Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mekong Hella - The Band is Back Together

Jon Bailey is a unique individual with many talents. I had the privilege of becoming good friends with him while living in Durango, Colo., and we've remained as such for many years. We spent a lot of time riding bikes, creating art, and playing music in the "Blue House." He's one of those guys who can look at something that is broken and instantly come up with a plan and find the means to fix it, hence why he's a great bike mechanic who's putting together old donated bikes at Durango Cyclery under the moniker Recyclery. He also has an insane amount of talent as an artist.

On the bike, JB will go faster and ride more miles than most anyone, all while throwing in a trick or two in the most demanding technical sections. One of the first adventures I went on after we met was a little thing called the "Freedom Tour." A group of five of us including modern day legends Steve Fassbinder, Bob Gregorio, and Thad Ferrell, set off toward the open expanse of southeast Utah on roads less traveled. I had just recently met all of them and Bob suggested I join in a few days prior.

On the first day of that tour I came to the realization that I was way out of my league. They could ride all day long, sunup to sundown, without even thinking about it - and we climbed some pretty intense roads including the Moki Dugway and the Burr Trail Switchbacks. One night around a poached campsite outside of Natural Bridges everyone suddenly realized that I was riding a double chainring road bike setup on my Gunnar Crosshairs and had a good laugh at my expense (they were all riding mountain bike gearing, i.e. triple chainrings and smaller gears). For that I earned a little respect and it was on that trip that I learned what self-sustained touring was all about and I've been sufficiently hooked ever since. 

Yesterday I got a call from Jon telling me he had a three-hour layover in Seattle so we made a plan to hook up for dinner and beers. He was heading home after another epic trip with a few unsuspecting individuals. It was great to catch up and realize that no matter how much time lapses between visits, we are bros for life. 


  1. Good dude, that's for sure.
    BTW I just found some SSWC pics of you in the fur suit.

  2. Larry! How you been, amigo!? Love the bunny suit. That was an all-time week of fun.