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Bike ride across the USA

#1 2013-01-01 1:50pm

Racer
Philly Cheese Steak
From: Orange County, CA
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Bike ride across the USA

I was talking to someone in PM. Mentioned my ride across the USA. Could not find a link to any mention of it doing a quick search.
I once rode a bike, my BMX race bike, across the USA.
Here is the short version.
Took a bus to NC, there I met Adam Carr and his family.
Took a bus to Wilmington then a cab to Long Beach, NC where I started on a pier over the Atlantic Ocean.
I contacted a local radio station and I think newspaper but didn't stick around to ever get any copies of any of these papers.
This part of ride on a SE Quadangle with graphite tuffs, Flights, Comp 3 front, street tire rear.
I actually remember almost every part. Much were from an earlier Quad (see the color picture of that earlier quad)


All ABA tracks.
I stopped in Summerville, SC raced, stayed with Charlie Nickle and his family.
I stopped in Savannah, GA raced, stayed with Paul Faro and his family, again contacted local media, think 2 radio stations.
I stopped in Tallahassee, FL stayed with Grant Beck, he got me on a local radio station, drove me around in his 'Vette
I stopped in Eunice, LA met Todd Johnson checked out his backyard ABA track.
I stopped in Baton Rouge, LA, put up by the local Schwinn shop who ran the track, got smoked by DD Leone.
I stopped in Beaumont, TX, put up by the track operator. Raced Cooks Bros. twins and some guy Lamb for Basset, got spanked.
I stopped in Sugarland, TX think I did a clinic but not sure. Met tons of racers, Cody Smart, Brock Bruce, the Nunez family stayed with Mike Vogt.
I stopped in San Antonio, TX stayed with Guy Hipsher and his family, met more great racers and raced the National got spanked 3rd moto again by DD Leone. He was not only fast but great guy.
Got to the city with 9 cents in my pocket, literally.
After the National, didnt look hard for a sponsor there (I was so dumb lol)
Sold my bike (parted it out to get money to fly to AZ and take a job I was offered with the ABA)
Looked for sponsor and got turned down by just two companies (lost hope quick) when Diamond Back came thru,
Picked up a bike and uniform at the local Schwinn shop (name escapes me).
81 Sr. Pro (I recently scored one here not far from where I sold mine, wonder if I got my old bike back lol).
I know Angel Campano ended up with my Graphites, Guy bought some stuff also. Angel told me half the Pros in San Antonio owned my Tuffs at one point lol.
Got filmed by a local TV station in San Angelo, TX
Stopped in Hobbs, NM but didnt stay for races.
Stopped in Las Cruces, NM but didnt stay for races.
At one of these places I worked at a local shop for the day and they sent a package of receipts and other items perhaps to DB for me).
From Las Cruces the State Police wouldnt let me ride my bike on the freeway and my map showed no road, so I got a ride to Lordsburg, NM.
From there I just got on Freeway and took my chances.
Went to Tuscon, AZ where I raced a triple pointer at Manzanita Downhill. My first race on the DB, beat Mike Poulson all three motos out of the gate and led him third moto to turn 2 when he snaked by me (cant reemmber if we were going into the turn or coming out etc)
On my way to Chandler, AZ got pulled over on Freeway and told to get off at next exit by Highway Patrol.
Rode thru like Globe to Chandler, AZ.
Saw a Chandler race but didnt race. cant remember if I even rode the track, I think I did but since I cant remember, maybe I didnt.
Rode to Yuma and had to jump back on FWY as no other road.
In California a Highway Patrol pulled me over and forced me to take next exit.
OMG that was such a long route to El Cajon.
Got to El cajon like Midnight or later. Met up with Sandy Finkleman.
Saw Rancho, CA race but again didnt race (Think it was NBA) and dont remember even riding it.
Got a ride from El Cajon to PCH. As the guy told me no easy way to not get lost.
Rode to Action Now that day.

Rode to Long Beach, CA. Where I finished on a pier over the Pacific Ocean.
Met up with Bob Osborn and Len Weed at the Queen Mary.
Took me to BMXA got studio shots of my bike.
Gave them my diary and film.
RL took me to a hotel, didnt seem to like me.
Harry Leary came picked me up and took me to Pete Loncarevich's house.
Harry didn't like me at all. Probably pissed Sandy Finkleman asked him to go so far out of his way.
Story got cancelled, rest is unhistory lol.

Sad part is BMX Action had my diary and contact info, so I couldnt even write anyone and thank them or keep in touch (no internet in those days).

