Friday, April 30, 2010

Ten hut

Today we rode from Dana point to encinita. Overall it was a pretty uneventful ride. So uneventful, in fact, that I don't remember very much of it. Either that or I forgot due to the romantic evening I just had with Zachary eating skittles and drinking dr. Pepper while watching the sunset on the beach. Whatever.

So yeah, we took a sort of half day and only rode 48 miles or something which leaves us a wopping 20 or something to ride tomorrow to San Diego. Originally we were going to trek it to San Diego today and have the day off there tomorow, but after just having 4 days off we weren't really feeling like loafing around another city getting in peoples way and loafing around. It would be nice to do shit in San Diego for a day, but let's be honest, the last thing you really want to do on a day off during a bike tour is go out running around not relaxing.

We started off today riding through san Clemente which was basically a million ups and downs where it is impossible to get in the groove. This also made hurties in zachys knees. Shortly outside of San Clemente we saw a brutal futuristic nuclear power plant with a magnificent ocean side view just sucking the life out of the planet. We then rode through a really boring park which lead to an even more boring and desolate bike trail leading through absolutely nothing that took us through a mud puddle laced tunnel which Zach almost ate shit in (Ha!).

After this stretch of boredom we crossed in to camp pendleton where we were greated by 3 of Americas finest. For those who don't know, camp pendleton is a huge military base. Our gate keeping greeters proceeded to ask us why the hell we would ever want to ride our bikes cross country and said they would rather eat a bullet than have to do what we were doing. Secretely we were wishing that bullet would be served.

I thought we might see some heavy shit up in that thar army base, like tanks and shit. However we mostly just saw tribal tattoos and unwelcoming glares.

Imediately after leaving the base we found our days salvation as we pulled up to our first (and probably last) del taco stop of the trip. We figured we better get our habits of eating cheap garbage out of the way before Lenora meets up with us tomorrow and makes us eat like adults. We ate our grub and went about our business.

It was not too long before we got all up  in to carlsbad where we stopped in at some bike shop and chatted with a super nice old man who was raging to Tom waitts alone in his shop. He came out and checked out our bikes and offered us restrooms or anything else we might need. Unfortunately I forgot the name of his shop to give him a plug.

Once we were in Carlsbad propper we were scootin along the 101 beach side and shit looked straight up like a scene from bay watch. Mass surfers and bikini babes. Even shit neck life guards cruisin the beaches in jeeps. I felt this was the time of day to start harassing people on the side walk so I started yelling at every other person we passed that "yo, this place looks like baywatch." Zach laughed until he peed his biker shorts, in turn giving him a bad moisture chafing all down his leg.

Finally we made it to Encinita around like 2:30 or something. Zach wanted to do laundry so we did. Then we straight up killed 2 large pizzas from little ceasers. We couldn't pass on the $5 large deal. We then headed over to our camp ground around 6 after piddling our afternoon away only to find that the camp ground wasn't offering hike and bike this evening. This put us in quite a pickle as there literally was no where else to go other than $90 hotels for miles due to our proximity to San Diego. This camp ground was pretty much our last resort. I felt pretty defeated and was totally in the mind set that we were done for the day so I went back up to the dude at the camp gate and pleaded some sob story that the camp ground was our last resort and we didn't know what to do if we couldn't stay there. My pleading, fortunately, worked and dude gave us a regular camp site for the price of hiker biker.

So here we are! In our tents again where we feel safe. Tomorrow we are doing a super easy day to San Diego where I am hoping to take in a matinee showing of nightmare on elm street before we meet up with Lenora.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Back on the road

Hello again readers. We hit the road again after our little break in Los Angeles for the past 4 days. I must say, even though it was nice to have shelter for the past few evenings, I am pretty stoked to be out of LA. I will admit that I had a better time there than any other trip I have taken to LA, but I still really hate that city. Basically the only times that were good were when I was with someone that had a car. That city is just straight up unenjoyable without an automobile. I even tried biking around and I had to bike at least 14 miles to do anything. Pretty ridiculous. However, it was really nice to see andre, Paul, mike and Jason Harbert who I had not seen in a really long time. I even ran in to krissy piper at a taco restaraunt and officially met her after awkwardly sort of knowing eachother for years haha. Sorry to anyone out there that I missed, I felt completely trapped whenever I didn't have a car, so anyone who didn't live in silver lake or Beverly hills / Hollywood was out of luck haha. Also, thanks again to andre and Jason for letting me crash on their couches. Oh yeah, and it was also nice to see Alison Brady at her art show. Brooklyn raise up.

