Monday, May 31, 2010

Fuck Texas. Get me out of here.

Still in dumb ass Texas. Today we rode 92 miles from Taylor to
marquez. The ride was incredibly boring. The plus side was that it was
an easy ride, aside from the heat and overwhelming humidity. We have
been riding up 79 pretty much the entire time which is sprinkled with
small towns every 10 to 20 miles which makes things pretty easy on us.
We don't have to carry any extra supplies, there are cheap diners in
every town that will make us whatever we want to eat most of the time,
and there are cold drinks a plenty. If only there was something even a
little bit interesting to look at. I haven't even had the urge to pull
out my camera in days. Texas is just that boring. At least maybe once
we get in to Arkansas and Tennessee thing will get mega americana and
at least be humorous.

I suppose the biggest plus to Texas is that the people here are over
all very nice. Everyone is friendly and a lot of times willing to help
us out. The rv parks seem to not know what to do with bikers and let
us perch up for free. I will say it is stupidly hot in our tents at
night. Makes for very gross sleeping while wallowing in our own sweat
after sweating ourselves to death all day. I suppose it will only get
cooler the further we go north (I hope).

Anyway, sorry for not posting pictures in a while. Shit is ugly and
unexciting here. No one would want to see this shit. The most exciting
thing in this area is us!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Leg 3 begins! The home stretch aka the business trip

Heeeeere we go! We are officially on the home stretch! If you would
have asked me a few days ago if I was ready to ride 1250 more miles to
Ohio I would have definitely told you fuck no. However, the past few
days of not riding were just what my body needed. Once we hit the road
today I felt revitalized. My legs felt super powerful and my bike felt
brand new. Before I get in to that shit I want to say some tid bits
about Austin.

On Tuesday I rode my bike around downtown Austin in search of a new
deraellieur. I hit up lance armstrongs joint, mello johnnys, first
which was a failure. I then headed over to bicycle sports shop or
whatever and got straight hooked up. Thanks to shimano having a sick
warranty policy on their higher end shit I got a brand new xt deore,
just like the one I broke, for straight up free. The shop even
installed it for me and gave me some new extraneous parts for free
which was awesome. To top it all off the dude working on it, who was
rocking a suicidal tendancies hat, adjusted it lightning fast and I
have to say it works better than it ever has before. The shit shifts
so damn smooth. This leads me to believe that I had a defective first
xt from the get go because this shit feels amazing. No wonder this
dérailleur has nothing but stellar reviews. Anyway, it is really great
to not shift with my finger pushing the chain anymore. So much better
haha.

As for chaos in tejas 2010, I had a pretty good time. It was great
seeing friends from all over the country like Todd and allie, Dennis
and Amanda, Pittsburgh and Philly people... Got to catch up with a lot
of friends. It was also good to see Lenora after our week or so of
separation. I was really happy that she was well and she ovarall had a
great experience on the ride, even though things got really tough
towards the end of her time with us.

As for bands... There were honestly only a handful of bands I wanted
to see or even bothered to watch. Bastard was definitely the crown
jewl for me. They are my favorite Japanese band by far and it was
icredible screaming "MISEREYYYYYYY" along with every other shit neck
in that place. Crow were pretty ripping, but played some stinker
songs. Talk is poison was my second favorite of the fest. Really
awesome to see them. Slang took the prize for best sounding band of
the fest. They had their shit together. Other than that, everyting
else was basically filler. Oh yeah, thanks a ton to bniesz for letting
us take over his place for the week! Was great seeing him as well.
Thank to Ashley too for taking care of me while I was sick. No thanks
for leaving the weekend I came to visit. Coward!

So this morning I couldn't really sleep in anticipation of getting
back on the road. Woke up at like 8:30 and fixed some issues with my
rear fender and put on a new rear tire as that shit was balding like
Nicolas cage. We kind of took our time this morning getting groceries
and making sure we had everything before leaving Austin. We didn't
really get going until about 1pm.

The ride today was pretty uneventful. Boring suburban scenery. We rode
about 42 miles and we were both dozing off from being sleep deprived
the past few days. I don't think I slept a good night of sleep the
entire time I was in Austin. We stopped at an RV park in Taylor tx to
take a quick nap. The dude who runs the place came up and offered us
to stay in his camper for $30. This sounded kind of exciting to us, we
were also pretty sleepy so we went for it. Trying something new!

Anyway, we went to taco bell to chillax and have dinner. Today is the
first day of us riding without a bike map and making up our own route
so we are officially riding through areas where people are blown away
by the fact that we are riding cross country. The entire trip we had
been riding on common routes where bike touring was nothing new to
those towns. This shit was like space travel to the employees of the
Taylor taco bell. They were super amazed.

Anyway, Ima hit the sack early as all get out. Tomorrow we are going
to ride an adult sized portion of miles and not be wangs.

GIVE UP ALL HOPE! GIVE UP ALL HOPE! GIVE UP ALL HOPE!
-inspiring words by crow

Friday, May 28, 2010

From Autin with Love

Been in Austin a week now, chillin and recovering cause my shit got wrecked. As in my knee was busted all to hell and my back was destroyed, left shoulder a wall of pain. So yeah last Thursday after 13 hours of skittering the flights of butterflies and fading my tattoos in the sun I reached my mental, emotional and physical limit. It was a tri-fecta of bad, the perfect combination for me and Brian to clash which is a bummer. It was my light bulb moment though, thought to myself "if I'm in this much pain and am now having a fight with my friend, I think I need to bow out." So I did, crashed at a hotel that night, hitched a ride to the next town 70 miles away, and caught the greyhound to Austin. Arrived that night and was welcomed to the Cindergarden of Austin much to my relief. Spent the next few days there resting, working in the garden surrounded by chickens, and enjoying the company of righteous people. Hell yeah intentional, co-operative communal houses!! The house was wonderful but so HOT, I'm so not use to this shit anymore!! Luckily my old friend Tim rescued me to the AC of his house where I as until Mykke and Co. got into town. Got a massage to help my body heal and the massage therapists basically told me my shit was fucked(greeaaattt). Anyway body still jacked but glad to see everyone and glad we all made it here whole if a little broken. I think this trip was amazing and brutal and beautiful and I think it was totally worth.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fine I'll start my own band.. and I'll call it Megadeth.

Gone solo. I always knew I was the Bobby Brown of the group.  So to recap the past two days..

Yesterday Brian woke up having puked himself into dehydration and a splitting headache.  He worked himself a ride to Austin and I was left with a choice to make. Initially, I said fuck this I'm getting a ride too.. but then three hours later I decided that fear and laziness were horrible excuses for bailing. So around noon I hit the road alone.  The ride? Well it sucked. Painfully hot. Painfully humid. Painfully drab. A set of four 1000 ft climbs in a row. As I was descending the 4th, I saw a jeep w/ cop lights flashing and some cars pulled over. Like any cyclist would do, I attempted to just go around. Duh. Not ok. Pig ran out from his jeep into the road in front of me and I slammed my brakes. This earned me a shove in the breast. When I replied "don't Fucking touch me" I was threatened with a beating I wouldn't ride away from. Nice. Went back and forth a bit before I wised up and walked away. Eventually the road cleared.. there was a fender bender up the road. Big Fucking deal.  So I had lost nearly an hour and then what.. thunder and lightning and the sky opened up. Bum out. Rushed to make it to Hunt before dark and look for a camp. No luck. Hunt is posh. Weird. On the edge of the town was a convenient store so I ducked in to get out of the rain. Girl working the counter was some type of alternative and had an anarchy tattoo so I tried to holler and scam a place to stay. No luck. The beard doesn't work for me like it does for my brother. Sooo I crushed more miles into a.town called Ingram and found an rv park. I pitched up out of site behind this dumpster and went to bed. Woke up super early and wad able to get in and out for free. Baller. For anyone reading this considering a bike tour.. rv parks are great and you can almost always creep in after the office is closed and creep out before its open.

So today started off alright.  Little towns every 7 miles. Nice. Then around noon.. road closed. Can't pass. Called Brian to help find another route. It was not fun. I don't want to talk about it.  Austin tomorrow. Never expected to be riding in alone but I should count myself lucky u suppose. In Blanco, tx right now. Killed a burrito and grabbed a mango gatorade. End of text. XXX

leg 2 complete: time for the chaos

Wowee. So leg 2, which I personally thought was going to be a breeze compared to leg 1, turned out to be a million times more difficult. The mountains were much larger, the weather was much more extreme, the miles were much longer, places to stay were more difficult to find, and food/water was much fewer and far between. Though it was significantly more challenging, this leg provided many more instances in which we could be proud of. We broke our top speed record at 47.5mph, did multiple 100+ mile days, climbed to almost 9000 ft., conquered the desert, survived a world of post apocolypse, and overcame a lot of stressful situations.

I would have to say the lowest points of this leg were all within the last week. We lost lenora, we encountered horrible head winds, we were let down by the lost finale, and I suffered from crippling food poisoning for 2 days. Other hard times included the second day of the leg climbing in to live oaks springs, the 60 some mile stretch of endless heat through glamis, and the climb over emory pass. I would also have to say the scenery in general for about half of this leg was pretty lack luster. Especially west texas. I really can't think of a more boring place on earth other than maybe kansas. I think by far the biggest bummer for me was the food poison that disabled me from riding the last 170 miles. I am pretty bummed about hitching a ride in to austin, but I guess some things are out of my control. At least zach will finish the ride by himself! Way to go zach.