Here is a picture from ABA Action and the local Chandler paper. Unfortunately no pictures of me and the Quadangle seem to exist except perhaps from the local papers. I dont know what BMXA did with my film, Steve Giberson looked for it for me (great guy) and couldnt find it.

Can you tell I was co sponsored by MXL? I was so dumb I didn't even take the time to contact MXL and send them any press I got.

http://i46.tinypic.com/30ry461.jpg

http://i49.tinypic.com/34ffwns.jpg

The only other BMX press I got was small text blurb in Super BMX and BMX Plus!
I shoulda rode back to BMXA grabbed my diary and film and took it to Plus! or Super but again was dumb.
The 2 page interview that was taken for Action Now (They plugged the interview phone into my handlebar ends)
Was the first issue that didnt happen as they went out of business.
Long story how I pissed Bob Osborn off, again was young and dumb. I had 3 letters printed in BMXA and he was like a idol to me.

This was the Quad I had before I got a Patterson, transferred most of the parts.
Then I hated the Patterson. Got good gates but crashed all 3 motos at the ABA St College, PA national while in first in 16x.
Below the color indoor picture of me on the quad Is of me in the lead at the national first moto. The Puch racer pimped me over the berm. So many of the parts ended up on the Quad I rode to Texas and were parted out there.

http://i46.tinypic.com/mw31ut.jpg

http://i50.tinypic.com/2d9wjex.jpg

My bike was this for the ride ( man wish I could score photo of it)
Robinson Pro Bars (with black Oury or Cam or Finish Line grips)
Pro Neck stem
Black Looptail Quadangle
Chrome Tange forks
Flights 180
Shimano DX pedals (silver)
Chrome seat post, probably SE
Kashimax Aero seat in black
Xcaliber Seat clamp in silver
Graphite Tuff Wheels
Comp 3 front, black and generic street tire for rear.
Cam plate with no decal just my ABA number and district decal I think.
Chrome maybe blue Dia Compe MX 1000 brakes.

Again some almost all of the parts can be spyed from my blue bike.
basically just the wheels and frame were changed
I used the TRX forks on my Patterson as well.  You can spot them on the Quad and again on the Patty below.
I added the Patterson decal.

http://i48.tinypic.com/2i12vsx.jpg

Last edited by Racer (2013-01-01 6:09pm)

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#2 2013-01-01 2:13pm

Leroy Rochester
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

Erick, glad to see you finally put up this story! Still have the '85 GT, Interceptor and DB I got off you a couple years ago. Hope you're doing well. Happy new year!


Better to be shot out of a cannon than squeezed out of a tube.

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#3 2013-01-01 2:20pm

BMX KYLE
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

Cool story.big_smile

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#4 2013-01-01 2:27pm

king stinger
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

Dang,that is a nice story and a tough ride on a 20,cool pics

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#5 2013-01-01 3:37pm

Innocenti
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

Really enjoyed reading that,thanks for posting.

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#6 2013-01-01 3:56pm

tiggy1190
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

Were you in Asheville NC recently?


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#7 2013-01-01 4:08pm

papalone13
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

truely inspiring. i always wanted to do this. i seriously considered it last summer. thanks for the read man!

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#8 2013-01-01 4:13pm

TXBONE
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

What a neat story Eric. smile. I road my bicycle from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 5 days and thught that was super tough. smile

Awesome story man. big_smile


I can not sit still. I have been tested for A.D.D. and A.D.H.D. and have neither. I don't need coffee, I just need a B.M.X. or surfboard to consistently ride and I'll be happy. smile
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#9 2013-01-01 4:21pm

unsane
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From: Lafayette, IN
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

Cool ass story, once a kid came through here that was skateboarding across the U.S. cant remember when exactly it was but seems like about 15 yrs ago.

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#10 2013-01-01 5:00pm

MrOlive
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

That's so cool smile Thanks brotha!!! smile


I got lots of stuff, what you need? lol

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#11 2013-01-01 5:21pm

looptailnut
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

Very cool Story

My Wife was born in Washinton Crossing, PA.


Lets Go Steelers, Pens, and Bucs!!!!

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#12 2013-01-01 5:36pm

13reggie
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From: Willard Mo
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

Story's like this BMX History is why I love being member.


Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting."

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#13 2013-01-01 5:40pm

bird
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

cool story


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#14 2013-01-01 6:09pm

stevenbven
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

Crazy story so how long did it take from start to finish?