So yeah, now let's get back to the point of this blog which is the bike trip. We managed to ride 70 miles today from silver lake LA to Dana point which is just south of laguna beach. Today's ride was quite interesting. The first 30 miles of the ride was just getting out of LA. Give me a fucking break LA. 30 miles? We weren't even like the furthest we could have been either. 30 miles... Just to leave LA. not to mention all 30 miles were ugly as shit. LA isn't really a pretty city in the first place, but our route today was a tour of all of the ugliest parts! We went through down town, south central (which I couldn't stop thinking of don't be a menace the entire time) then we hit up Compton haha. We were riding on some bike path through south central through some park and got mean mugged pretty hard by some rough looking dudes at one point. I must say as a dude with a fully loaded touring bike wearing a half spandex outfit I wasn't feeling very in place. Not to mention we had to stop at some point to consult the iPhone for directions which made me feel even more cozy haha. Once we got to Compton though we were mostly on some bike path going behind houses where we were pretty much out of sight. I must say that was about the sketchiest looking bike path I have ever seen and the backs of the houses in Compton were pretty raw.

Once we finally got out of Compton we hit up some bike trail that followed the Los Angeles river. Let me tell you, that is the ugliest damn river I have ever seen. It is made of Fucking concrete and is filled with garbage. What an eye sore. Very fitting for LA. but yeah, for this portion of the ride we were going head on against some brutalizing winds which slowed us down to about 9 or 10 mph all the way to the coast at long beach.

Long beach was about halfwy through our ride and the scenery popped a 180 for the rest of the day. The last 35 / 40 miles were through orange county where we were blasting through the most yuppie ass shit I have ever seen. We strolled through long beach first on a bike path that was in the middle of the beach. Though we were now in a better situation or riding with the wind, this beach trail was basically a sand storm. We were getting peltted with sand pretty much the entire time and I was riding with my eyes barely open for a lot of it.

After long beach we hit Huntington beach where the sand continue to blast us. Zach was wearing short sleaves and said the shit was pretty painful on his arms. I just kept getting sand in my ear. Huntington was even more yuppie than long beach.

Then we hit Newport beach. Even more yuppie. Zach had his first tech problem where his rear deraellier would stay in his highest gear. We stopped and adjusted it pretty quickly now that I am some what of a broken Deraellier expert.

Lastly we rode through laguna beach which was the yuppiest of them all. That shit was like a really huge organic foods store mixed with the upper east side of new York. I couldn't resist screaming orcish at all the beautiful people on the side walk. Also, the people in laguna beach drive the worst out of any place we have been thus far. Today was the first day I thought I was going to get hit by an SUV.

I enjoyed today's ride quite a bit I must say. Riding through the shitty parts of LA was interesting and yelling at pedestrians in yuppie land was fun. Also, the wind ended up pushing us for a large portion of the ride making it easy to sustain a nice 22 mph pace.

Tomorrow we are biking through camp pendleton. I am curious to see what goes on in there. We will possibly go all the way to San Diego... Or we might split the ride up in to 2 half days since Lenora won't be there until Saturday night. We shall see!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Last Week Before...

So this week has been stupid hectic, two house sits, the Teacher's Strike, six page paper to write, write and deliver letter to clients stating dates I will be away, get new medications, pick up camera from ups, get the last of the gear for my trip, bill clients, make dog walking schedule for Oliver, solidify person to take over Oliver's place when he leaves, make copy of keys for Oliver, get food for the trip, find lost bike shorts, and more that I can't really think of right now. WTF?!!!! I feel totally crazy! It's Wednesday night I leave Friday and I feel totally overwhelmed. Can't wait to take off and not have to deal with anything which won't be the case cause I'm sure clients will still be calling and Oliver will need a little assistance. I look forward to the bliss that comes with doing nothing but riding my bike. Dear self do not freak out! That being said I must get back to writing my overdo paper and all the other shit I need to complete before 6pm Friday FML

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Leg 1 almost complete

We made it to LA! I am pretty proud of us. We killed it and made it
here in 8 days, four of which were sort of half days due to problems
and accomodating to schedule things. All in all I would have to say we
did pretty well. We kept to my original schedule that some said seemed
crazy, but honestly it wasn't that bad. We still technically have two
rides left to complete leg 1 so I will hold off on summations.

As for yesterday's ride, it went by pretty quickly and with no
mechanical blunders. We basically just killed it all day down the 1
again. Yeah, I thought we were finished with the 1 but it came back to
us! It was a decently scenic ride until we got to Malibu where we
stopped for lunch and hung out on the beach for like an hour and a
half. As we were leaving Oxnard we ran in to some airforce base and
took pictures of missiles and shit.

But yeah, after leaving Malibu we were basically just riding through
suburbs of LA. We were flying mos of the time between 18 and 20 mph.
However, there were a couple burly hills outside of LA that slowed us
down a bit. I managed to clock 41 mph down one hill which was pretty
awesome. I know we had to have been going faster sown the mountains
earlier on. I really wish we would have had bike computers then!

