On Thursday I was headed out Tryon for the 500 south block into a very hot, strange, dry headwind code orange that has been the pattern for the past month and a half. Prior to that since May the M.O. for ground level atmospheric condition had been the same except for the dry part, the summer breeze out of the south and west had been wet. Side tracked already I will try to stay on point here. The hot wind blast in my face being diverted off of the buildings and street curbs was invisible but very much present, like true god itself. I am thinking that this is middle September at 91F, the only thought at those suspended moments in time. Looking up into the bright light of my exposed destination and towards an upside down triangle some 500ft above me translucent in the center, the sky on the other side visible, but reflective in the framed in outline I saw a lone rider loaded coming towards me on the gift of a summery tail wind breeze.
Meet the CMA's 2010 Bike Touring Trans Continental Rider of the Year, 28 year old Willamette Valley Oregon native Joshua 'Josh' Brown who is too cool for blogging his experience so I am going to take a second and do it for him.
*Note: Last year's CMA BTTCROTY was the 23 day Seattle to Charlotte, I mean Seattle to the Jar effort of none other than James E. Good who has been up to something crazy on his bike again. Read just what that was by clicking the blue letters of his name.
When we passed I kept going to get the job done and then caught up with him at one of the nicest all beef hot dog dealers in town. Josh told me that he had left Portland Oregon on April 27, then he rattled off the state to state to state and so on transfer as: Oregon to Nevada(record low temps), Nevada to Arizona, Arizona to New Mexico, New Mexico to Texas, Texas to Oklahoma, Oklahoma to Texas, Texas to Oklahoma, finally Oklahoma into Arkansas, Arkansas as fast as possible into Louisiana, Louisiana to Mississippi, Mississippi to Alabama, Alabama to the pan handle of Florida, Florida's entire gulf coast then east coast line up to Georgia and Savannah for South Carolina into North Carolina.
After spending at least Thursday night in Salisbury NC his route looked loosely like the following: NC through the Smokey Mountain National Park to Nashville Tennessee, Tennessee back east to Virginia and the Sky Line Drive all the way to just south of Washingtoon DC. Final Destination: Our fine Wal-Mart Nation's Capital.
Josh left a six year career as an Alaskan fisherman after realizing that it was not about the money, but the dysfunctional constant reality openly avoided in the risk trade formula involved in such a task. When he wasn't sure what to do next in life he fell on his own intuitive self voice for the answer and it naturally came, take a long ass bike ride and look for what you see rather than lament avoiding the truth that is right in front of you when you stay in the same spot. His existence is at his own dispense and that was apparent in his physical manifestation and form.
The Classic Charlotte Bike Tour Portrait Shot in front of a Hell Raiser Prop. Notice how Josh's reflection does not show up behind bars in reflection of man being trapped. He must be a witch.
Josh has his hydration covered with two aluminum bottles.
5 Random facts about his tour so far:
1. The only church that said no to him camping on their property the entire ride so far was a Catholic Church in East Texas where the Priest told him that no homeless people were allowed.
2. Rednecks in Louisiana ran him off the road in broad daylight hooting and hollering from a mile behind him and closing fast. He did not get hurt but he did get cracked out and a broken rear wheel worth way more than the replacement after the crash slamming on the side of the road.
3. Heat Indexes for weeks on end across the southern line were constantly 110F.
4. Josh's Rig is a steel Fuji Touring bike with no computerized mechanism tracking his positionor time space movement on earth.
5. He has only flatted 5 times thus far during his close to 4,000mile zig-zag journey!!!!
Here he is stepping of north on Tryon for Salisbury NC, the rest of his ride and the future outcome of his life's destiny. It was interesting hanging out with you for bit in the JAR Josh. It was also a privilege to ride with you for a bit, good luck on the rest of your trip and ride on Joshua Brown...