High points were the views climbing out of superior and emory pass, the insane descents out of the mountains, walking around the dunes of glamis, the rolling hills crossing in to new mexico from arizona, the abandoned towns outside of el paso, and the nice people who helped us out in various cities with places to stay or whatever.

Would I ever ride this route again? Probably not. Maybe on a supported tour where I could just blast through on a rode bike at 25mph. But I think I am content with only doing it once haha.

So zach and I have ridden somewhere around 2200 miles so far. We have 1 leg left to cincinnti which is around 1200 miles. I can't really imagine this last leg to be very exciting really. As zach has put it, "this leg will be all business." We are changing things up quite a bit for this one by not following any sort of cycling map and sort of just winging it. I have planned out a route and have written down directions, but in general we don't exactly know what to expect. The plan for this leg is sort of just to straight up kill it and ride as far as we possibly can each day to get to cincinnati as quickly as possible. Zach is trying to get home for the world cup on june 12th at 2pm. We'll see how that goes haha. If we can do at least 100 miles every day we should be able to do it. If the weather doesn't shit all over us this goal is realistic.

All right, it's time for me to finally go get a new working front deraellieur and try to eat a real meal for the first time in 2 days. See you filth nasties at chaos in tejas! No riding until sunday! bye bye for now

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Even more bad luck

I will start off by saying that the series finale of lost was a huge
let down. What a cop out ending. Anyway, yesterday's riding conditions
actually improved quite a bit from the days before as we switched
directions and began heading north. It was still super windy, but at
least it wasn't in our face for a change. We rode about 25 miles and
stopped for lunch on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.
Almost imediately after lunch I started feeling pretty weak and
shitty. We rode another 25 miles with me feeling like shit before
stopping in camp wood for lunch.

After lunch we hopped back on our bikes to head in to the mountains
for leakey. We rode about 3 miles before I had to stop and lay down. I
was feeling like complete shit and thought I was going to puke. I laid
on the side of the road for about 40 minutes until we saw a wall of
rain coming straight for us. It had been raining off and on all day,
but this wall was no joke. We jumped up and ran to a nearby bridge in
which we used for shelter. All of this running ended up doing me in
unfortunately. I started vomitting all over the place and feeling
generally terrible.

We decided the best thing to do would be to head back to camp wood and
let me rest in a motel for the evening. For the rest of the day I
basically laid in bed until it was time to puke again. This went on
all night. Shitty. Mother nature doesn't want us to bike to austin.

So today I am feeling much better, but I still got that pee butt and I
am pretty sure I am dehydrated from all the vomitting. At this point
with losing this day the chances of making it to Austin on time are
pretty slim. I am unfortunately going to have to get picked up by my
friend Ashley who lives in Austin with only 170 miles to go. It realy
sucks because now I feel like I am cheating. I guess shit happens. Oh
well I guess... It is only 170 miles of the 2100 we have already
ridden. Boooo

Monday, May 24, 2010

New assessment

I just checked the map and we have 241 miles left to Austin. That
means only 60 a day to get there in time for the fest. That is totally
doable, though if the winds don't let up will be quite exhausting. Let
me tell you, if those winds do let up we will most definitely crush it
and get there by Wednesday for some nap time. Otherwise, I'll be
napping until talk is poison on Thursday.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I feel defeated

Once again, today we were pummeled by head winds. According to weather.com
it isn't going to let up for at least 2 more days. This shit is
torturous. Today, however, was supposed to be the strongest winds of
the week so it should only get easier.. Though it will still suck for
a couple more days.

Our original plan was to take the day off in del rio today to sit out
what was supposed to be the final, and worst, day of winds. To our
dismay, we checked the weather report this morning to see that the
winds were going to shit all over us for days to come. This sort of
forced us to ride today to decrease the mileage for the next couple of
days just to make it bearable.

The day started off imediately like shit. I tried installing my new
deraellier first thing in morning only to find that dude in alpine
sold me a deraellieur with missing parts. I tried to install it anyway
and use some spare parts to get it working only to have wasted 2 hours
and make myself completely furious. I ended up just taking off all
signs of front shifting capabilities and plan to just deal with this
shit in Austin.

We finally got out of the hotel right around 11am. Right out of the
gate I pulled up to a stop light and straight fell over straight on to
the street because my foot got stuck in my foot strap. Zach thought I
passed out, which I suppose could have been possible with the way shit
was going. Real dumb.

Anyway, we started riding and it was misery as usual. The only
highlitght of the day was a 10 mile stretch where we slightly turned
north and the wind was less in our face so we didn't have to try quite
as hard. However, after stopping for a Short break, we had to go south
again which made the day agonizing again. Shitty! All I could think
about at this point were the emergency days off we spent in safford
and van horn where we had incredible tail winds and we didn't take
advantage of them and now we were doing this! Fuck us!

We only went 30 miles today due to the next city being way too far to
get to in these conditions. We stopped here in bracketville and got a
hotel at this weird fort resort thing so we can watch lost. This will
be our last opportunity to use lost as an excuse to get a hotel haha.
Oof! Anyway, this place is pretty cool and has a sort of natural
swimming pool thing that we swam in for a bit after goingn to some
restaraunt where they made us off the menu vegan food. A pretty nice
ending to a super exhausting day.

Time to watch lost! Holy shit!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wading through shit again

Today was basically the same as yesterday. We travelled 60 miles
against brutal head winds yet again. However, at times the winds were
much stronger than the past couple days.

Firstly I will mention that it is very hard to sleep when the wind is
pummeling your tent all night long. Shit is loud and at times
worrisome that your tent is going to get blown away. I was even scared
we were about to be caught in a tornado at some point as the winds
were that strong. Besides all that, we woke up at 6am only to find
that it was raining. Luckily it let up after about an hour so we began
to mobilize around 7. We ate some chips and pretzels for breakfast, as
they were all we had, before heading out against severely strong winds
and 100% humidity. The humidity was almost as bad as the wind. It was
sort of like riding through jello. Everything was wet and my hair was
just dripping all over the damn place.

We miserably struggled through this shit for about 12 miles. After
about 4 of those I was more exhausted than any other point in the
entire trip. Since we both felt like dying we decided to try to hitch
a ride. No one would bite and we weren't exactly trying very hard to
look desperate. That is until the bolts holding my rear rack broke
off. I guess with all the weight and the strong ass winds pushing on
my panniers the bolts couldn't take it. So here we were with a
legitimate reason to hitch as I could no longer carry my shit. Lucky
for us it wasn't long before an old man named Melvin picked us up and
drove us 15 miles to the next town, comstock, where he lived. He had a
huge tool shed and helped me get my rack back in order with some wire
and a new bolt. Thanks Melvin! Thanks to weiner dog too!

We were now ahead of schedule so we chilled and had some shitty lunch
at a small restaraunt in comstock. The food was basically freezer
food, bet it wad better than what we had been eating. From this point
we had 30 more miles to our destination of del rio. We decided the
best way to handle it was to straight kill it and ride as hard as we
could to get it over with. I suppose you could say it was like
removing a band aid. It is either over quick and sort of painful, or
slow and sort of torturous.

Our method worked out fairly well. We both pushed hard as shit and
knocked out the 30 miles in about 3.5 hours. I must say, those were
the most intense 30 miles I have ever ridden. We were both completely
spent by the time we were finished. Fortunately, del rio has a super
cheap motel six for $30 and we were stoked to chillax in it. We both
needed to get out of the wind so we could actually sleep tonight.

So now our new pickle is that tomorrow the winds are supposed to be at
their strongest and we are both physically drained. We feel like
taking a day off to rest might help with upcoming days, however, the
wind may not go away by monday and if we don't ride tomorrow we will
basically be gambling and could easily screw ourselves. Oof!

On a brighter note! Tomorrow is the series finale of lost! We will
HAVE to get another hotel to watch it.

"I always knew I was the Will Smith of the group" - Brian

Deep down the Fresh Prince always seemed to appreciate everything Aunt Viv and Uncle Phil did for him.  Every compromise and every sacrifice.  I hope in the future we can all learn to do the same.  In the meantime, Brian and I continue to battle mother nature in our rush to make up for lost time and reach Austin before this warped tour or whatever hippy fest he is attending.  We have another couple days before our brutal headwind subsides. The plus side is that we will head north sometime in there and the winds can do fuck all about THAT. 

Woke up in our sweaty wet tents this morning after an on and off sleep. Heavy winds and some rain kept me up. Ate our slim breakfast rations of pretzels and chips then jumped into the shit.  Brutal headwinds.  Yes.. you get it. Headwinds. Did I mention the wind? Shut up. Brians rear rack busted. Piss off, tubus. Had to hitch a 15 mile ride to Comstock with our pals Melvin and his weiner dog. I think Melvin is about the age of Jacob from Lost. He was a huge help and even helped fix Brians rack in his tool shed. That shed was massive. Massive.

Out of comstock we just decided to ride as hard as we could the rest of the day as we were desperate to end the nightmare. It worked. Amistad was lackluster. Del Rio is where we are. We ate Chinese buffet and Nascar oreos. What? Yes. Exactly. Mhmm. Well. Whatever. Feels good to be straight edge in Texas.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Record highs and record lows

The past couple of days have been pretty interesting. I suppose I will
start off with the bad news. Lenora unortunately has dropped off the
trip. Due to the schedule getting down to the wire and her knee
problems not getting any better, she has been struggling to keep
going. Unfortunately, we are unable to extend the schedule to a
comfortable pace as our emergency days off have worn too thin.