Once we finally reached LA we spent a little while just cruisin along
the beach until we got to some beach side amusement park in santa
Monica. At that point we decided to look up where my friend andre
lives which is where we would be staying. Turns out he lives 15 miles
from where we were. WHAT THE FUCK LA?! WHY ARE YOU SO SPREAD OUT?!
This in a nutshell is why I hate this city. We were all stoked that we
made it to LA and made great time only to find out we still had like
an hour and a half of riding up Santa Monica blvd to do, which turned
out to be the most exhausting part.

Due to us arriving in LA in such a timely fashion, we now have all 4
of our extra days to spend here. So we shall be in LA until thursday.
If you are out here give me a holler.

This city is currently my number 1 least favortite city so you have 4
days to prove yoursef otherwise LA. I must say I am looking forward to
hanging out with friends who I have not seen in a long time (because
they live in LA haha) and going to visit harkin's new masterpiece,
grill em all truck. It will also be nice to have 4 days of not hauling
around tons of shit on my bike up and down hills.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Los Angeles

Poptarts WTF!

So we are sitting here on the beach in Malibu eating pop tarts and we
check out the nutritional facts and each pop tart has 210 calories!
How the hell is that even possible?! These are like a super food for
our 5k calories a day diet. However, I don't advise eating them ever
throughout normal day to day life. Wow.

It's always something...

Yesterday we rode from gaviota state park to ventura. Ovarall it was a
pretty smooth and easy ride. Leaving gaviota we had some nice scenery
of off shore drilling stations as we killed it down the 101 with fast
traffic at our side all morning. It got a little monotonous so we
pumped some tunes. The ride went a lot faster while we were both
raging to jawbreaker.

Eventually we made it to goleta or whatever city that was where we got
off 101 and spent most of the rest of the day riding backroads through
various cities along the coast. My flat tire situation from the
previous day seemed to have corrected itself except for some reason my
front wheel was a bit wobbly. We pulled off to some bike shop in
goleta and bought some new tubes and I decide to rotate my tires. I
also broke down and purchased a cheap cycling computer to show our
mileage and speed and what not. I love numbers and shit like that so
clearly I couldn't stop staring at the thing all day always checking
how fast I was going and how many miles we had gone. Oh yeah, and Zach
has had one of these the entire trip but didn't think it worked but as
soon as I checked the trouble shooting secion of the directions we
instantly solved the problem that it needed a very minor adjustment to
work. We are idiots.

So after a nice break of bike maintenance, we hit the road again. In
no time we made it to Santa Barbra and were riding next to some beach
side walk way accosting all the people we were passing. Eventually we
decided to stop and hang out on the beach for a bit. We were soon
passed by a group on segways so we of course laughed at them and took
pictures. The natural reaction.

So yeah, we hit the road again and Zach realized that somehow he was
keeping up with me and miraculoulsy at some point he passed me! Like
the wise man he is he knew something must be wrong and saw that my
tire was flat again... This was the same tire that was giving me
problems the day before. We were only like 15 miles from Ventura so I
decided it was time to take it to a bike shop and have them examine it
and maybe they could see something I didn't. However, my tire's slow
leak meant that I had to stop every 2 or 3 miles to pump it up to get
to the bike shop. Really fun end to the day.

We stopped at one bike shop ran by red necks in flip flops and they
were like "we will just put a tube in it.. Problem solved." I didn't
like his answer at all so I just turned around and left and didn't
even aknowledge him. Luckily there was another shop down the street
and they were nice enough to take a look. There was a tiny piece of
wire poking through that honestly I have no idea how I missed it. I
ran my fingers all through the inside of that tire multiple times and
found nothing. Dude found it like instantly. So yeah, hopefully that
chapter of shitty is over.

The other "something" that happened yesterday was that we were suppose
to stay with one of zachs friends last night but she decided to not
answer his phone calls or texts all day. Shitty! So here we are
camping in the cold again.

Anyway, we are off to LA today where we do actually have a place to
stay. We will be there for the next 3 or 4 days until we go to meet
back up with Lenora in San Diego for leg 2 of the trip!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Disaster strikes v2.0

Aye aye aye. So this morning we actually left at a decent time. Got up
after a good nights rest in our king sized hotel bed, hit the road by
like 9:45 or some shit. We rode for a couple of hours through hazy ass
weather in about the most boring setting known to man kind. All we
could see were fields filled with various crops as far as the eye
could see. Everything was flat, the sky was grey, the ground was wet,
the air was thick and moist. Boring as shit. Then we pulled up to one
of the most depressing looking towns I think I have ever seen, called
Guadalupe, which was just filled with red knecks (which I didn't even
know existed in California). I seriously thought I was back in Ohio
but worse. I also finalu understood why gay posi bills never get
passed in California and why Arnold Schwarzenegger is the governer
(though I would have had to have votes foe him myself). All of the
towns we have been passing through the past couple of days seem to be
filled with ass holes.

