Truckee skater’s cross-country trip continues despite obstacles
DENVER, COLO. – He’s been tossed in jail, abandoned by one of his partners, chased by dogs (“dogs don’t like skateboarders for some reason”), snowed on at 11,000 feet in the Rockies and weathered below zero temperatures.
But these are nothing but bumps in the road for Truckee skateboarder Tyler Buschmann and his adventure across America.
Currently resting up for a week in Denver thanks to the generosity of one of his sponsors, Buschmann is still on course to complete his transcontinental skateboard journey, which began with fellow Truckee resident Justin Hawxhurst as “Project Transamerica 2000” in November. There have been some changes in plans, but the end goal remains the same: Times Square, Manhattan, New York City, now by March 21.
With Hawxhurst bailing in eastern Nevada, and his other partner, Robert Garside, aka “Runningman,” abandoning Buschmann Christmas Eve (with three duffel bags and his computer) the intrepid man on one long board has had his share of uphills. Not to mention run-ins with cops in almost every county he’s been in.
“The cops put on their lights, ask me what I’m doing, check my ID,” said Buschmann in a telephone interview from his Denver hotel room. But spending the night in jail?
“I was in Ely (Nev.), eating a sandwich outside of a convenience store where I’d bought it, sitting there for half an hour when the guy (working at the store) told me to leave,” Buschmann said. “The guy told me skateboarding wasn’t allowed there, but I’d been sitting there for half an hour, after I’d spent my money there and already been inside the store.”
The employee threatened to call the cops and Buschmann figured it would be easier to reason with the police. The officers arrived and after Buschmann tried to reason with them (but didn’t necessarily comply with their demands) the cops cuffed him and hauled him off to jail. When Buschmann appeared in court the next day, the judge apologized for the inconvenience and waived the $500 fine.
But he’s also spent a few nights behind bars voluntarily, like in a substation in Dinosaur, Colo., where he simply asked if he could spend the night and he was permitted to.
“I’ve slept in people’s houses, slept in the middle of desert. I figure it out as I go,” he said.
Despite the unknown, Buschmann is still in good spirits, all things considered.
“At this point I’m broke, but figuring it out as I go. I’m super pumped I’m still doing this,” said Buschmann, adding that he hasn’t felt any pangs of loneliness, but “at times I question what I’m doing out here. I’ve beat the mental block of can I make it. The living part is the hardest part now. The traveling part is not too bad now.”
In terms of the Garside abandonment, Runningman left Buschmann in the middle of the night in Delta, Utah. Buschmann was left with his belongings and a decision to make: to keep going or call it quits.
“I sent my bags back to Truckee and mailed my computer to Denver. I already invested so much time in this, I had no other choice,” Buschmann said.
Carrying what he needs – one pair warm wear, one pair of cold wear, skateboard equipment and some camera gear – the young man now only needs to bring a minimum of food with him as from Denver to New York Buschmann figures he’ll being going town-to-town more often. Instead of skating to Chicago, Buschmann will take a more southern route through Kansas and Missouri and eventually into Washington, D.C. before completing his voyage to New York. Buschmann plans on traveling 60 to 65 miles a day through Kansas on U.S. 36. The most he’s traveled in a day so far was 80 miles when along the Utah-Nevada border.
With the toughest portions behind him, Buschmann is looking for even more public support as he pursues his goal. He hopes for his final stint, from D.C. to Times Square, to have a couple hundred skateboarders join him in “expressing the freedom of skateboarding.”
Besides this freedom, Buschmann said it has also been a great way to see the country.
“You don’t miss much when you’re traveling this slow.”
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High school snowboarding continued this week with a pair of giant slalom races at Boreal Mountain California and Alpine Meadows.