Yesterday we broke our mileage record again by going 112 miles from
fort Davis to sanderson. I woke up to be the recipient of the days
morning mystery flat, which has become quite the ritual lately. We
were served breakfast from our wonderful hosts before hitting the
road. The day started off pretty well, the ride to alpine was fairly
scenic. Once we got to alpine we hit up the grocery and a bike shop so
I could get a new deraellieur (which I still have not had time to
install).

After leaving alpine the rest of the day was pretty boring. The ride
was pretty easy until we got about 15 miles outside of sanderson where
we got caught in an awful head wind. We were already exhausted so this
was like the nail in the coffin as we were almost there. During that
15 miles I seriously thought I wasn't going to make it. This is the
first time of the entire trip that I seriously didn't think I could go
on. However, we all struggled through it, but by the end everyone was
super cranky. That day ended up being the deal breaker for Lenora
unfortunately.

However, lucky for her, today was much much worse haha. She definitely
chose the right time to dip out because today was for real the
absolute worst day of the entire trip.

We got up after sleeping terribly due to loud ass winds all night and
traffic from the nearby road. Also, it was humid as shit so everytime
I woke up my entire body was covered in slime. Anyway, we got our shit
together and started riding only to realize we had the same exact
shitty head wind and we were most likely going to have it all day. Let
me tell you, this was by far the strongest head wind we had ever
ridden in. It was even worse than the night before when I thought I
couldn't go on.

With no other choice we kept going at an exhaustingly slow pace. We
rode about 20 miles before stopping in dryden to get some lunch. The
only thing in the entire store that we could eat was condensed cambels
tomato soup which we ate straight out of the can dipping peanut butter
crackers in it.

We consulted the map to see how far it was to the next town only to
see that it was 40 miles. We still really had no choice but to ride
even though we were both already dead from the first 20. Lucky for us,
the winds only got stronger as the day continued. It seriously felt
like we were getting physically slammed by boards or something as we
were getting plastered by 20-40 mph winds for 40 miles. My favorite
points in the day were when I was pedeling as hard as I could down
mega descents only to go 9mph. These were descents that I would
regularly go 28 to 34 down. Unreal.

With 20 miles left we had to climb 3 large hills that would have been
difficult with no wind. At this point the wind was stronger than any
other throughout the day. We were going about 4mph up these hills
pedelling harder than I think I ever have. Our bodies could no longer
take it at this point so we decided to walk our bikes up the hill and
attempt to hitch a ride for the last 10 miles. We couldn't get anyone
to stop so we sucked it up and destroyed ourselves all the way to
whatever small town this is.

The map showed that the town has a grocery store so we were so stoked
to get there and eat everything they had. However, after climbing yet
another hill to get tocthe grocery we were greated with a "closed"
sign that said they closed at 5. SHIT!!!! We barely had any food so we
resorted to eating a can of spaghetti sauce and some leftover chips
from lunch. There really was no good spot to camp in the area so we
just set up behind the store hoping to drop in as soon as they opened
in the morning, otherwise we wouldn't have shit to eat for half of
tomorrow. Luckily, the store owner showed up to get somethig so we
popped in to buy what little offerings they had. Hopefully what we got
will last us until the next store...

So yeah, today was awful and the forecast for the next 3 days is
exactly the same. So we are in for a real struggle. Today we did 60
miles in 11 hours which is pretty gnarly. We have shuffled around
some miles and think we have a new plan which should get us in to
Austin by Wednesday night. Shit is going to really suck for the next 3
days though with these winds. Hopefully our bodies can take it. Oof.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

One more thing...

Zach pooped on the side of the road today. Nice.

Disaster strikes v 3.0

Whew! What an unfortunate day. But first I will mention some things from yesterday. I believe Lenora may have mentioned that we got a hotel in van horn last night for lost night. We only road like 32 mile yesterday and basically had to eat an emergency day due to a miscalculation on miles. We couldn't really push past van horn without going 120 miles through the mountains, so our most logical plan was to just take a light day and chill in van horn.

After we checked in to our hotel I popped out to walk to the grocery to get some snacks when I saw a punkish looking girl walking across the street who totally looked out of place. We both sort of eye balled eachother until she crossed over and guessed that I was biking cross country as I didn't look like I should be in that town. Her name was Shay and she was walking cross country from Santa monica or something. Anyway, we chatted a bit and she seemed stoked to meet a like minded individual as she has been travelling on her own. I invited her to come hang at our hotel room if she got bored later (however, I informed her we were only in the hotel to watch lost that evening. Luckily she showed up before it came on). Anyway, she came over and we shot the shit and it was cool to meet her. She also has a blog if you readers want to check it out. Www.Fakeplasticshay.blogspot.com

Now, back to today. We got out the door for the most part on time and problem number one struck early. Zach had a flat. We fixed that shit then raged out of van horn on some frontage road and were in Kent tx in no time. So a few days ago we ran in to some bikers going the opposite way than us and they warned us about how Kent had Jack shit other than alcohol and beef jerky. They were liars. It was like a Gatorade utopia in there. We were all stocked out of our minds thinking we wouldn't see shit all day. Well Kent was a fine stop. So all you hatred can step off.

We perched up in an abandoned school house right off the Kent exit for lunch and I had noticed my deraellier was acting funny again. I wheeled my bike up in the dirt to adjust only to blow out my tire on a broke bottle. Sweet! After I changed my tube it turned out my skewer was also wonky and it was hard as shit to put my wheel back on. The icing on the cake was that when I went to adjust my deraillieur I found out it was truly broken this time. The arm snapped in half. I furiously decided to just take the damn thing off and ride without it. Just so happens it was the least awesome day to not have a front deraillieur as we were biking through the mountains. Luckily, I experimented a bit and figured out that I could easily shift down with my foot and up by bending down and popping the chain over with my finger. Not really a perfect process, but it works for now until I find a new deraillieur. I rode 50 mile theough the mountains like that and honeslty it
wasn't too bad. Who needs a front dérailleur anyway?!

That aside the ride was exhausting. We had brutal head winds while climbing all day. Once the head winds let up we had to climb super steep shit. I also was periodically getting mystery flats which I believe are from clbimg in the extreme heat with too much weight. I had to stop and pump up 3 times.

After, we finally got out of the mountains we were about 9 miles to the end of our 94 mile day when lenoras tire goes flat too. All three of us got flats today! I had multiple! So shitty. So we changed her shit and started riding again and I noticed my skit was flat yet again. At this point I justnpumped it up and rode off furiously for the last few miles to the town.

Fortunately the day ended wonderfully. We made our first successful use of warmshowers.com and are staying with a great couple here in fort Davis. Susan and matt welcomed us in to their home with dinner ready and towels for showers. They even read in our blog that we were vegan so they accomodated by buying us daiya cheese to put on the delicious vegan food they made us. They offered to loan me a dérailleur or drive me to the bike shop in the morning in the next town over. They even recorded lost for us as we were originally supposed to watch it last night. We couldn't ask for better hosts. Thanks so much if you are reading this. Oh yeah, and they just so happened to have 2 spare queen size beds. Get out of town! We will have to try warm showers more often!

Anyway, I gotta sleep. Supposed to break our mileage record tomorrow. Hope I don't tear off my finger in my chain ring haha.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Las cruces, Los crudos

I left silver city in a red Volvo and a swirl of cotton wood fiber. I
was grateful to go despite how kind people were, there's only so much
self important priveleged white hippy nonsense I can take. I met up
with Brian and Zach in las cruces new mexico and rode the last 40
miles into el paso with them. It was good to be back on the rode.
Riding behind zach dodging the farts and snot he threw at me. We had
our hotel and day off which was awesome. I was still adjusting to
riding with a bunk knee so things were a little slow going. We hit the
rode and went through beautiful pecan farms. I think the sw is lovely
but riding through those sudo forests made me miss the east coast. At
one point we stopped and I was able to collect some fallen pecans.
Ack! My time line is all messed up. The pecans happened on the way to
el paso, whatevs. Anyway yeah so yesterday we were suppose to go so
many miles. 75 miles into our 114 mile day my brain and body had
enough. In the middle of a climb in a awful headwind I stopped and
just started crying. Ugh! We had 50 miles to go and I just felt I
couldn't do it. My knee was screaming, my back was in knots and I was
mentally worn down. But we couldn't stop there obviously so we powered
on to Sierra Blanca, Texas. We entered the town on west main street,
past the devastated shells of abandoned cars and the skeletons of long
forgotten buildings. Seriously it was a ghost town. The strangeness of
it was that the stores still had merchandise on their shelves. They
sat there collecting dust and fading with age. We crossed train tracks
searching for signs of life to no avail. At the end of main street we
found an abandoned rv park, an exxon, and a BBQ restaraunt. We camped
there for the night, ate way to greasy food at the BBQ place, and used
the exxon for a bathroom. Today was 30 some miles to van horn
scattering sunbathing lizards on the red pavement. Some climbs but
mostly down hill and we had a tailwind. Glorious!!! We got to van
horn,tx, got a super cheap hotel and i ate two ice cream cones at
dairy queen. Being a grown up rules!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Post apocolypse ride 2010 AD

This morning we got up and I did my usual route examination on our map
and came to realize there must have been a miscalculation or some shit
when I planned our shit for today because we were only supposed to go
83 miles but the map was telling me 113. This isn't really a big deal,
but since we didn't expect it I guess we weren't really mentally
prepared. Also, Lenora was feeling a bit ill this morning so we left
an hour later than we had hoped.

