Lots of people are traveling long distances for optimal viewing of the big eclipse that’s coming up.
But Christopher J. Krawczyk stands out, for his mode of transportation and the length of his journey.
For starters, Krawczyk is coming to the Carolinas from Colorado by bicycle. He’ll pedal nearly two thousand miles on what he’s calling “Mesmerization Eclipse: A Journey To Where The Moon Speaks To The Sea.”
Krawczyk’s first stop will be Raleigh, 1,725 miles from his starting point in Fort Collins, to see the band Captain Beyond playing the Pour House nightclub Friday, Aug. 18 – which just happens to be his 48th birthday.
From Raleigh, he’ll pedal south another 250 miles to get into the 100-percent totality zone to experience the eclipse on Aug. 21.
It’s all a happy collision of circumstances involving a rare natural event, an ongoing journey and one of Krawczyk’s favorite bands, a metal supergroup comprised of former members of Iron Butterfly, Deep Purple, Johnny Winter and Rick Derringer. What clinched it was that Captain Beyond’s self-titled 1972 debut album includes a song called “Mesmerization Eclipse.”
“Captain Beyond is a great classic-rock band that has never been recognized,” Krawczyk said by phone from the road, passing through Nashville, Tenn.
Captain Beyond on my birthday with the eclipse a few days later, that’s a homemade party, man.
Christopher J. Krawczyk
“Music is the most important thing in my life, and when the tour was announced, I saw the Raleigh date on my birthday and said, ‘I gotta go to that!’ ” he said. “Someone asked if I was gonna ride my bike there. Well, yeah. Captain Beyond on my birthday with the eclipse a few days later, that’s a homemade party, man. Why not? Why be an adult?”
As for the ongoing journey, Krawczyk has been living an itinerant life as an Adventure Cyclist for about a year now, chronicling his travels on a Pedal to the Metal Facebook page. After working in telecommunications, he opted to leave behind the 9-to-5 world in favor of something with what he calls “adventurous capabilities.”
“I decided a little over a year ago, ‘I’m gonna go for a bike ride,’ ” he said. “Put everything I didn’t sell or throw away into storage, got out my mountain bike and away I went. That was 15 or 16,000 miles ago.”
Krawczyk ran through his savings pretty quickly. But he’s gotten by since then selling stickers and taking the occasional temp job, augmented by donations.
“The whole bike trip is a search for something better,” he said. “After the eclipse, I don’t know what I’ll do. A lot of times I’ll come to an intersection and flip a quarter over whether to go left or right. I’m just on a bike ride. Maybe for forever. Being healthy adds life to your days and days to your life.”
▪ Follow Krawczyk’s travels at facebook.com/petaltothemeddle/.
▪ Captain Beyond will be at the Pour House Music Hall, 224 S. Blount St., Aug. 18. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20. thepourhousemusichall.com