Exciting news! We have been planning on printing custom cycling jerseys and tech tees for this thru-hike. In addition to wearing these jerseys ourselves for the duration of our trip, we’ll be selling them. Proceeds from the sale of the jerseys will go to Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. So you’ll get a cool jersey, and support a great cause! We will post the jersey design when we get it finalized. We’ll also keep you all posted about ordering jerseys or tees if you’re interested!
We are partnering with Ride Fast Gear to make this happen! Ride Fast is a GREAT company – based right here in NC! They print custom jerseys, cycling shorts, tech tees, you name it! They have no minimum quantity, and have been a joy to work with so far. Check them out here: http://www.ridefastgear.com/.
Tags: bike, hike, MST, paddle
Andrew and I have decided to enter the Driven By Adventure contest through Trek Bicycles! This contest is going to give away 3 all expenses paid bike touring trips and the bikes needed to go on those trips. The trips are:
- 520: 2x Trek 520 bikes and a classic bike tour from Portland to the Oregon coast
- 720: 2x Trek 720 bikes and a credit card style bike tour through northern California
- 920: 2x Trek 920 bikes and an all-road bike tour through the Virginia mountains
The contest entry was pretty involved. The first step was to choose a travel partner – this was the obvious part! We had to submit 5 photos, 2 written prompts, and a video lasting less than 2 minutes. The photos were supposed to give an idea of our experience, style of adventure, and why we should win. The written prompts asked us to describe our most memorable adventure, and tell why we should win. The video was supposed to define our relationship, give a sense of our style of adventure, and help the judges understand why we deserve to win.
We put a LOT of work into the contest entry!
Our most memorable adventure was easy – our hike at Grandfather Mountain in July 2013. That hike had temperature fluctuations of 30 degrees, a nasty thunderstorm that wasn’t in the forecast, and the treacherous terrain that Grandfather Mountain is known for! When asked to explain why we should win, we talked about our passion for adventure, and helping other people experience the outdoors.
Just to round it all out, here are the photos we submitted. We thought about which photos to submit to show the judges what we’re all about.
- We submitted a photo of us on a road ride on our tandem bike. We LOVE our tandem bike, and we thought this shows that we go on long rides, and it shows off our trek 🙂
- We submitted a photo of us from an adventure race in Charlotte. Adventure racing requires us to work together, think on our toes, and communicate clearly to achieve a common goal.
- We submitted a photo of us from Grandfather Mountain. We wanted to to show the hike we wrote about.
- We submitted a photo of us from Elk Knob State Park this past November. We chose this because you can see icicles in Andrew’s mustache, so it shows we are up for anything no matter the weather!
- We submitted a photo from one of the partner yoga clinics we went to in Charlotte. We think this shows our personality, and sets us apart from the rest of the field.
And here is the video:
We certainly think we’re #DrivenByAdventure! Winners will be announced May 1, and we’ll keep you updated. Wish us luck!
First is first… we’re SO SORRY for the radio silence the last 6 months! A lot of big changes have been happening for us – we’re both started new jobs (Lindsey as general manager and Andrew as footwear lead at Great Outdoor Provision Co in Greenville, NC), moved to a new city, and had to delay the big adventure.
We focused on the new jobs and triathlon training this summer, which didn’t leave much time for preparing for the thru-hike. But race season is almost over (one more race – Goose Creek Trail Race November 15), and its time to start focusing on our hike preparations again. We’re still working on getting sponsorships to collect those last pieces of gear we need.
And we’ve FINALLY settled on our wheels for the trip. For a while, we were going back and forth between riding our road bikes or finding a tandem touring bike to use. Well, we finally settled the debate last week, when we lucked onto this beauty listed on Craigslist:
Yes, thats right – we finally found a tandem touring bike that fits us! It is a mid-1990s Trek T50, and is in great shape. We will need to do a little bit of work – replacing the seats and pedals, adding racks and panniers, and it needs a good tune-up. We’ve been commuting to work this week and loving every minute of it.
So we’re back to making progress toward collecting our gear. Hopefully I’ll be better about posting regularly – I know you guys are as excited to read about our preparations as we are to go through them!
Yea, I know this is a little late, this should have been posted on Sunday.
Sunday was Triathlon Day!
Andrew raced at the Huntersville Sprint Tri. His swim needs some work, but overall he did really well. He registered as a novice, this being his first triathlon. He finished 2nd out of the novice category, and 60th overall out of 275 racers. He had the 9th fastest run time of the day, ~50th fastest bike time, and ~230th fastest swim time. And, as I expected, he is looking for the next triathlon to run.