We hit the road around 8am just in time to ride in the morning el paso
traffic. It got a bit hectic for a bit until we escaped civilization.
Also, we saw a place named "the burro cafe" which sent me in to a
frenzy.

Pretty much our entire ride today was filled with ghost towns. Every
"town" we drove through was full of abandoned businesses and the
completely run down buildings that housed them. It was some post
apocalypse shit for real. It looked straight up out of the pages of
the book the road. I was pretty in to it and it made me feel somewhat
desperate and like dangerous lurkers were around every corner waiting
to jump me and ravage my food rations.

When we weren't among the ghost towns we were on ghost roads where no
cars dared travel. It made for an easy ride as we had the entire road
to ourselves. Zach and I did a lot of badass stunts with our plentiful
road space.

Seeing how all of the buildings and stores we encountered were gutted
and destroyed, our ride was not quite rich with recourses. About
halfway through the day we were running low on water and were sort of
banking on this one gas station coming up to fill up on water.
Unfortunately, Zach read the update sheet for our map and found out
the gas station had been ghostified and would no longer be of service
to us. At this point we decided to head up to some house in the middle
of nowhere to see if we could fill our bottles. However, no one was
home. We decided we had to do what we had to do so we found a spicket
outside their house and pillaged their water. Thanks random home owner!

So we carried on and found our ghost gas station and decided to stop
their anyway and sit under their awning for shade while we at lunch.
The shit was falling apart and littered with broken down vehicles and
random twisted machine parts. We also peeped in the store windows and
saw there was a TV inside that was turned on playing some staticy
shit. That was actually pretty creepy.

Anyway, we then hit the road again and had to so some minor climbing.
However, at this point in the day it had become super hot. During this
stretch everyones pacience was wearing quite thin. We had some
distress and stopped for a bit before carrying on to a border check.

Shortly after the border check we popped up in Seirra blanca which apeared
to be a once happenin town but is now as run down as the rest of our
ride. 90% of the buildings were completely destroyed and abandoned.
Everything that was "open" was half destroyed as well. Though the
weird thing Was that people still lived in the town. We were all
thinking how depressing it would be to live in a town like that. And
with that said, we discovered we didn't have enough daylight to make
it to the next town so we pitched our tents on the only piece of grass
in the shittiest RV park I have ever seen.

Though this town is completely ruined and depressing, we are kind of
stoked to be here. It is so run down it is almost unbelievable.
Hopefully we don't get ransacked in the night!

Anyway, i am laying in my tent past my bed time so I am ending this.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lines on my face growing deeper every day

Birthday blog.  28 years ago mom gave birth to me as drug free as I am today.  Appreciate all the media bday wishes from everyone today.  We crashed at a hotel last night as a gift and it was pretty spectacular. Jumped in that filthy, frozen pool and got Chinese delivered. Today we only rode a handful of miles.. just enough to get a little outside of the city and to get to Cici's for my birthday lunch and dinner (we stayed for like five hours.) After eating till it made us sad we headed on towards this camp site. We were 500 ft away when me and Lenora both got our tires thorned up and busted. Treated Housed and Served. Rode on our wabblers to the site and patched that shit up hard while talking shit on each other and sipping Fanta. I had strawberry. They had pineapple. So what!?

Yesterday we broke the 100 mile mark. Made even more baller do to the oppressive headwind we fought all day. Made even more baller that I was barefoot and bunny hopping every crack and eating pasta out of my water bottles. This ride made me want to go row a boat. I think you can only look at rows of pecan trees for like 3 hours before you start wishing a bird would peck out your eyes and feed them to its young.

The plus side of yesterday was meeting back up with big fat Lenorbit.  Brian is fine but we can only verbally assault each other so much before wanting to have an actual conversation.

So anyway. This is west Texas. I'll be listening to Explosions In The Sky tomorrow and will keep an eye out for Timmy Riggins and the rest of the Dillon Panthers. Wish we could have spent more time in New Mexico. Nah I don't really care actually. One of my earliest childhood memories is of getting super sick in in albuquerque on a vacation with the fam. Remember that? mom? Dad?

I've been whimpering in my sleep.

XXX

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Yeee haw!

Hello from el paso Texas. We have crossed yet another state line.
However, we won't be crossing another one for quite a while. Today's
ride from arrey to el paso was pretty uneventful except for the fact
that Zach and I broke our mileage record by going 103.6 miles today.
Our first 100+ mile ride. Woooo.

So we started off our day at about 7:20 heading out of arrey. We
killed it for the first 25 miles or so with a slight tail wind before
stopping at some family dollar in hatch to try and find food. It has
actually been really difficult to find anything vegan the past couple
of days other than chips and salsa. Family dollar failed us except for
picking up some kick ass 2 liters of Gatorade. We then went down the
street a bit to some shitty super market and still barely found any
food. Zach and I are basically at a loss when we can't find bushes
vegetarian baked beans. For whatever reason, this bullshit part of the
country carries all varieties of bushes except the vegetarian. I am
not willing to eat any other brand so fuck that! Also, hatch is
apparently the chilli pepper Capitol of the country. I wanted to eat
the shit out of some chilis, but did not in fear of dropping ass all
over my bike seat for the next 78 miles. We eventually just gave up
and settled for more pb&j.

After leaving hatch we spent the rest of our day battling a severe
head wind. Shit sucked all day and basically made it like riding up
hill for the next 78 miles or whatever. Not to mention today's ride
was pretty damn boring. Lots of farms and small crappy cities with no
food for us to eat.

About 60 miles in we arrived in las cruces where we met up with Lenora
after she caught a ride with someone from silver city. We had a quick
lunch at subway then got back on the road to el paso. More boring
scenery happened and then all the sudden we were in Texas with no
welcome sign or anythig. The welcome signs on this trip have been
pretty lack luster thanks to all the backroads we are always taking.

We got a hotel once we arrived in el paso as we have a planned sort of
day off tomorrow. We figured if we don't have to go to sleep early or
wake up early we muse as well do so while chillin hard as hell in some
beds while watching cable. Also, zachs birthday is tomorrow so he gets
to relax real style'n for that shit.

Not sure what we are doing tomorrow. All I know is true lies is on TV
and it got vetoed by some fine cinema hating snobs. Whatever, all
Lenora talks about is the new marmaduke movie that is coming out soon.

Texas better not be as abysmal as everyone says it is. Period.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Some jock at Emory pass

Epic Emory pass

The gruel and the beautiful



Today was a grueling day. We got up at 6 and hit the road by 7:20 or something after saying goodbye to Lenora and our new friend Jamie who was nice enough to host us. It was strange leaving Lenora behind, but I believe we all know it was for the best with her knee situation. I definitely think it was for the best now that the ride is over. Today has taken over as the new most physically brutal ride I have participated in. 

We started off gradually climbing out of silver city on some huge rolling hills. We would climb about a mile and a half then drop down for a mile and climb again. We dis that for about an hour maybe before we descended in to Hanover where we were told there is a store where we could fill up our gallon of emergency water before heading in to the mountains. Unfortunately, the store wasn't open at 8:45am. We then decided to hang out on there stoop and eat bananas for a bit in hopes that they might open up. They didn't, so we pushed on hoping to find water elsewhere. 

We continued up some more massive hills which in the end overlooked some sort of mine. Maybe a copper mine? We were then rewarded with a fast and fairly long descent in to milbrane or some shit? We saw a building that sort of looked like a rest stop so we headed over to try and get water there as we knew we were only a couple miles away from the mountain side. 

Unfortunately, the building was not a rest stop. It was instead a seniors lodge. We were pretty desperate to fill our water supply so I went inside to see what was up. Luckily, the women running the place were super friendly and allowed us to fill up our water and eat brunch on their picnic table. They even gave us some cake! Better than a rest stop!

So now we were fueled and supplied and ready to do our 18 mile vertical climb to Emory pass. The first 8 miles started off fairly tame, but definitely got super steep at times. The climb lasted forever. I thought we had to have been at the top by the time it levelled off but we weren't even half way. Also, the scenery was pretty bland for that first 8 miles. 

However, as soon as it levelled off a bit things got all rocky and treey and started to look amazing. We then had 5 miles of ups and downs that were pretty challenging. My legs were really started to get weak by the end of this 5 so we stopped for another banana break before ripping up the last 8 miles. 

The break wasn't quite enough as we hopped on our bikes and I was still feeling beat. But you know, what can you do other than keep going? So we basically forced our way up the last stretch which was about twice as steep as the shit we had been doing. It was painful at times and I had to let out some mean orcish grunts here and there out of shear struggle. I found that the only way to get up the hill was to put on some tunes, bring my hat bill down so I couldn't see up the hill, and just zone out staring at the road. It was for real some zen shit. 

Once we finally reached the top we took many pictures and walked out to some raunchy overlook of pretty much the entire mountain range. It was pretty awesome. We were 8,800 some feet up and we got there riding fully loaded touring bikes. I was pretty proud. THIS is officially the highest elevation of our trip I am pretty sure. This also marks the end of the mountains until Austin I am pretty sure. We are going to finally be going down hill for a few days after constantly clbimg for what seemed like weeks. 

After we were finished sight seeing we got to partake in a gnarly descent. We raged down the mountain side winding down sharp ass curves keeping pace with cars. It was a blast and totally made the past 40 miles of clbimg worth it. We descended for about 15 miles or something and landed in Hillsboro where there was supposed to be a grocery store. Instead there was nothing so we just stopped and at peanut butter and jelly and ran in to a couple other touring cyclists and shot the shit. 

