Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Poop. Lots of Poop.

Day 13 - June 16, 9:56pm

Build Day. Cumberland, MD

I woke up pretty tired today from hanging out last night and realized that this has been the most sleep deprived period of my life. I don't regret having fun last night at all but I was pretty miserable for most of today due to not having enough sleep.

In the morning, our host for the artspace, Lucas(Noah's friend) brought us some great cereal and blueberries. He's an awesome dude and just one of those people that you know you'll get along with real well within the first 30 seconds of meeting.

Speaking of sleep, the leaders right this minute just announced a 5:30am wakeup tomorrow, since we have 82 miles through the heart of the appalachians. Oh fun. Did i mention it will be raining!

Today half of us went to build steps for the porch of a homeless shelter while the others did drywalling for another shelter. I was in the former group and it was really great since we actually started with nothing and today there is a brand new set of stairs there. This will stop the insurance from charging them huge premiums for that fire hazard. It was even more meaningful since Noah donated his $500 Bike and Build donation(which every rider gets) for the supplies. It was amazing to realize how without us this project would've never gotten moving and how much of a tangible difference we have made for the financial struggle of the homeless shelter. Also, guess who got to use a power drill!

Colin King's Dad was there and gave so much help to what seemed like a bunch of blue shirted hammer wielding headless chickens. Steven's mom and sister also passed by which was so nice. I was especially glad to meet Steven's mom Priscilla. I might have said this before but I love meeting people's parents and getting to see what has shaped them.

At lunch i changed my wound dressings and realized that there was actually no skin on a decent patch of my elbow. Disgusting is a pretty fitting word. We're taking really good care of it so I'm sure it'll heal just fine. But i'll also probably have a decent battle scar as well. Again, all i could think about was how much worse it really should have been, and how even if it does scar what's the big deal. I won't lie though, walking around with a wrap on my elbow does make me feel(and look) pretty hardcore. I should be able to ride tomorrow no problem though it will def be a bit more annoying and painful with the bandages. Fortunately, butt issues are way more under control though i did find two saddle sores today as are most riders. They're these little pimple like things in your crotch area that result from rubbing and are almost inevitable. With all of this crazy stuff we're doing to our bodies i can't help but laugh and think "Really? are we really doing this willingly?"

In the afternoon, i went to the bike shop where the mechanics were super kind and fixed up our bikes for free. Mine had some kinks from the fall but is fine. On our way there some huge dude in a pony tail yelled at us saying "Hey stop, no blue shirts on tuesday" Needless, to say we were horrified only to find out that he was the owner of the bike shop and laughing his ass off at having pranked us. He was definitely a fun guy.

So as i was sitting against the wall of the bike shop with Sonya, trying to nap, shit went down. I literally mean that shit fell. As in i felt a splash and saw that i had 6 bird poop stains on my shirt. 4 on my shirt and 2 on my shorts. I kid you not that i literally got shit on from the sky today. Not one foot to the left or right of me(Sonya was untouched), but right where i was sitting. It's funny how its always the people who didn't get pooped on that inform you of your supposedly newfound "good luck". Anyway, I started screaming in my disgust but soon started laughing uncontrollably as i realized how hilarious it was. Especially since i was feeling horrible from no sleep this just confirmed that today wasn't my day.

Fortunately afterwards i was able to get a solid two hours of sleep in and felt much better. We went over to this nice bar where Noah's had arranged for his friend Lucas' dad's band "Shanty Irish" to give a performance for us. It was great traditional Irish folk music and we were all jigging away and hollering with them.

We were treated to dinner by a local Synagogue who had great vegan and gluten free options for our riders as well as an awesome bicycle design in the powdered sugar on one of the cakes. They were so so kind and it was nice to see such generosity spread out across different religious establishments. One of the members took out a map and helped us do some major avoiding of hills for tomorrow.

After searching all my stuff today, I've officially confirmed that my wallet has misplaced me. Of course this sucks beyond belief as all my IDs, and important cards were there. It's the only wallet i've ever had and it's the first time this has happened in all of its six years with me. If anyone reading this blog has it please do comment and let me know! I'm basically planning on trying to contact every random general store i've stopped at but hope is not high right now.

In general this whole routine of packing and unpacking all of my stuff every day is really stressful for me though I'm getting better. Being in so much flux and losing little things on top of everything else going on and your physical exhaustion is not the funnest.

For a little while today i started thinking about what will be going on for me as i return to my Junior Year of college in the fall. I hated that i was getting stressed out about some obligations that i have waiting for me. This summer is so surreal in its isolation from all my normal life and i want it to stay that way. I've been having so much fun this summer that I am slowly developing the rough mentality that If you don't enjoy something and can bail without too much fallout then do it. That's exactly what I considered as i thought of those school obligations and it immediately calmed me down. As much as we can, we should live life for us and for the people we care about, and prevent the clutter of life from seeping in and corroding this. Pretty easy for an idealistic responsibility-free teen to say, but still.

Officially decided today that I will aim to grow my facial hair until San Francisco. Notice the use of the phrase "facial hair" and not "beard". Today was the first time i ever cleaned it up as opposed to fully shaving and its not too bad. Am hoping for at least +8 rugged points by August.

It makes me super happy that more and more riders are telling me that they're family members are following this blog and are encouraging me to keep writing. It's kind of unfamiliar territory but also an honor to be able to bring you along for this journey in daily doses. Please do keep the great comments coming. I figure with this many readers, at least someone has to appreciate my warped humor...

Hope to at least be able to walk down the stairs semi comfortably tomorrow. Its prob going to be the hardest yet(funny how i keep saying that) and will totally rock my world. Can't wait!


  1. Geoge,
    I'm Libby's mom and I love reading your journal! Thanks for taking the time to write it. Best of Luck!
    Debbie Cavagnaro

  2. Haha, George. You know how much I appreciate your humor! I hope you have bengay or some sort of pain relief cream for your muscles. And don't forget to stretch! It's the best thing you can do for yourself if you don't get many breaks. You probably know this all already but I just wanted to make sure.

    I'm happy to read that you're having so much fun and I hope that the falls/mountains/personal issues/body issures (lol) don't get you down! And try not to think too much about college and going back to normal life. You're right that it's easy for a "responsibility-free teen" to say that we should live life for ourselves and those important to us, but you are doing something worthwhile and helping people live better lives, so no one can argue with you :)

    Keep writing and be safe!

  3. I too want to encourage you to keep writing. I have been following your blog since I fist saw you guys riding through Croton Falls, NY. I never knew about Bike and Build before then, and I have come to learn all the really cool things you guys do through your narratives. I give you and the rest of the riders a lot of credit because I know for a fact I would have never made it past mile 5. Enjoy seeing our great country and helping people. :)