The Keys to Freeze group has been on the road for nearly two weeks. While they’re still traveling through florida, they have already made connections that will last a lifetime, as well as a good bit of rain. They group started in the Florida Keys last week and plan on making their way up to Alaska by September. For more information see the original article by the man you are about to meet, Reese Wells.
How old are you?
23 and counting.
Where are you from?
What was your first cycling memory?
My first cycling memory came when the training wheels came off. I ran myself right into a mailbox. More auspicious beginnings have, I suppose, been had by others.
How has cycling affected your life?
It’s a productive outlet for my addictions. It’s kept me somewhat out of trouble, and generally destitute.
Tell us about your first long adventure on a bike?
Before participating in the 2014 Northern US Bike & Build route I took a solo unsupported tour from Winston-Salem, NC to Philadelphia, PA. I spent 300 miles on US 1, a harrowing experience that led to my cycling alter-ego Reverend Timothy Ebert Abbot, Rev TEA for short. As the Rev would say: YOU GOTTA SPIN IT TO WIN IT! or LIFE IS ALL IN HOW YOU PERCEIVE! or NO HOW NO WAY TODAY BAYBAY! The Rev TEA and I have an interesting relationship.
I also ate exclusively hotdogs and oatmeal for a week. My bowels have never been the same.
Any other particular adventures and experiences, bike or non-bike related, that will help you for this expedition?
Once on Bike & Build I ate 50 eggs during a 50 mile ride from Chicago to Grayslake, IL. These memories of suffering and hardship of cycling with a bloated, distended hardboiled egg belly—and the consequent fallout amongst my friends for smelling like a rotting sulfuric heap of refuse for two days—will help remind me that things could always be worse … that I could also be pulling a dirty and peeled egg from the sack attached to my front handlebars and screaming EGG! before shoving the warm pulpy mess into my mouth.
What about the Keys to Freeze trip are you most excited about?
Tent nights with Tyler. Brady & Rachel are dating, Megan & George are dating. And then there’s Tyler. And then there’s me. Two dudes kicking it, surrounded by giggling happy couples. So we’ll hang out in our tent, farting and burping and talking about poops.
What does it mean to you to be able to give back to organizations such as Climate Ride and the National Parks Conservation Association?
Having the opportunity to work with Climate Ride and the NPCA is huge. We’re getting to spend time in parks that I’ve dreamed about visiting since I was a child drooling over a map of Angels Landing in Zion Nat’l Park.
Coordinating with these parks to work out interviews and prospective service days has transformed this trip into an experience with a social backbone. I’m honored to be working with these organizations and take pride in doing good work for them.
I expect that all goes without saying, but whatever.
Each town you go through will create a different impression, what are you most looking forward about visiting these towns along the way?
The people and stories. What’s cool—and easy to forget in our tight, spinning society—is that everyone has a history. We all have something to share. I’m razzed about those slow kind of porch nights that let those stories tease themselves out from the woodworks of memory.
What region are you most excited to ride through?
Canada. Who knows what will happen … great big meaty sections of nature I expect. It’s going to be a full frontal, XXX, NC-17 assault of jaw-dropping verdant landscape. We’ll be chasing spring all up the West Coast and when we hit Canada the new life will be in full swing.
What do you expect it will be like traveling everyday with the same group of 5?
Well. We’ll see. There will be good days and bad days, with the good outweighing the bad. After that our fates rest in the hands of our communication skills.
What is one thing that the others don’t know about you, but will by the time the trip is over?
I take my oral hygiene very seriously. Clean teeth for long life baby. Ladies, come and get a smooch. I just flossed.
What do you envision your sleeping situations to be like throughout the trip?
Tent time with Tyler. In the tent to our left Brady & Rachel are smiling at each other in the soft glow of their honeysuckle-scented beeswax candle, giving each other foot massages or something dumb like that. Megan & George are somewhere to our right, snoring so loud it shakes the roof of their tent.
Are you using racks, bikepacking bags or both? Why?
Both. I am following the wise ways of our very own Wheelie Healy. Megan made a sweet pack guide for us that boasted both racks and bikepacking bags. So, that’s what I’m doing. Blindly following her direction.
There will be a film about your journey. Watching the experience will be fun for your followers. Do you anticipate this will take away from the experience, or benefit it?
I think Brady will be able to give the best answer to this question. He’s the videographer. I’m just, well, in the film.
I imagine that there will be days where we wish we could ditch the cameras and just ride off. However. We hope this documentary will both inspire and entertain. And it will make my Mom happy. Hi Mom!
Any shoutouts you would like to give?
Absolutely. I would like to throw some fresh words out to the following:
NUS14: You dirty dogs. Thank you so much for your support of Ty Guy and me rolling up north. You all make me smile. Rivers & Roads for days.
Hogs: Ryan, Bondo, Oogie Julie, Gray-J. You’re idiots, and I miss you.
Slam Greaton: Run the Jewels man, and WU stomp your skinny butt off at CCC. Keep those roasters in line.
The Cool Kids: Daner, Ben, Yoliver. You all smell like cabbage to varying degrees.
Chamois Cammie: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
Miss T: Pretty okay for days. Smooches to your Scyllaboo.
Staci & Golden Eileen: My favorite Jersey women. Stac here’s wishing you awesome travels come May.
Phoebe the Beagle: SQUIRREL!
Ma & Pa: I wouldn’t be here, pooping off the side of the road, without your support. This is my dream come true. See you in Alaska.