We rode bicycles from Los Angeles to New York City in 53 days for 227 hours and 3303.3 miles.
Throughout the trip, and now at the end, when people ask us how it was, the answers end up sounding mostly negative, but they’re not really. I don’t think we mean for it to sound quite like it does, but it’s hard to separate yourself from the pain part of the journey when it’s still so fresh in your mind. When we were somewhere in Colorado, Heath was talking on the phone with a friend who asked “So are you guys lovin’ it or what?”. Ummmm no, not exactly. I mean, we love stopping, we love resting, swimming, eating, and piling out in hotel rooms, but the bike riding is just tedious work most of the time. I think my favorite was when Carter at Alien asked if people we’re stoked on us riding by, like were chicks flashing their tits at us? Once again, answer’s gotta be a no on that one. There were no Motley Crue moments on the ride whatsoever.
The last day was a perfect example for me. We had 90 miles to grind out with the hopes of getting in before dark so we could shoot some film and take a few photos (which didn’t happen). The first 45 miles of the day were really torturous for me. I don’t know if I was just worn down or just over it, but I do know that I kept saying to myself “I AM SO FUCKING OVER THIS!!!!”, so it might have been the latter. After squeezing in one last lone meltdown and some lunch, I rode as fast as I could through some of the most heinous terrain I’d ever seen. Go hang out in Newark and Jersey City and you’ll know what I mean. I was beside myself at one point at how dangerous and destroyed the roads were that we were traveling on, but I gained a little solice when I spotted a bike tire trail and knew Heath had waded through the same scum as me to get there.
So why do it right? I don’t really have a great answer for that question, but I think Heath would agree that part of it was just to see if we could do it, to challenge ourselves, to see if we could put up with the suffering, to do something really random and new. Heath said last night at dinner “Have you ever done something for 53 days straight, let alone something you’re not even interested in?” For some people their biggest fear is leading a boring life (including me and a lot of others that I know), so they end up making certain decisions based solely on the fact that they don’t want to miss out. There will always be a part of me that just wants to say yes to anything that sounds crazy, so that’s what I did, a year ago———->
There is no reason this website has to end here. So we’ve decided that if anyone is thinking about planning a “big one”, then we’d love to pass on the website so you can write about it, photograph it, and share it.
Also, if there ends up being anything on those five rolls of super 8 I shot, I’ll edit it and put it up sometime in the future, but it might be a while so check back later.
79 thoughts on ““So are you guys lovin’ it or what?””
Congrats guys. I still would like an autograph though, especially on a old Birdhouse deck.
Reading about this trip inspired me to not be so boring.
i like you guys
Thankyou for sharing this with everyone. Hopefully Heath has thought about his future in life. Stoked you guys made it safe and thanks for letting us be a part of it along the way with this website.
congratulations guys, amazing accomplishment
i’ve been following this since you guys started. congrats! and yes, some parts of newark and jc are heinous!
Congratulations on finishing guys. That’s a huge trip. It’s ok if you hate bikes for a little while. You’ll love them soon enough.
I did an epic ride with two girlfriends of mine a few years back: 100 miles/day, 3 weeks straight. No breaks. Canadian border in Maine to Miami, Florida. The pace was ruthless, and the other girls were much more fit than me. I secretly hated a lot of the riding, the discomfort, the fatigue, lack of appetite, lack of sleep, hills, headwind, heat, bugs, blood, sweat, etc. And I was a seasoned bike messenger going into it, so I wasn’t a total puss to begin.
But I’m still glad I did it. Not everything has to be fun to be meaningful or valuable. It’s weird, sometimes the things that are the worst when they’re happening become fond memories. You’ll inspire other people to take similar trips, and that in itself is worth it.
Oh, sorry, one more thing. Go find a globe — like the ones you had in your elementary school classrooms — trace your route with your finger and relish the fact that you can see the distance that you traveled on your bike from space!
if theres something i admire here is the fact you guys are doing whatever the fuck you want, even if that is riding a bicycle from coast to coast across the states.
thats inspiring right there, and im a lame asshole because i do shit i dont wanna do, like doing a psych major in college when im 21 instead of living it supreme, just like doin it baja and this..
adventures at its finest.
i need that in my life
that and a partner in crime
you hating your college courses could end up like heath and jeffs bike ride bro, you hate it now but it could end up being the time of your life, its never where you are at or what your doing, its how you do it and why you are doing it, just got to make it happen no matter where you’re stuck!
