This is my story:
Hey guys, Dan here, and I’m really excited about the opportunity I’m about to share with you. For the past few years I’ve been a Marin County resident; first moving onto a Houseboat in Sausalito, then into an apartment in Tamalpais Junction, and most recently living out of a van for almost two years. My time in Marin has been one of personal growth, discovery, and has provided space away from my old habits to map out a new lifestyle for myself.
As a retired high-level athlete from small town, America, I grew up believing the negative stigma’s associated with cannabis; I wasn’t too far off from believing marijuana grew with horns and condemned its users to a life of damnation.
After moving west and coaching wrestling for one season at Stanford University I moved north to Marin. It was then I gained interested in cannabis and mountain biking, and for the first time I started to look at life outside of wrestling. I was working as a barista at Coyote Coffee when I met Adam Fong, Nice Guys Owner and CEO, where we formed a relationship and my journey with Nice Guys began with me voluntarily running their social media; connecting online has always been an interest of mine but I am a millennial after all.
It didn’t take long for me to join payroll as a driver. The company has continued to grow month after month and I’m grateful for the opportunity I had doing deliveries because it helped me squash the prior negative stereotypes I had surrounding the drug and its users. I spent more than a year as a delivery driver, running into all sorts of people, situations, and questions. Being a driver helped me gain a lot of knowledge in a lot of areas. I got a chance to meet some really incredible people, I gained patience sitting in Bay Area traffic, and I became convinced of the healing potential embodying the cannabis plant.
Around 6-8 months ago I started talking about my goal to travel the globe by bike. My employers must’ve thought I was joking because prior to the bicycle touring idea I wanted to sail the Pacific with basically no experience; so, they humored me with a salaried position as Social Media Manager, while keeping me on as a driver. As my departure date came closer they asked me to create a business proposal containing a content map and my plan to succeed. It was one of the harder things I’ve had to do in recent years because I struggle planning ahead, but now that it’s behind me and I’m a few articles into my new position I’m glad I put forth the effort.
Good Bye, Marin. Hello, World.
I left California July 8th and am driving my van across the country back to my parents’ home in Michigan. I’ve crossed the country nearly 15 times, mostly by car, a few times by train, and very soon a bicycle. I’m looking forward to riding my bicycle across the country.
I’m writing this article at a local cafe called “Brewed Awakenings,” in Williams, AZ, an hour or so away from the Grand Canyon. When I walked in I met a kind older couple who were also bicycle tourists, after talking a minute we exchanged contacts and they invited me to stay at their home when I bike across the country later this summer. A big goal of mine throughout this trip is to uncover the kindness of humanity, I’d like to lift the veil placed on society which taints our experience of life by adding fear to our lens of perception. I especially want to highlight the kindness behind the cannabis community.
I’ll be traveling with a teammate from my Michigan State wrestling days. He’s a more experienced bike tourist so I’m excited to learn from him. We plan to start our bike ride in September in Illinois and aim to reach San Francisco by the end of November. We originally wanted to ride over the Sierra’s, but it’s too late in the season to be riding so far north, I foresee us riding through: Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Southern Utah, Arizona, and California.
My job on the road
Along the way I’ll be maintaining my duties as an employee engaging on social media, managing email campaigns, and writing weekly articles from across the country. It is a self-supported bike ride meaning I will be carrying all of my gear on a steel framed 26’ Surly Disc Trucker I’ve named Gaia. It’ll be fun downsizing yet again from a van to a lifestyle lived out of a few bags on a bicycle.
We plan to sleep in our tents and camp most of the time. When I asked my buddy what he thought his daily budget for the US crossing would be he said $10/day. This’ll be interesting, especially coming out of Marin where $10 is hardly enough for a measly salad from Good Earth or Whole Foods, but I’m excited for the challenge. As a 4x High School wrestling state finalist and 3x NCAA National Championship qualifier I fell short of my ultimate goal of becoming a 4x State Champion and a collegiate National Champion; I understand there’s a difference between wrestling and bicycling, but at the same time there’s something within I must prove to myself and I believe overcoming the obstacles ahead of me while biking around the world is just the way to do it.
My mission on this bike ride, along with spreading positive cannabis awareness is to gain a deeper sense of the collective thinking surrounding the plant and the people using it. For many years I naively shunned marijuana because I didn’t have access to true, genuine information. Nice Guys are more than a delivery service, they’re huge advocates doing their part to end negative stigma– the owners of the company are parents and are extremely active in the community; attending meetings and organizing community service events.
I feel privileged with the opportunity they’re granting me. I’ve long desired to become a writer and this is the perfect classroom to sharpen my skills. In the coming months you can expect some pretty cool things. I will be updating you once a month via writing. In addition, I’m creating an Instagram show called “High Mileage,” where I’ll be talking about my trip in greater detail; discussing my experiences, gear reviews, how I’m living, and talking about the cannabis scene from wherever I find myself. The show will air weekly as I’m riding through legal and illegal states, I’m eager to meet people with all sorts of beliefs.