After leaving the town we had to climb yet another huge hill before catching a 20 mph tail wind which pushed us right to the edge of arrey where we were planning to camp for the night. We still had 5 miles left, but unfortunately we had to turn against the wind. That last 5 miles was nearly as hard as climbing the mountain. We trudged along at about 7mph and eventually made it to a state park where were stoked to sit down and eat. 

Despite the majorly intensive ride, we went 82 miles and managed to arrive at our camp site with about 2.5 hours of daylight left which we haven't been able to do for weeks. It was really nice to take it easy upon arrival for a change instead of rushing to put up our tents before the sun went out. 

Anyway, we are off to Texas tomorrow. Bye bye new Mexico, you have been beautiful. 

Left Behind

So here I am in the library of WNMU looking up fun things to do in Silver City. Gotta keep it low key so as to not brutalize the ol' knee here. I was sad to see the guys go this morning and was wishing I could join them. It feels weird to not be riding my bike and my body isn't sure what to do with itself. I would love to be charging through the desert taking in the rest of amazing New Mexico. People here have been rad though, this morning they took me out for breakfast and paid for it. Looks like I got a ride to a town about 60 miles from El Paso tomorrow, if my knee is up for it I'm just going to ride there and meet the guys. Suppose to be pretty flat, maybe I'll actually get to take in some more of New Mexico before the long stretch of West Texas. Today has given me a chance to reflect on our journey so far. I love the scenery, even the barren scorched earth of the desert, it's just so different than what I'm use to. I saw houses surrounded by pasture at the base of mountains and thought how lovely it would be to one day live like that. Things not noted in previous blog post: the weird ass shack/house at the base of the mountain climb, it was made of plywood,street signs, flags and other scraps of material. We joked the guy was gonna come after us with a shot gun as we munched a snack nearby. The sky is huge here, nearly cloudless and blue it stretches far. The land is lovely full of boulders, caverns, caves and crevices. Dry river beds are deep and look like mini canyons choked full of rocks and the dry branches of parched trees. The other day as we bombed a 7% grade on either side was a depleted muddy river giving enough water to allow for a small oasis in the red rough desert. Green grass and trees grew near it for a few acres before giving way to sand and rock. Its hard to write of these things at the end of a harsh ride. The mind and body are drained and the days run together. How can you possibly remember all you saw? I think I will sit on all this and recap later my experience.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Knee-rly there

So here's the blicky; 24 hours of rest and a kneebrace later and we
hit the rode. We said goodbye to our hotel room and the scene of an
Oreo cookie massacre. It was cold out and my knee was stiff but we
went for it. I felt like I was fighting my bike for miles and couldn't
figure out what was going on. My knee was killing me and that combined
with the bike issue made me hella frustrated! Felt bad most of the day
cause I was holding the guys up too. When we finally got to our major
climb I was spent mentally and physically. The guys attacked the
mountain before us with vigor despite the four or five switch backs
needed to climb it. I started to but knee and bike weren't having it.
I finally stopped and took a look at the bike and realized my front
wheel had been rubbing all day. What the f?! Seriously?! Wishing I had
noticed sooner I fixed it and started back up the. By then I hAd just
been pushing my bike up the hill and found I was not too far behind
the guys. Ha ha they were biking almost as fast as it would take to
walk the thing. Despite this i felt i should try to ride but just then
a truck slowed and asked if I wanted a ride to the top. I looked at my
knee and decided to take him up on the offer. Randy was his name and
he was a total cowboy. Complete with yes ma'ams, cowboy boots, hat and
shirt. Totally worth it!!!! I would say half the fun of this trip has
been meeting and talking to people. We stopped at a little gas station
today and I had a really nice conversation with folks in there. I love
the sw! After Randy dropped me off at the top of the climb the guys
met up with me and we rode through gila national park and over into
new mexico. Hello new Mexico you are beautiful!!!! Lush rolling hills,
mountains and what's this the sun bleached bones of a dead calf?!!!
Total win!
Today was a killer, nothing but false flats and shitty hills. Ugh
we were wiped but we landed well!! Wingnut bike hippies took us to
their house and made us welcome! So we are indoors tonight and not
freezing at a campground. Tomorrow this rad dude named chris offered
to drive me to the next town to catch the bus, total win. Me and the
old knee can't take two more days of climbs. I'm holding the guys up
and biking through too much pain. Sucks cause new Mexico was the state
I was so psyched to bike through. Bummed to be parted from the guys
and frustrated beyond belief with my knee. So strange when your body
betrays you.
Positives: this house we're at, the awesome folks I've met, the
hummingbird I rescued and held, the sweet cat at the rv park, cooler
weather, bones we found, and my supportive bike partners in crime.

Newest in bicycle fashion

Welcome to new Mexico



Hello readers, so two days have passed since I have had service. We have been in the straight up mountains for days. It has been extremely grueling, however, the views have been lovely. 

Before I get in to the logistic tecniques of bicycle touring, I would like to touch on an issue that has been bothering us for the past couple of days. When we were passing through Pima, safford and thatcher and noticed that for whatever reason, probably out of human laziness, they call burritos burros. Now maybe I have some sort of linguistic ignorance, but i have never heard anyone call a burrito a burro. We even went to a restaraunt to get some burritos and when Zach requested one by the word burrito, the waitress even corrected him. What the fuck is that? YOUR SMALL STRETCH OF TOWNS ARE WRONG!!! 

Now, back on point, yesterday we started out of safford with a goal of going 59 miles as we read that that particular stretch was the steepest and most difficult of the entire southern tier. So we headed out and the climbing basically started right away. The first 30 miles or so to three way were all up hill, but it was pretty easy. Very gradual climbing. Right outside of three way we hit a gnarly ass decline where I am proud to say I reached my top speed on a bicycle of 47.6 mph. Though it was incredible, it was also terrifying because the wind picks up on you super hard when you get up to those speeds. Tears were just streamig off of my face and at times we would get blasted with a cross wind that made me pretty scared for my life. 

After three way the climbs got really real on us. The hills got super steep and winded all around the mountains. We were doing some super steep climbs for a long long time. We climbed to I believe 6900 ft or something. The views were incredible. We even saw a cliff that looked like a phallus. 

So after reaching the top we began a super fun descent which tool us across the new Mexico border. As soon as we hit the border, once again, the scenery changed completely. We saw forests filled with trees all the way down the mountain side which lead in to rolling green pastures surrounded by mountains. This made all of the climbing totally worht it. New Mexico is straight up baller looking. Also, we were riding this last leg while the sun was setting making the landscape even more beautiful. This was another of my favorite stretches of the trip. 

We rode about 20 miles of that before hitting up buckhorn for the night. Even though the ride tha day was physically exhausting I felt really good the entire day. I was super stoked the whole time and the ride didn't seem hectic which many days it does due to long miles. We ended up doing 78 miles when all was said and done, even with all the mountains. Great day. 

Now today was a different story. We woke up this morning to about 38 degree weather. It was probably the coldest morning we have had yet. We got up and slowly got our shit together because we were sluggish and cold. We hit the road I believe around 8 am and headed toward silver city. Today's ride was also up hill alllllll day. However, today was just boring and I think we all agrees that even though none of the climbs were as severe as the ones from yesterday, something about today was just straight up exhausting. Once we rolled in to silver city we headed over to some overpriced vegetarian restaraunt. Turns out silver city is a MEGA hippie town. Though I am no hippie sympathizer, I do have many common interests with the likes of them so this town was a nice change from the red neck breeding grounds of yore. 

The orignal plan was that we were going to hang out for a bit then hit the road to get ahead of the game for the next couple of days. However, turns out we were all Spent. Then Lenora dropped the bomb that her knee is in too much pain to endure the 8000 ft climb we have in store for tomorrow. She unfortunately has decided to catch a bus to meet us in el paso. Her knee is the opposite of zachs bicep (from Zachary). 

After this Zach and I made up our minds not to continue on and just brave the night with the hippies. Luckily  while we were stopped at a bike shop a friendly wing nut started talkig to us about our ride and invited us to stay at his wing nut castle. So here we are! Amidst familiar territory among fellow biker weirdos. 

Tomorrow morning Zach and I will leave Lenora in our dust to climb Emory pass. An 8500 ft. Behemoth.  

Breakfast

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

We've Gone Country pt 2

We've gone country

Cop Asshole



Sent from my HTC on the Now Network from Sprint!

Lost Cause



Sent from my HTC on the Now Network from Sprint!

Starts and stops

Amazing things have been seen on this trip. Seriously the only way to
travel is by bike, I'm convinced! The night before last we stayed at a
windy but beautiful camp ground at the top of the mountains in a
national park. It was a hell of a climb getting to it though.
Especially since I have a slow leak and my tire was at half pressure
most of the day. For reals why is the back half of my bike trying to
sabotage me? The new wheel set has made things a hell if a lot better
though. Love love love my new wheels. So the really rad stuff that has
gone down includes the following; Yesterday we kicked in the apache
Rez and made friends with a mangie stray, heard coyotes talking one
night, flocks of small birds in the early am and pm swirling and
diving while they hunt, we've met some really friendly people and
recently the weather had cooled off. Bummers would include Zach trying
to poison Brian with kerosene, my tire being super low the last couple
days, and my fucking knee deciding to crap out at the end of a 98
mile day. We're now kicking it in a motel taking an emergency day off
so my knee can recover. WTF?! Today zach said it's always something
with you. It's really starting to feel a little like that. Oh well
here's to an unexpected day off and the quick recovery of my bum knee.