I’m sure it’s hard to reflect deeply on it but the important thing is that you did it. The accomplishment of anything new is very important for us and I am glad you shared this adventure with us. It’s always good to see another side to someone as Heath. I Have always followed his skating but it’s cool to see this from him as well. Congratulations.
Awesome, you guys kicked ass averaging 62 miles a day with a daily pace of 14.5 mph for the 227 hours in the saddle. Now, how about a new challenge? checkout the RAAM at raceacrossamerica.org. If you want to build a 4 man team for RAAM 2011 in June, I’ll join you. Current record is 3,107 miles from Oceanside to Annapolis in 8 days 9 minutes, averaging 15.4 mph pace. Yep, thats non-stop riding solo across USA. As a 4 man team, the record is 5 days 8 hours across USA. Good news, youre already in shape and the pain only lasts 5-8 days instead of 53 days……. so lets do it? We just need a 4th rider and a sag team of volunteers with a winnebago! Again, congrats and thx for letting us follow your entertaining experience. Glad u made it safely.
Jeff, since you started out as Heath’s fattest friend, have you lost yourself some weight and gained that flat physique you’ve always dreamed of?
congratulations. man vs nature the road to victory.
Congrates guys. I enjoyed reading about your journey.
Job well done and a great couple months of reading. I can imagine this website being around in a couple years with amazing travels and accomplishments from people all over the world.. wonderful idea.
You guys are beyond awesome. I hate flying across country let alone riding it. I would have those moments where I would be on this computer for hours hating it and then I would get an update on my email and would think…well at least I dont have a bike saddle up my ass in the freezing cold right now. Put things in perspective a bit and definitely inspired me. I loved seeing all the great photography from Jeff and the fact that Heath dominated one sport only to turn around and really prove he is just an athlete period. Thanks for sharing this with everyone!
I have always had a tremendous respect for the adventures you have undertaken and the free-spirit attitude to which you go about many aspects of your life. This trip, and your skillful commentary and photography throughout the blog, is a testament to your awesomeness.
Congratulations. Very impressive. I hope you do make a video!
You guys are fuckin awesome.
Bow down “cyclist unite” you’ve got some ass kissing to do!
Big congrats to you guys! Thanks for sharing your journey along the way.
Congrats dudes. I’ve enjoyed following your trip and it definitely motivates me for my next bike journey somewhere.
I’ve always said that life is a collection of stories to tell for when you’re older. You guys created a great memory even if some days/moments flat out sucked.
I can remember doing things in my life that sounded retarded at the time but they helped shape who i am and also reminded me that life is precious and we should celebrate this big beautiful world we live in.
I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorites movies…Shawshank Redemption…’Get busy living or get busy dying’.
Thank you for sharing this trip with us and congratulations for not leading a boring life!
Thanks for the awesome ride…and just so you know, I would have flashed my tits at you.
I second that notion with my runway titties.
Congratulations. I’m happy to hear that you did not get killed or kill each other. Thanks for blogging it all up for us too, truly enjoyable just knowing, that yo know someone who is really pushing themselves past any comfort level, just to say they did it.
Damn, riding a bike from LA to NYC is so fucking tight. After reading this i want to go out and try somthing new and radom. Congratulations guys!!
I loved reading this blog. I started checking it as a fan of Heath interested in his next phase in life (I admire his ability to walk way from skating professionally without milking it.) But I kept reading because of your Prose Jeff. You actually have a really solid way with words. You guys killed it.
This has been an absolute incredible journey, told so well. Thank you for sharing this, and especially your last words.
Congratulations! I have enjoyed watching you guys take on this trip and come out victorious. I checked the site everyday as if i was riding along with you guys. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful trip with everyone.