Anyway, we got through Guadalupe then made a couple huge climbs back
in to the mountains which had no pay off views whatsoever. Just climbs
up in to tired ass scenery.

After descending to the bottom of the valley we stopped or lunch at
lompoch where we were greated with the highlight of the day... They
have avocados at their subways! That shit made our day.

So after that we were riding with anticipation for a long ass time as
we were expecting the final, and highest, ascent of our trip. It felt
like it was never going to come... Then I got a flat tire. Womp womp.I
checked out the tube and tire and saw no obvious reason why the flat
would have happened so I was a little nervous as I put a new tube and
took off again. My nerves were on point as, two miles later, my shit
was all droopy all over again. Now I was a bit frustrated. However! I
had one of those stupid 99 cent presta converter bullshits on my tube
end and guess what!? Somehow it was on so tight I could remove it even
with pliers. This meant I couldn't even remove the tube from my rim to
put on another one.

The first thing I tried was just ripping the tube off the stem to see
if I could just pop the stem out of the hole. Unfortunately tube
designers were too smart for me to simply do that because there is a
nice little base that keeps the tube from slipping through. Zach and I
then struggled some more trying to loosen the attachment to no avail.
At this point I was starting to panic and thought we were stranded and
would have to hitch a ride or something as we were in the middle of
nowhere. Then I calmed down a bit and decided to use some wire cutters
to destroy the stopped on the end of the base. After chipping away at
it for about 15 minutes I still couldn't pull the damn thing out so we
used an Allen wrench and my bike lock to hammer it out. The shit
really sucked.

So anyway, I then put in another new tube. Rode 2 miles. FLAT! I got
pist again. Took everything apart. Examined the tire, rim, tube...
Everythig. Nothing was wrong! I still don't know what the hell was
going on. At this point we were out of spare tubes. Luckily I bought a
patch kit a few days ago so we patched up one of the bad tubes and put
it back in hoping somehow the problem would fix itself. It seemed to
have done just that as we managed to make it the rest of the ride flat
free. I am crossing my fingers that we can make it to Santa Barbra
tomorrow with no flats and get some new tubes.

With all of that said... The hill we were waiting all day for never
seemed to show up haha. Either we climbed it and didn't realize
because of all the tire bullshit, or we are justn pure animals and are
completely unphased by mountains. We definitely raged on the descent
though because we got to blast through the last 4 miles of the day in
about 10 minutes to pull up to the camp ground at gaviota state park.

All in all, though the day sucked, we rode like 65 miles or something
through the mountains and we made it to the end of US 1. We will miss
you US 1. We shared so much time with you over the past week. How
unfortunate that you got so ugly and boring during your last leg.

So yeah, feels good to be in my tent! Tomorrow we are off to ventura
and the next day LA where we will be chillin hard for 4 days due to
our crushing stamina allowing us to plow down the coast. It better be
warm there. This cold weather bullshit has got to go.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

This just in

We were riding in 43 mph winds today. Holy shit.

Like ridin on nitros

This morning Zach and I woke up sore as shit after our hill crushing
ride yesterday. We were lounging hard in our posh king sized bed after
eating continental breakfast by the pool and we were all like "let's
just do a half day today". Fortunately the ride before us was litered
with civilization and camp sites so we were just to hit the road and
see how far we felt like going.

However, as it turns out, the minute we hit the road our cyborg legs
said "fuggit " and carried us 60 some miles to oceana. We didn't even
leave the hotel until noon, but thanks to our friend mother nature,
did the first 30 miles in about an hour and 15 minutes. We had the
most insane tail wind pushing us for most of the day. We were riding
up hills in our top chain ring like we were on flat ground. It was
pretty incredible and I must say this was one of most physically
enjoyable rides I have had. Just killin it.

The ride wasn't all tail winds and raging though. We hit a couple
spots where we had to go against the wind or cross the wind. Going
against it was nearly impossible while having at our side was
something else all together. There were points where I felt like I was
leaning with most of my weight in to the wind just to stay up.

On the other hand, the scenery today was kind of boring. Just riding
through farm land then small towns then farmland. Not to mention it
was on the brink of downpouring basically all day, though it never
actually did rain.

The bummer of the day (sort of bummer) was when we showed up to the
camp site in oceans and dude at the office tells us it is $23 to camp
there. It was about to start raining and I wasn't about to pay that
much to sleep in the rain so we said fuck it and got another hotel for
just a little more cash. Lame, but not that lame I guess.

Anyway, tomorrow we are heading back into mega mountains and will be
ascending to our highest elevation of the trip. We have to climb to
huge hills very much like the ones we did yesterday coming out of big
sur. Hopefully the views are equally rewarding or it is going to
straight up blow.

