March 19, 2018No Comments

Moving to Los Angeles

Our new apartment in Los Angeles

Our new 2 bedroom apartment in Silver Lake, Los Angeles


The first time I visited Los Angeles was when I was all of 20 years old. I had walked up to Manhattan beach with a couple of friends who lived far outside the city at the time. Just being at the beach was considered a small vacation for them.

I untied my shoes and shoved my feet into the sand, and had a euphoric feeling come over me at that moment. I knew at that point that I would end up here.

It’s taken awhile, but it’s now been 75 days since our move to Los Angeles. I’ve been traveling 23 of those days, have had friends stay over 4 of the free weekends, so it still feels like I haven’t even really gotten to know our new home.

Since being here, there is a vibe that feels closer to what I want closer to what I want than what I had in SF. I can’t quite describe it yet, but the warm weather, a bit more space to live, a bit more elbow room in intimate coffee spots, and a more intentional mix of people has me enjoying it so much.

However, LA is such a polarizing place. People have a strong opinion of it even if they haven’t been here. The issue usually revolves around driving, because let's be honest. It sucks. Getting to and from the airport has been the biggest nuisance so far, but since we have been hanging out in Silver Lake, it's been tolerable.

I loved San Francisco, and maybe we'll be back someday. For now, the sun is setting in the right spot.

January 25, 2016No Comments

Missing a Pedal

Missing a Pedal

Biking from Montreal to Buffalo


The first day of my 600 mile bike trip, I looked down and realized my pedal had just fallen off.


I slammed on the brakes as my loose foot hit the pavement.

Just moments earlier, I thought to myself, “What’s the worst that could happen, a flat tire?”

We were stuck outside Montreal, where nothing was open at 6 AM. This was a lifeless suburbia, where every home looks identical. It was too early to walk around knocking on stranger’s doors, knowing the chance of someone speaking English was slim to none.

I immediately tried to retrace the steps from the night before, to when I was putting the pieces of my bike together. What happened?

Maybe I had rushed the process. After all, we did get our bikes from customs a day late, and had to deal with the anxiety of never having shipped my bike in a box before.

I walked back 20 feet in disbelief, as the pedal just sat in the empty street.

After inspecting the pedal and crank, half of the threads were stripped.

In that moment, I realized that the night before I must have tightened the pedal slightly off-center. Each down stroke of the pedal, I was slowly stripping away the threads.

“We need to find an adjustable wrench,” Eric said.

Holding the fallen pedal in one hand, pedaling the bike with one foot, and trying to balance a bike loaded with gear for a 12-day trip, looked as silly as you can imagine.

“Maybe we’ll get lucky.”

3 miles of one-legged pedaling, we arrive at a small convenience store where the clerk only speaks French. After struggling to explain our situation, he doesn’t have a single tool that might help us.

We left slightly discouraged, headed to the closest grocery store with Google’s big red arrow leading the way. The pedal in my hand was clenched a lot tighter now.

Inside, after unsuccessfully speaking with a couple workers, I was pointed to a warehouse manager who happened to speak a little English.

All he had were needle-nose pliers, which left me a little worried that we might be delaying our trip a day or two. Newport, Vermont was still over 10 hours away, so we couldn’t waste any more time.

Not about to turn down his offer, I walked outside to give it a try, and carefully held the pedal as it wobbled into place. While slowly tightening the nut with a tool meant for jewelry designers, the four remaining threads barely held together the pedal to the crank.

Testing the bike out around the parking lot gave me a sense of hope for the day, but wondering if the pedal might fall off at any given moment was a source of anxiety for the rest of the trip.

Despite the headwinds of Vermont, the climbs into the Adirondack Mountains, and along the tips of the Finger Lakes, my busted pedal never failed on me. And whenever I find myself hanging on by a thread, my mind drifts back to that ride.