Its more than just a bike ride, it goes deeper than that. I think it says alot about us as humans and wanting to go out and accomplish something.. So thank you for inspiring me to want to never live a boring day.
My friend Russell is on his own ride as we speak. I believe he started before you guys, but is making an environmental documentary about his ride and the people he meets along the way. He has a website: http://www.someonewhocould.com
He started in Orlando, FL and is going to SF. You should watch his progress. He’s loving it.
Major accomplishment! Lovely blog!
I am awed at your accomplishment. What a story for the future Jeffs & Heaths. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog because I can’t even ride a tricycle. You guys really do rock. Can you now turn around and go back the other way? I need something to read on a daily basis to alleviate my boredom.
On a similar note, if you or anybody else are interested, my friend is hiking across the four longest trails in the US (12,500+ miles), starting in January. Check ‘er out http://www.theinitiativesite.com/
Congratulations, guys. I’m proud, impressed, and I feel like a huge loser.
Congratulations Kirchart and Vallee.
I’m planning on doing the ride sometime soon, hopefully next summer or fall
Hey guys. It’s so sick you did that. This is zak. I don’t know if your heard of me but libby told me about this trip and I thought ut was crazy. So I’ve been following it and it’s rad you guys made it. Just thought I’d let you know.
Ps heaths part in stay gold made the end of my skate season here in Jackson.
I bet money that “Cyclist Unite” is really Heath just stirring it up.
damn that was inspiring!
Epic and inspiring. I had this idea earlier this year. I have a few issues to sort out (preventing me from leaving Cali) then I too, am off with the wind. Am I a crazed cyclist? No. Am I a crazed human with boredom and still in my 20’s? Yes. So why not. thanks for the inspiration.
boys, congratulations on a journey well planned and executed. the pain of completion will fade, leaving the memories and a wistfulness to do something else. go do it. the learnings you gather on any epic trip like this are always more than worth the cost. for my money, i say pull a Miki Dora and head to Chile.
oh, and fuck the bikes. go by pick-up.
Wow guys, I just spent a great hour reliving your adventure. Cycling from Whistler to the Mexican border is something I’ve always wanted to do (maybe with some slightly more technical cycling clothing…) and you fellas should be proud of your accomplishment. Feel free to join me on my North to South epic journey, I’m sure I’ll be eating my way across your country too.
I don’t want to sound cliche but this was really inspiring. Way to go! It makes me want to do my own 53 day challenge. Now I just have to find something that I am not interested in but seriously…Great Job!
You are the two gnarliest dudes ever. Jeff, you are a badass photographer. I feel your work dude. Heath, you will live on as the biggest beast and badass skateboarding has ever seen.
I’ve been following your trip from the beginning. Same with doing it baha and whatever wild rides are out there on video. I’d love to do a trip with one of you dudes one day.
You two inspire me so much to not grow up. Growing up is lame. Watching you two is like learning from the pros..
Crow is a desert best served cold.
Wow that was good time for a biking good to see you made it before Winter Kicks in on the East coast
huh. heath actually destroyed america.
I have a question. Did Heath ever actually make it across America on his nightrain or is this his first transcontinental trip?
Two times. LA to NYC and LA to Philly.
Wow that was fast. Thanks. And that’s awesome.
i’m happy to have stumbled onto this blog.
I was wondering if the cream colored bike was a surly as well ? and if it was the long haul series because i haven’t seen a cream colored one.
It’s a surly long haul trucker.
This was really awesome to follow, I love reading stories from other people’s bike tours, because for the most part anyone who has been bike touring can relate. It’s nice to know that on those 60 miles of gradual uphill with headwind days. My friend and I recently did something much like this on track bikes, check it out at http://www.coastnocoast.com
This spring/summer we will be doing another tour hopefully from Austin to Montreal… Don’t you miss waking up in a tent in a different place every morning?
Heath as a fellow skater who was always misunderstood growing up, your trip makes a lot of sense! Jeff awesome photos and updates! You guys did it! Keep us posted on your next adventure! You guys can do anything!
There has to be some video and pictures that haven’t been posted yet right? It would be sick to see some of that and an update on what you guys are doing now.