Baby duck butter.


Sorry if there is any time confusion. I wrote my big sur post a few
days ago but didn't have phone reception so it didn't post until
today. Doof! Time to get back on the road to oceana!


Hello friends. Writing from the San Simeon Courtesy Inn (no we are not cowards. Last night was Lost night)

   So as it turned out, our Big Sur campground the other night was at the very bottom of that monstrous climb. We were camped next to some other bikers we named Navy Seal and Europeans.  Dinner was chips, cold refried beans, an avocado and nutter butters.  Spent the rest of the night standing in the public bathroom while our phones charged.  Worst nights sleep ever.  Shit was freezing and the rain was heavy as all get out.  Woke up at 4 about to pee my pants. After an hour of trying to decide what to do I scrounged for a zip lock bag and tore it up. When Brian found it outside my tent that morning it had turned thick and orange. Am I ok???

    We hit the road around noon not knowing how far we would get.  First thing out of the gate was a 1000 foot climb in the rain. Killed it. Views were awesome and the descent was baller.  Couldn't get pics on our phones yesterday though... we passed the Europeans who had left four hours sooner.  Had a little chat. Yawn. Brian lost his iPhone charger. Treated... aaand we kept on till Lucia.  This "town" was like.. one store and motel. We ate our lunch and chatted a bit with Navy Seal who we had caught up with. It was 4pm and we made the choice to push the 45 miles to san simeon village hoping to make it before dark.  Navy Seal thought we were kidding ourselves so we slashed up his tires and fed him our dust.  More huge climbs and more awesome downhills.  Picked up some baked beans and dried mangos in raged rock and kept pushing.  The ride into san simeon was grey, cold, and windy.  Passed a million seals.  I put one in my back pack and rode on just like Lenora and Sebastian.  We gutted him last night during American idol and ate him by the indoor pool.  Well 70 miles is our longest ride ever and it feels good to have these huge climbs behind us. Think we will hit the road now.  XXX

Monday, April 19, 2010

Treacherous big sur

Disaster strikes! v.1.0

So Lenora and Zach pretty much covered all of the bases with their
posts. Basically after having 1.75 really awesome days worth of riding
my shit started hitting the fan and spraying all over the wall.

As was said earlier, I got a flat from a thumb tac. I mean come on...
A thumb tac? In the middle of mountainous northern California? You
gotta be kidding right? To be fair, I am pretty sure I rode about 30
miles with the thumb tac in my tire before I decided to pull it out
which wasn't the best idea because that was what was holding all the
air in my tire. Note to our readers, when you have some shit stuck in
your tire and you don't seem to be losing air, leav it in there until
you stop somewhere.

Also, as was mentioned my deraelleiur shat the bed. Thanks a ton to
all of the people from bike church for helping me try to figure it
out, however what none of us could see was that the deraellieur arm
was bent and that is why i couldt get it to shift at all. This awesome
problem cost us almost a days worth of riding.

Luckily Zach and I are ballers and still managed to ride 47 miles
after our mega late start.

But yeah, more infuriating than the technical problems was that when
we got to our camp ground at 9pm, after having some delicious subway,
we were greeted with what I would have to say was the steepest and
worst hill climb of the trip so far just to get to the camp site. I
mean really, what the fuck is that!? That was more infuriating than
then broken parts! We just kept going around these 180 degree turns to
see and even bigger and steeper hill. We thought it had to have been a
bad joke. Then not to mention after we got up to the top of the hill
it was the coldest night so far. On the plus side though we were
greeted by some super nice Germans who were already camped up here who
had been biking from LA to San Fran. They tool the wrong way! They
told us the winds were really tough and I believe it. When we were
catching the tail winds yesterday we were totally shredding it.
Hopefully we get some tail winds to push us up the giant Jill to big
sur today!

Ok, enough standing in this restaraunt waiting for my phone to charge.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day 3 to..... Monterey.

Day two started off sweet.  Brian got about three hours worth of business done while me and lenora slept in. Didn't get on the road until about 1 as the ride to Santa Cruz is only 47 miles and our friend/lenoras beau, mykke was going to meet up with us at some point. He ended up meeting us about seven miles out of Santa Cruz right after Brians front deraileur pooped the bed. Bogus. Rode the last seven miles and killed some awesome Thai food. Lenora had found us a place to crash so we headed there.  Showed up mid bbq which happened to be attended by four bike mechanics so they played with Brians bike a bit.. no dice.

     One of them offered to open up their shop on Sunday to try and work it out so we accepted. Woke up early and said goodbye in silence to lenora and mykke, made a grocery run and headed to the bike shop. Spent an hour or more there and thought everything was good to go.. got six miles outside Santa Cruz and it was fucked again. Back tracked the six miles and hit another shop and didn't get back on the road till 4pm. This time we were given another gift. A sharp pain in my knee with every pedal.  Made some saddle adjustments which helped some but it bugged me the whole ride..

