I took my bike into the shop, today, for the final check-up! Hopefully not as expensive as my Toyota usually is. My mechanic Chris Andersen, at RIDE Cyclery in Encinitas, is a rare combination of a guy with great bike smarts and honesty–I trust him completely. When you are riding on a tire that is not much wider than an inch, that’s a lot of trust.
I thought I would share a ride experience I had a few weeks ago. I can’t keep talking about me–the topic will get boring! It’s the people you meet along the journey that will make this FUN!!
So, at the beginning of April I found out I needed an entirely new bike, just 6 weeks before take off. I have a carbon frame bike, and the top tube on my 7 year-old Specialized Roubaix developed a “life threatening” crack in the underside of the tube. I waited a week to get my first ride in, and it is raining cats and dogs (by San Diego standards, remember). I go out anyway because I need time in the rain, and I’m riding the final 10 miles of my ride going North on the Coast Highway and a young guy pulls onto the bike lane ahead. I’m in full rain gear,which isn’t keeping me dry at all, and he is in a soaked t-shirt with the words “Pain is weakness leaving the body” printed on the back!! I pull up beside him and make some remark about liking his shirt and that he’s another nut out in the storm. We start talking and I tell him I’m training to cross the USA–he says, “me too”. I say “I’m leaving in May -same reply”. As it turns out, his name is John Aceved and he just completed 4 years in the Marines with 2 overseas tours. He decided before he took a “real world” job he would do some volunteer work as a pay back. I’m thinking pay back–we should be paying him back for 4 years of “real world” risk. Anyway, in spite of his engineering degree, he is volunteering for a group called BikeandBuild.org. This group brings together volunteers from all over the USA and they build affordable homes for those in need. Because of his military experience, John was selected to be a team leader and the group will work with Habitats for Humanity and also ride the USA . His trip will start in Tennessee (1st house building site) and end in San Jose (I believe) where they will build a 2nd home. John is totally new to cycling, didn’t even have fingerless bike gloves or a rain outfit but, hey, he’s a Marine!! I was so excited after meeting him and hearing his enthusiasm for seeing and helping around this country–I had to give him a shout out! His web site is Bike&Build@acevedjd. If anybody or any company needs an engineer –get in touch with him (in about 3 months). “One very impressive man” are the words that come to my mind after only a brief time spent with him! Have fun John, and keep that big smile going!! Thanks.