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It’s been a hectic few days, but the pieces are finally falling into place. On Thursday, I finished up the last of my finals and we (miraculously) moved out, packed up and got on the road by noon. We are now in the Bay Area getting organized and tying up a couple of loose ends.
On Friday, we visited the NICA Main Office to meet some of the staff there and chat with Austin McInerny, NICA’s Executive Director and Nathan’s high school coach. We are both super excited to be working with NICA to build a nationwide alumni network and to meet up with alumni and current teams along the way!
After NICA, we stopped by Nathan’s grandmas house on our way to Marin Bikes’ headquarters! Turns out Marin is housed in the Grateful Dead’s old recording studio so we saw the actual studio, control room, and green room, though they are now filled with thousands of bikes. Rumor has it when the Marin folks first turned on the ventilation system, there was a persisting odor from some of the the band’s recreational activities. While we were visiting, Tsering Alleyne was especially gracious in giving up his time to show us around, introduce us to the staff, and to get us on some great bikes! I was particularly lucky as they had a single Attack Trail XT9 remaining and it happened to be in my size. Nathan is excited to be riding the hardtail Rocky Ridge 7.6, but may switch to the sought-after Attack Trail later on!
Picking up bikes directly from Marin meant that we had to build them up ourselves, and the crew at Mike’s Bikes of Berkeley were kind enough to let us use the shop and offer mechanical insights once in a while! Mike’s has been Nathan’s go-to shop for years, and everyone there was very friendly and helpful. We had a great time hanging out and working on our bikes, and we’re excited to finally have them rolling!
It’s been nice staying with Nathan’s family and they’ve treated us to some of Berkeley’s best food. Yesterday, we reevaluated our packing and consolidated a bit. With bikes built, we should be heading south later today. Our stay in Berkeley has been great, but we are both excited to truly start the trip.