There is a short short super 8 video coming, but that’s it. Our day to day lives after the ride are not interesting enough for an update.
you guys are the epitome of awesomness
i just did a cross-country road trip from richmond, va to LA. …. in a car. pretty crazy reading your blog and seeing you in a bunch of the same place i just was… but on bikes! extremely impressive. i hope it was worth it. to me, reading your blog, it seems like it was.
Congratulations on your ride! Way to go.
FYI – I run http://bikeacrossamerica.org. I was so impressed by your blog that I put your trip as the feature story on the main page. I trust you don’t mind.
I biked across the USA in 2008, and I could relate to so many of your blog entries. Oh my goodness, and the tediousness! Ha ha. But yeah, it’s so worth it (as I know you would agree).
Best wishes to you guys! 🙂
Thanks for the link Steve.
I have been thinking about this for a few years now, biking a long way just for the hell of it. I put my self in a great place to do it this year. I moved to Florida from Michigan for a girl who dumped me after I arrived, now I am just living out the winter in the sun thinking of what my next big adventure will be. A few years ago I rode a small 50cc scooter from Grand Rapids MI to Miami FL. Last year I hiked a part of the Appalachian Trail with hopes to finish but it got cut short. Now I am thinking about jumping on a bike in May and pushing up north once again. It would only be about half the miles you guys put in (1500ish) but the idea of it has me stoked. Im sure ill be asking you a lot of questions in the coming months. Your blog is inspirational, exciting and funny. Thanks for the good reads!
Hey i was wondering if i would be able to get your itinerary. Im a 16 year old from New Jersey and was planning on riding across america the summer before my senior year.
word…..im thinken bout doen it 2….got no money tho….only a bike…might just do it tho
Hello! I have been training and planning a trip from Grand Rapids, MI to Irvine, California with a friend of mine! We’re shooting for 35 days on the road, it’s about a 2,600 mile trip! I’d love to talk with you about your trip! I just stopped by this blog for the first time today, so i have a lot of reading to do. But I am a professional photographer that was looking at setting up a photo blog for the trip, I’d love to get some input on the website (maybe we could help add some content to this site while on the trip!)
Such an inspirational blog! I just came across it – half a year too late. I’m planning a cross Java (Indonesia) cycling trip after a stint teaching English to raise money for some health clinics. Loved the writing and photos.
I love a lot of your photos.
What’s the secret to taking a good photo in general in your opinion?
When you guys have bike for around 60 miles (or any other long distance portion) how long was the period of resting or recooperating? was there anything sore? and was there any other thing to look out for (blisters, bloody nips, w/e)?
We just rested as long as we needed ( usually every 15-30 miles). It always worked out fine. Your butt gets sore, but not that big of a deal. My legs were sore for the the first month though. No nip problems, but some saddle sores (just used diaper rash medicine).
Thanks for the email it meant a lot to me. I’ trying to figure out if I want to go the photographer route.
p.s Wasn’t there a super eight you shot?
Once again, studly stuff. I’m still in the preparation portion of my trip, but your shared experiences have already helped me considerably.
Check out http://www.interpopulus.com/biketrek if you’re interested in seeing someone else try it. Inspired in part by y’all
I read your story twice back to back, closed my browser and ordered an LHT. You should be getting royalties.
Thanx for sharing, really loved to read and see the photos.
I’m trying to figure out how to get to NY from Switzerland with my recumbent and go west!
PS: Recumbent’s are best for the soar thing…
Slightly old news, I know, but I’m sitting in a McDonalds in Jersey on the next to last day of my cycling trip- Portland to NYC. Thought I should share that I enjoyed your blog and it helped make the decision to do this back in December when I was considering it.
Cheers, guys! And good luck with the next adventure.
Are you finished? Grab a cold one and hug someone, you’re a beast.
Fucking finished! Beers waiting in Brooklyn.
Fun and meangingful, im particularly happy that i have come across this journey. fluxotine wasnt getting me closer to the “eternal happiness” my parents want. You have taught me a lesson that might not be relvent to this but sure helped me as a individual human.