The ConBigotes What Is Next In Life Ponderers think what better way to wrap up this electronic novel than by listening to Ryan seduce you while taking cover from freezing rain and wind in an aluminum shed. So let it please your ears while I do my damndest not to bore your mind.
FINAL TALLIES: (cumulative)
Cycle: 371 days, 12,406 miles, 19,966 kilometers, 2 frames, 2 forks, 12 tires, 14 tubes, 41 tube patches, 2 pumps, 13 chains, 5 cassettes, 3 cranks, 3 bottom brackets, 11 bottles of lube, 4 cans of WD-40, 2 front racks, 3 rear racks, 17 spokes, 7 rims, 6 pedals, 3 pairs of cleats, 3 pairs of bike shoes/sandals, 3 seat posts, 6 handlebar mirrors, 6 handlebar grips, 5 cables, 3 sets of shifters, 12 sets of brake pads, 104 zip-ties and 3 miles of bailing wire.
Gear and Clothing: 1 tent, 1 tent zipper replacement, 1 footprint, 2 rain flys, 2 sets of tent poles, 12 tent pegs, 2 sleeping bags, 7 sleeping pads, 1 tiger blanket, 2 sleeping bag liners, 2 tarps (1 plastic), 3 headlamps, 11 panniers, 4 rain coats, 2 pairs of rain pants, 11 pairs of socks, 7 pairs of bike shorts, 2 helmets, 3 pairs of shoe covers, 1 pair of GoreTex booties and 3 bottles of butt cream, 4 soccer jerseys, 1 youth track jersey, 5 bandanas and 1 dumb yellow hat.
Miscellaneous: 512 cans of tuna, 11,409 tomatos, 11,409 onions, 231 pounds of rice, lentils and pasta, 6 bushels of oatmeal, 89 loaves of bread, 4 liters of sun block, 4 cameras, 14 rechargeable batteries, 2 cell phones, 2 ipod/iphones, 2 churangos, 1 guitar, 3 harmonicas, 28 rolls of toilet paper, 31 books, 7 million ants, 19 million mosquitos, 11 black widows, 1 Stuart, 2 beards and 2 mustaches.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND THANK YOU’S: (i.e…people we would love to see again at some type of reunion gathering to share a beer and/or hug)
Riders: Kevin the Prick (Oregon/Cal), Danno Zlotsky (Oregon/Cal), Tandem Canadiens (Oregon), Jill Betterly (Oregon/Cal), Vickshow and Gwen (Cal), Memo (Mexico), Kae the Peruvian (Peru/Bolivia), Dagmar and Mete (Peru/Bolivia), Swiss (Bolivia), Finney (Bolivia), Finney’s Dad/Lover Andy (Bolivia), Chilean Hector (Bolivia) and too many more for me to recall.
Hosts: I was about to start listing people, but it would go on forever. Countless people opened up their arms, homes, dinner tables, refrigerators, bathrooms, sheds and lawn space to accommodate us. I could spend the rest of my life seeking out all of these folks in an attempt to repay them for the seeming small deeds they have done that meant more to us than they will ever know. I will leave it at that.
THE ConBigotes MEN:
Though we had the unpleasant misfortune to ride with Sargent for only the last 2 and a half months of our slog, he is and forever will be cemented in the history books of ConBigotes lore. Therefore, he will be referred to as part of the team moving forward for the next 500 words or so because I don’t care to separate. As you listeners could most likely imagine, and as Ryan and Sargent would agree, it was fucking grueling to spend that much quality time with each other day in and day out. That being said, it was a god damn honor being beside these two gentleman for the better part of 372 days.
Ryan, who speaks softly and chooses his words more wisely than I, was an emotional rock when shit hit the fan. Nothing deterred him from simply pushing on, no matter the circumstances while I would be 7 innings into a no-hitter of a panic attack. I was first hand witness to his toughing out 7 days of coastal Mexico oven riding while dealing with a healthy case of pork taco food poisoning. Possibly the most impressive physical achievement of the year.
Robert Sargent, the British bloodline of the the squad, revitalized Ryan and I when we needed it most. The son of a bitch had done everything and anything you could imagine prior to blessing us with his presence and tight clothing. Sailed the Atlantic, thumbed his way through Central America and loaded up a touring bike in Colombia to pedal America Sur all by his lonesome with a goal to rarely touch paved roads. His camera (“richard”) and computer skills were more than impressive as was his UK film collection along with watching him fend off countless advances from Latin female fawners.
Fellas, I have already ledgered the Thank You’s above to a lot of important and contributing folks, but there are no words to express my gratitude to you both. Nobody can ever take away the levity and significance of what you accomplished out there and in no way, shape or form, could I have done it without you. Therefore, you are my final Thank You…for giving me something that not only has influenced, but most likely will define, my life forever. You are both legends!
Well kids, sadly that about wraps it up for this installment of ConBigotes. My hope isn’t only that you comprehended more than 11% of my non-sensical jammering, but more importantly that you gathered we are certainly not heroes. We are normal dudes, men, sons, brothers, uncles, friends and taxpayers with the same physical bodies and heartbeat as you. The other critical fact is that we have the same types of dreams as well. We all want our lives to be marinated with some kind of perceived importance and to one day have something to tell our grandkids in an effort to not seem as old. The only difference is we made the decision to go DO that, other than continuing to exhaust our spirits by only thinking about it. Each and every one of the 6 of you reading has the option to make that choice any and every minute that passes. I sure as shit don’t know much. I’m not that smart. I could never hit for power. I’ll probably never be rich nor am I any good in bed. I am however, a wizard, knowing that all of you are capable beyond your imagination of doing whatever the fuck your spirit desires, if and when you choose to. There is, in fact, no secret.
Thanks for being a part of all this nonsense.