Mountain biking



Shew! So the last couple of days have been pretty tough. We biked about 170 miles through some tall ass mountains. 

We started off Sunday leaving Phoenix around 6:30 or so in the morning. It took us a pretty long time to get out of city/suburbs. I think we ended up riding 35 miles or something before we got out of there. Regardless, suburban riding is some of the most boring shit. The only thing I could do to keep myself entertained was to ride around in my new sun glasses telling all the bystanders that I was a cop. Before we left town we picked up some groceries and stopped in apache junction for brunch before we entered desolation again. 

The next part of the ride was pretty boring as well. Just same old desert shit. We were banking on stopping at Florence junction to have a nice lunch break, but as we pulled up to it we saw that it was merely a meeting of freeways and there was no city at all. Fortunately, there was an overpass for us to hang outnunder for a couple hours to escape the heat. 

We ate some food and chatted for a while and Zach informed us that he was completely out of water. This definitely sucked becaue we were like 20 miles to the next town. None of us thought he was going to die or anything, but we had some hills to tackle. 

After climbing a few hills we made it to superior where for the first time in a while all of our climbing paid off with some nice mountainous scenery. We then stopped in supperior to fill up on water and what not before climbing the worst hill of the day to get to our camp site at the top of the mountain. We had to pick up 3 gallons of extra water before making the climb as there was no water at the camp site. 

This climb to the camp site was probaby the scariest part of the trip so far. We were going about 4 mph the entire time up a steep ass hill on a busy ass freeway with no shoulder and cars speeding past us. We also had to cross a bridge and go through a tunnel which were both pretty damn scary. On top of the general conditions of the ride being scary, the sun was also going down which made our visibility to drivers quite lower. 

All in all, we killed that mountain and made it almost to the top to where our camp site was. The views were ridiculous and even though the camp site was pretty rugged with no water or electricity and shit, it was one of the coolest camp sites we have stayed at based on location alone. It was also free as all get out.

We arrived pretty late and imediately got to putting tents and cooking dinner. We had a feast of coos coos and lentil soup and finished it off by dipping pita in to bakes beans! However, about a quarter in to my pita i realized that it tasted kind of like soap. Zach and Lenora assured me it was just the way these pita tasted so I kept eating it. Then I was thinking it tastes more like gasoline, or even more specifically... Kerosine! This made sense to me because there was kerosine packed in the same bag. But no... Lenora assured me it was just cilantro and Zach said it was impossible that there could be kerosine leaking. Soooo I finished the pita. Then Zach looked in the bag and realized there was kerosine leaking all over the bag. AWESOME! So I checked the back of the container which told me "harmful or FATAL if ingested". This kind of scared me so I just quietly went to sleep hoping I wouldn't be dead by dawn. Fortunately I survived with just a little pee butt. 

The next morning we woke up cold as shit. These mountain mornings without the sun are frigid. We go to bed with like 70 some degree weather and wake up to 40 degree weather. It certainly makes it hard to get out of the tent in the morning. Anyway, we got up, got our shit packed and hit the road thinking we were at the top of the mountain. We got all bundles up in our hoodies expecting an imediate long chilly descent. We even saw a sign showing that we were about to descend at a 6% grade for the next 12 miles. We were so stoked! Instead... We climbed for about an hour before we got to descend. LIES! Our elevation map lied to us all damn day! We were supposed to be going downhill pretty much the entire day. Instead we were going up hills all day with short descents in between. It was agonizing and infuriating. Every time I saw a new hill I would get enraged. It was definitely one of the worst days for me by far. I hated it. On top of it sucking we still managed to ride a record breaking 98 miles. We are tough. 

Anyway, next up is more mountains for like the next 3 days. We will hit up new Mexico by the end of the day if all goes well. 

Ok bye. 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

To con't

Ok so this iPhone blicky sent my other blog before I could finish so
to continue......
I've decided to start writing down some of the ridiculous shit we
say on this tour. Gonna post it here once I get a good collection.
So the day has ended and I didn't get a chance to see the fam.
It's been a minute since I've seen them and my aunt Dorothy is over
100. It would've been rad to see them. 24 hours isn't enough time to
do all you want. Besides that this is been a fun day. Glad we get a
day off every six days, gives us a chance to kick it without the
stress of the ride. Tonight we had vegan smores shakes, which ruled!
Hell yeah food, I love to eat you.
Ok so next leg of the trip begins tomorrow. I would very much like
to find a stray puppy to take with me, see an armadillo and find some
animal bones bleached by the sun. So off to shower than to bed, we got
a five a.m wake up call.

Steve Nash is just outside this shot

Civilization but not quite civilized

We're in the car on the way to some sweet vegan restaraunt which is
gonna be rad! Oh civilization how I adore you. So yeah as mentioned
before i'm $300 poorer due to a new wheel set. I'm not crying to hard
cause it's a set mavic aksiums and they look hot. Shipped the other
set back to mykke whose in desperate need of new wheels, so there u go
sweets! Feeling a little better after a pretty brutal week.
Today has been good, anne has been awesome, driving everywhere. She
has really helped us out and I'm ridiculously grateful. She also gave
me a sweet necklace with a bike and compass on it.

rip River Phoenix

So now we relax on a much needed off day.  3 days straight of 90+ miles in the desert sun can start to wear on your body and attitude. We are crashing at our old buddy Anne's.  Last night we killed crazy amounts of pasta, broke her sink, and rearranged her kitchen while she was out.  Later we all laid around blowing farts and laughing. I think we all expected to sleep in late but everyone is up by 9 so we got straight to work. Lenora still has a problem with her rear wheel staying true and apparently breaking spokes so we went to a couple bike shops and in the end decided the best solution was to get a whole new wheel set. In a perfect world this wouldn't be the first choice but it has been a persistent issue affecting her riding and bike shops will be few and far between from here on out.

After that anne drove us to get some Chinese food and back to her place.  Brian and Lenora went straight to work on the bikes while Anne and I hit the pool. Laying poolside was one of the most trying parts of the trip.. watching these ass clowns smoke cigarettes in the pool while they blare sublime on their stereo and talk about getting fucked up. Cruel Fucking joke. So now I'm back inside watching Brian sleep while Anne and lenora go off to ship her old wheel set back home.  Oh also me and Brian have eached lost ten pounds. Holler. Drove past a Mexican buffet earlier.. I am intrigued. XXX

Yo. Where is Charles Barkley?



We made it to phoenix! Wooo. I believe this marks about 1/3 of this leg or something? I could be wrong on that because I honestly don't remember how many days this leg is. 

Since we made it to Phoenix with only losing 1 emergency day, we have decided to take our planned day off here. I think we all are definitely ready for a day off after the last few days of trial and error. We also need to take care of some lose ends and Lenora wants to visit some family that she has in the area. Luckily, my good friend anne schwartz is living here so we have a comfortable place to stay with air conditioning and a pool. 

The ride yesterday, I would say, was pretty right on for the most part. We left a little later than we planned, but it all worked out just fine. We got up and biked 25 miles to wickenburg where we too our first break aroud 10am. As usual this first part of the day was up hill. For some reason my phone thought we had hit a time change though and was reading 11 and I was like "what the fuck? Are we really that slow?". The thing is we didn't even hit a time change and I still don't know why my phone lied to me. 

We hung out for about an hour before hitting it again. For the most part yesterday was a fairly uneventful ride. No problems, nothing special. We stopped again just outside of surprise around 1 and took naps / ate until 4:30 as we waited for the tperatures to cool. We then blasted our way towards Phoenix on route 60. 

So our bike map advised us to take a completely different route once we got in to surprise. It wanted us to get off 60 and zig zag our way through the city. However, it never quite zigged or zagged anywhere near anne's house where as the 60 drops off right at her door step. Seeing how we had been riding on 60 for the past few days we saw no reason why we couldn't just stay on it all the way in to Phoenix. Unfortunately, we had to find out the hard way why our bike map didn't want us on it. 

As soon as we entered surprise 60 became under construction for MILES. At first it was no big deal because we were just riding on the fresh paved areas behind the cones, but the closer we got to Phoenix we had to get more creative by riding on sidewalks and through parking lots until neither of those things existed anymore and we were sometimes even rising through dirt or in the highway lanes themselves with cars wizzing past us at like 70 mph. I personally was having fun and enjoyed was enjoying this stretch because it was challenging and broke up the monotony of riding on regular streets all day. However, it was expressed to me that Zach and Lenora were not quite as enthused about this leg. Upon realizing they weren't pleased I got pretty stressed too becuase there really was no other option other than go like 30 miles out of our way to re-route. The issue was that Phoenix is basically a perfect grid in which the 60 slices right down the center diagonally. This situation is actually kind of awesome if you are in a car. However, if you can't take the 60 on say, your bike, you have to figure out some other bullshit way to get downtown.

At the point where everyone was getting stressed the re-route would have totally screwed us. So to compromise we toughed it out on 60 as long as we could until it was basically way too dangerous to continue. Fortunately, this got us to a point where we only had to ride about 10 extra miles instead of 30. 

As always, riding through cities fully loaded blows. It is slow and starteing and stopping all the time for lights is quite exhausting with all of that weight on your bike. We rolled up to anne's place probably around 8:30 which isn't so bad. All in all we rode 90 miles which was a bit more than we had planned, but whatevs. 

Though we were all pretty stressed during that last stretch, once we got to anne's and could relax all was good again. I am happy to see this group is making it through a lot of tough situations laughing and having a good time when all is said and done. We all get pretty cranky at different points of the day for various reasons, but it seems like as soon as we get off our bikes and chill for a minute we are instantly laughing it up again and put our issues from the day behind us.

