Hello Again!

Hello again long lost readers! And greetings newcomers!

A new adventure awaits, and judging by the picture above, it will be a long one. Katherine and I will begin hiking the Appalachian Trail this March, starting in Springer Mtn., Georgia. We hope to make it to Mt. Katahdin, Maine by September. You can follow our adventure on our new blog: Nice Day for a Hike. For other inquiries, let me guide you.

  • For my 2 year stint as an extremely tall English teacher in Japan, start here.
  • Regarding how to avoid being bitten by dogs in Kentucky on one’s cross-country bike ride, go here.
  • And according to my blog statistics, the most popular search word that leads people here has very little to do with this blog. If you’ve come here to learn about that, I suggest studying this picture.

Happy trails!

Brandon

Challenge Results

Dates of Growth: January 4th to February 10th

My growth type: Slow and not-so-steady

Jeremy’s type: Fast and furious

Edward’s: Handlebar Brown

Number of donors: 6

Amount raised for AFTD: $400!


Thanks to everyone for making it a mustachtacular fundraising event!

Challenge Accepted

A friend agreed to donate $1 to the Association for Frontotemporal Dementia (AFTD) for each day I grow a mustache (plus an extra $1 for each day Edward grows his [Edward does not like facial hair {especially mustaches}])…

Let “Manuary” begin!

2011 Blog In Review

 

Highlights:

  • Most-searched queries to find this blog include kancho and sumo balls.
  • The 5th most active commenter to this blog is Ben Stephens attack dinosaur.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,800 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Interview

An interview about my cross-country bike ride was featured in the AFTD newsletter! If interested, check out page 10: http://www.theaftd.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/fall-good.pdf

The end? Not really.

Katherine deciding between Triple Chocolate Penetration and Maple Blazer Blunt at Portland’s Voodoo Doughnut. She took the majority of the pictures on our West Coast drive from Portland to LA, so I’ll let you know when she puts them up.

So the bike trip has ended, and it was incredible. I saw more breathtaking scenery than I could possibly document…

Grass, Forest, Mountain, Sky in Yellowstone National Park

…met more amazing people supportive of this ride than I could possibly thank…

Anne, as usual, being charismatic, crazy, and contagious

…and received more uninhibited kindness than I could possibly reciprocate.

Steve, my first CouchSurfing host, opening his cabin for me for the night

Which is why saying the bike trip has “ended” isn’t exactly accurate, because its effects still linger in me. I want to explore more of the U.S. (and the world), of which this ride merely gave me a taste. I want to meet, swap stories with, and learn from the type of people to whom this ride introduced me. Most of all, I want to give more unconditional kindness of which I received so much on this ride. The kind that doesn’t hesitate or expect anything in return. Yeah, this trip definitely has not ended.

If you have any interest in a ride like this, do it! Better now than putting it off again…and again…and never getting around to it. Tell everyone that you’re going to do it, so when you’re still on the couch, they’ll encourage you to get out there…like positive peer pressure. Ask around – you may put together your bike/trip entirely on donations. Don’t worry about fancy gear; an old road/mountain bike frame and sturdy wheels will do. Plan a route. Or don’t plan a route.  Give yourself 3 months. Or a year. Take your time. Take smaller roads. But not gravel roads. Meet people. Smile. And carry pepper spray for the dogs in Kentucky.

‘Til next time,

Tall Guy on a Bike/White Giant

Trip By The Numbers

Trip By The Numbers:

3596 – miles

66 – days

66 – days wearing Teva sandals

51 – bike days

71 – miles per day

3 – flats

4 – additional flats while trying to repair flats

15 – rest days

10 – CouchSurfing hosts

2 – WarmShowers hosts

1 – Ohio family

3 – friend hosts

2 – friend of a friend hosts

4 – out of the blue hosts

395 – dollars spent

6 – dollars per day

1 – sprained wrist

9,658 – elevation of Togwotee Pass, WY (highest point on the trip)

120 – heat index of Perry, KS (hottest point on trip)

44 – mph leaving Daniel Boone Nat. Forest, KY (fastest point on trip)

several – licorice shots and Blue Moon pitchers in Concordia, KS (most hungover point on trip)

1 – taillight lost

1 – clown horn cracked

1 – baby turtle roadkill

12 – states

10 – miles in Montana

1 – Conan movie

0 – Arnold Schwarzenegger appearances

6 – Teva strap tan lines

6 – biscuits with gravy

25 – lbs of peanut butter

100 – bananas

10,000 – scraggly beard hairs

10,000,000,000,000,000 – acts of kindness received

100,000,000,000,000,000 – future acts of kindness to give

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