Aches, Pains, and Provo

Tonight, I’m staying the night in the house of a carpenter who works as a bike mechanic in his free time. To my left lie a stack of books – Nietzsche’s The Gay Science and Thoreau’s Walden, among others – each dog tagged and scribbled in. To my right, a tool belt, complete with the odor that one might expect from a person who works outside for 12 hours a day, and right in front of me a chalk board:

Zac's Chalkboard. Zac helped found the Provo Bike Collective, a non-profit bike workshop in Provo, Utah. Eloquent and often hilarious, Zac lives an unconventional and inspiring life. From skipping high school so that he could spend more time reading at the UNLV library to walking out of a college class when a philosophy teacher handed out a multiple choice test, he really does what he loves.

Zac’s Chalkboard. Zac helped found the Provo Bike Collective, a non-profit bike workshop in Provo, Utah. Eloquent and often hilarious, Zac lives an unconventional and inspiring life. From skipping high school so that he could spend more time reading at the UNLV library to walking out of a college class when a philosophy teacher handed out a multiple choice test, he really does what he loves.

According to some statistic that either Kate or Laura (my teammates) found, the city of Provo, Utah is the most conservative city in the United States. Although I don’t tend to think of myself as a very opinionated or outwardly political person, I felt a little intimidated by that statistic when I heard it the day we got into Provo. The fact that 1. I go to school in one of the largest ex-hippie ultra-liberal mecca’s in the Northeast and 2. I’m riding across America in order to help put an end to HIV/AIDS, which has a negative stigma associated with it in many conservative communities, gave me cause to worry.

Provo, however, has been far more welcoming than the roads of Nevada, where drivers threw coca-cola cans at me, called me an asshole, and made nice gestures out of there car windows. Aside from spending time with the bike collective boys, Myself and my 6 other teammates spent the morning talking to kids at the Boys and Girls Club of Provo. We talked about why we’re biking, healthcare, and why we think that its important to be active in your immediate community. It was dope.

I haven’t had much time to add pictures from Nevada or the first few days of Utah due to a lack of internet access, but I’ll post up a handful right here and try to give a summary of the beautiful boredom of Nevada. Here’s a picture from Eureka, whose economy revolves almost entirely around the local goldmine. Gold is booming, so apparently they have some pretty kick-ass schools right now.

Leonard is an awesome old dude who we met in Eureka, Nevada. He woke up at 6:00am to join us for a 10 mile ride to the mountain pass just outside of town.

Leonard is an awesome old dude who we met in Eureka, Nevada. He woke up at 6:00am to join us for a 10 mile ride to the mountain pass just outside of town.

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Grillmaster Max makes some salty, salty sausage after a day biking through the Nevada-Utah desert.

Some weird bug decided to take a breather on my handlebars. He liked it when I pet him. It was weird.

Some weird bug decided to take a breather on my handlebars. He liked it when I pet him. It was weird.

Max and I decided to put our fat road tires to the test by taking a dirt road through Osceola, Nevada. Osceola used to be one of the most successful mining towns in Nevada during the mid 19th-century, but its run down and deserted now. It was maybe the steepest, hardest climb that I've ever done, but it was beautiful and totally worth it.

Max and I decided to put our fat road tires to the test by taking a dirt road through Osceola, Nevada. Osceola used to be one of the most successful mining towns in Nevada during the mid 19th-century, but its run down and deserted now. It was maybe the steepest, hardest climb that I’ve ever done, but it was beautiful and totally worth it.

Me biking through as the sunrises during our ride from Delta, Utah to Provo, Utah. It was one of those rides where I felt weightless and like I could keep biking forever.

Me biking through as the sunrises during our ride from Delta, Utah to Provo, Utah. It was one of those rides where I felt weightless and like I could keep biking forever.

I’m working on putting together a couple of videos that I’ve taken so far this trip. Those’ll be dope, so get excited.

Feel free to hit up my donation page if you feel so inspired – I’m almost there! https://secure.qgiv.com/hobnob/account/23840

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