Living in California (especially in the inland empire) will drive you to do crazy things. How did all this start?
To avoid getting a real job I applied to graduate school on the last possible day (august 2001). I even had to overnight FED-EX my application. Much thanks to Blanca, the nutrition secretary who managed to talk the applicant committee into reviewing mine and to Sarah who let me type my essay up that day and drove 90 mph to get me to FED-EX 5 minutes before they closed.
Next thing I know (spetember 2001) I am 3000 miles from all my friends living in a borderline desert 60 miles east of Los Angeles. I go to Loma Linda, the largest health science University in the country. Our nutrition department is on the forefront of vegetarian nutrition, all the cafeterias on campus and in the hospital are vegetarian.
But I am restless. Christmas time rolls around and I am officially without a girlfriend. I am tired of sitting in classes. There is no one to ride BMX with. I send out an email regarding something that has been on my mind for over one year: I want to ride my bike to Belize, through Chiapas, Mexico.
I got a bunch of replies, but the most stoked was Justin Cummings (of PUSH fame), my long time BMX friend from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We have been tight forever and both of us have a new found interest in bicycle touring. What do ya know, he is graduating in December of 2001 and his girlfriend has just dumped him. Perfect! We set the date for early July.
So we plan the best that two lazy bmx kids can. We email about it. We chat online. But basically we save everything for the last minute. Justin plans to go on a US tour with his band, Crucial Unit in June. I decide to go to Ecuador in early July for a nutrition project through the University, putting off our departure date by two weeks.
How crazy could this be? We have to plan for not only an 8 week bike trip, but for spending two months in Central America. We search for resources, but they are limited. One website recommends $50 a day. We have budgeted for $12. Another site suggests training for two months ahead of time, we ride to the health food store to buy tofutti ice cream sandwiches. So the summer is a bad time to do this trip because it is over 100 degrees in the desert and it rains everyday in the jungle? Oops, my bad. No doubt an adventure awaits.