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#15 2013-01-01 6:20pm

Racer
Philly Cheese Steak
From: Orange County, CA
Registered: 2005-05-27
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

I left in early September (maybe the 1st) and got to California November 11.
But many days I stayed in town to wait for a local race and put on a clinic.
I spent 45 days of pedaling. I could probably look at a map and name all 45 stops as you arent moving very fast lol.
My longest day trip I estimated back then was 135 miles.

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#16 2013-01-01 7:32pm

whatupethan
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From: Downstream Detroit, MI
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

umm ? what age was  your  road trip?


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#17 2013-01-01 7:43pm

Florida Von
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

Cool to read more of this! So cool! smile

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#18 2013-01-01 7:47pm

RoadRunner
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

cool

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#19 2013-01-01 8:17pm

skywaychump
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From: Tyngsboro, MA
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

I wish your article was published. You quick synopsis got me hooked
and now I want details! Epic journey cool


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#20 2013-01-01 8:32pm

jsngrimm
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

cool


--Current Rides--
'98 Haro Zippo
'05 DK Rage

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#21 2013-01-01 11:01pm

Racer
Philly Cheese Steak
From: Orange County, CA
Registered: 2005-05-27
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

Well I will give u some pre trip background.

I was torn between racing 16X and turning Pro. But the NJ Pro scene was dying down South.
I started teaching clinics that summer, one at Newbrdige Rd Park, NY. I found that track thru my race buds Paul Washington and Phil Finkle. Paul, NJ Pro Bryan Gaburo and myself also went to Massachusetts to race and put on a clinic at Joey Johansen's South Weymouth track and at a track in Northboro, MA.

I had put together a how to race guide from articles in "Bicycle Motocross Action". I had called the magazine and Bob Osborn gave me permission as long as I didn't sell them. I wasnt making any money from the clinics, they were free. I just got a free race from the track. But I never forgotten how no one was there to teach me when I started. I knew I could help riders new get a head start.

While on tour in Massachusetts, Bryan mentioned he had been thinking about riding his BMX bike to California. I had been thinking about it also. It occurred to me that maybe others were as well.

Then one day after a race at Brooklyn, the girl I was in love with told me she didnt want to see me anymore. I was stunned and heart broken. I was so innocent I hadn't even kissed her. I'm actually writing a fictional book based on my relationship with her, "The Lost Kiss.". She recently read it and said she balled during the first chapter. Not sure though if it was my writing or the fact it was based on her. It pretty much is written exactly as it happened, I just changed the names etc. The ending and some of the side story are pure fiction, she doesn't even know the ending. The heart break was so painfull it made we want to get as far from her as I could. Which made me finally decide to just do it, ride a BMX bike across America.

My dad told me if I moved to California he wouldn't pay for my college. So I planned my trip without even telling him. My mom had passed away a year earlier. She was always my fathers voice of reason.

Action Wheels, then located in downtown Woodbury, NJ sold me a bike rack and ten speed paniers. Heck they could have given them to me they always treated me great.

I had a sleeping bag I placed on top of the bike rack, you can see it in the photo of me riding. In the strings that kept the the sleeping bag rolled up I had my number plate. You can see one ear of it sticking out in the picture. I had a backpack. In the backpack I kept my racing gear including the Bell BMX 3 helmet.

My dad saw me putting the rack and gear bags on and asked what I was doing. I told him and he was stunned. We both were. I had been planning the route carefully. Looking at the map and then at the ABA Track Directory and National Schedule. I knew I wanted as flat a route as possible. I also knew I wanted to leave in the Fall when the weather cooled and the Winter's cold breathe I would not feel upon my skin. I knew in the Spring I would battle too much rain.

The nearest Greyhound station was near the Bensalem, PA track. My dad drove me. I had most of everything in a bike box. I had $600 in my pocket. No check book. No credit cards. Never lived away from home before or been West of my Cousins house outside of Morristown, TN. Years later, 1997, I would put on a clinic there when I owned American Bicycles. My cousin and Aunt would be there. I actually remember wishing my dad would have been there to see me teach the sport I loved.

My dad always seemed to hate BMX. He did go to my second race ever in August of 1978. It was at Blacktrack in Easton, PA. the track was unsanctioned and a rocky un-groomed downhill track. It had a cool Bonzai downhill turn at the end. My parents helped me put together a bike for my Birthday which had just passed. My mom drove me all the way to Vineland, NJ just a week or so before to buy a bike from Pedaler's East. Vineland was the site of my first race and where we met the Zeuner's.

