A waitress called me “Babydoll” and other things from Kentucky

“Route leading is cake,” I thought to myself, like an idiot in the spring, arrogantly undermining the calamity that is the first week of any trip.

Week one of TransAm 2016 was consistent in its attempt to smash both my sanity and the team’s collective legs, but we are here in Kentucky, and things are settling in.

Zach cruising down the Capital City trail on day 1 on his freeeesh new Vaya
Zach cruising down the Capital City trail on day 1 on his freeeesh new Vaya


Troutville, VA
Troutville, VA

Having a gaggle of alumni around for Virginia was a delight, and if you’re reading this Rob, Zach, Joe, Brian, or Olivia, come back. We need you. These are the first three days of my entire Bike the US for MS experience which Joe Letchford hasn’t been around for, and I feel like a lost child at a county fair. Come find me, Joe. Regardless, it was a really nice first week, highlighted by going along the Blue Ridge Parkway, rendezvousing with Harding in Charlottesville, and a much-needed rest day in Blacksburg.

The Blue Ridge Mountains living up to their name.
The Blue Ridge Mountains living up to their name.

Leaving Blacksburg was particularly hard, especially in light of some personal news: upon reaching San Francisco in August, I will be leaving my position as Program Manager with Bike the US for MS. I hope very much that this isn’t the end of my involvement with this organization, and I feel inclined to use cliches when I talk about all of the memories I’ve made thanks to Bike the US for MS. Holding this job has been a  joy, and I am forever thankful for the opportunity. Thank you, Don and Cassie.

What’s next for me is a meltdown for another time. Right now, I’m in Kentucky on the eve of my 25th birthday. All I want for my birthday is blue skies and a tailwind tomorrow.

Some final notes:

  • Send me your address so I can send you postcards! I’m serious. mike@mikeplatania.com. Gimme it. They’ll be good. Promise.
  • If you want, send me stuff! We get mail drops from the following towns on the following dates: June 20th: Carbondale, IL 62901 | July 1st: Larned, KS 67550 | July 11th: Telluride, CO 81435 | July 21: Milford, UT 84751. If you want to send stuff just address it “General Delivery. Attn: Mike Platania” (I like cookie dough Larabars, hint-hint-nudge-nudge).
  • Since my photos are often too large for the free public WiFi I use to write these, check out my Instagram for more frequent photos of what I’m seeing and doing. Similarly, I’ll be using Strava whenever convenient.





“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.”





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