The American Dirt Project: Non-Commercial 

                Donations/Contributions for Presentation & Book

Over the past years I've been able to squeak by with my self-financed adventures, and believe you me it's been penny-pinching at it's best to keep this American Dirt Project alive on such a frugal budget. But for the 2015-2016 AD attempt, what with its extreme length, logistical complications, and its multi-year time frame, I'm afraid that my self-financing, my bank account, and all the donations that were sent in still fell far short of enabling me to make an actual film of the trek, which was one of my primary intents. As a result I’ve kind of been soul-searching for what I want to do with all this, this American Dirt Project and website, since the end of the 2015 trip. All those months of inactivity on this website directly reflected my retrospection. Now, in April of 2016, I feel I’ve discovered what I’d been searching for regarding the American Dirt Project and this website. 

What I’ve come to discover over the last eight months is that I can use American Dirt as a way of giving back to cycling, and at the same time, as a way of providing motivation to people in general to go out and chase their dreams. So I’m going to continue to your contributions in two ways:

 1) I’d like to offer the American Dirt Project as a free audio-visual presentation that I can give to live audiences. My hope’s that the American Dirt presentation can be a catalyst to the audience, maybe a subtle, subliminal suggestion for them to go out and experience the unknown, to step out of life's comfort zone once in a while, and to resist giving up on those crazy dreams that exist only as bucket lists in our heads - before it’s too late! For me American Dirt has been a grueling, yet humorous and wacky way for me to discover not only the amazing sights and sounds of American that exist off of pavement, but also for me to discover how just how much I was willing to physically and mentally endure in order to accomplish the goal & vision I’d arbitrarily set for myself. Not only that, but when I show people all the incredible places I've encountered along the backroads and hinterlands of the US, I’ve found that it evokes in them a feeling of awe and amazement for just how much of this country there is which lies virtually hidden from view. It elicits in them what’s existed in me my whole life - a sense of wanderlust! I’ve been delighted to find that people are more than eager to experience the sights and sounds of this hidden, undiscovered America through my camera and video lenses, and to hear about the trials and tribulations of the American Dirt journey through my self-deprecating humor. 

2) Starting in June of 2016 I’d like to utilize the American-Dirt website as a “route in progress” website. I’ll be putting up a Route Page with the whole American Dirt Project Trans-American route as a series of Ride With GPS maps and tcx files for each state. I’m going to credit the people whose routes I’ve cobbled together with my routes in the making of the current American Dirt Project route, and I’m going to highlight the areas that need to be “cleaned” up in order to make the route viable and legal. I’m hoping I can spark an interest in the local mountain bikers who reside in these hundreds of “clean-up” areas to explore other possibilities in order to make American Dirt something that will stand as a true mountain biking route across America, with darned little berm riding, hikeabiking and canoeabiking. I’m really hoping that a grassroots, non-profit, collaborative effort nationally will someday make this preposterous idea, the American Dirt Project, a reality within my lifetime. Looking at 59 years old this May, I’ve officially entered the “back nine” of life, so I’m counting on all the strong and adventurous young bucks and buck-etts to pick up where I’ve left off, to take this rough skeleton of a route and add muscle and sinew to it. I’ll be crediting each and every contributor who is able to submit newer and truer AD re-route to the original route. This I’m sure will take YEARS!

With that being said, I’ll continue to ask for non-commercial donations that will be earmarked for the production of my audio-visual  American Dirt Project presentation, and the upkeep and growth of this website to further refine and promote the American Dirt Route for those adventurous mountain bikes who want to take on one hell of a challenge. Finally, a year or so down the road I’d like to write a book that will take a humorous look at what went into making American Dirt and why I did it.  

Thus I've set up a pledge program for those of you who are non-commercial folks and who wish only to donate to the American Dirt Project as backers of the endeavor. Below are the pledge tiers and the accompanying "Thank You" gifts for each tier.  

Pledge $10 or more:

Extreme gratitude and a 3" long x 2" wide American Dirt logo sticker.

Pledge $30 or more:

American Dirt T-Shirt displaying the American Dirt logo and an American Dirt logo sticker.

Pledge $60 or more:

American Dirt T-Shirt displaying the American Dirt logo, an American Dirt logo sticker and an American Dirt DVD.

Pledge $100 or more:

American Dirt T-Shirt displaying the American Dirt logo, an American Dirt logo sticker, and a signed American Dirt DVD.

Pledge $250 or more:

American Dirt Contributor: Limited edition 8x10 original archival photo-collage print from the AD trip signed by me; your name as “American Dirt Contributor” in film credits; an American Dirt T-Shirt displaying the American Dirt logo; a signed DVD and an American Dirt logo sticker. Let me know if you would like to withhold your name in the film credits.

