Catch up: A cross-country bike tour with a twist: Chris Reichel is riding his mountain bike from Colorado to North Carolina and hitting all the best trails along the way. If you missed Part 1 of the Ultimate Ride to the Ride, read it here.
By Chris Reichel
This trip became a reality faster than I could have ever expected. For years, it was all just one big impossible daydream. All of the sudden I had a to-do list as long as my arm and only about a month to make it happen. I have done plenty of touring so I knew what gear to pack and how to choose a route. That’s the easy stuff. But I had no idea how I was going to mount the bike on a trailer.
I grabbed my old BOB trailer out of the garage and marched down to my local bike shop to enlist the help of my friend Joey. He is far more creative than I will ever be and that special breed of bike mechanic who always seems to find a way to make things work. We sat and stared at the ingredients for a bit: the trailer, a roof rack tray, some U-bolts, an old handlebar and a few chunks of aluminum of various sizes. We cranked up the tunes and in couple of hours later, a monster was born!
After a few coats of white paint, I assembled the whole rig in my living room. A contraption this ridiculous needed a name, and the first thing that came to mind was The Great White Buffalo. Not for the Ted Nugent song, the folk singer or even the beer made by Oskar Blues. It’s just a rare white beast that will be lumbering across the middle of America. It seemed appropriate.
The White Buffalo has some business in the front with my Vassago Cycles Fisticuff, which is towing the party in the back, a REEB Dikyelous singlespeed. Throw in some camping gear, leave a little room for some beers and hit the road.
With no return date in sight, I said goodbye to my friends, put the last of my possessions in storage and headed north. Since the official start of my tour was Longmont, Colorado, I did my best to mooch rides from Arizona to the Denver area. I even managed to stop in Moab and Fruita for some mountain bike rides along the way. That road trip alone was enough to make a ton of memories for anyone. This trip was off to a good start
My first real shake-down ride of the whole rig, fully loaded, was from Denver to Longmont. As I rode the rolling hills and country roads between the two cities, it quickly occurred to me that this is going to be really hard. This might have been a terrible idea.
I arrived at the Oskar Blues headquarters and went straight to the REEB frame shop. Chris Sulfrain, the craftsman responsible for all of the frames, met me at the door. He quickly put a beer in my hand and we proceeded to geek-out about frame building and music. I hung out for a couple of days drinking great beers, seeing just how my frame was made and meeting dozens of great people.
Loitering for days at a brewery with a frame shop was pretty cool. But I had to hit the road. Time to get this show on the road. So at sunrise, on a quite Saturday morning in Longmont, I put my feet on the pedals and pointed it east. The Great White Buffalo is in motion and let’s see where we end up! Kansas, here I come!