   The ride itself was not so bad. Through some strawberry fields and artichoke farms. Wind was a killer all day.  Our luck finally turned when we reached Moss Landing which filled me with memories of Capeside in the spring. Joey slinging seafood while Pacey and Dawson wise crack and drink cokes.. anyway we pushed it to Monterey in the dark with Brian waiting up for me every ten minutes because my knee is exploding. Finding this campground was the steepest climb of the day and no fun in the pitch black woods. It was stupid seriously. Free though. F it.

  Through carmel and big sur tomorrow. Going to be brutal.  wish lenora were here.. we have nobody to sing to and annoy. XXX

The Rest

Mykke (my partner) met up with us right around the same time Brian's derailleur decided to be a jerk and stop working. We rode the last few miles into Santa Cruz hoping, as the sun went down, that a bike shop somewhere would be open. We stopped and chowed down on some killer Thai food before heading to Elaina's house to crash. We were greeted with showers, booze(the guys did not partake), ice cream, blankets, a warm fire, good company, bike mechanics, and a place to rest our heads. All the kids hanging out were bike geeks and seemed to know a thing or two about fixing shit (they were part of the Bike Church) so there was hope for Brian's faulty derailleur yet. A couple peeps offered to meet up with him the next morning to see if they could get is workin properly. Not exactly sure how that all turned out since the guys went to bed before me and Mykke and left this morning without waking us. Mykke and I stayed up late talking and making new friends with some of the most hospitable and friendly people I've ever met. This morning we woke to crepes filled with fresh fruit, pancakes, and veggie bacon! So delicious!! We meant to leave early to enjoy some of our Sunday at home but, found we couldn't tear ourselves away. We finally forced ourselves to leave around 3pm and were told to come back soon to visit. Brian called and said they had to head back to Santa Cruz to get a new derailleur cause his crapped out again(SUCKS!). Haven't heard too much since but, last I knew they were intending to head back out on the road to ride as far as they could before dark. Hope they're ok! It's nice to be home with the puppy and Mykke but, I wish I was with Zach and Brian climbing to Big Sur. GOOD LUCK GUYS!!! Hope all your troubles are over


I miss Brian and Zach, wish I could have gone with them today...

Oakland to Santa Cruz!

So Friday was our first leg of the bike tour and I was feeling under prepared, started the day with no bike rack, no water bottles and no bottle cages. I was killing myself to get my work day done in time to meet up with the Zach, Brian and Oliver. By the time 2:30pm rolled around I was wiped and a little apprehensive about my energy level for the ride. Luckily Brian had gotten me a much needed burrito and that combined with the BART trip to Daly City recharged me. So we were off and it was awesome! The climbs were a little rough till muscles warmed up to the punishment and my brain got past the "Oh Shit!" response every time a hill was viewed in the distance. We got to Half Moon Bay with some light to spare and settled in for some more Mexican food. After a few hours of bullshitting at the restaurant we headed to the campsite and pitched our tents under the glaring incandescent gaze of Brian's front bike light. Saturday morning I woke up to all the aches and pains my 30 year old body has finally decided to assault me with. A little creaky in the back and knees as I greeted the top of my tent and the outlines of insects that explored its outside. My left hip has been a pain for a few months and Fridays ride was no exception, I think my saddle height is too high. We waited for Mykke to join us till around 12:30pm but decided to head out and see if he could catch up. We hit the road and did pretty fucking well! We took it easy, stopping here and there eating pie at the Pie Ranch napping in the grass by the ocean. Despite some cranky body parts things were moving along well, that is till Brian got a flat courtesy of a thumb tack. We got back on the road after changing the tube and not long after Brain's front derailleur decided to crap out WTF?!! poor guy. We decided to grab some curb 7 miles outside Santa Cruz and wait for Mykke who despite getting a two hour late start was only 10 minutes behind us. (to be continued)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Day 1: half moon bay

We are currently chillaxin in our tents in half moon bay California
after a mega succesful first day of riding. We got a late start
yesterday due to Lenora having to work and all of us scrambling to
tAke care of last minute loose ends. I must admit that I had forgotten
what my bike felt like fully loaded and got a bit nervous when we
first hopped on and started riding around oakland. Shit is heavy and I
was afraid of the hills that we had to come.

So after running many last minute errands we met, Zach and I met up
with Lenora in the mission to hit the road. Pleasently our friend
Oliver had decided to join us for the ride as his parents live
somewhere outside of half moon bay. Due to our start being later than
planned we took the Bart down to daly city to avoid some Friday
traffic and make sure we would make it to half moon bay before dark.

