Friday, September 2, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

Niagra "FALL"

for those who haven't heard yet, I took quite the digger onto my left hip yesterday afternoon. I was literally 5 miles away from the u.s. boarder when I hit these extremely slick trolley tracks on a main road in thoroid, Ontario. I was going so fast I didn't see it coming. I even crossed over the trolley tracks at the appropriate angle so that my wheels wouldn't get caught between the road and the rails (picture the T tracks along the street in Boston and that's basically what I was dealing with). It had been raining off and on all day so the tracks must have been unusally slick. Nonetheless, I fell. I fell exactly the same way I fell on day 3, almost to a tee. As I'm lying in the middle of the road, I realize I can't even move my left leg. I know my guitar must he in pieces. All I can think of is "how in the hell am I going to get back to Boston?" A few cars pull over to assist me and one happens to be an off duty firefighter from the town over. They're dragging my bike off of me and giving me a lift up onto ny feet. My glasses broke into 3 pieces, my water bottles were all over the place, and as I stood I had a real hard time putting any weight on my left leg. The emt's showed up, and for the first time in my life I was loaded onto a stretcher and into the back of a ambulance. The two emt's, carolyn and brianne, were fascinated by my trip and took excellent care of me. Because I was so close to the boarder, they took me to niagra falls hospital in Canada to get checked out. After a long assessment of the situation, it was decided amongst many individuals that I was going to stay in that hospital for the night...until I heard how much it was gonna cost haha. Clearly I was not dying but I was in a good amount of pain and could definitely not walk anywhere with all of my gear and my bike. Carolyn and brianne arranged a cab for me and helped me load everything in for me as I have basically been in a wheelchair for about an hour at this point purely because they didn't have crutches at the hospital. I feel like every hospital should probably have a room like, oh I donno, 200 square feet that is stacked to the ceiling with crutches. I think that would be in their best interest in my opinion haha. Anyways, they must've told the cab driver my whole story because the guy wanted my autograph. He told me what I'm doing is newsworthy and that he wanted to go down to the niagra gazette or something to have them write an acticle on me. This guy was too funny. Told me the whole history of niagra falls, told me about how he likes to mess around with patriots fans when they come up here to see them play the bills. He was also one of probably 5 people this whole trip that were like "you're from Boston? Where's you're accent? You don't have one". So we get across the boarder, which was wayyy easier than getting into Canada, which was nice considering my leg is like throbbing. Get the an American hospital and as I fanagle myself out of the cab the first thing I become aware of is how much of a JERK this nurse is being to me. Snapping at me like I'm making her do her JOB or something. To be honest with you I wanted to hop out of that wheelchair and crawl out of the hospital because she threw such bad vibes off at me. Turns out, she ended up being really nice once she stopped being a giant crabbypants. She let me take my xrays home with me and even got me some ginger ale. She also gave me two shots. One of which was in my tush. That was a first for me haha. I get xrays, I get a cat scan (also a first for me. Gotta love that radiation), and then I waiting 4 hours for my results. My buddy Ian was nice enough to come pick me up even thought he had to work at 6am and I felt so bad because he arrived at 11:30 when I thought I was going to be done. We didn't leave until 3:30am. I didn't break or fracture anything in my leg. I have a hip contusion. Unlike Canadian hospitals, we have crutches, so they gave me a pair. First time ever on crutches, too. This was just a day full of firsts for me! Im currently working on my music in the hotel Ian is staying at I'm Batavia, NY, waiting for my heroes Jesse mosher and Amy Allen to come scoop up my body full of hurt and bring me back to my home. Back to Boston. Wounded in more ways than one, but spirit high. I could not have asked for a more eventful and life-changing event to experience. This trip has been wild with its ups and downs, but all in all, I biked through pouring rain, through mountains, through wind, along rolling countrysides. I've seen interesting animals, met interesting people, had interesting thoughts, and pushed the limits of who I thought I was to the very breaking point. Here i am, on the other side. Emerged not quite how I pictured, but I have emerged nonetheless. A more defined individual. A more focused mindset. A sharpened persepective. I have so much material to write about. So much to express for this album, this gift to all of you who donated and who have followed me on this incredible journey. I will continue to do updates here and there, and I also did not forget about certain peoples postcards! If you donated $25 or more, please email me your mailing info so I can still send you your postcard. I have some videos for those who donated more than that, but I have not been able to figure out how to change the file type on my phone, so I will send those once I'm home. Thank you all again for the wonderful support!
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Saturday, August 20, 2011

What a first night in Toronto! Day 8 adventuring

Morning post: Well, as i was wondering around toronto yesterday afternoon/night, the first place i went to check out after the hostel and the bike shop was a tattoo parlor right down the street. i put some money aside before the trip with the plan of getting something in toronto and that i was going to figure out on the way there. considering that i've had 10-12 hours a day by myself, i was able to figure it out after ohhhhh maybe 40 hours haha. walked into the tattoo shop (Adrenaline Tattoos) and started talking to one of the guys there who books apointments. blown away by my trip here, he told me to hold on while he went to grab Andrew, an artist there who after talking to him for a few minutes was probably more excited about doing this tattoo than i was. even with my small budget, he told me to come by at 8pm tonight and we're gonna work on it until its done, regardless of how long it takes. basically, im getting a HUGE hook-up on this tattoo, and in return he just wants a couple cds when i get them made. last night i also happened to stumble upon The Rex, this really fantastic blues and jazz club. the Jeff Coffin Mutet was playing. Jeff Coffin plays sax in the Dave Matthews bands, and their bass player was none other that Jaco Pastorius' son Felix. IT WAS SO COOL! he played so much like his father. couldn't believe it. for those of you that don't know, Jaco Pastorius is to bass what Jimi Hendrix was to the guitar. the guy annihillated the bass. he slap a' da bass. people's heads exploded out of sheer disbelief. i'm sure of it. anyways, i started chatting with this guy Cameron who had been at the show with his nephews, and i told him why i was here and about the journey i was partaking in. so jeff coffin walks by between sets and cameron waves him over. "this kid came all the way from boston. on his bike!". jeff looks at me "you rode here...on your bike?!" jeff and i started chatting and he gets my name before he heads off to the bar. second set wraps up and theyre about to play their last song when jeff grabs the mic, "hey everyone, this gentleman up front rode his bike here from boston. it took him 6 days to get here, saw we were playing, and decided to stop by. this last song is dedicated to you Leo. it's called "run like the mad hatter". someone buy this kid a drink!" i can't really elaborate anymore than that. what a night. how cool is that?!

