Hey there internet! My name is Owen Nelson and I'm a finishing student at McGill university. I play the sax, and I'm originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. In life it's important to push yourself, try new things, embrace fear, take the risk, and go on the adventure. This is why I have made the decision to ride my bike 1730 miles out of Canada and down to Palm Beach, Florida. While I am embarking on this adventure to find myself, I am also using this as an opportunity to promote people to donate their bikes to their local boys and girls clubs across America so that kids can get bicycles. I have found that giving back to the community is a key part to finding yourself. I hope that you will follow my daily progress and donate bikes to the boys and girls club of America. Wish me luck and please donate to the cause here:
Its a warm summer night on the west coast. I walk out of an all glass modern office building. As I walk outside, I put my persols on because the sun is still shining, slowly going down. I can smell the ocean breeze as I get into my all black V8 Aston Martin. I can see the reflection of the sun on the hood of the car as I get in. I absolutely crushed a business deal. I have been on an upward spiral for a long time, and I am a self made man. Filling out my suit at a solid 230. Brown belt in Jiu Jitsu, World traveller, many battles lost and some won, but the journey has just begun.
The engine screams to life, and then purrs like a $300,000 feline should. I get out of the lot and head towards the california highway hugging the coast. While I may still be alone, I have came to peace that as a leader, it is something that I must embrace. It is the way. the code that I live by and it is beautiful. Knowing that at this present time, this is how it has to be. this is my story. This is my journey. My adventure, and my legacy for I am the hero of my story. A smile emerges on my face as I open up the throttle all the way ripping down the costal highway welcoming the next obstacle, challenge, closer to my home and family that has yet to form; knowing with every part of me that I will not be a Ronin forever. There is a place on Earth for me that I will call home, a woman somewhere out there who will join me on this adventure of life, help me to create the happiness I seek, and to prove that magic does indeed exist.
Ive been trying to figure out exactly how much weight I lost over my bike trip. I weighed around 187 when I left Montreal. When I got to Palm Beach I weighed 160 pounds. I feel a huge difference in my size and strength. My upper body sort of evaporated while my legs about doubled in size. Its fascinating how the human body will adapt to the work its given. 1 week after completing the trip I weighed myself at the gym. In one week I have gained 12 pounds. Im having a difficult time believing it. In reality, I think that the majority of the weight loss was water and it wont take more than a couple of months to get my size and strength back. Another thing that really suprised me was the strength of my legs. They are considerably more muscular than they were before I started a month ago. I went to do squats today expecting to crush it but I was alot weaker than before the trip. Im in a different kind of shape now. Im used to lifting ridiculously heavy weights off the ground. Because of my bike ride my body has changed and although I cant move heavy weight, now I can easily ride my bike for over a hundred miles in a day. My cardio is ridiculous. In jiujitsu I dont get winded and my body sweats like crazy. Its difficult to explain. The closest thing I can compare it to is that my body is a machine. When I wake up in the morning my body craves to exert itself. I have to workout everyday otherwise I’ll go crazy. Another thing I noticed is that I have to eat all the time. I am constantly hungry I think I think that my metabolism sped up. When my body realizes that it doesn’t have to ride a hundred miles a day I have a feeling that my body and metabolism will slow down quite a bit.
If anybody out there seriously wants to lose weight and they just don’t know how to do it because they’ve “tried everything” I promise you that you have not tried everything. If you want my advice here it is: go to Goodwill or Craigslist and buy a bicycle for under $200. Go to Walmart get a tent for 20 bucks. Save $600 for food for a month. Thats $20 a day for food for a month. The next step is simple get on your bicycle and put one foot in front of the other everyday all day for a month straight. I can promise you this you are not going to die from overexertion. You might get hit by a car eaten by an alligator or killed by a wild boar but you’re not going to die from overexertion. A trip like this will change your life forever. The chemistry in your body will change and your body will function like it is supposed to. Your metabolism will increase you will burn fat and you will live a much longer life. Don’t allow fear to paralyze you. Use it to your advantage. Allow it to fuel you and change your life. Get some people! Over and out.
