The 2600-mile Journey Comes to a Finish

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Hello hello! First, let me apologize for writing this post so late. As you know, we did our best to publish a blog post every Monday. I know you’ve probably been expecting a final blog post to recap our experiences of the final week and reflections on the trip. Unfortunately, it fell on me (Joe) the same week I started graduate school in a new city- Long Beach. So I haven’t had time to get around to it for obvious reasons but I finally found the time to work on it and sum everything up for you all!

Well,we did it! We successfully completed our trek from Seattle to San Diego by bicycle and finished August 20th, this past Sunday. Here’s a recap of the week leading up to it and after, you’ll find some of the main lessons we learned from being on the road.

DAY 70: Monday – August 15th, 2016

Santa Monica, CA

We woke up and waited for our friends from high school, Rob and Riley, to show up.To give some background, Rob moved to LA two years ago to pursue a career as an actor and Riley graduated from Azusa Pacific this year. Both are extremely close friends who belong to our immediate friend group growing up.  They hugged us then we hopped in Riley’s car and headed up for a “day in the city” in LA.

Not knowing where to go, Jordan suggested LACMA so we headed there. We took some fun photos next to the “picturesque” light post exhibit and then sat in the grass nearby and played Egyptian Ratscrew while reminiscing on life together.

Later, Riley asked to take us to Grand Central Market. I had never been there before and thought it was fascinating seeing all these little restaurants of different foods. We all purchased food and drinks and ate together. It was a cool atmosphere and a fun place to see in the city.

After, Riley invited us to her house to hang out and play Settlers of Catan-Jordan’s new favorite board game. We ate Little Caesar’s, hung out with her roommates and then decided to go to the movies and see Sausage Party.

The best part was that we had 20 minutes to get to the theater before the movie started. Riley said, “Don’t worry, it’s right down the street!” We hopped in the car, sped over and went to the window to purchase the tickets.

Riley went first. “I’d like one ticket for the 8:30 showing of Sausage Party”

“I’m sorry. There is no showing at 8:30 for that movie.” Confused, we looked at the screen as if the woman behind the counter was mistaken. It wasn’t up there.

Riley then looked to Rob and said, “Didn’t you say it was at 8:30?”

“Yeah, but it’s at this theater” showing her the address. Oops… We were at the wrong theater. We all laughed then quickly jogged back to the car and drove to the correct theater.

The movie was hilarious! It was definitely raunchy humor but didn’t fail to make us all cackle at the crude jokes Seth Rogen wrote. After the movie, Riley brought us back to the place we were staying at and we passed out.

 

DAY 71: Tuesday – August 16th, 2016

Santa Monica, CA to Long Beach, CA

We hugged Kendra goodbye and set out to the Apple Store in Santa Monica to fix Jordan’s iPhone. While Jordan was at the genius bar, I chatted with one of the security guards there. He was a super cool guy and even offered to keep an eye on our bikes which were right outside the store.

We rode to a Habit Burger about 10 miles down the road, ate lunch and then headed towards Long Beach.

Luckily, we found a place to stay last minute. My friend Sarah from U of A had messaged me telling me her older brother lived and worked in Long Beach. I messaged Zack and he offered to host us for two nights while I had my orientation for grad school.

That evening, Jordan’s other roommates from SDSU, Kyle and Conor picked us up and took us to Belmont Brewing Company in Long Beach to grab beers and burgers. Both of them are awesome guys. It was cool for me to meet almost all of Jordan’s roommates during our ride.

 

DAY 72: Wednesday – August 17th, 2016

Long Beach, CA

BEEP BEEP BEPP. 5am. Our wakeup time because Zack has to be at work at 6am and doesn’t have an extra key to the apartment. We woke up, got ready and then set out around 5:50am- our earliest start of the entire summer. The best part though was being up before the sun rises. It’s a beautiful thing. You feel like there is sooo much time in the world. We headed to a cafe called Fantastic Cafe that was close to CSULB’s campus. Then towards 8:30am, we head to the room where my grad school orientation was being held.

Jordan thought it was necessary to walk me in since someone on the trip asked if he were my father. I asked him not to but he did anyway, but luckily no one noticed him say, “Have a good day at school, Joey!”

