The Rugg Diaries
Day 1: Harrisonburg, VA -> Nashville, TN
The first leg of the journey across the country for Dan and I had us targeted for Nashville, TN. I woke up at 7:00AM to pack for two months of life on the road. If the idea of the trip hadn't have been so spontaneous and immediate, the stress of not being ready would've kept me at home until Spring. Thank God for being stubborn and a bit, okay quite a bit, crazy because I live for this. I am a lifestyle racer and Dan has joined the club.
The week leading up to our departure I had been hosting repurposed, neo/returning, mad scientist, pro road racer Cameron Cogburn of Team Smartstop / Mountain Khakis. I got the inside look of what being a dialed in, focused pro looked like on and off the bike as he worked with his coach for the week to tune up for some early season form. He got to see how crazy my schedule was trying to balance my job, training, racing, and my social life looked like. Let's just say Cameron got in twice the training and sleep but I'm going to have twice as much fun racing this year because the pressure is off. I don't have to race my bike. I get to race my bike. That's the idea behind being a lifestyle racer.
Dan and I hit the road just before 11:00AM after a few packing hiccups and a breakfast for champions style self-made send-off. This was good because until we arrived in Nashville nine hours later we only had crackers and coffee. We didn't get the ride in we had hoped for along the way, but we shared the travel load offering time to work remotely in my mobile office, and offer up shared DJ duties. We also stumbled upon a boutique coffee shop offering Intelligentsia Coffee in Knoxville, TN breaking up the trip nicely.
It's hard to share life on the road experience because the simplest of things can make your day. Singing along to classic rock radio stations had me nostalgic of time in the car with my dad while growing up. The first day of the trip gave us plenty of opportunity to share what we were hoping out of this trip. Simply put by Dan, "I just want to be awesome". It's not as surfer bum-like as it sounds. Both of us just want to go on an adventure with good intentions and leave the expectations by the wayside. As Arthur Ashe put it, "The success is in the journey". I just want to go on an adventure that ends up never ending. That would be awesome.
We finished the day with take-out Jamaican food, an epsiode of 24, some more remote work for me, and a much needed beer from our hosts in Nashville. Half-way to Texas we took to our air mattress and couch and called it a fine day.
Day 2: Nashville, TN -> Dallas, TX
This is the day I fell in love with mountain biking. We woke up to breakfast and a care package of deer jerky, cookies, fruit and homemade bread from our hosts Troy and Amy before starting the second half of the trek to Texas. More sing-a-longs, pictures, and dreaming about doing what we are already doing was the theme for the day. We had to ride today no matter what though, or we were going to be worthless for the Mellow Johnny's classic in Austin, TX this weekend.
I took the exit for Hot Springs, AR because of a sign indicating a National Park, meaning we'd find good roads to ride. Destiny and a google search of the area directed us to a mountain bike paradise that would elevate my appreciation for off-road riding to a whole new level.
I felt like a kid riding over logs and obstacles through singletrack paths in the woods at Cedarglades Park in Hot Springs, AR today. I went over my first teeter totter which is a lot like a see-saw that you ride over. Dan coached me on some technical skills and we managed to get in and out of the park in under two hours despite wishing we had a whole day to play around.
We are getting close to Dallas now. We're tired, hungry, and it's getting late. Luckily a fellow racer that understands what it's like traveling to bike races is putting us up tonight. We are going to get to Dallas in about a half hour and crash immediately. Tomorrow Dan and I go to Austin, TX to pick-up our number plates for our first ProXCT (Cross Country) Mountain Bike race.
Planning for this trip has been more of a leap of faith that everything will just work out, and so far everything is falling into place perfectly. Let's do this!
Pictures on Instagram: @timothyrugg @danzigwolf
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