Anyway, it's time to party in Phoenix! 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

90 some odd!

So our new schedule bodes well for biking across the desert. A cooler
and slower paced morning saw us arriving in Salome in time to get out
of the worst of the heat. Some grouchiness ensued here and there
mostly due to weather and an unruly bike. Seems i was riding on a
mostly flat tire for hours and my wheel is crazy out of true again!
I'm pretty content with my pace otherwise,15mph on average I think. I
think it's a good speed for taking in the scenery and keeping my body
from totally crashing. Zach and I stopped here and there to take
pictures. Arizona is way more beautiful than east California. I can
find nothing redeeming about that area. Got some pictures of baby
goats, desert plant life, and awesome abandoned motels. There are tons
out here and I can't figure out why. Like east Cali this stretch of
Arizona has been hit hard by poverty. Was it the depression? A lot of
these towns were established in the early twentieth century. Did they
just not survive the dust bowl? The depression? The mass exodus to the
suburbs after the war? I don't know. My hands are weathered by the sun
and layers of salt left behind by hours of sweat. My body will take a
beating when this all through.

Ps. I love dessert

And apparently can't spell desert

Bye bye California. Hello Arizona!



BOOM! We finally entered a new state! It feels like Zach and I had been biking california for ever. Today I think we got it right. I think we finally figured out a good way to go about the day in this heat while still conquering our epic mileage. On the west coast we could basically ride whenever we wanted because it was chilly no matter what and we could just layer up if we needed to. However, the dessert will boil you alive. 

This morning we tried out our new plan of waking up at 6 and taking breaks more often and having a longer break in the afternoon. I personally think it worked out wonderfully as I didn't get worn out all day really. I had forgotten what it felt like to end the day and feel all right. 

So yeah, we headed out of blythe at 6 and imeiately crossed the Arizona border. Right away the scenery changed up for the better. We even saw our first legit cactus a couple miles across the border. I must say, Arizona is MUCH nicer than south eastern california. It is still the dessert, but it is a much prettier dessert with nice mountain views and cacti as far as the eye can see. Also, peoples homes don't look nearly as desperate. Californians seemed to live in whatever items they could nail together out in the middle of nowhere, while arizonians seem to at least have trailers if not actual houses. I know this speaks a lot on the economy differences in the area of course, but it certainly made our ride less dismal. 

We rode about 3.5 miles on a gradual incline (I will go ahead and say we were gradually climbing all day for the mos part) and popped up in quartzite where we stopped at a loves mega gas station for brunch. I will admit I was pretty happy to see the modern ass station for a change. 

After fueling up we hit it again and after about 10 miles we were greeted with a 15 mile descent with a mega tail wind which had us killin it at about 25 mph basically coasting. It was pretty awesome. At the end of the descent we had to go back up hill where we were trying to get to Salome before 2pm so we could escape the heat for a couple hours before finishing up the ride. Unfortunately, Lenora got a flat which slowed us down a bit and we ended up getting caught in the 2 o'clock heat which, honestly, was the only time of day I started feeling weakend.

We finally got to salome "where she danced" around 3 Where we hung out until about 4:30 before riding the last 30 miles to aguile where we be camping out hard at some RV park. This RV park is banging by the way. Has free Showers, nice bathrooms, air conditioned laundry and was only $10 for the 3 of us. Killer. All in all we ended up riding 92 miles. We are fucking ragers. All you doubters can eat our dust. 

Off to phoenix tomorrow!

Big Desert

DESERT RAGING

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

So many miles so much heat!

The desert is: hot full of poverty and barren. Everyone out here has
at least two dogs a trailer or shack for a home and a truck. So we
raced across the desert at a pace that felt more like torture than
touring. Passing lessons we should have been learning. There were a
couple times I had to slow to take in a beautiful sight or absorb the
shock of despondent towns.

AYE CARAMBA!!!!



here is a picture from yesterday of us catching some border hopper outside of jacumba. Check out that fence protecting our jobs!!!

I wish I had a stillsuit



Today was a record Breaking day for all 3 of us. We each topped our miles ridden in a single day by riding 92 miles. Not only did we ride 92 miles, but we rode them in almost 100 degree weather. Shit was insanely hot.

We knew we had a long way to go today so we tried to get out the door around 8am. However, we had to prepare ourselves for our 62 mile stretch of straight up dessert with no civilization or places to get water, so we stopped at the be all end all of survival stores, the dollar store, and stocked up on water and such. Due to us having to go 62 miles with nowhere to stop, we each had to carry 2 or more gallons of water. This may not sound like that big of a deal, but a gallon of water is damn heavy. So try strapping a gallon++ extra water to your already loaded down bike then go ride it in the 100 degree burning sun for like 10 hours or something.

As for the actual ride, things went well I would say. No real mechanical problems other than zachs toe clip kept coming off for some reason. We think it was expanding from the heat. The first half of the day was a gradual hill climb for about 43 miles or something which had us averaging about 10 mph. Along that first stretch we passed through glamis which I thought was one of the coolest areas we have seen this entire trip. Nothing but smooth sand as far as the eye could see. Zach and I walked out in to the nothingness for a little ways and found a huge dropoff that Zach went down to the bottom of. It was pretty amazing.

Shortly after that we got back in to the Boring part of the dessert that has like shitty dried up bushes and shit. We stopped for lunch under some thorn bush that gave us a little bit of shade. It was a bit cooler under the bush, but it was still scorching hot. None of us really felt like eating much because we were so ubcomfortable. We sat under the bush for about an hour before hitting the road again. There was a lot more nothing, we hit a border check, then around 4pm we all started feeling the affects of not having a proper lunch portion. Also, we were feeling weak from being blasted by the sun for hours and hours.

Luckily we finally got to a gas station in palo verde where we were so stoked to drink cold Gatorade and gorge ourselves on chips and salsa. We were also happy to be inside and out of the sun. We chilled there for about an hour petting puppies and meeting legitimately nice people. A heads up to other bicycle tourists, palo verde has free camping, showers and bathrooms at the rear of their trailer park. Unfortunately, we had to get moving and go another 20 miles to Blythe.

I would say we were feeling much better after our break and the last 20 miles were pretty easy. The only thing that sucked was when I got attacked by 2 dogs and had to pedal my ass off as they chased me for about a mile. I was chugging at 25 mph on flat road to get away from those shit sacks.

After getting our ass kicked by the sun today, we are going to try out some new hours tomorrow. We are going to try to Leave at 6am, take a break between 1pm and 5pm and finished up the day 5 to 7. Hopefully this will get us out of the hottest hours of the day and the ride won't be so grueling.

All right, time to hit the sack to try and get some sleep before that 5am wake up! Shit!!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Big Zach

Holler. Still steaming about our night in the live oak springs shit hole. This clown who tried to scam us 75 dollars for a plot of weeds, rock, and dog shit needs a kick in the throat.  Sure, the climbs suck but what's worse is sleeping on thorns that bust your sleeping pad and being woken up by border patrol helicopters every ten minutes.  It takes a certain type of asshole to be a cop.. but you've really gotta be a special breed to join up with this shit.  If it weren't for these douches running rampant we could have hid out and camped free.. whatever life goes on and certainly could be way worse..

So today we got up and killed cereal and sandwiches after Brian played with lenoras derailleur for a bit. Left a little late as usual and started climbing again. By noon we were finally done and hit that decent.25 minutes of downhill was radical and threw us right into a head wind for a bit. Brian got another flat which was annoying but at least didn't leave us with a mystery to solve this time. We got off I-80 and hit Texaco for some electrolytes and meth. Our map urged us very strongly to avoid the Evan Hewes highway and follow a.detour due to "extremely broken roads covered in potholes" we ignored the map due to them being "complete and utter cowards". No sweat. Well not literally.. shit has gotten hot as we were now in the desert. Found ourselves a dead snake and trudged on at 12mph into an obnoxious headwind. After a while Brian was starving and grumpy and Lenora was hangry. We almost stopped to kill some baked beans but decided to push to small town Seely Dan.  It was dead but there was a tiny taco shop and they hooked us with multiple big ass burritos for only 3.50 each. Kill it.

Bad news. Lenoras rear wheel out of true still causing her break to rub and keeping her shaky as all get out. Soooo we made a small detour to a bike shop in El Centro. They kinda fixed it.. or not really. What a world. We were there till 7 and had to run fast to get to a hotel in Brawly for Lost. I checked myself in just before eight. Brian and Lenorbit snuck in a few later and Brian then went to subway to get us all dinner. Guess what. Lost airs at 8 pm here. Add Brawley to the list. Stay out. Anyway caught the last half hour and we are all pretty sad. Tv

Tomorrow is some more desert killing. We have a 60 mile stretch with nothing in between aaaand its gonna be 103 degrees Woot Woot! We got a bunch of extra water bottles and gallon jugs. Fantastic.

Wigan.. smash chelsea.

And then some

Ok so come to discover this morning that my back wheel is completely
out of true and my brake has been rubbing it for who knows how long.
So yeah i spent all day climbing with Hella resistance and weight to
boot. Hoping to hit a bike shop and get a new wheel cause this one
ain't gonna make it. Oh well breakfast over gotta hit the road.
Beautiful weather should be good ride.