I spent the majority of my orientation listening to different offices and groups come speak such as the Health Center, the Disabilities Resource Center, etc.

Around 4pm, I headed to Nordstrom’s Rack with Jordan to pick up a new shirt for the second day of orientation. Jordan and I ate dinner at In n’ Out and then went back to Zack’s and called it a day.

 

DAY 73: Thursday – August 18th, 2016

Long Beach, CA to Laguna, CA

Another early start for the day, we headed back to the same little cafe and I ordered in Spanish.

I attended my second day of orientation, which was more enjoyable because we had more opportunities to talk to each other. Since my degree is within the Romance, German, Russian Languages and Literatures department, most everyone teaches a language for their TAship. For one of the presentations, we had a professor simulate a first-day in a new language to remind us what it’s like. She taught us Armenian. It was so fascinating because I haven’t been in a situation like that since I first learned Spanish when I was in middle school. I felt scared and intimidated because she would say something in this unfamiliar language and then ask you to answer back. It was a wonderful reminder of what one experiences the first day in a new language class.

After lunch, I headed out early and met Jordan at a small coffee shop in Seal Beach. We headed out to Laguna! After about 30-40 miles, we stopped at my family’s favorite taco shop- Papa’s Tacos and waited for my family to pick us up from Highway 1 to take us to my mom and stepdad’s house in Laguna Niguel.

It was so nice to see my family after such a long period of time and to be in a familiar environment. We did laundry, showered and had comfortable beds to sleep in that night.

 

DAY 74: Friday – August 19th, 2016

Laguna, CA to Pacific Beach, CA

My mom fed us breakfast then dropped us off at Papa’s Tacos, the same exact place she picked us up from. I told her it was important to us that we don’t “cheat” any of the miles and that we HAD to be dropped off at the same place.

We rode hard and passed a lot of cool places likes Trestles and Oceanside. Jordan said he knew of a good place to eat lunch- Board and Brew in Carlsbad. We ate delicious sandwiches and chatted with a cool young couple over lunch.

After 60+ miles, we hit Pacific Beach. Riding on the boardwalk on a Friday afternoon, it was packed! Jordan ran into a few friends from SDSU and we stopped to chat. Then, we rode to the place we were staying- his friend Sarah, Alexa and Brooke’s- all girls he met freshman year. His friend Nick, who he also met freshman year and whose parents treated us near Bodega Bay in northern California, was also there to see us.

They took us to dinner at a cool joint down the street and we all had a great time eating and talking.

That evening, Jordan wanted to check out the Friday night scene so Nick, him and I walked around and went into a bar Jordan hadn’t seen before. We didn’t order anything but Jordan did say hi to a few friends from his fraternity. We walked back and headed to bed before our final day’s ride.

 

DAY 75: Saturday – August 20th, 2016

Pacific Beach, CA to Coronado Island, CA

The final day. The 75th day of our summer-long adventure. 75 days of living off nothing but our bikes and what we packed in our four panniers. It felt unreal waking up knowing just how quickly time had passed by.

Nick joined us for our last breakfast/diner experience. We ate a big breakfast down the street at a little restaurant and reminded ourselves that we were now 15 miles from the end of our trip. We said bye to Nick then cycled down the boardwalk.

Jordan ran into another friend whom he had met at SDSU named Cole. We said bye to her then cycled down the boardwalk a little longer before making a left to head to downtown San Diego. As soon as we made that left, serendipity found us yet again.

“Tanner?” Jordan said with a puzzled voice looking at a guy getting out of a car. I looked and couldn’t believe my eyes. Tanner Birt, a friend who Jordan and I grew up with since 8th grade was stepping out of an Uber.

We all laughed and hugged each other. What are the chances of us running into a friend from high school on the last day of our trip, here, in San Diego? Tanner didn’t have anything to do that weekend and decided to escape the Phoenix heat and head to San Diego.

The craziest part is that if we hadn’t run into Jordan’s friend Cole and chatted with her for a few minutes, we would have completely missed the window for running into Tanner. I still can’t believe it happened as I’m writing it now.

We said bye and headed back on the road towards downtown San Diego and eventually Coronado Island.

