It’s been over a month after being back from the trip & I still think about it every day. I’m pretty positive that my buddy, George, feels the same. At times, there’s a simplicity on the road that strips away much of the drama that society carries with it. It’s a beautiful feeling & worth every difficult moment. Before this 17 day venture riding North from SF to Portland, George & I only made one overnight bike camping test trip happen at home. We had an absolute blast on it. The mental thought of this trip had us really excited, with plenty of nerves too. The main goal was to walk out the doors of our home on a chosen morning & ride North to Portland, with the amazingly analytical, mapped out mind of George. “Turn right!”
Sandy Carson was our first team rider back in January of 2012. “Team Rider” is a term we use very loosely at Fairdale. We don’t expect our riders to win races (though Sandy did just win a Texas State Championship on a mountain bike). Hell, we don’t expect our riders to even ride all the time.
Mostly our team is made up of friends who are doing cool things. Folks we admire. People who in some way have bicycles as part of their lives. Sandy couldn’t sum that up more.
As a full time photographer he is always doing something exciting… some shoot or another, working on his own photo books and shows, or traveling around to odd places. More than any of that what really makes us admire his work is the way his photographs portray the world. He takes some of the most interesting photos we know of by catching little details that the rest of us skim over. Those little things that when expertly highlighted can reveal special moments all around us.
On top of all that he is an amazing bike rider. A cyclist who is perpetually motivated to ride all kinds of bikes. Riding with an infectious sense of humor and inspiring enthusiasm. His great history as a sponsored BMX rider means he can naturally shred on any bike. Applying that mastery to bikes with other sized wheels has lead him into an even bigger love for cycling.
We spent some time down in Austin filming the man and would like to present to you this video. Check out our friend Sandy.
From Phil: I got to sleep in all the way till 8:30 today. We crashed at our friend Abigail and Josh’s last night. I was awakened by Liz jumping up and down on our air mattress until I got up. We got dressed and walked to a local coffee shop for some cold brew and cookies.
We drove out to Baton Rouge to go check out the city and a visit local bike shop. The shop was half bike shop and half machine shop; it’s a good mix of city bikes and new and mid school BMX parts. I could tell the shop owner was into making custom frames. 16″ Strider style bikes, some 20″ and 24″ creations filled the shop. More
From Liz: Today was a hot one. The first half of the day Emily and I spent on our own. Unlike most days, we did not have longer than a 9 mile stretch on any road. The area we were in felt very desolate. We would go miles without seeing another car or person. It felt like a movie desert.
We rode past a number of crawfish ponds and ended up on another dirt road today. It was the roughest we’ve been on yet and was mostly gravel for 3 miles or so.
From Phil: Going down the frontage road on I-10 in Louisiana is like going down one big, long bike path. Today’s ride was pretty straight forward. Not a lot of twists and turns just one long quiet frontage road. It’s pretty nice. You can really ride your bike a long way without having to get on a real highway. Lots of people are nervous to ride their bikes, but you can really find a bike-friendly route. I think only one car has honked in anger (jealousy?) this entire time.
From the campsite, we passed through Lake Charles, Louisiana. I split off from the girls for a few hours to check out what the city has to offer and visited the only bike shop in town.
From Phil: The day started out sunny with lots of twist and turns in the road.
Within the first 5 miles, Emily wrapped her chain around her sprocket. I’m sure someone reading this has gotten chain suck. That’s when your chain gets wrapped around the front chain rings and wedged all in the bottom bracket. It was a mess but lucky it didn’t break. After fixing that we moved on. More
From Phil: Sleeping in the tent last night was tough. It was warm and humid from all the rain. Luckily bugs didn’t really get bad until we woke up and started packing up the van. I ate candy for breakfast and the girls made healthy hummus wraps for themselves.
We headed out and it began raining again. Luckily it was just a light drizzling mist, with overcast skies. The national park continued to grace us with its tall green trees as we continued east.
The rain died down and I stopped by a donut shop to grab the girls some treats for the road ahead. The most consistent thing about all the towns we have gone through in East Texas is that there is always some sort of breakfast donut spot. They all offered the same plain, chocolate and sprinkle options, and terrible drip coffee (fine for dipping donuts in). We stopped on the side of a quiet road and ate the sandwiches I picked up from the same donut place. More
From Phil: After all the rain and the end of Day 1’s ride we decide to check-in to a hotel so the girls could shower and sleep in a warm bed. We woke up in the morning refreshed with the sun shining. The day ahead was looking up. Weather was warm and steamy as the water dried up.
If you happened to work in a bike shop and have ever ordered a Fairdale there’s a good chance you spoke with Phil Bailey. He works at our in house distributor Full Factory Distro. Over the next 8 days or so he is leading a bike ride from Austin to New Orleans. Liz Mckibbon and Emily Ermer will be doing the pedaling while Phil drives the Fairdale van as a support vehicle. Having a support vehicle is such a rad addition to a trip like this. Someone who can carry the food and camping gear and of course be there if anything should go wrong. Also, Phil will be able to race ahead and visit some bike shops along the way spreading Fairdale, Sunday Bikes, Odyssey and G-sport everywhere he goes!