It hasn’t been a full month since I decided to ride to California. I’m taking my dog, Shoeless Jo with me.
My belongings have been reduced to the bare necessities. I hosted a “name your own price good karma unmanned yard sale” in front of my house. The yarma gained Facebook popularity and as a result, many passing through the neighborhood received lots of good karma. To some it may have appeared as if I had been tossed out on the street, my items strewing the dusty sidewalk. At the end of my gravel driveway, I position the jar, “Karma Jarma” I label it. Patrons in passing deposit their cash contribution in exchange for goods, writing on a log what they received in exchange. Not everyone played by the rules. The Karma Jarma is mysteriously missing, what remains of my stuff transitions to the thrift store. I net $180 dollars and my next door neighbor who is trying to sell his home is ecstatic that all my shit is gone from the sidewalk.
Like playing a game of chess, for nearly a month, throughout my entire house, strategically I’m moving each item into separate piles, than moving them again. One very full box I’ll forward with the laptop, clothing and backpacking equipment. The other boxes are items for storage and will get shuttled to Mom and Dad’s house where they’ll remain until one of us visits the other. What I’m packing on my bike, I stack near the microwave.
Last night I positioned myself in a dimly lit corner of The D&D in downtown Bend. Inside the popular late night diner/bar, there I sip coffee. Intending to blog my brains out when through the drafty doorway came gliding two of my closest comrades. There I was joined at the table with gleeful enthusiasm. One buddy, a scholar, graduates his classes this weekend then fly’s back east for the summer on the exact day I depart on my long bike ride. Beside him, sits Noah.
Everyone should know, Noah. He’s got skills. Noah and I will be performing at Chappy’s graduation party on the eve of our going away. Waiting until the last minute to consummate a ride, Noah steps up and offers to front me a ride to Newport. But he also fronts a really awesome Led Zeppelin cover band appropriately named, “Stairway Denied”. With their stronghold on the western slope of the Cascade Range, Bend Oregon has been fortunate to have seen these legends of legends rock out on more than one occasion.
Noah postures himself with a candid sense of humor and a vocal ability that leaves you feeling as if you’ve just been serenaded by Rober t Plant, himself. Noah and his prowess will join me at BAY 839 in Newport Oregon next Monday, a special acoustic set he’ll perform.
Making a call he gladly accepts my invitation. It was three summers ago when he joined me at a dozen bars and coffee shops throughout Idaho, Utah and Colorado, Rich Silen is still giggin! A huge smile, soulful voice and smooth riffs, we will make music once again at BAY 839, Monday June 17th at 8pm.
The cycle that I’m riding, I’ve dubbed the “Landshark II”. Its battleship gray factory paint job and the upcoming chore of swimming the coastline fit the nickname. The bike has a wobble, with speed it became more aggressive as I descended a long hill. I visited Crows Feet Commons where I had recently purchased the Shwalbe brand touring tires. They don’t seem to fit the wheels correctly, the tire is off center, the wire bead not beading as it should. The rim cuts into the sidewall of the tires. Two mechanics have a shot at putting the tires on correctly when it’s mutually agreed upon that the tires are the issue. David, is the owner and he’s happy to help me and offer’s for sale at his register the “Be nice…you’re in Oregon”, bumper sticker I created. Nick works there, he’s a “wrench “ talented at his trade. Diagnosing the rubber rounds, he orders a new set of Continentals, a touring tire he recommends for me to roll on safely down the Pacific Coast Highway.
Across town, Michael Martin is at Hutches Bicycles of Bend. I’ve visited him in the bike shop several times these last few weeks while he helps me put the Landshark II together. Offering me an industry discount, I save a ton. The level of service I receive by Michael is extra ordinary and through the process I feel like we’ve become friends. I invest in a luggage rack, full fenders, disk brake pads, tool bag, bike tubes, bike shorts, long fingered gloves, handlebar mounted computer, helmet mirror, tail lights and some labor to cover the install and tune up. In total I’ve spent a little over three hundred dollars retrofitting the hard tail Bianchi mountain bike for a long bike ride on pavement.
Almost ready to go, I’m now in the final stages of moving. What’s left to accomplish? Dropping stuff at the thrift store, cleaning up the yard and detailing the house. Within days, I’ll UPS my belongings south to a friend’s home in Fresno, for holding. Until I depart next Monday, it’s easy living, making music, hosting Matt Hopper, guiding the Cycle Pub, riding my bike along the river, practicing yoga at East Side Hot Yoga and getting a few visits in with friends.
If you’d like to say hi before I leave town, my Dad holds the rhythm down on keys in an awesome band, “Soul Benders”. They take the stage performing at Country Catering in Bend this Friday evening. Please come on out and say goodbye “before we emBARK”.