Evening Post: i think this trip has come done to really how much pain i can put myself in before i just burst into thin air. tattoo session was 4 hours. but its literally exactly, EXACTLY how i dreamed it would look. Andrew Ottenhof at Adrenaline Tattoos. if you're ever in Toronto and need some ink, GO TO HIM. im probably just gonna start flying here to get work done. super nice dude. so happy with the piece. it's a nautilus devouring my bike and my broken guitar. i only have one picture (and its bandaged right now) so it's not the best quality pic. eternal symbol of my journey, musically, mentally, physically. that was my treat to myself with my own money i had put aside for the occasion. the nautilus is a crazy looking animal. like a squid inside of a shell if i had to describe it to someone who has never seen one. ive used it as a name for some of my music projects because i admire the symmetry and mathematics behind of the animal is structured. the inside of the shell is the "golden spiral" of mathematics. its such a bizarre creature. i felt it only fitting that it would be the beast that symbolizes my journey. oh! i also went to the hckey hall of fame today! i touched the stanley cup, i saw other really awesome things. but more or less i touched the cup and im pretty happy about that. so yea everyone, check out some of the pictures from the day! i leave tomorrow at noon go get my bike from the shop and head on out to buffalo to meet back up with my friend Ian Yaple for the night. cheers!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Day 7: The Home Stretch

Grimsby, Ontario to Toronto was about 60 miles or so. once i crossed the boarder my phone changed into kilometers. the only thing that means to me is that i can do more km/hr than mph and that somehow makes me feel like i'm going faster. there was a great bike path that went all along the water to Hamilton. Watched this huge tanker come through the harbor and i had to wait for it to go by because they had to lift the bridge to let them get in. canada is super bike friendly. so many bikes everywhere. bike paths everywhere. it's pretty awesome. once i caught my first glipse of toronto, i of course took a picture of it. also took this picture of a windmill because i had never seen one so big. where i am now in toronto is basically the allston of toronto, but closer to the city. young people everywhere, artsy, interesting food, and of course, tattoos, gauged ears, and all the young counter-culture, free, "hipster" mentalities everyone associates with allston rock city. i have canadian money in my wallet. that's weird. they have hockey players on their money, AS THEY SHOULD (america, where's our bobby orr 4 dollar bills? i would use them). at a hostel right that seems to be in a great location, as i am about to head outside and explore the land. the first thing i did was drop my bike off at Urbane Cyclists to get a full tune up. that's a picture of my "now what?" face right after i dropped my bike off. my sweetheart looks a little beat up right now. that tank just took me 550 miles without a major malfunction (other than when i majorly malfunctioned the entire left side of my body into the pavement on day 3 and bent the handlebars). we're at the half way point, ladies and gentlemen. this is the part where i go have fun now!

Canada. The Land of Data Charges.

So I have some catching up to do. Crossed the boarder at Niagra Falls at around 3pm yesterday and got the crap interrogated out of me because no one could believe someone in their right mind would bike from Boston to Toronto. I crossed the rainbow bridge from the u.s. to canada and stopped half way across to take some pictures of the falls...and after about 10 minutes i had boarder police walking out to me telling me to keep moving. WHOOOPS. Crossing the boarder involves giving the most straightforward and serious responses to questions, something that, after 6 straight days of biking and spending 11 hours a day by myself doing the most repetitious thing ever, i had a problem doing. i don't understand why saying you're going on vacation isnt a good enough excuse to travel. then i started saying its sorta like a vacation but not really because it's more of a physical and mental test of strength, determination, patience, etc. not that i said EXACTLY that, but i was being way too "hey man, no worries, everythings groovy. i'm just on a journey of self-discovery". they don't like that. once that mess subsided, i strolled around the falls for a bit. took some pictures. ate a pretzel. Niagra Falls is like a giant amusment park full of fun houses. i was there once when i was younger, and it was a blast then. now, it seemed like a poor man's las vegas. that makes it sound bad. it really wasn't. it was just bizarre. didnt seem real. that's all i'm trying to say. because i woke up late and got stuck in customs, i knew i wasnt going to reach toronto. i ended up in grimsby, ontario at a super 8 that took me probably an hour to find after some old man walking his dogs tried to explain where it was. went to this bar in the casablanca hotel across the street cause i thought they had food. however, the kitchen closed. so i got a beer, on the house, because the bartender and i started talking and she loved what i was doing. soooo, then i went to Boston Pizza. why is it called Boston Pizza? it has nothing to do with boston. i ate a whole pizza then went home and fell into a food coma.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

let's go swimming!

Don't I look thrilled? Still a ways go. Ive been riding into a 20mph headwind all day. For any of those who know me well enough to know how much I hate wind, you can probably imagine how I've been acting all day haha
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day 6: getting there

129 miles. Booked a hostel in Toronto for the next 3 nights. I'll have to turn my phone off once I cross the boarder because of data charges so I probably won't have an update until tomorrow. See y'all in Canada!
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