When we last heard from our intrepid travelers, they were en route from Dallas to Atlanta via Memphis.
From this point on, it was radio silence on the email front (not at all unexpected) but we saw the trip was going well thanks to the 'gram and #MegaTour17.
What follows is a city-by-city recap as told to us by Mick.
Our longest leg in a Megabus preceded our shortest pitstop. We were in Memphis for only a day. The rain was a good excuse to catch up on sleep after 30 non-stop hours but when the weather broke we were able to get out for a pedal and explore some the beautiful trails and bike paths before departing.
While this wasn't the first time in the ATL for any of us, it was the first time any of us had bikes and that always changes the dynamic of a city for the better. The most inspirational part of our stop was visiting the resting place of Martin Luther King Jr and his wife Coretta Scott King. It was a healthy dose of solemnity that gave us an understanding how far our country has come as a society and still how far we need to go.
Other highlights of Atlanta included visiting a former neighbor (what's up Dan!) who let us crash and recharge and do laundry. We rolled by The Spindle which is an amazing bike shop geared towards commuters and is at the forefront of Atlanta's bike scene.
Also, Whole Foods had a free pool table. That was pretty great.
A quick 24 hours but the only notable event was dealing with the world's grumpiest Megabus driver. Technically, bikes aren't allowed as luggage but lucky for us we were "a band" on tour and our "instruments" just happened to be stashed in bicycle boxes.
Pete had some good friends that live there and let us crash. When we got off the bus we were greeted by a spectacular view. We were all taken aback by what a hidden treasure Richmond was. We had some serious doubts Johnnie would even leave with us. He was ready to stay. The Richmond biking scene was incredible (we hit a pump track!) and the vegetarian/vegan dining options were plentiful which was a nice surprise.
The Megabus broke down on the way (a really short bus ride turned long) due to heat. Lame but we finally made it into the city. We took in some of the sights and met up with friends of Johnnie's. We hit a pool party and got a great all-day bike tour of the city and picnicked by the river.
Good food and drink and catching up on sleep before our longest stop.
NEW YORK, NY
Johnnie is from New York so he was very glad to visit home (He's still there! Having a blast with his mom and friends!) It was muggy and rained buckets but how can you not have a great time in the city. Thanks to Sun and Air, a rad bike shop in Williamsburg, we ended up speaking at an impromptu event about ultra low budget bike touring (aka "spend nothing on travel/lodging and everything on vegan tourism") which was a blast. They even made a flyer for the event and when I saw 100 Tacos listed I had a mini panic attack before springing into action and whipping up 100 Nachos for the crowd. Next MegaTour I might have to devise a way to travel with my taco cart.
With regards to the swrve gear we used on the tour, the merino wool socks held up beautifully. They stayed cool and comfortable even in the muggy south. (Humidity is real, people.) Pete fell in love with his _blk label heavy canvas trouser shorts both for riding and lounging. The miles we racked up broke them in quick. Johnnie and I found the durable cotton shorts to be perfect all-rounders. The stretch fabric was super comfortable for riding and the DWR coating was clutch for all the times we were caught in downpours that came out of nowhere.