Heading east! Wait, isn't this supposed to go south?


San Diego, CA to Mesa, AZ

417.6 Miles ridden.

While up late last night doing laundry I chose to go ahead and take the opportunity to go to MRDA champs in Texas. I got up and told Lauren thank you for having let me stay and apologized for being gone so much during the visit. She said it was fine but I felt bad about how little I had actually done with her during my week stay. I ate the last two muffins Boo had given me and packed all my gear up. I got the bike loaded and got on the road about 11 am or so.

I set the GPS for Mota Skates in Fountain Hills, AZ and set an extra stop for the post office along the way so I could mail home a flat rate box of stuff. It took a bunch of time but at least it got done. I pretty much rode straight through with a stop about ever 110 miles or so for fuel and a rest.

Got in to Fountain Hills, Arizona at almost 7 pm and, as expected, the shop was closed up and empty. I went for gyros just up the road and then sought out the cheapest hotel I could find. I got a room at the Knights Inn for a little under $43 when all told but the first room assigned was trashed and still full of smoke, as a non-smoking room no less. The second was at least made up, though clean would be a stretch. It was a crappy room and the sheets were dirty enough when I pulled them back that I opted to pull my sleeping bag out of my kit and use it on top of the covers.

Talked with Cat a bit but was really distracted due to having a lot on my mind about my company and the tasks I was having to do to try and recoup costs from my former business partner.


Mesa, AZ to Benson, AZ

216.2 miles ridden

Starting the morning off in the crappy Knights Inn was not great.  I felt dirty just getting into the shower due to the shower it self.....

Sorry for the low angle, didn't want to be a creeper while they packed,
When I went out to load the bike there were two other motorcycles parked next to mine and they came out to load up at the same time.  Turns out they were just out on a fun tour and had come into town to see family.  They had booked the room the morning before based on price and were equally disgusted by the condition.  The highlight though was realizing that a section of the building was being demolished for a room being burned out. Real classy joint.

While I had thought I was going to ride 1000+ miles today and complete the Iron Butt Challenge, I first wanted to stop and see the crew at Mota Skates in their natural habitat. On the way I stopped for an acai bowl at a different chain smoothie place.  I was disappointed to find it was mostly sugar but ate it anyway.

I walked in and Julie said they were swamped but she would show me around. Doug was working on hand prepping Yolo Bearings, and Stephanie was busy packing orders for DHL. I immediately knew there was more fun to be had here, shrugged my gear off in the back corner, and asked what I could do.

A little reluctantly, I got asked if I could build skates.  It took a few replies that I could before Doug realized I was serious. Once he said go I jumped right to it with a little instruction in their preferred methods. In total I built four complete sets of skates, half built a fifth and prepped and drilled three more for mounting. It was a ton of fun to work with the crew and get some stuff done.

The real amazing part was getting to build the bosses personal skates at the end of the day. Since she and Doug had put me in my skates it felt really cool to get to build hers for her.

Doug and Julie asked if they could take me to dinner and I simply couldn't turn it down.  We went to a really nice whole foods restaurant and they brought their three young daughters along so I got to eat with the whole Glass family.  The food was great and the company was spectacular.  Doug and Julie are simply amazing people and I am grateful for every chance I get to spend time with them.

I had planned to spend sometime with Stephanie if she had time, but she was tied up with family business so I let the plan of no plan rule and just got on the road.  I was able to make Benson, AZ before the cold forced me to stop and get a hotel, which I was not planning to do cause of costs, but I was too cold to keep going safely and was already tired.


Benson, AZ to Carlsbad, NM

438 miles ridden.

Started out with a generic continental breakfast and a slow packing of the bike which meant I got a late start. My plan was  to meet up with my friend Cougar for dinner in NM where he said he was working so I set a route that took me that way and set out.  Turns out that he had only been in New Mexico for the morning and by the time I got there he was already back in El Paso, Texas, where I had passed through by mid-morning.

It was all just moving from A to B today, but there was some great scenery to take in as I passed through the plains.