Pledge $500 or more:

American Dirt Partner: Limited edition 11x14 original archival photo collage print from the AD trip signed by me; your name as “American Dirt Partner” in film & book credits; an American Dirt T-Shirt displaying the American Dirt logo; a signed DVD and book; and an American Dirt logo sticker. Let me know if you would like to withhold your name in the film & book credits.

Pledge $1000 or more:

American Dirt Leadership Circle: Limited edition 16x24 original archival photo collage print from the AD trip signed by me; your name as “American Dirt Leadership Circle” in film & book credits; an American Dirt T-Shirt displaying the American Dirt logo; a signed DVD and book: and an American Dirt logo sticker. Let me know if you would like to withhold your name in the film & book credits.

I will send take care of some  of these "Thank You" gifts once Ive completed the route - these being the sticker and T-shirts. Those other items: the DVD's, Archival Photo Prints and the Books, would be distributed when completed.  


                     The American Dirt Project: Commercial Product 

                          Contributions/Discounts for the 2015 Trip

Now I'm very proud of what I've been able to accomplish these past six years with such a cost-conscious approach. And I'd tried very hard not to be the guy out there hawking his adventure/idea/route to any and all businesses just to get a paid vacation and a bunch of freebies. So from the get-go I'm certainly NOT looking to garnish a boatload of expensive and needless “shwag". All my discretionary income from 2012 thru 2016 has been going into this, so believe you me, I'm very invested in this project! What I am looking for in the commercial community are commercial partners who see value in this project. I would like nothing more than to share with you my love of adventure and my quest to make the impossible possible.     

I am currently seeking commercial sponsorship for the American Dirt Project, both in helping with my free audio-visual presentations and with the upkeep and propagation of this website as an ongoing “Route In Progress” site whose route information and downloads will be free to any and all mountain bikers who visit it. As a commercial backer I’ll have you prominently displayed on a Sponsors Page. You can contact me at if you are interested in talking to me about sponsorship scenarios. 

                  Current List of American Dirt Project Sponsors 



Since 2007

Steve Thomas offers repair and maintenance on road bikes, mountain bikes, and urban street bikes of any make or model. Whether it's your old bike that's been sitting in your garage collecting dust, or a recent model in need of a tune-up before hitting the roads or trails, Steve can handle it. He also fixes flat tires, ripped handlebar tape, performs preventative maintenance, or he can do a complete overhaul - it's up to you. What's more he does custom bike builds. Go see him to get your bike looking like new, and have confidence your bike is fixed right the first time. He is local, knowledgable, meticulous, and is an enthusiastic bike mechanic offering prompt, professional and personalized service with quick turn around times. Steve's attention to detail, his 24/7 availability, and his astute familiarity with all types of bikes has made him my "go-to" guy when it comes to any bike repairs and bike builds. Give Steve a try and you'll see what I mean!

IN 1971, BO HILLEBERG, a professional forester, founded his own company, Hilleberg AB. That same year, while on a ski vacation in the Austrian Tyrol, Bo met Renate Neuner. After a couple of years, the two had fallen in love, married, and she had moved with him to Stockholm, Sweden. Their marriage was the final, necessary ingredient in the mix that has become Hilleberg the Tentmaker.

Before Renate, Bo’s fledgling company was primarily a forestry equipment concern, with tent making as a hoped-for sideline. An avid, lifelong outdoorsman, Bo was terminally frustrated with tents that required pitching the inner tent first and then covering it with a loose rain fly that usually displayed the same properties as a kite in the wind. He envisioned a tent that had an outer and inner tent that pitched together, simultaneously – but he didn’t have the necessary sewing skills. With Bo and Renate’s marriage, conjugal and commercial became one: Renate took charge of the sewing while Bo handled design and sales, and with their combined efforts, the company flourished. Today, family and business are still inextricably linked. Bo is Chairman, and is still in charge of design and development; daughter Petra handles all company business outside of Europe; and Bo, Renate, Petra and her brother Rolf make up the governing board of directors – clearly, family synergy continues to beget success. I can personally attest to the quality and functionality of the Hilleberg product. I've used Hilleberg tents for the past 15 years. I've been carrying the Akto, a solo tent, for backpacking trips around the world since the 1990's - and it's still good as new! Most recently I've been using the Nallo 2-person tent for my cycling trips across North America. I chose the Nallo for my X-country bicycle trips because of it's quality, which was confirmed very fast once I started using it. The interior living space is roomy enough so that I can put all my sleeping gear, my bicycle panniers, my clothes and myself inside for the night and still have room to sit up and work on my computer. As far as tents go...I've owned them all, and the Hilleberg is without question the best ever!


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