When I first decided to embark on this epic journey I was unsure of myself, I felt as if I didn’t know who I was. I was not confident, and in all honesty I was scared. Scared of what? Failure. I was getting all of this negativity from people in my life telling me that I couldn’t, wouldn’t or shouldn’t do this, and it was getting into my head. People will make excuses all day long as to why they shouldn’t try something new. They will plan things and prepare things until everything is perfect, and then they will come up with even more excuses as to why they can’t accomplish their goals. Why don’t they do it? Because Their Fear paralyzes them. The thought of failure is so terrifying to them that they wont even try anything that will test them as to find out who they are. I felt that fear too, but I was not about to let an emotion stand in the way of my success. Instead I embraced it and began my epic adventure.
The first day of biking was an absolute disaster. I got lost on an island leaving Montreal on a bike path in the dark, then my bike rack fall off, I was sprayed by a skunk, swarmed with mosquitos, chased by dogs, lost in the middle of nowhere in Quebec farmland, and biked for 14 hours straight. I made it to my first destination after 137 miles of biking, which should have only been 55 miles. When that fist day of biking was over, I knew that I could handle pretty much anything, and I would rather die than to give up.
I distinctly remember my first night stealth camping behind a building on the edge of a river. I was so nervous that something was going to happen to me. I didnt sleep for more than 3 hours. Soon after I fell asleep, I was woken up by a very loud river barge Horn. I was so startled that I actually jumped straight up in the air, ripped the stakes out of the ground and collapsed the tent on myself. By the end of my trip, I had become much more comfortable with the idea of the trip. It’s really interesting how the human mind and body will adapt to its environment, and the work that it’s given no matter the circumstance.
I guess that the point that I’m trying to make is that anyone can do what I did. People in their 70’s do trips like this. The only thing that holds us back is that fear of failure, and the unknown. Once we conquer that, anything is possible. This trip has absolutely changed my life, and I recommend anyone to do a trip like this.
One thing is for sure… I will continue to explore this World, and push myself. I am certain that some fantastic adventures are still to come, and I will continue to raise money for kids to get bicycles.
I’d like to thank the companies that sponsored me for my trip. Thank you to Donkey Label, Wilderness athlete for the supplements that kept me going, Epice sunblock for protecting me from the sun, and the maui pocket saxophone company for providing me with some pocket saxophones to make some sweet music on those lonely nights.
I also have to thank all of the generous people that I met on the road throughout my trip. When you do good for other people, people will go out of their way to help you. That is fact.
Stay tuned people!
Yeah! I’ve used it twice now.
Hi! Who is this?
Hey guys! It was great meeting you! I finally made it to Palm Beach, and now I’m looking for a job. The job I had lined up fell through. If you’ve got any ideas for me let me know!
Well Internet, I made it. I woke up with 120 miles to go, and I went to bed that night at my destination. I woke up and biked 52 miles south along the ocean to Fort Pierce State park. I loaded up on some McDonalds, and continued on my journey to Palm Beach. I got in around 10 pm.
Florida is Fantastic, but my God is the Sun intense. I’ve never felt anything like it. It makes biking a whole lot more difficult as well. Before I started this trip, I was envisioning myself biking on a path designated for bicyclists the whole way down. What I didn’t realize was that a “bicycle route” is not a bike path. Its just a road that motorists are supposed to share with bicyclists. A lot of times there is no shoulder. When I got to Florida, I felt a lot safer. I finally made it to Florida A1A . What a nice ride. This road starts up in Fernandina Beach , hugs the coast, and shows off Florida’s beautiful Ocean beaches. My first day riding in Florida I got a bit of sun stroke. I had to lay down in a gas station for about 30 minutes and let my headache subside. I started off in Fernandina beach, and rode 66 miles to Anastaisa State Park where I camped for the night. As I biked into this park it literally felt like I was in a Jurrasic Park movie. I could sense so much life in the woods and I felt very small. The next morning I hit it hard and headed south once again. I made it about 75 miles to Edgewater Florida where I got another motel. By the end of my trip I got pretty fed up with my sleeping situation. When I do another adventure like this, I will be sure to invest in some high quality camping gear. From Edgewater, I biked 70 miles to a warm showers host named Ann in Indiatlantic just east of Melbourne. This was fantastic. Ann treated me to dinner at a food court, and she even paid for a much needed massage. It was unbelievable. We got to her house, and I jumped in her swimming pool.