I grabbed lunch at a Sonic but when I pulled in there was a huge oil slick hiding in the shade of the carport and when I went to stop, the bike actually went faster! I was just barely able to keep the bike up and wrenched my back a little bit to do it. I was not pleased. The staff I talked to didn't seem to care but once I told a second staff member the manager sent someone out to clean up the oil.

Midday found me in some old oil fields, one of which was directly next to a solar generation site of all things. I couldn't help but stop to take a few photos.

Dinner was at an IHOP and was less than exciting. I ended up staying in a hotel again due to the cold temperatures at night. This has been expensive and unexpected. Plus almost every hotel I go to here in the south has required me to get moved due to a trashed and or smoked in non-smoking room. At least this one directed me into the breezeway for semi-secure parking once they moved me.
Not Quite a garage but not bad for a low budget hotel solution.

The upswing for the day was that this route was taking me up off of the main interstate and onto some fun mountain highways.  Ya, the route was longer but man was it worth it for the ride and the views.

I finally got caught up on transferring files and getting them into the correct folders so I can do the school work I need to get done.


Carlsbad, NM to Irving, TX

499.6 miles ridden.

All the riding.

Got up and got loaded out before 8:45 am and went to the continental breakfast before hitting the road. Rode till I needed fuel at about 150 miles and due to the cold and some spots threatening to rain I switched to my rain gear and added my heated vest.

Along the ride I was treated to one of the oddest sites I had seen on the road, a stretch limo with a dirt bike and bicycles strapped to a frame-over-roof rack!

Lunch was a second day of Sonic with the same chicken sandwich. A few fuel stops were all I really made after lunch before making it to Bones and Carrie's place at about 6 pm their time. I off loaded bags and then since Rawk and Carrie were leaving to go to the champs venue I went and had dinner with Christie and Geoff. It was my first time meeting Geoff and he seemed like a nice guy.

We ate at a Mexican place that was pretty good and I had shrimp tacos with a mango salsa. After dinner we went to the site and I got to see some great folks I haven't seen in a long time. Tony Muse even came up to say hi and remembered me for once.

Came back to Carrie's and grabbed a shower and started laundry before climbing into bed on the air mattress in the living room.

Man Champs

While I wasn't rostered to skate in the MRDA Championships I still chose to go and to provide coverage for Derby Central. Christie, also a fellow Derby Central Contributor, was there to work the Roller Derby Elite booth and agreed to help with coverage for the event.  The level of commitment needed to make coverage work the way we wanted to was much high here than it had been at the WFTDA playoffs I had been working. Since there was no prepared sports book, any media liaison, or really any press plan in place, we had to make it work on the fly.  That meant writing every-other-game on Saturday as well as wrangling photogs for photos of the early games so we could go to print. I even went so far as to shoot photos and write the recap for one game just so we could have the coverage. It was a challenge but in the end it really was amazing.  For Sunday, Lisa Deadwards came on board to do writing as well as editing duties so Christie and I only had to work two games a each for recaps.

My favorite set of photos I took at Men's Roller Derby World Championships
The event itself was amazing and the derby has gotten so much better in the men's camp over the last few years. While an unfortunate incident marred the end of the finals, it couldn't overshadow the amazing games played, the great friends I got to see, and the work put in by Texas Men's Roller Derby to make the event a success.

I did however barely get more than a moment or two at the Mota booth throughout the whole weekend.  I was so glad that Julie totally understood and was cool about how much the other work was requiring my attention.

Next year I plan to skate in Champs rather than report on it!

Christie and me in front of the final score and just glad to be done writing 
If you are interested in my recaps, they can be found here.

2016 MRDA Champs: #7 Southern Discomfort kills #10 Vancouver Murder, 216-80

2016 MRDA Champs: #3 Texas tramples #6 Puget Sound, 260-123

2016 MRDA Champs: #2 Your Mom scolds #7 Southern Discomfort, 201-105

2016 MRDA Champs: #2 Your Mom ousts #3 Texas, 214-152

2016 MRDA Champs: #1 GateKeepers shut the door on #4 Bridgetown, 132-87

2016 MRDA Champs: #6 New York takes 5th against #6 Puget Sound, 180-126


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