The Pettit Files~the most excellent miss adventures of Jonny P~14 days
These nights become days, propelling me into the future and closer to the greatest departure of my life. If the old saying holds true “if it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done” then these missing puzzle pieces will bend and morph into just the shape I need. T-minus two weeks till lift off, and after bothering the passport office for the last two weeks, seems my court documented official name change and adoption papers went through and the release of my passport is set to arrive four days before I board a plane. I guess there is no going back now, I’m Jonathan Pettit, and yes this is my life. Pettit is my step fathers last name although I don’t like calling him my “step” dad. He’s been there since I can remember and I am who I am because of him, no matter the differences. He’s currently going through some pretty serious health issues and those too weigh heavy, once I begin the tour, I won’t know his status until Antelope Wells, even then I’ll be too brain fried to register much, but he’ll be on my mind for every mile.
One of my greatest concerns is packs, the Osprey guys were super nice and wanted to help, but my torso just doesn’t fit in their M/L. Our Camelbak rep gave me some VIP coupons, but of course the pack I wanted wasn’t available, I thought I would have to pay full retail at REI, but somehow it showed up with the shops order saving me much needed money and easing one of the more load bearing issues of nearly 3,000 miles. Taylor is letting me use an older GPS of his, freshly downloaded with the divide mountain bike route. The bike is nearly finished, just waiting for my aero bars to come in, after that, everything I’ll ride or pack will be in place and give me further miles to pour into it. I’ve decided to run the bike fully rigid with the salsa Fargo fork doing the work up front, the steel rolls nice and eases the bumps, but I’m liking the water bosses more, further unloading weight from my back.
There are a couple hot irons in the fire that I hope to announce soon, but it could enable me to document my journey far better than I imagined, and ease some of the financial burden. I’ve already decided I’ll film myself and the ride, along with the possible thousands of pics to sort through I hope to make a suffering montage of my trip, aided by Travis McMaster and Mike Melley who have more prowess in the Vimeo world than I. But it all seems to be coming together in the 25th hour ~ true Jonny P style.
I’ve missed my first MBAA race of the season and have swallowed that I won’t be able to win the series due to the fact that you can miss races during the series but not the last, which I’ll be somewhere in Montana for. I still have a healthy lead, and one I feel I could defend easily if I was around, but much larger things loom for me. After another round of antibiotics- giant horse pills two times daily, some allergy meds that seem to work, and some plain ole rest seem to finally be getting my health back on track. After we rode home from the Globe race I didn’t touch the bike for 9 days, then last week knocked out a whole 125 miles maybe. But I rode Saturday morning with the girl and some strong roadies up the towers and found that I climbed well on the cross bike and pipped them all to the top.
I’ve also been tossing on the pounds in advance for the adventure. My weight usually stretches from 175-185 and I’m nearly on the plus side of that. My weight in my pre-race life was 190-210, most of that muscle, from pouring concrete and fishing in Alaska. I have a hunch I’ll arrive in Mexico under the 175 window so being a little thicker now doesn’t bother me. I have to give much thanks and praise to Amber Halvorson, my girlfriend for nearly 8 months now, she’s taken on a giant roll. All while doing her full time job, she’s catered to my needs, done all the work on the website, dealt with things I know little about and has tried to find the easiest path for me so I can just work, ride and write with the most amount of ease so I can spit these out to go viral. Without her, I doubt I would even make it to the border.
I find it’s tough to work when I know in three weeks I’ll be riding endless dirt roads, hiking up mountains of snowy passes, through great basins, sharing space with some of mother natures beastly creatures, waking up in my bivy, looking over to make sure Taylor’s ok, and then hustling my ass for at least 120 miles a day. Maybe it’s a testament to my character and the alter routes I took to find these people, but I’m surrounded by good, honest and caring friends that have become family, they help without asking and just want to share in my life and be a part of the times. Back home it was a mix of 50/50 people, some of the most amazing folks I’ll ever meet, then of course some I would love to forget, but all paths lead me here, and soon, south on the great divide mountain bike route.
There is no race or epic ride to report this time, just a thankfulness and a gracious attitude for those I’ve met, and for those I’m about too. Just wanted to say thanks for accepting me and my many, and different personalities, allowing me to grow in directions I long dreamed, and hopefully will continue to be able to do. I’ve got one more race here in Arizona before a flight with destiny, the Arizona state championships. I’ve yet to decide if I race and how aggressive if I do. I would be shattered if I were to get hurt, but would be honored to line up with my friends, and maybe, just maybe finally have a good go of it.
As it sits right now, I have about 30 dollars a day to spend on food and such, so if I’m correct on my assumption I could do it in 20 days that lends me 500 for the trip. Taylor’s dad has said if we get a hotel room he’ll cover it, so there is another expense that I skipped. I’ll soon mail up my new gear and drive train to Salida, CO to Absolute Bikes in preparation for my overhaul, and hopefully another sponsor will come through so I can pre-mail myself some goodies at post offices along the route. People lately have asked if I’m nervous, although I rarely get riled up about too many things, it seems at this point with all the planning, sorting logistics, and freaking about the economics I’m just wanting June 10th to come around and a man who says go. Then all these fears and doubts are no longer in the future but in the present and you can deal with then as they come up, instead of trying to foresee problems along the way. In all honesty I’m more worried about the critters than anything, I’ve put my body through plenty of hells and I’m at ease in the amount of discomfort I’m going to be in. Of course keeping a close eye on Taylor Lideen is a top priority, if he were to get hurt, it would be hard for me to swallow, and although he knows all the risk, he’s still like my little brother and I’ll regard him as much.
But I’m also beyond excited to spend a couple days in the mountains of Banff with my girl and chill in surroundings that are more of which like my childhood. After years in the desert I’m happy and at ease to take in all the trees, mountains and streams along the route, further filling up my empty reservoirs that have long gone dry of things I quietly love. So in two Tuesdays from now we will be boarding a plane and heading north, and then on the tenth we begin to migrate like wild animals south, back into the heat and the arms of those we love, back to the familiar voices of good friends and routines of work, but I believe our lives will be forever changed and who knows what new doors will have opened along the way.