Daly city was basically one HUGE climb. It was a pretty intimidating
way to start the trip but we killed it. That town is pretty gorgeous.
I mean the town itself just looks like a typical subburb, but it is
built on giant ocean side cliffs. We saw some really ridiculous views.
It was hard not to stop every 10 minutes to take a picture.

After daly city we were rewarded with a long down hill in to Pacifica
or whatever where we took a break on the beach at a huge taco bell
before hitting starting our long journey on US1 in to the mountains
where we were imediately greeted with a 3 mile winding climb with no
shoulder up in to oblivion. This was by far the hardest leg of the day
for me but as soon as we hit the top there was a small pulloff
overlooking massive vertical drop cliff ending in an endless view of
the pacific ocean. It was pretty ripping.

After that it was basically a long winding and steep decent in to
halfmoon bay. I definitely reached my top speed ever on a bike while
blasting down the mountain side. This part of the ride was great and a
good relaxing end to our ridiculous climbs.

Once we got in to half moon bay we parted ways with Oliver while Zach,
Lenora and I posted up at some Mexican restaraunt for dinner where we
sat for hours until heading to a camp ground at 11pm to set up our
tents in the pitch black night.

I expected last night to suck, as it was 45 degrees out during the
night, but honestly I was quite comfortable and wasn't cold at all in
my under armor outfit haha.

All in all I would have to say yesterdays ride was by far the coolest
bike ride I have ever been on and I am pretty stoked about the rest of
the trip haha. I was all nervous and begining to feel anxiety about
doing this for the next 2 months until we had such a good first day.
My bike felt and rode great, my derailleurs worked flawlessly, my tent
is spatious and comfy, the huge climbs weren't really that bad... I
must say so far everything is going much better than expected. Also,
the feeling that you don't have to turn around and go back at any
point is quite liberating and makes this ride even better. We can
basically just ride until we don't feel like riding then go to sleep.
Pretty awesome.

Lastly I have to throw props out to Oliver who killed it the whole way
riding fixed with a giant backpack on. Dude was leaving us in his dust
the entire ride just blasting up all of those huge hills. I don't even
know how his tire survived the trip with all of the skidding he had to
do coming down those mean ass hills.

All right, off to Santa Cruz today.

Friday, April 16, 2010

And so it begins...

Today is the big day. Day 1 of our mega trip. We aren't leaving until
about 2pm as Lenora has to work, but we are only biking about 30 miles
to half moon bay which should only take a few hours. Lenora has done
this ride before and warns of the many hills we have in store. I am
more worried about how damn cold it is going to be tonight when we are
freezing in our tents!

Last night we prepared ourselves by doing some last minute bike
maintenence, rearranging our bags, and eating 8 homemade vegan pizzas.
Lenora actually just got her bike all in order yesterday so today will
be her maiden voyage.

I leave you all with a picture of our preparations from last night as
Lenora fancies herself up while Zach shakes his head in dismay:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


hey look its brian's bike. we put them together and rode them.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

San Fran

Zach and I have made it to San Francisco. We got in to town and are
currently staying with our good friend Emily Williams whose boyfriend
grahm is quite the avid bicycle tourist. He told us a couple brief
stories about his trip across tibet last night and we discussed the
power of ortlieb panniers. He also believes we should be able to do
San Fran to San Diego in 6 or 7 days if we tried. He has done it in 3
to LA via moped and has many friends who have done it in around 6. We
have a lot more leniancy in our schedule than that haha. I suppose
that may just mean we get to hang in LA with friends longer.

So yeah, our bikes should arrive here by Tuesday and we hit the road
Friday afternoon. Hopefully we can do some riding with Lenora during
the week. She has planned some sort of riding expedition this weekend,
however, we are currently sans bicycles.

All right, back to waiting for everyone else to wake up. Hooray for
jet lag!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Help us sleep places.

Dear readers of this blog. So we are about to leave for this MF trip and any time we can stay somewhere that isn't our tents would be lovely. So here is a giant list of cities we will be traveling through. If you readers know of somewhere we can stay in any of these cities feel free to offer haha! Feel free to post a comment with suggestions or email me bsteegs(at)gmail.

