He drove me all the way to Williamsburg to get a train and ensured i got the correct one.
Roshan and Bisha : They opened up their lovely home for me to stay at. Took me to every store i had to go too and found me the things i had to take back home. Its amazing how much time Bisha managed to find and made me the best Indian meal i have had in a while
LE: The man with a plan. We had a ton of fun on the road with him being the occasional old man wanting to sleep and not chill with us. I learnt the actual meaning of the word Teton.
Micheal Hatfield: He was one of the racers I had met on the first day. His commitment to his kids in school is amazing. He drove 4 hours with his wife just to see me finish. I mean thats something. I am super grateful to have met him. This much extraordinary amounts of kindness.
Don: My partner in crime. Occasional ass wooping asking me to man up and ride. I enjoyed his company. The time we spent riding was filled with titbits about the US and i guess it was because of him i dint get shot. My only regret was that i couldn’t finish with him.
Mom and Dad: Well for pretty much everything. I used their credit cards for pretty much everything on the ride. From what i thought was a full sponsorship from mum turned out to be partial sponsorship. Now time to pay her back. My Dad killed it, not only he got a smart phone but figured out how to check on where i was. He kept my mother a little sane. Apparently Instagram posts were enough information for them to know what was happening. Time to unfollow mum till my next adventure.
Cathy: 3 puppies and 2 months all alone without kicking up fuss is incredible. She not only kept them safe but also ensured they remembered me. She’s given up more in the last 2 months than possibly i would have ever. Seems like i got super lucky finding her.
Pip, Trouble and Noire : Firstly thank you for not eating the youngest one. Seems like Noire has learnt stupid shit from the other 2. The welcome back was the best ever. Now they are staring at this screen while i type.
There must have been 100’s of people who helped on the route and i will keep editing this as and when i remember but for now thank you for everything. This was fun.