A bad idea

“All of our days are numbered. We cannot afford to be idle. To act on a bad idea is better than to not act at all because the worth of the idea never becomes apparent until you do it. Sometimes this idea can be the smallest thing in the world. A little flame that you hunch over and cup with your hand and pray will not be extinguished by all the storm that howls around it. If you can hold on to that flame, great things can be constructed around it that are massive and powerful and world-changing… all held up by the tiniest of ideas.”
-Nick Cave, “20,000 Days on Earth”

I first heard Nick say these words on a little road trip to Columbus, OH, to see the fantastic “fictional documentary” about the musician. I felt the gravity of what Nick said, as I have many times before. But this little quote stuck with me for a bit. It wasn’t until about 18 months or so later, however, when I found myself on the eve of my 34th birthday blissing out on my bike somewhere outside Chillicothe, OH with no mortgage, no relationship, no kids, no money, marginally employed, and in the middle of my first bicycle tour – a four day, 300-mile loop around southern Ohio – that I got it into my head that I needed to act on my own bad idea: I need to get rid of everything I own and ride my bicycle across the country, coast to coast. Once I hit the Pacific? Who knows where I go from there.

This humble corner of the Internet is to document the outcome of that bad idea. On May 11, 2016, I’m catching a train in Cincinnati, OH bound for New York City to begin a bicycle tour across the USA. 4200 miles, 17 states, and two beaches on either side of the continent.  I’m admittedly a bit apprehensive about even having this blog, but I have truly been inspired by reading others’ experiences, be it in blog or book form. If I can throw my two cents into the pot of cross-country cyclists who share their experiences and get someone to get on their bike for some exploring of their own while keeping a record of my adventure and occasionally making a friend or family member chuckle, then it seems like a worthwhile effort.

I’m 14 weeks away from hitting the road, which is a time frame that simultaneously feels like tomorrow and a year from now. Posts will be a little light till then, but I plan on making a couple entries about my preparation for the ride in order to tell a complete story and so you readers interested in touring can see how one guy got ready and use what works and avoid what doesn’t. But let’s be honest. Things will get a lot more interesting for the both of us once I roll into Union Terminal on a late Tuesday evening in May.

I don’t know that my experiences in the next seven or eight months will reach the level of grandiosity Nick suggested acting on a bad idea can create, but I’m going to enjoy the hell out of myself finding out from the saddle of my bicycle. Regardless of how this journey unfolds, I truly hope you enjoy bearing witness. Thanks for stopping by, and don’t be a stranger!

-J

 

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