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Road Trip Day 1 May 27, 2012

I'm freestyling a route around the country something like this.

I’m freestyling a route around the country something like this.

Today I loaded up my new car and hit the road to do a loop of the eastern half of the country. I’m going to visit bike shops and show them the new Fairdales we have coming in. Thanks to a late start I only covered around 500 miles and am now holed up in a hotel in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

My plan is to make it to my mom’s house in MIchigan by Monday morning, hang out there for Memorial day and then begin my bike shop visiting trip in earnest. About all I know is that from the Detroit area I’m heading east to NYC. Eventually I’ll follow the coast down and then cut back towards Austin.

Today’s drive was pretty uneventful. Sunny and hot weather made it tough to stop for very long or I would risk cooking Monty in the car. So my day was gas and go watching Texas go by the windows. At one point I passed a gas station I had stopped at almost 20 years before under very different circumstances.

My Cavalier was silver and even shittier, but you get the idea.

My Cavalier was silver and even shittier, but you get the idea.

After high school my mom gave me her old 1984 Chevy Cavalier. It wasn’t in great shape by the time I started driving it in 1991 and after a few additional years of hard driving BMX trips it was pretty haggard. In fact it was so bad the repair shop refused to put it on the repair lift sighting its massive rust damage and the fact that the frame might break in half. Also, the starter had gone so it had to be jump started every time I wanted to drive it. AND, the radiator was shot so it would overheat if you got stuck in traffic and had to idle. Despite all this James Shepherd and I (and I think Rooftop) decided it would be a good idea to drive it 6 hours from Austin to Oklahoma City for a Hoffman B.S. comp. About an hour or so into the drive one of the tires blew. Of course there was no spare and it happened to be Memorial Day weekend like it is today or maybe it was Labor Day… whatever it was, everything was closed. We limped off the highway in the middle of pretty much no where. Amazingly the exit we pulled off on had a open gas station. The guy there sold us some old tire for $15 and helped us get back on the road. Considering none of us had hardly any money that guy really saved our lives. As I drove by that old station today I still felt so much gratitude. Of course it’s no longer the same station it used to be, all wrapped up in corporate siding and signage now with no garage to help stranded drivers.

Somehow we made it to the contest in Oklahoma. I really can’t remember which one… I think it was the one where Mat did the first public big airs on his mega quarter pipe. Would have been heart breaking to have missed that in person! After the contest Rooftop and Sheps mysteriously found other rides home and I was left to drive the Cavalier home alone. It wasn’t pretty at all… for some reason on top of all its other problems the driver side window decided to explode. It was ungodly hot outside and I had to drive with the heat on to pull hot air off the engine. I was a sweaty mess and the car was getting weaker and weaker with every mile.  I vividly remember pumping gas with the engine on (’cause I couldn’t restart it) and anti freeze steaming out of the over-heating engine as I sprinted into a gas station to throw money on to the counter. Somehow I made it home and the car never ever moved again.

Much more driving tomorrow.

Much more driving tomorrow.