Between Texas and the Eastern Seaboard

Tom Blyth. Knoxville.

I had driven a bus before… I hadn’t ever bought one off of craigslist and decided to drive it halfway across America a week later, however.
Kenny and I scored a good deal in Colonial Williamsburg, for an old school bus, paid cash, and drove it an hour or so, without a test drive, through rain and a tornado warning. Literally.
The actual test drive, after a few essential mods, was roughly 1500 miles to Austin Texas. Somehow we got there. 8 dudes, bikes, beers, a radio and a loose plan…

Check out the Videos and the photos in this post to see what some of it was like…

Our first stop was along highway 40, in the rain, on the shoulder, to learn the fuel gauge was not accurate. Running out of diesel on a rainy freeway in Tennessee isn’t ideal, but you will learn quickly how to avoid that situation down the road.

Eventually, we made it to Nashville Tennessee, where we parked the bus in the outskirts of town, at a burned down house that belonged to a guy named Romero, Our friends had a keg of beer near a campfire, at some jumps, and were camping out. Romero’s dog guided us down the path to the camp spot. We hadn’t met Romero yet, but he soon emerged from the woods, shirtless, scratched to shit, drunk as hell, and oozing madness.
In what would become a drug addled, alcohol fueled evening, that set the stage for our adventure, stories were told, and formed, in something you might read in a Kesey novel. It was in the light of the fire, I learned the dog that had guided us to this party, had 3 legs. He was a full size Weimaraner.
“…oh ya, the neighbor shot him with a shotgun for getting at his chickens…” That wasn’t the craziest part of the evening.
The dogs name was Leo.

Along Interstate 30 in Arkansas is a town called Malvern, maybe an hour from Little Rock, it’s a town of maybe a couple thousand. We stopped well after midnight while driving, to find a Wal- Mart parking lot to park in and sleep it off. Typically no one bothers you, and you can sleep for free, you will notice RV’s with License plates from 3 states away, and obscurely parked 18 wheelers with people stopping for the night. We joined them. Most Wal-Marts are open 24 hours, so at about 2 am Kenny decides to go use the facilities, and such after drinking a sixer to wind down from driving. In the restroom, he heard the scattered sound of a restless man in the stall. The sound in repeated fashion was “SNOORTTSNIFFFFSNIFFLE…” followed by the flush of an automatic toilet, being used as a coke, or meth refueling station. Kenny described the situation in such as he realized what was going on, around the 3rd flush after hearing said fellow snorting drugs…
In the Morning, while fueling up, Holladay decides to empty the bus of it’s portable bathroom units,
and put them in the trash. At this point, I hear- ” OH HELL NO!!! YOU AINT DUMPING THEM PISSSSS BOMBS IN THERE…” in the southern twang of a 300 pound sassy black woman. I was pumping diesel, and almost puked in laughter as he was ordered to empty them in the toilet…

Once in Austin, the debacle hit turbo, a man with no legs sold cocaine outside the entrance of a mexican restaurant on East 7th. Drunk children got tattoos, and grown men with adulthood problems consumed party juice like sailors on leave. I must have heard the phrase ” Oh hell ya!” a thousand times at this point and we were only part way to the apex of the trip. I woke up in the bus outside a lumber yard near some railroad tracks to a few of our crew sleeping in the grass, spooning bicycles to keep them safe, while 3 or 4 were missing. Abducted by the Austin nightlife.
The next few days were more of the same, only weirder.

The remaining week was spent huffing exhaust fumes that seeped into the bus on long drives between southern cities, examining pinball machines at podunk truck stops, discovering the price of replacing a school bus tire, bartering goods for trip essentials, riding bikes, and exploring the landscape between Texas and the eastern seaboard…
We were exposed to every element imaginable, weather, poverty, indulgence, stopped traffic, fast living, hot tempers, cold beers, and the rising cost of diesel, all for no reason in particular, just some dudes, some bicycles, a school bus and an eager eye for the horizon…

Road trip to Texas from FBM BMX on Vimeo.

Fbm Road Trip to Texas Part 1 from FBM BMX on Vimeo.

Lords Of Fun. Nashville.

Garrett Guilliams. Memphis.

Latane Coghill. Nashville.

Zac Costa. Little Rock.

Jackson Allen. Pfluegerville.

Eric Holladay. Little Rock.

Eric Hennessey. East Austin.

Kenny Horton. Memphis.

Eric Holladay. Nashville.

Jackson Allen. East Austin.

Neil Hise. Memphis.

Tom Blyth. Memphis.

Eric Holladay. Nashville.

Lords of Fun. Anywhere.

Steve Crandall

Coffee sipping pilot of a red FBM frame and a Nikon camera.