Sunday was also the day of the Tri It For Lift Mock Tri. We ran the race course at almost race pace, with the 100 TIFL athletes. They still wanted mentors with every cycling group, so our swim was grouped by cycling speed. I was in the fastest cycling group. I was 4th in the pool and 5th out. We rode the bike course with our bike group of 4 athletes (and 2 mentors) – I was 2nd out on the bike and 2nd back. The run we were allowed to complete at our own pace – I was 3rd out of transition into the run, and 1st back. I was really glad to have this practice round to see what I need to work on. I know I need to really work on my transitions – they felt really slow.
Andrew’s first triathlon (Huntersville Sprint) will be next Sunday, April 27. His training is going well, tapering off this week to get ready for the race. His last long run was today, and he’ll have 1 tempo run this week. He’s planning to use the tempo run this week to test out his new race shoes – Pearl Izumi EM Road N1 (thanks Sean!). We’ll go on a long ride on Tuesday, and probably do lots of yoga this week!
My mock-tri is April 27. I’ve been fighting a cold since Wednesday, so my training is slacking a bit right now. Luckily for me I still have several weeks until the real race. I did get my tri-suit this week, so thats something at least!
My transition clinic was supposed to be yesterday, but it got rained out. We’re supposed to be having a mini-clinic this week, during which I will be at job #1. So I’m turning to YouTube and the internet to learn how to set up my transition area. I know all the stuff I should have in my transition area and (in theory) how I should set it all up, but I am glad I will have a practice session to put it all together before race day. I think I am going to use a yoga mat (mine is bright green and should be easy to find) to lay everything on instead of a towel. I’ve also decided to use stretchy laces on my running shoes to cut down on time.
Wish us luck for next weekend!
Andrew and I are both training for a triathlon this summer. Andrew is running the Huntersville Sprint Triathlon in Huntersville, NC on April 27. Thats just 2 weeks away! This sprint tri is a 500yd pool swim, 20K road bike, and 5K road run. I am running the South Charlotte Ramblin Rose on June 1. The Ramblin Rose is a beginners tri, so its a 200yd swim, 8 mile road bike, and 2 mile road run.
For both of us, this will be our first triathlon. For both of us, the swim is our weakest discipline. We’ve been swimming every chance we get – but that’s usually only once or twice a week! We’re cycling and riding 2 or 3 times a week as well. Andrew has been lucky enough to have access to a computrainer, so his bike training hasn’t been affected by the weather. A computrainer is an awesome contraption – you hook your bike up to it, then it adjusts resistance so you can ride any course in the world you want. I’ve been riding on the booty loop mostly, and bike routes around Charlotte. Andrew has been good at keeping up with his track workouts, so his speed is definitely improving. I’m lucky to get 30 minutes in after work, but at least I’m running!
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to cheer for his triathlon, because my mock tri is the same day. Give us a cheer Sunday April 27 and Sunday June 1 to help us through those big races!
We’ve finally set a date for the thru-hike! We’ve been talking about this hike for 6 months now, its about time we finally get a date set and start planning a detailed itinerary.
We’re estimating 5 to 6 weeks on the trail. We plan to leave September 19, putting us at Jockey’s Ridge sometime between October 24 and 31. We had to aim for later than the busy season at our jobs, which puts us in the fall. But we wanted to leave early enough that the weather will still be nice. The weather almanac says average highs should be mid-60s to mid-70s and average lows should be 40-ish to mid-50s.
6 months and counting until we set out from Clingmans Dome 🙂
Tags: bike, hike, MST, paddle
If you’ve never heard of the Mountains to Sea Trail, you’ve been missing out! This 1000-mile trail travels from Clingmans Dome, on the NC/TN border, to Jockey’s Ridge, on the NC coast. Talk about an epic hike!
Now, the trail is incomplete. It is a series of footpaths connected by backroads. Up to now, you’ve been able to hike the trail portions and bike the road portions and still call it a thru-hike. Just last year, Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail determined that paddling the 200-mile Neuse River would also count as a thru-hike. We’re setting out this fall to be the first people to complete a hike-bike-paddle thru-hike of the MST. This will be 400 miles on foot, 400 miles on the bike, and 200 miles on the water. To make this even more unique, we want to complete the bike portion on a tandem bike. We’re expecting this project to take 5 or 6 weeks.
We’ll keep the blog updated with plans, gear reviews, and photos from the trail.
We’re looking for sponsorship to make this hike happen. Check out our sponsor page to see more about the awesome companies helping us out.
If you want more information about the trail, check out the FMST website, here: http://www.ncmst.org/
Tags: bike, hike, MST, paddle