Note to all about riding with Steph:
If you are planning to ride, or even thinking about riding with Steph, take a hint from the Nike slogan: JUST DO IT! After spending two fantastic days this weekend with Steph I can confidently report that it is an experience not to be missed. Great friends, awesome scenery, oddball roadside encounters (like Paul and the guy with the baseball bat), and the chance to witness an epic journey…..what’s not to like?
But there are some things you should know about planning your trip.
First of all, the trip schedule on the website is only APPROXIMATE. While the ride as of now is more or less on schedule, be prepared for some ambiguity on locations, times, and places to stay. Steph usually rides about 8 hrs a day. So if his time on the bike is fixed, that means that distance traveled is a variable. Expect that the ride will only have some degree of certainty on location about 48 hrs out. So the best thing to do is pick a date you can travel, book flights relatively close to your travel date, keep an eye on the blog, and prepare to travel either east or west from where you land to be able to meet the ride. For a hotel, book only at the last minute, and for many of these small towns, you usually can just show up at the motel 6 sans reservation.
Second, from your landing city, if at all possible, call the guys from The Parking Spot (details on the website) for transportation to meet the ride, and for a ride back to the airport. They have been amazingly helpful.
Third, keep in mind this ride is a big production and Steph’s team -Lincoln, Maria and Alex- are really busy pretty much all the time. They are there for him, so try to be as self sufficient as possible and pitch in to help as much as possible.
Fourth, you don’t really need much gear. Cycling clothes (leave the cold weather gear behind), helmet, bike shoes and pedals are optional, casual clothes for dinner and that’ s it. There are bikes in the trailer to ride, so no need to worry about bringing your own.
Finally, the riding day is early to bed, early to rise. Prepare to eat breakfast at 6:30 ish, and roll around 7 or 7:30. Ride until 4:30 or 5 ish, followed by beer, shower, quick dinner, and lights out early.
Call me if you have questions.