Close to the ferry port, I saw a truck for Perfect Bar, a company that Brooke, who we stayed with the night before, works for. Then, we noticed a food fair happening on a big grassy field to our left. Jordan said Brooke was probably there so we went by to say hello. We stopped and chatted with her for a while and they hooked us up with a good amount of Perfect Bars. They even said Perfect Bar would have sponsored us had we asked them before our trip! Oops! Guess we’ll have to reach out to them next trip 😉

We hopped on the ferry and headed to Coronado Island. Jordan and I couldn’t wipe big grins off our faces knowing this was it. We were coming to a close on our trip and soon, we’d begin new chapters in life.

On Coronado, we had to hurry because it was 11:15am and Google said it would take 40 minutes to get to the cove where Outdoor Outreach was holding activities with kids and wanted us to speak at noon. We booked it!

When we were almost there, we double checked the maps to make sure we didn’t pass it. Of course, we did anyway. We turned around and headed back where I noticed a bike path to go towards the water where a big group with kids in kayaks and on paddleboards. I couldn’t see my girlfriend or any family but we figured it had to be them. We came in a woman started cheering for us but then said, “Oh no! Your parents were expecting you on the other side! Go up this way and through the tunnel and you see them.”

Jordan and I looked at each other thinking, “Wait, what? How did they think we’d arrive?” We looked at each other, laughed, and thought, “Uh oh…They’re not going to expect us from this side.”

From the tunnel, we went left and soon after, saw a group from Outdoor Outreach and our parents holding big signs with their backs towards us. When we were about 15 feet away, we both yelled, “WOOOO!! YEAH” They all turned around unexpectedly and laughed.

“Oh no! You came from that side instead of the other side!” Cuyla said to us.

“Well, just go down there and act like you didn’t come from this side!”

We laughed and said, “Okay okay, we’ll act like this never happened!”

We went down about 50 feet, laughing and started to turn around when CRASH.

 

I fell. Joe down. Bicycle down. I was so excited to finish that I couldn’t contain all my energy and turned to widely and fell because I turned in sand. Luckily, I was okay but everyone witnessed my goof and all I could do was lay there and laugh. 2,700 miles and I couldn’t even keep myself together for the last 50 feet. It was a wonderful moment and a moment I will never ever forget. I got up and then we raced in with everyone cheering- exactly how we pictured us finishing in the first place. We hugged everyone and walked over to the Outdoor Outreach group on the other side.

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They were grilling burgers and dogs and we all ate together with the staff and the kids. Around 12, they asked Jordan and I to talk about ourselves, our trip and why we decided to ride for Outdoor Outreach.

This was one of my favorite parts of the trip. The audience consisted of kids from the inner-city who attended a charter school in a low-income neighborhood in San Diego. There’s just like me and you- but a little younger and from a different background. We told them about the trip and told a few stories to give them a sense of what it was like riding from Seattle to San Diego. A few of them asked questions and really engaged with our stories.

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My favorite part was that Haley, Cuyla and Mallory from OO all commented on how attentive all the kids were when we were speaking. They said that usually doesn’t happen so it made Jordan and I feel like we sincerely connected with them about our journey.

We took a few pictures, hung out for a little longer and then said bye to everyone. Jordan and I hugged each other as he headed back to Phoenix and I headed to Laguna Niguel. It was weird for us to see bye. After being with each other for 75 days, it was sad to depart. Sure, we had a few arguments and didn’t always see eye to eye but we both grew a lot as individuals and learned from each other. Luckily, we will always have this incredible experience that will be with us for the rest of lives. We also agreed to plan a trip together every 4 years since we did this trip and a backpacking trip in Europe 4 years prior.

It’s extremely difficult to put my feelings into words for you to understand how Jordan and I felt at the end of this journey. Although I wrote this final post, Jordan worked with me and made sure I included anything that he felt he learned during this trip. The last part we want to share is the lessons we take away from this trip. Although there were several, here are the ones that stuck out the most:

 

Trust in others and ask for help

The world may seem like a dangerous place if you only judge it based on the news headlines, but it really isn’t. Most people are good-hearted. During our 75 days on the world, the majority of people who let us camp in their yard or shared a meal with us were strangers. They opened up their lives and helped us when we needed it. All you have to do is ask.