Up up up up and more up

Writing to you from live oak springs california. To reitterate what
Lenora has said, yes, we climbed hills for 35 miles yesterday. Not to
mention the 20 we climbed the day before. However, the hills we did
yesterday were 100 times worse. Yesterday was the first time I felt
completely distressed and didn't want to go on. We went 35 miles in 6
hours. We kept pushing back lunch because we were thinking we would be
in the next town only in a couple miles all day. However those couple
of miles lasted for a long long time when we were trudging along at
speeds between 4 and 6 mph.

Things seemed fine for about the first 4 hours. Sure we were climbing
the entire time then, but we knew what we were in for and thought we
were prepared. Once we hit 3000 feet we thought "fuck yeah, only 1500
to go." however, what we didn't realize is that we would be going
through a series of short steep 1000 or so foot descents which ended
in a larger and steeper 1000 or so foot ascent. By the last one we
were all pretty emotionally distressed. Lenora cried while Zach and I
were just furious. This was the longest steepish hill I had ever
climbed with long straight stretches that would curve around just
enough so I couldn't see what was around the curve. Each curve we went
around showed me yet another stretch of unending hill. At one point I
had to stop, get off my bike and put my head down in frustration.

This hill is what our elevation map had said was our last hill so we
took a short break before we were to head in to live oak springs for
lunch. We then got up from our break and sort of rode around on flat
road for a while and I started getting worried that something wasn't
right. Sure enough we turned a corner and there was yet another hill.
This one steeper than the last. About halfway up all I can remember is
repeatedly saying "you got to be fucking kidding me." I could also
hear Lenora screaming something in the distance.

This time, however, was the last hill. Unlike big sur or any other
super hill on the pacific coast, this had a very poor visual pay off
of a reservation casino. WOMP.

We then hit it again and coasted down the mountain about mile in to
live oak springs. I think it was about 3:30 or something when we got
their. Originally we were going to eat lunch then get back on the road
to blast down the mountain and try to knock out the 77 miles to
brawley which is all down hill. This could have been possible if we
weren't completely physically drained.

Instead we just ate a ton of crappy food at live oak springs lodge and
somehow 2 hours passed and we weren't feeling very invigorated. At
this point brawley was pretty much out of the question and some dude
at the restaraunt told us camp sites out back were $25. That sounded
good to us so we decided to stay. That was until the boss man said it
was 25 per tent meaning we would have to pay $75. We were like "no
way" and were about to leave and find some place free to hide out.
Then dude was like "fine I will let you guys have it for $25 but I
mean it does have laundry, bathroom and showers " trying to make us
feel like he was doing us a HUGE favor, even though every camp site we
have stayed at had super nice bathrooms and showers.

Anyway, we go out to the "camp site" we had just paid for to see that
it is basically just a plot of un-mowed grass where half the town
already lives in double wides and RVs. Not to mention that the
bathrooms and shit he was refering to as "included" were just part of
the laundromat down the fucking street that the entire town uses.
Amazing work live oak springs!

We then set up our tents and got some food at the market down the
street for breakfast and lunch tomorrow. Then Zach and Lenora went to
check out the bathrooms, in which the mens was out of order and the
womens was a stall with no latch to close it and no toilet paper. This
is also where the shower cave is located where you walk back a dark
hallway with no lights to an even darker showering chamber with no
lights or windows. It is unbelievable that dude charges ANYTHING.

All in all, after a good rest I am feeling good. We are going to ride
77 miles to brawley today which should be a breeze because it is
literally all down hill (except one small hill). So hopefully all goes
well today!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hurts

Today was a jerk! Right now we're sitting in the live oaks lodge
eating mediocre food trying to recover from climbing for 35 miles.
Currently we're at 4500 feet 2500 of which we did today. Seriously
brutal. Not afraid to say it I cried during one of our climbs. That
shit sucked! Hardest ride of my life for real like. We didn't make our
goal today not by half which at this point is fine with me. We're just
gonna camp here tonight and call it a loss. Positives of the day: so
many horses, skinks everYwhere awesome beetle found this morning
amazing scenery and good company (Zach and Brian are hilarious).
Negatives: my fucking deraileurs are jacked all to hell so out of
alignment ,I rode through a swarm of bees (what is a swarm if bees
doing at the side of a highway?!) i got some weird hives on my leg and
the hills destroyed me! My hips my knee my butt are all killing me!
Blah, at least tomorrow is down hill for miles. I miss the b and the
boy :(

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Leg 2 has begun!



Today marks the first day of our second leg of the tour. We left San Diego en route to Austin. This is also the first day that lenora has returned to us and will be joining us for like 3 weeks or something.

We sort of got off to a late start today and never really got it together. We had to run a few last minute errands and do a few last minute tune ups on lenoras bike early on in the day as we were heading out of San Diego. Our goal was to do about 61 miles today to get to live oak springs, which typically if we leave at noon is doable, however today's ride was literally all up hill. I don't know if you who is reading this read any of our earlier posts about the west coast ride... But i said we had reached our highest elevation of the trip at some point. Basically I straight up lied to your faces because that wasn't even close. I was reading the elevation charts wrong for the southern tier. Today we were supposed to climb 4500 ft in 60 miles. Pretty insane.

With that said, our pace for the day was much slower than usual going about 6 mph a lot of the time. So that + leaving late + running lots of errands and shit lead to us only making it about 32 miles to alpine. According to other blogs we have read, people typically only make it to alpine. However, we feel that we are ragers and were hoping to have gone about double. Oops!

As it turned out we did actually make it just outside of alpine. However, we have new problems with this new leg of the tour. None of the camp sites have hiker biker spots now that we have left the west coast. OOF! This means camp sites are much more expensive for us in most cases so we have to either end our days much earlier and figure out a place to stay with plenty of daylight to find a good hidden camp spot... Or we have to go to camp sites after their office is closed so we can sneak in and leave before anyone finds us and starts asking for money. There is also a third option which I will get to later, but the moral of the story is that we have to think a little harder about our night to night sleeping arrangements.

So yeah, with all of that said, it gets even more tricky when we don't make it to wherever we planned to make it because the stops we mapped out in the beginning were sort of chosen with some sort of accomodations in mind. Which leaves us with what happened today haha. So there we were at 5:30 realizing there was no way we were making it to live oak springs before sun down and we didn't know what the hell we were going to do. We called around to some camp grounds, but they were all too expensive. The only motel / hotel options were priced outrageously. We decided our best option was to try and find some place to camp off the road where we would hopefully not get spotted. The problem then was that we were in a pretty rural area and that really left us with no place to do that.

At this point I was getting pretty cranky and giving up hope and didn't want to deal with the situation anymore. Lenora then stepped up and feuded she would go up to someones house and ask if we could sleep in their yard. This is an idea I have thought about trying a few times on this trip, however I have little to know faith in humanity so I always abandon the idea. Lucky for us, we went up the first driveway we saw and happened to find a very nice old married couple who were more than happy to let us stay in their yard. Before Lenora even finished asking the guy cut her off and said the yard is ours. He even offered us his shower, brought us a couple gallons of water, showed us where we could charge our phones. Truly amazing and I couldn't believe it worked out so easily on the first try.

We then set up our tents in the yard and Lenora whipped out all of the fancy cooking gear she brought and made us a good hot meal which actually filled me up for the first time on this trip. Well done Lenora. It is really nice to have her back with us as a 3rd personality to the group. Zach and I get along just as well as always, but having another person helps mix it up a bit more. Also, a third person helps a lot in decision making haha. No more 50/50 decisions. We can actually have a "vote" of sorts. It also helps in evening conversations to have a third person hehe.

Ok ok, I am just rambling in my tent in this dudes yard at this point! Tomorrow we are going to try to make up for lost time by taking advantage of the huge descent that comes along with the huge ascent we have been doing today. We will try to do over 100 miles tomorrow! We shall see if we can pull it off, but our descent is pretty sick so I think we can probably do it. The first portion of the day is going to be finishing up the ascent we didn't conquer today though. WE WILL CRUSH!!!!!!!!

Ps. The photo of the day is of a freshly opened goober. Enjoy.

Leg 1 officially complete

So we have for reals completed the first leg of the trip. It is
definitely the shortest leg, but I think it may have been the most
physically demanding leg. I could also be wrong about that one! I
guess we shall see soon enough as leg 2 starts tomorrow, and it is
going to be a rough first day haha.

Anyway, today was only a 35 mile ride from encinatas to San Diego
(well, where we are staying in San Diego). We took our time waking up
then hit the road. I wanted to see nighmare on elm street, so we
stopes in la jolla to do so. Zach didn't want to join me so he
chillaxed beach side with the tourists.

After the movie we lurched our way across San Diego to wherever we are
now. Fortunately about a mile from the house we are at we had the
luxary of climbing the absolute steepest hill of the entire trip thus
far. Not only was it steep, it was also long. I wanted to stop
multiple times but forced myself up with no breaks. Once we reached
the top I imediately got off my bike and breathed heavily for many
minutes. Shit sucked.

Time for high points and low points of the first leg!:

Most beautiful rides were Carmel and big sur hands down. Carmel was
fancy pretty while big sur was just straight up natural pretty.

Most enjoyable rides were the mega descents in big sur area and
leaving San Simeon being pushed by 46 mph winds. We were just flying
effortlessly. It ruled.

The worst day was going to gaviota state park where the ride was
boring all day and I got a tube stem stuck in my rim.

So far Zach and I are getting along just fine. No fights or bullshit.
Still laughing about stupid shit all day. We have both been looking
forward to Lenora joining the party though to change up the dynamic.

I think that about sums up leg one. Now off to leg two!