Monday, August 17, 2009

With the summer of 09 coming to a close the Traveling Circus wanted to end on a big bang, an adventure, a therapeutic rambling road trip through the urban jungles and rural rights of passage.

Here are the observations and social commentary (run on sentences) of a traveling nomad fueled by pricey gas, fat tire ale and the pursuit of good pizza.


We traveled by train and slept on Michigan Ave. for a week. I ate pizza twice a day, discovered my new addiction to smoothies, tried to understand modern art, ran along the lakeshore and became one with the Chicago masses.

I watched the big sunglasses, cell phones, fancy clothes, sidewalks like runways modeling fancy high dollar dreams and tattooed hipsters dodging traffic on fixed gear bikes, the posers with brake levers.

I enjoyed the skyline after dark with family and realized the overgrown concrete jungle is not that bad.

Brief Single Track Intermission…

I took a couple of in the mitten to re-group, re-pack and ride before heading south.

Chattanooga TN

My soundtrack south was an audio version of Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” I shared a similar journey as the main characters and found my American Dream just south of the Mason Dixon line.

The further down on the map I traveled the thicker the accents became, churches doubled in size and the humidity was on the rise.

I was going to visit my good friend and former Bikes Plus Alumni Jason and family. I reached his single track haven in time for homemade eggplant parmesan, a trail ride out his back door that ended on a rock bluff overlooking the TN River from 1500 feet.

The American Dream

The next day we rode 18 miles of Raccoon Mountain. It is tricky to describe trails of this caliber. I would compare it to my version of heaven with characteristics of fear, pain and strange pleasure.

Between trail rides and a technical trail run on Mabbit Creek I rested and enjoyed toy instrument music, curious george films and stories from their two sons William and Benjamin.

Places like that are hard to leave.

Charlotte NC

I headed east the next day to shoot the shit with Ryan, a good friend for the better part of 25 years. His fancy condo overlooked the growing skyscrapers of downtown and was a change of pace compared to tiny college apartments that we would visit as young dumb thrill seekers.

We toured each corner of the city and rode a tight and tangled mess of roots, climbs and rocks called Poplar Tent. This was a special ride for me because Ryan got me into Mountain Biking over a decade ago.

Afterwards we watched “Funny People” and reminisced about our ignorance before paychecks and alarm clocks.

That was my road trip

Thank you to everyone who bought me beer.

What is next?


Love dan

1 comment:

cjsbike said...

Nice write up.

The traveling circus travels well.

Give me the rural jungle anyday! Concrete and flesh do not mix well with me.

My circus will heading to the UP for a week of camping, fishing, MTBing, and swimming at the secret spot!

See you at Iceman!