 

People like company

Yes, you’ll see people on their phones, computers or busy with another person but don’t let that stop you from striking up a conversation. Most people we met on the road were curious when they saw us with all our gear. A lot of them were afraid to ask what we were doing so we took the initiative. We asked strangers the small questions like, “What’s this town known for? Is it busy in the summer? What’s the best way to get to X city?” Yes, it was mostly small talk but those conversations made people light up with joy. People either love to talk or love to listen, and when you start talking to them, they get to do both! Always always go out of your way to say hello to a stranger- even if it’s only a few sentences. You’ll make someone’s day. I guarantee it.

 

Challenge yourself- you’re capable of more than you think

Neither Jordan nor myself had done much touring to prepare for our trip. Both of us did some cycling beforehand but never anything super serious. Heck, Jordan didn’t start riding on a regular basis until January 2016. He went out, bought a touring bike and then rode a few days a week. He never even rode more than 40 miles in one day before we left. It shows that you don’t need a lot of training to complete a long distance bicycling tour. Anyone can do it! Even on the road, we met people traveling with kids and people older than us. Don’t ever let age be the limiting factor in something you want to do. Believe in yourself and others will believe in you.

 

Last, please reach out to either Jordan or myself if you find yourself even slightly considering doing a similar trip! We are so happy to share the knowledge and experience we gained. You can reach out to us here, on Facebook, Instagram or on our contact page of this blog or by email thebendableroad at gmail.

 

Thank you to everyone for following along with our journey and supporting us! We hope you’ve enjoyed living vicariously through our blog posts and that you’ve felt inspired to go outside and find your own adventure 🙂

Written by Joe Previte

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Sleeping on the street to sleeping in Malibu 


Time flies when you are having a good time! We are currently on day 70, and have only 5 days left on the trip, which is an absolutely insane idea. It’s crazy to think we started this journey on June 6th, out of Camden, Maine. Way on the other side of the states, and now we are almost done with our ride, in the way opposite corner of the U.S

I can honestly say this trip so far has exceeded my expectations and more. This past week has been a funky week to say the least. We’ve experienced what it feels like to be “homeless” along with living amongst celebrities. Yesterday, Sunday, was a monumental day for me. Our goal has been to make it down to San Diego from Seattle and we are so close. Riding down the pacific coast highway we arrived at the Malibu pier, and it hit me that we have almost made it. Going to college in San Diego, I became accustom to the Southern California lifestyle, and while walking on that pier, I felt like I was back in my old stomping grounds. The sun shining, surfers in every direction and every other car was a convertible. It was a sense of familiarity and comfort. We are almost there.


Los Osos to Guadeloupe:

George and Pat cooked us an awesome breakfast. Pat being a nutritionist and a chef, she wurled up some amazing carrot cake waffles, that were out of this world! They didn’t let us leave without a full stomach.

After leaving pat and George’s place, we headed out and checked out this rad van restoration shop called Westies. There we saw many camper vans, old and new. Since Joe and I both are fascinated by van life, we thought this was the coolest place.

Inspired and full, we had a great ride to San Luis Obispo. One of our favorite things to do in these small towns is check out the local coffee joints. And without a doubt, the one we went to in SLO was far better than anyone I’ve been to on this trip. The place was called Scout, a popular place, it looked like. The coffee was great, atmosphere was great, people were great, it was all great!

After stopping at trader joes, we left and departed for the central coast. We hit Pismo Beach and Grover beach along with many other funky towns.

As we continued, it started to get more and more rural. We came across strawberry fields, lettuce fields and much more. Around 5 we came to this little town called Guadeloupe. The Latino community was very strong in this town. We tried asking if we could crash at the boys and girls club but had no luck.  Joe and I realized that trying to find to a place to sleep in this town was going to be extremely hard and most likely not too safe.  After looking around the neighborhoods for a little, we found this one house tucked away in the corner right next to a strawberry field.

