In New Jersey About to Embark

24 06 2009

Lets start off with some particulars…

It’s called the 42ride, and it’s sponsored by 42below vodka.

Connected with the bicycle film festival, they choose 42 riders, from a pool of over 200, to ride from New York to Los Angeles in about 53 days  (give or take).  I applied and got chosen, largely (I believe) due to this little ditty I put together.  It’ll give you some back ground on me and my life and what the ride means to me.

42nd ride,

I am and have been, a college professor, the director of a mid-western children’s theatre, a rock star, a playwright, a janitor, an actor, a screen writer, a bagel baker, an illustrator, a painter, a photographer and most recently a tattoo artist and bicycle advocate. I completely understand that the bicycle has now, as it has always had, the ability to change the world. To make it better. Not only because riding a bike is more friendly to the world around us (the planet, the people and everything else on it)…but mostly cuz it’s really really really fun.

The growing bike culture in this country is truly magical. I am part of that magic, and will continue to be till the day I die. I push myself and others around me to see and experience it every day.

Over the past four years I have lost (and am still losing) over a hundred and seventy pounds (a whole person got lost in there somewhere). I owe a great deal of that to my bike (okay, bikes, plural–I’m a geek!!). I have always been in love with riding, even when I weighed 365 lb and could barely get a mile and a half without some kind of system shutdown. Now I ride between 25 and 40 miles a day, and love every minute of it.

I want to ride across America with 42ride because for almost two years, I’ve been wanting to make the journey on my bike across this incredible geographical phenomenon that is my nation. I’ve set myself the goal and I’ve said that I will do it, come hell or high water. I want to ride because when I say I’m going to do something, I do. I want to ride because when I say I’m going to do something and other people say “it’s crazy,” and “impossible”, that makes me want to do it all the more. True, to prove them wrong, but more importantly to prove myself right.

I want to ride because piloting a bike from New York to L.A. in 57 days sounds crazy and scary and fantastically wonderful. I know that doing things that are crazy and scary and fantastically wonderful make me better, and encourage others around me to do the same.

To take a chance.

To be brave.

To be adventurous.

Because it’s all super f#@ing fun. Especially when it’s on the back of a bike.

I am a great believer in the human spirit. I know that the answer to the age old question, “What is the difference between a person who does, and a person who does not?” is simply stated in the question itself. One who does, does. One who does not, does not.  I do. It’s my thing. My gag. My schtick.

I want to celebrate that. Celebrate changing the world from the back of my bike.

I’m going to ride. People who say I can’t…just try and stop me.


The picture was part of the packet they wanted to help in their narrowing down process.

I got picked…I moved from Iowa to New Jersey and a day and a half after that, I took my bike and my junk and myself to Newark and began the process.


So far the most interesting part about riding my bike across the country (considering I have yet to go anywhere) is the reactions I get from people when I say I’m going to do it.

All of my friend who bike are green with envy (they comprise only a tiny portion of the people I know).

About two percent of the nonbikers who hear about the ride think it sounds like the adventure of a lifetime.

The others, most people, say I’m insane.

Imply there’s something wrong with me.

They go into all the reasons they wouldn’t do it.

“I new a guy who tried to do that and his brain shut down”

“What will you do when you get hit by a car”

“What if you can’t do it”

In those questions is the implication that I will fail.

Perhaps I will.

One never knows.

It reminds me of peoples reaction to my 170+ pound weight loss. People would say things like, “now make sure you don’t go to far,” or “I’d hate to see you get an eat disorder out of this thing.” (Nevermind the fact that anyone who can lose 170 pounds and still not quite be at his/her “ideal” weight, obviously has an eating disorder).

What people seem to want is to make their fears, my fears. To turn a positive that they perceive they can’t achieve into a negative for all.

I’ve got no pearl of wisdom on this one (at least not that I’m sharing right now)…it’s just an observation…and it’s too bad.

It really is.

Here’s my pearl…the answer to the age old question, “What is the difference between someone who does and someone who does not?” is housed inside the question itself.

Someone who does; does.

Someone who does not; does not.

When (notice I didn’t say if) I finish the ride, the only difference between you and me will be; that I did.

That’s all.

I’ve stopped saying I can’t.

Shut up and do it.

That’s what I do for now.










3 responses

24 06 2009

Rock On Tyler! I know you will not only do it but you will ENJOY it!!

26 06 2009

Tyler Tyler Tyler. I am anxious to read more! I am one of those bicycle friends who is green with envy! All the luck. NOT that you need it you slim bitch! Have fun, ride hard and always remember…The group with the most casualties is tougher! Peace out! Cock. -Pete

29 06 2009

A very Yoda-esque response to some rather ridiculous opinions. Well played!

Congrats on getting such a rare and unique opportunity, Tyler.

Looking forward to reading your dispatches.

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