About Will Luck

Do you have any pieces of general advice for new cyclists?

 

Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.


You signed up for this.

 

Laugh at the rain, the wind, and the blisters on your lips. Pass around good vibes as often as possible. 

_____________________

 

What is your age?

Twenty-two.

 

What made you want to ride your bike across the country?

To have some stories to tell my robo-nurse in 70 years. I’ll probably never have kids.

 

Where do you live?

In the hearts and minds of everyone I’ve met. Also, Richmond.

 

What is your profession?

writer.

 

What route/year did you ride with Bike the US for MS?

Northern Tier 2015.

 

Pre-trip

 

What was your cycling experience before signing up?

A rusty single speed lump of steel named Daenarys.

 

Where did you find the most success fundraising?

Throw a show. Get some donated booze and local bands together in a basement and charge minimum $5 at the door. Don’t forget to get a card-reader and your stickers. People go nanners for adhesive paper-goods.

 

What was your biggest worry before the trip, and how did you handle it?

Saving enough spending money for food and postcards. I hammed up to everyone I knew for extra pocket-change, got my workplace to comp some of my expenses, and worked two jobs.

 

How many fundraising letters/emails do you think you sent?

About 47. Don’t be afraid to send three to five a day. That’s what I wish I did more of. I felt oddly guilty for asking people for money, even though the vast majority goes directly to MS patients. Send, like, two emails to people a day and just let them know what you’re doing. 

 

What surprised you most about the fundraising process?

My ex-girlfriend’s mom gave me a couple hundred. If that gives you any idea of how many people are ready and willing to give to a great cause regardless of the schlub promoting it.

 

Gear

 

What type of bike did you ride? Where did you get it?

2014 Novara Randonee from REI

 

What is something you wish you had brought which you didn’t?

Better envelopes. Get the envelopes with the pull-off sticker paper, if you get the ones with the lick-able glue adhesive strips, they will stick together. That trailer gets muggy and those little fellas are not built for it.

Also, nothing says group party ride like a Bluetooth speaker slung on the back-rack. Bump that Bey. Or, like, light jazz. Whatever you’re into.

 

What’s one ancillary thing you couldn’t have lived without on the road?

Leg-warmers. I know the list says optional, but optional is a filthy word when you wake up to 40 degree rain showers.

 

What’s one thing you brought that you wish you hadn’t?

My Go-Pro. I used it once. Use your eyeballs like your Grandmami did and save yourself some space.

 

Is there anything you spent a bit more money on that you were glad you did?

A fancy-pants leather saddle. Shew wee. They feel as good as they look. Break it in beforehand though.

 

How much casual clothes (t-shirts, shorts, etc) did you bring?

I brought two pair of shorts, a tasty little button-up, three tees and one tank top. 

 

How many pairs of cycling shorts/bibs did you bring?

Two.

 

What type of sleeping pad did you use?

A tangerine thermarest.

 

Food

 

What was your favorite trailer snack?

Tofurkey sausage, no doubt. 39 grams of protein per link? This is the future.

 

How often would you go out to eat?

Once every other day or so. Then it became once a day roughly by the end of the trip. Everyone get up early and go to breakfast together. Find a greasy little diner and raid it. Nothing says blossoming friendship like splitting an omelet the size of your thigh.

 

Would you cook at camp often? If so, what was your favorite recipe?

Tortillas are edible plates. Put whatever you want on that thing and slam it. Peanut butter and chicken? Sure. Hot sauce and granola? Gordon Ramsey over here. No mess, no stress. Canned Hormel chili was a close second.

 

On-the-bike

 

Did you prefer to ride alone or in a group?

I usually rode alone, but I love me a gravy-slow group ride with good-looking people.

 

Would you rather be riding through steady rain or extreme heat?

That depends. How cold is it during the steady rain? If it’s extreme hot, is there a hose at camp to dance in?

 

What would you keep in your bike jersey pockets?

Carrots, loose change, and a phone. Carrots were the most useful of all those things. Pocket snacks are a delight.

Did you use a rack/saddle bag/handlebar bag?

I used a periwinkle blue saddle bag. For stashing extra snacks and a journal.

 

What type of tires did you ride? 

Continental tourings and then some gator skins.

 

Did you use a cyclocomputer? What was your normal pace?

Nope. I’m a freakin’ Luddite. No one needs to know how fast they’re going. My normal pace was, “Woah, look at this flower.”

 

How long did it take to learn to read the maps?

Three missed turns in two days.

 

Riding on a flat terrain with a headwind, or climbing a mountain pass for miles. Which do you prefer?

Climbing because, eventually, what goes up must come down.

 

What was the most difficult part/aspect/state of the ride?

East-Montana headwinds are about as fun as a kidney punch. At least the kidney punch doesn’t take eight hours to grind through. Also, cold rain in the Live Free or Die state. Do not skimp on cold-weather gear if you’re riding the Northern Tier.

 

Routine

 

Were you an early riser? Did you sleep in?

Depended on the day and what my friends were planning. If it’s going to be hot, wake up early, if it’s going to be not then sleep, little speed-racer. There’s no rush

 

When you got to camp, the first thing you did was….

Peel off my jersey and pitch a tent. Then you can do whatever you want.

 

How often would you do laundry? 

When I felt sorry for everyone around me.

It’s the evening and you’re out of your bike clothes, fed, and your tent is pitched. What are you doing to pass the time until you fell asleep?

Push ups. Also, reading, writing letters, listening to music, exploring the town/forest/camp.

 

How many sink/hose showers did you take? 

43. Exactly. I counted. They’re the best.

 

How many loads of sink/hose laundry did you do?

Seven. Exactly. I counted. They’re neat.

 

On rest days, did you prefer to go out and see what the town has to offer, or did you hang out, rest up, and relax?

I liked going out because how often are you going to be in East-Jesus Wherevers-ville?

 

Post-trip

 

What’s your favorite memory from your trip?

Hanging hammocks and chatting it up at camp or at mile 77 on a 90-mile day. Also, sleeping in the enchanted forests near Diablo Lake.

 

Do you keep in touch with many of your teammates?

Only a few. Enjoy people while you can. You won’t always be sleeping in a pile like a roaming pack of jackals. 

 

Has the trip changed you as a person, or the way you see life?

What a question. In short: Yes. Everything is orange now. Talking about that is like retelling a half-remembered dream. You’ll blink politely, nod occasionally, and I’ll walk away feeling like I didn’t quite explain it right.

 

Do you have any pieces of general advice for new cyclists?


Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.

 

You signed up for this.

 

Laugh at the rain, the wind, and the blisters on your lips. Pass around good vibes as often as possible. 

 

Don’t be rude to your route-leaders and the people housing you, they’re doing their damndest to make sure you have what you need. They do a lot more than you see, and they’ve worked real hard on this trip already. They’re excited, don’t kill their vibe with your soggy attitude. Don’t grumble about campsites because, hooray, you’ll be leaving in the morning. 

 

Don’t be afraid to take a little initiative. If Google can answer your question (i.e. are there showers nearby? Where can we eat? What’s that guys name again?), then Google it.

 

Don’t sweat the petty things, pet all the sweaty things.

Will Luck's Fundraising

Advice from Alumni 2016 TEAM TOTAL: $127

ALL 2016 TEAMS TOTAL: $372998

PERSONAL GOAL: $1
RAISED: $0