I went up to the door, and this little old lady answered named Maria. I started doing my typical shpeel and she said she spoke very little english.  She understood a little and once she saw our bikes, without any hesitation she said yes.  She even invited us to her backyard to camp, instead of sleeping in her front yard.  Joe and I ended the night by walking to the local store and grabbing some much needed candy bars.

Guadeloupe to Lompoc:

We woke up early and well rested.  After saying bye to Maria, we went to this small, local breakfast joint where we has some cheap authentic breakfast burritos.  Joe loved it because it allowed him to practice his Spanish.

We headed out and continued riding through numerous fruit and vegetable fields. We came to a little town called Lompoc, it was a cool town with extremely nice people.  Because that town was only 35 miles from Guadeloupe we figured we would ride another 55 to Santa Barbara that day.  I remembered my friend Jamie from SDSU told me she lived near Santa Barbara so i figured id shoot her a text to see if she was in town.  Coincidently she was actually from Lompoc.  She unfortunately was not in town, but I asked if Joe and could crash on her parents lawn for that night.

She called her mom, and she said no problem.  So we headed over to the house around 2:00.  The house was beautiful with a big green lawn that was perfect for us.  We spent the afternoon throwing the frisbee around waiting for her parents to get home.  While waiting, we chatted with Josh, Jamie’s brother who is a sophomore at SDSU.  He is looking to rush, so I talked about the incredible experience i had as a member of the greek system, noting that it was the best decision I made in college.

Once Mrs. Miller got home, she invited us in for dinner which we could not of been more thankful for.  We had a huge, beautiful dinner with Josh, Mrs. Miller and Mr. Miller. Later that evening, Josh invited some friends over and we sat around playing board games all night.  We are so thankful that the Miller’s took us in on such short notice and created such an incredible night for us.

Lompoc to Santa Barbara:

After the Miller’s spoiling us again with a huge breakfast, we departed Lompoc and headed towards SB.  The ride was beautiful, we rode the entire time along massive mountains and the coast.

That evening we were staying with a man named Michael.  He was retired from the military and now lives in a big house near the UCSB campus, renting out rooms to college students.

After chatting with Michael for a while, we realized some of the people we were riding with before had stayed at his place a couple nights before us, which was really awesome and neat to hear.

Joe and I wanted to go to Freebirds that evening, which was located in near UCSB.  It was a little to far to walk, so we asked one of the tenants if he could drive us.  He was man from Saudi Arabia, who was hear in the states to study English.  It was fascinating learning what he thought of the California culture.

Santa Barbara:

We decided to spend a day in Santa Barbara so we headed into town.  We started off by grabbing a cup of coffee at this gnarly shop by Handle Bar coffee.  There, we were able to people watch and get a little work done.

We then paroozed around town, checking out the pier and harbor.We even ran into Dwight Howard on the streets.


That evening we grabbed dinner at Whole Foods and while we were eating we called a couple friends from back home whole we hadn’t spoken with in a while.  It was great chatting with old friends.

Santa Barbara to Ventura:

Before leaving town we stopped at a denny’s to grab a quick and fulfilling meal.  While there, the manager came up and started chatting with us about our trip.  He thought it was so cool what were doing and ended up giving us a discount on our meal.

As we were riding out of SB, Kevin Hart ran past us.  Joe and I were shocked, it was pretty cool to see him.

We arrived in Ventura early afternoon that Friday.  We stopped at the patagonia Headquarters, and ran into another cyclist by the name of Zayne.  Zayne was from Australia, doing about the same route we are doing.

We said bye to Zayne and went to our warmshowers host that evening, Todds place.  Todd wasn’t a typical host, instead of having people stay at his house he allowed people to crash on the patio of his coffee shop which we knew from the beginning was going to be an interesting experience.

Todd was great guy.  He has owned a couple restaurants in his life, so we asked him a ton of questions pertaining to that.  That day we rode around Ventura checking out the scene.

Todd’s coffee shop was located right off the 101 on the corner of a very busy street.  Also that evening there was a major concert going on right down the street, so people were walking the streets all night.  There also were many homeless people around, who would peek over the fence.  Lets just say Joe and I didn’t get the best sleep that night but we were thankful for Todds hospitality.


