The boys have been quite busy lately, biking through Chicago and making their way to Iowa. They are nearing Iowa City and should be on target to pass through Nebraska in the next 5 days…we think.
Nikola said they are in good spirits and have been making friends along the way and getting into adventures. More specifically, riding down hill, busting through two sets of tires, meeting a lovely couple who pointed them to an empty house to hang out in on the way, and most importantly, praying together to alleviate body aches and ask the powers above for a smooth journey and illuminated path.
The couple that Nikola spoke of, Patrick and Jean, if I remembered the names correctly, were greatly impressed by the message of this journey, and spoke of the importance of community, love, openness and the spreading of joy.
Nikola and Antej send their love to everyone, and express how much they miss their family and friends. Their adventure continues, and we will continue to update you with more stories in the coming days as they continue their way across the open fields and terrain. They are in better shape than they were in a couple of weeks ago, and their bodies are adapting to the effort.
Cheers to the open road boys…. let’s hope you don’t add to the roadkill on your way!
Patrick & Jean
As Antej and Nikola pedal across America, it’s hard to resist making parallels to Lewis and Clark’s 1804 cross-country expedition. Admittedly planting trees everywhere you go isn’t quite the same as being commissioned by President Jefferson to find a direct water route to the Pacific Coast. However, as tribute to one of Jefferson’s additional instructions, to observe and record “the soil and face of the country, its growth and vegetable productions,” Antej and Nikola will be rooting trees in all our homeland’s terrains.
But the most important parallel, at least to us foodies, is the frustrations in food scavenging both duos faced. When no other game was available, Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery reluctantly resorted to eating dog meat. With the advent of the gas station, and since frankly the dog-eating aspect of Batak cuisine isn’t exactly PC hereabouts, this practice won’t do for the modern day cyclist. Fortunately, Antej has created a killer high-protein trail mix that keeps the calorie-shredding cyclists fueled without compromising on flavor. Make it for your next camping trip, as your post-workout juice, or maybe even for your next shopping pilgrimage car snack. It’s that good.
ANTEJ’S TRAIL MIX
1/4 cup coconut strips
1 cup dark chocolate pieces
1/2 cup Brazilian nuts
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup peanuts
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2-1 tsp. dried ginger (to taste)
1/2 cup dried golden raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried chickpeas
For more fresh variations on today’s theme, check out Nutrition Stripped’s Energy Mix; Eating Bird Food’s Pumpkin Spice Roasted Chickpea Trail Mix; and Feed Me Phoebe’s Tropical Trail Mix with Ginger and Coconut. Happy crunching!
Thank you anonymous lady for overhearing our story and paying for our lunch at Lindy’s Chili & Gertie’s Ice Cream. (The best chili & ice cream)
Our new friends, Alex and Chris. Alex (13) wants to be a farmer, while Chris (13) wants to be a professional mountain biker. Seeing him jump, maneuver, and just own his bike, there’s no doubt he won’t succeed. Good job guys!
Both of them wanted to join us crossing the nation, but we agreed school comes first. Nonetheless, they rode with us to the edge of LaGrange, OH. They’ll pursue their own journey soon. What a motivation to us! Thank you Chris & Alex!
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. ~ Ernest Hemingway
Thank you people of Pittsburgh!!! What a great city with a great vibe!
Special thanks to the Dolen and Komljenovic families for selflessly giving us their time, medical advice and care, great food and atmosphere, driving us around the city, even duct tape, as well as packed lunches and amazing home-made cake! Most importantly, thank you for making us feel like at home.
Thank you for all you’ve done for us. Can’t wait to see and host you in D.C. Go Pirates!
We will arrive to Pittsburgh tonight and will stay until Sunday morning. A rest day is needed. Let us know if you are downtown and check out our pictures from the past couple of days.