// CALIFORNIA ////////////////////////////////////////////////////

half moon bay ca

santa cruz ca

big sur ca

san simeon village ca

oceano ca

gaviota state park ca

san clemente ca

live oak springs ca


// ARIZONA ////////////////////////////////////////////////////





// NEW MEXICO ////////////////////////////////////////////////////

silver city


// TEXAS ////////////////////////////////////////////////////

el paso


van horn

fort davis



camp wood





mt vernon

gary city

// LOUISIANA ////////////////////////////////////////////////////


// ARKANSAS ////////////////////////////////////////////////////

new hope


arkansas post


// TENNESSEE ////////////////////////////////////////////////////





// KENTUCKY ////////////////////////////////////////////////////

bowling green


// INDIANA ////////////////////////////////////////////////////


Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Training is over! Sort of. Well, our training wasn't really very thorough in the first place. We sort of just went for some rides here and there. Not very consistent haha. I would have liked to have ridden some more, however, as it turns out my bike was broken all weekend. I took it to campus cyclery in clifton to get a simple front deraelleur adjustment and magically my shifter broke as soon as they put it on the bike lift. I don't even know how it ended up broken as I rode with it 52 miles the day before and used it to get to the bike shop... but it broke. Luckily, SRAM is awesome and sent me a brand new shifter for free no questions asked. I am thinking this breaking of shifter was more of a blessing than a hump in the road. After receiving the new shifter I realize that I believe the ass holes at the shop in manhatten that sold me the shifters in the first place sold me some damaged goods. When I opened them in the first place I could tell that they had been installed before and I sort of thought the front shifter felt a little wonky... However, I installed them anyway and they worked for a month or so with no problems. But now that I have a new one I think the original one was sort of bonked in the first place. I forget what the shop was called in NYC, but it was the same shop that sold some faulty shit to my friend matt kosoy. FUCK THAT SHOP! Come to think of it, the same shop sold my old roommate vina her bianchi and I am pretty sure they did some absent minded shit to that bike as well.

Anyway, with those issues out of the way... my front deraelleur is still not perfectly functioning and I am going to have to take it to a shop in san fran to get it fixed up. Speaking of san fran! I too shipped my bike today. Let me tell you... shipping this bike is much more of a pain in the ass than shipping my fixed gear. So many damn parts that take up way more box space. Also, So many more parts to disassemble. The process was a bit frustrating, however it is now over and my bike shall hopefully show up at lenora's doorstep on tuesday. Last time I shipped my pake UPS somehow lost all record of it in their system and I thought it was gone forever. Miraculously it showed up a couple days later than it was supposed to and all was decent. Shit better go smoother this time!

I fly out to san fran on friday. Hopefully zach can get a seat on my flight and we can sit together and listen to NOFX the entire flight. Now I go play laser tag.

well thats that

packed that rig up and shipped it off to oakland early this afternoon. was hell getting that shit to fit right. fingers crossed that it all arrives intact. flying friday night.. hoping to get on the same flight as brian. hopefully my next post will be from the road. rushing out to the pub now to watch berba turn it around against munich. GET IN xxx

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Yesterday zach and I upped our mileage and biked 52 miles going from my parent's house to xenia ohio and back. This was our route. The first 30 some miles was getting to xenia which was pretty much a breeze. Had to ride a few decent hills before getting to the little miami bike trail which took us the rest of the way to xenia. I think we were then on the bike trail for the next 16 miles which basically feels like cheating. It is routed through all the flattest areas of the region so it is not even challenging. So yeah, the bike path dumped us off right in downtown xenia in which we took a break to eat massive amounts of taco bell. I am not sure that taco bell is the best nourishment for a day of bike riding, but whatevs... their new fresco menu is mega vegan and good so fuggit.

After finishing our hearty / healthy lunch we road across the parking lot to relax in a patch of grass behind arbys. Let me tell you, I thought I was back in cancun with the pure majesty of this patch of grass. All in all our break was maybe a little over an hour before we got back on the road to head back to my parent's house. We decided to mix things up and took 380 all the way back from xenia to my parent's house. However, this leg of the trip sort of sucked. We were biking directly against 15 to 20 mph winds the entire 21 miles back. Not to mention 380 is a constant barrage of hills. Granted there was almost as much downhill as there was uphill, it still sucked. The road basically was never just flat. So all the hills combined with the bad ass winds made that last half of the ride pretty exhausting. We road like 8 miles through the worst part of the hills and decided to take another brake and let our taco bell settle some more. Zach said there were a couple of times where he burritos were creeping up his throat haha.

This was our majestic break spot:
some jock

break time on the side of the road

After our second short break we hit it again and killed the last 14 miles (though it still sucked). All in all, we felt just fine at the end of the ride and totally could have gone back at it after another break. As for technical difficulties... I have been struggling trying to adjust my front derailleur to a point where it is shifting reliably. I spent quite a bit of time trying to get it good myself and ultimately ended up ruining the cable. I then took it to montgomery cyclery to have it adjusted where they got it to a point where it was working pretty well, however, now that the cable has stretched a bit it is back to sucking. I am going to attempt to adjust it myself again and see if I can get it. If not... I suppose I will have to take it to the shop. Adjusting a triple crank derailleur is about as obnoxious as truing a wheel.


Anyway, I leave you with a picture of zach (if you can even see him) eating my dust. Look at all that dust he is eating:
zach eating my dust v.3