Ventura to Malibu:

We left the Coffee Shop super early because we just wanted to get on the road.  We road over to Whole Foods to grab some breakfast and sort of re-group from the night before.  We got back on the road and headed towards Malibu.  Along the way we came across a check-point for bikes.  Curious as to what it was for, we stopped and asked.  It was the LATri group, a group of people who train for Triathlons.  Dave,we was at the check-point, said they were having a BBQ at Zuma beach, so we rode there and met with a ton of the members.  It was truly inspiring seeing people in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s being at the peak of their athletic ability.

We left the BBQ around 3 and still in need of a place to sleep. We realized after scoring out a few neighborhoods that it is going to be extremely tough to find a house in Malibu because all of them have gates. But as we were going down one side street, I saw a small little house without a gate, the only one on the block. I figured why not and go up and give it a shot. A cute, 70 year old women named Mary Ellen answered the door with a look of confusion. I explained the situation and at first I could tell she was hesitant but after speaking with her for a couple minutes she was all about it. 

She took us to her backyard where she had beautiful green grass and an incredible view of the ocean. 

Mary Ellen is one of the most incredible women we have ever met. She immediately offered us a shower and a drink. After sitting on her patio for a couple hours just chatting we quickly learned a lot about one another. Her family was one of the first families to live in Malibu, coming there in 1949. 

She later took us on a walk through the neighborhood and was pointing out celebrity homes like Bob Dylan, Mathew  McConaughey and Charlie Sheen. She even took us down to a private beach that only residents have access to called Little Dune. 

Joe and I could not believe how lucky we got so I thought it would be a nice jesture to make her dinner. So cooked up a mean chicken curry.  We chatted all night. 

Malibu to UCLA:

Even though it’s happened to us once before, Joe and I seem to always forget to ask the house owner if they could turn off the sprinkler, and we were woken up that night by might I say some powerful sprinklers. We quickly got up and set our sleeping bags and pads out and waited for the sprinklers to turn off. 

We woke up and Mary Ellen invited us in for a cup of tea and she gave us some advice for heading into L.A. Mary Ellen truly felt like a grandma to us. She made sure we were safe and well nourished. We couldn’t be more thankful for her and deciding to simply knock on her door. 

We grabbed breakfast and Paradise Cove Cafe and then made our way into LA. Before heading up to UCLA we threw the frisbee around on the beach and enjoyed the water. 

Once we got to UCLA we headed to our friends Casey’s place. That evening we headed out to a great restaurant called Gracias Madres, with my roommates from SDSU. The restaurant was this hip vegan spot, but to be honest You couldn’t even tell the food was vegan, it was delicious. It was awesome seeing them! 

Crazy to think we now only have 4 days left of our ride and we are still short of how much money we want to raise for outdoor outreach so please donate if you are able to. Anything helps and it is going to an incredible cause. See ya soon San Diego!

Making friends with Police and cycling through Big Sur

Hello everyone!

Less than two weeks to go until we arrive in San Diego! This adventure has been flying by and we can’t believe it’s reaching the end. Here’s an update from our third week left on the road. Enjoy!

Last day was in Santa Cruz with 18 to go.

DAY 58: Wednesday – August 3rd, 2016

Santa Cruz, CA

Since we were enjoying Santa Cruz so much, we decided to stay an extra day.

We spent most of the day watching the surfers at Steamers. If I wasn’t so afraid of all the hidden creatures in the ocean, I’d definitely pick up surfing. 

Before leaving, we chatted with a man hanging out in a camping chair outside his Westfalia Vanagon. Jordan and I have seen so many on our ride we stopped to chat with him. He had been living out of his van for the majority of his life and bought his van in Germany decades ago. He loved it though. After telling about our trip, he asked us to write down the name of our blog. However, he didn’t have a pen. Instead, he handed me a knife and a broken colored pencil and told me to sharpen it and then write it down. Amused at the situation, I laughed, did what he said and wrote it down for him to follow our adventure.

That evening, Jordan’s roommate David from SDSU picked us up with his girlfriend Allie and they took us to a local brewery in Santa Cruz where we met up with a few of his friends and drank 1 liter pints of beer. 

