Friday, February 19, 2016

Loading (my bike) Amelia

Yes, I named my Surly LHT, Amelia.

The bike had to be named. I know I will see and talk to many people on this trip, but there will be many miles where I am alone, just me and my bike. Like Tom Hanks in Cast Away, it was not enough to have his companion but to name him too. Wilson. I was thinking about a suitable name for my bike. It had to be a girl's name because I sure as hell am not riding a man across the country.... 

I thought about my favorite books, songs, etc. The first book that came to mind was Unbroken, my favorite book. Louis Zamperini was a bombardier in WWII and his crew named one of their planes Superman and the other Green Hornet. I am not into the Marvel comic books or movies, so I moved on. I thought about a few other characters from books I have enjoyed: Maria, too common. Crystal, too fragile. I thought about my favorite artist, Dave Matthews. He writes a lot of love songs, but most of them are nameless except "Grace is Gone". Grace was nice, but still not rugged enough for a bike that was going to carry me thousands of miles. As I continued to ponder names, I thought about a middle school project I did on Ferdinand Magellan. He was the first person to circumnavigate the Earth by boat in the 1500s. All at once, Amelia Earhart came to mind.

Of course we all know she was a revolutionary aviation pilot for women and men alike. I won't sit here and type out a history of what she has accomplished, but I liked the way Amelia flowed when it popped into my head. Not to mention Earhart was a woman of courage and strength. I let the name sink in and decided to sleep on it.

The next day I went out to lunch with co-workers for restaurant week in Manhattan. After enjoying a juicy bacon burger, truffle fries and creme brulee, we made our way down the stairs of The Capitol Grille. On the middle landing between the first and second floors, I stopped and looked up at the giant portrait that gazed over the customers. Of course, it was none other than Amelia Earhart. I knew it then that it was meant to be. My bike would be named Amelia.


I am biking home tomorrow morning which is roughly a 48 mile ride from the city. I got my front and back racks and panniers shipped there many weeks ago. After I give Amelia a proper cleaning, I will install the racks and bags in which the true training will begin. I will fill my bags to the projected weight of what I will be lugging across the country and begin extended rides each day as the days become longer. Biking with the extra weight will slow me down, but the more I get used to it now, the easier the first few weeks will be after June 20th.

I will also be planning weekend trips to nearby areas such as Bear Mountain, NY once I get my sleeping bag and tent. If anybody wants to join feel free to email me at!

Finally, and most importantly, please don't forget to donate to the Alzheimer's Association by clicking here. Every dollar counts!! Also, if you want to join me on The Longest Day for my launch day (June 20th, it's a Monday) at Coney Island join my team and you can also raise money for Alzheimer's. 

Get on your bikes and ride!

P.S. I'll probably be screaming Amelia all the time now. 

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