So now at Blacktrack my whole family was there for the first time, to see me race. My bike looked awesome. It was Sal's own unused MCS Z-1. I built it up nicely with my Birthday gift. I couldn't afford new cranks though. So the cranks I had on my Schwinn Stingray came off. I used them at my first race and would again that day at Blacktrack. The tiny 4 1/2" cranks though left me spinning my brains out. Not a good combination on a rough slippery downhill track. I crashed all three motos. Mind you I had no idea about cranks or gearing or bikes or anything. My dad just thought I was no good or maybe I would get hurt, I dunno.

I wouldn't get to race again till 1979.  I did get some nice 170mm Sugino cranks from Pedaler's East. I still have the receipt.
I finally got my first trophy that Spring. Can't say from what track, but probably Flemington, NJ. When I got home I was so excited to show my dad the trophy. He simply turned and walked away without saying a word or as much as a smile.

He had never went to another race. Now as we stood at the bus depot years later, I was going to ride my BMX bike all the way to California.  Neither of us could have seen that coming when I started racing. It was awkward saying goodbye under the circumstances. I had planned the trip route fairly well. But had not thought everything through. My dad must have known that, but he also knew my mind was made up. He offered me no advice or even money.

I believe he wanted me to fail so I would return home. He had always dreamed I would go to college or take over his construction company. Now as I look back, the internal turmoil I must have caused him to bear had to have been awful. I wasn't even calling him from the road to let him know I was Ok. I guess my mom was the voice of reason for the both of us.

I got on the bus and headed to North Carolina. There was an ABA track there. I got off the bus and threw my bike together. Rode to the track down a winding pine tree lined ribbon of asphalt. There I met the Carr family who lived in High Point, NC. I spent the night at their house. They took me to the Winston-Salem Greyhound station I think, the next day.

Once in Wilmington, NC I took a cab to Long Beach, NC. It was at the end of North Carolina's coast. I assembled my bike. I called radio stations and newspapers, probably out of Wilmington. After being interviewed on the Pier, I began my journey.

I still remember stopping at the North Carolina border at some hole-in-the-wall store to get some much needed refreshment. On the counter top they had what looked like something from a horror movie. It was pickled Pigs feet or something.
But I paid for my beverage and food and while outside on my bike I thought of a solution.
My seat post had kept slipping. I couldnt tighten the seat post clamp all the way because of the bike rack flanges. I hadn't tested the rig out beforehand. Before leaving though my sister gave me her Girl Scout knife. I had an idea. The store had brooms. I bought one hoping it would fit inside my seat tube. It did. I then cut the length, with my sisters knife.
Thank God she gave it to me. I jammed it in the frame and it worked, my post wouldn't slip down.

I was so sore by the end of the planned day long ride. 70 miles and I could barely walk or sit. I had planned to just crash under a bridge or something (didnt think to bring a lock). But I was broken. I needed some respite. I got a room at the Holiday Inn in Surfside Beach, SC. I had Catfish for dinner. I figured I should try to eat what was local, part of experiencing America.

After dinner I went back to my room and soaked in the tub for what seemed like an hour. I was so tired it hadn't sunken in that I was actually doing it. But the journey planned in my mind just a month or so earlier was now a reality.

Last edited by Racer (2013-01-02 9:55pm)

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#22 2013-01-02 2:20am

whatupethan
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From: Downstream Detroit, MI
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

cool read  smile


44T Detroit..............................................................luvalooptail!
lookin for: Anything  WEBCO
alloy Race inc. bars  (tall ones)                                                     



'lil help,  plz...& thanks!

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#23 2015-05-07 11:20pm

Jeno007
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From: Seattle, Washington
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

Wow, don't know how I missed this. Cool story. Came across it hunting the web as I've been slowly piecing together a plan to ride a Pro Series from Jacksonville Beach to Huntington Beach. Very cool story man.


Anything is negotiable.

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#24 2015-05-08 2:48am

RosstheBoss
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

coolcoolcool

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#25 2015-05-08 6:45am

Leroy Rochester
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From: Huntington Beach, CA
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Re: Bike ride across the USA

Jeno007 wrote:

Wow, don't know how I missed this. Cool story. Came across it hunting the web as I've been slowly piecing together a plan to ride a Pro Series from Jacksonville Beach to Huntington Beach. Very cool story man.

If you do it, there's free beers waiting for you in HB.


Better to be shot out of a cannon than squeezed out of a tube.

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