Before dropping us back off at home, David invited us over to his family home to say hello to his parents. Jordan had met them before. They even showed us a video from Jordan and David’s graduation party where they all have speeches. That brought home some heartfelt memories for Jordan and David and it was great seeing them smile and laugh looking back on all the fun they had together at State (SDSU). 

 
DAY 59: Thursday – August 4th, 2016

Santa Cruz, CA to Monterey/Carmel, CA – 62 miles

After packing up, we departed from our comfy “home” in Santa Cruz, and met David, Jordan’s roommate, for breakfast at Sea Harbor Cafe. David told us about the struggles of finding a job in the film industry in LA (he wants to be a director). The portions were huge so we filled up with energy and then said bye as we headed off to bike 40-50 miles. 

On the road, we had our first encounter with law enforcement: a motorcycle cop turned on his sirens and stopped us on Highway 1. Uh oh…

Luckily, he said in a humorous tone, “What are you two doing? There’s a bike lane that parallels the highway over there (*pointing 100 feet to our right). Let me escort you there!” 

We thanked him for his service and help and then took the bike path all the way to Monterey.

Our friend Colton (9mph- his blog) who we met in New York used to work for a bike shop in Monterey called Bay Bikes and recommended we stop over and say hello. We chatted with a cool dude there and even picked up cheap $5 handlebar bags.

Later in the evening, we met my Great Uncle Nick for dinner at a place called Sea Harvest. It was extremely kind of him to treat us to dinner and chat with us about our journey thus far. 

After, we headed to a place to pitch our tent. Lucky for us, we had a connection to the Carmel River Inn. We set up our tent on grade A grass and even had a hammock to lay on as well. 
DAY 60: Friday – August 5th, 2016

Monterey/Carmel, CA to Big Sur, CA – 40 miles

“Joe, I think our tent is on sprinklers. We should move it.” 

“No man, we’re fine. Let’s lay down for a little longer.”

2 minutes later. *The spraying of what felt like a fire house. 

“Joe Joe, get up!” Jordan yelled at me in a half frantic half laughing tone.

He was right. We were on sprinklers. We moved the tent to a space out of sprinkler range. I laid back down.

3 minutes later. The same fire hose hit the tent from a different side this time.

“Okay, I’ll take this as a sign to get up for the day.” I said in an annoyed tone as Jordan laughed at me knowing he was right.

We cycled through Carmel and stopped to admire the town. It was a neat little town with big, goregous homes. 

We found a cool joint called From Scratch outside Carmel. I think I had some of the most delicious biscuits and gravy yet there.

After stocking up on food for Big Sur at Safeway, we hit the road. While riding, two girls in a car from Nevada rode by shouting, cheering for us and then flashed us. We were definitely not expecting that on the trip but it did make us laugh. 

In Big Sur, we stopped to chat with a forest ranger who was perched in a camping chair informing people the state campground was closed. His name was Jordan and he graduated from San Jose State not too long ago. Similar to us, he had done a bicycle tour but started in San Diego and rode east to Florida. He gave some tips for places to stealth camp. We thanked him and headed onward. 

Soon after, we took a break on the side of the highway to eat some snacks and refuel. About 5 minutes after, Jordan’s sister and friend Miranda pulled up in Jordan’s aunt’s car. We chatted with them for a little about their time in Santa Cruz and then hugged them goodbye. 

Down the road, we stopped at the notorious Nepenthe restaurant for fries and a beautiful lookout over the ocean. While prices were a little ridiculous ($9 for a beer), we enjoyed fries in a restaurant built by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. 

We continued riding and soon after found a spot to stealth camp off the highway. It was on National Forest land. We hid our bikes in bushes then trekked up two switchbacks on a fire control type road. Near the top, we found a semi less slanted area with grass to camp on. It came with a stunning view of the coast.

DAY 61: Saturday – August 6th, 2016

Big Sur, CA to a few miles north of Cambria, CA – 40 miles

We woke up and smelled smoke from the Big Sur fire. It’s sad that one person can have such a negative experience for the rest of us but luckily, several groups of fire fighters and other community members working to contain the fire. 

Riding down the rode, we saw a semi truck with a long flat bed parked off the highway. We stopped, made breakfast on the back (peanut butter and banana sandwiches) and hung out, overlooking the ocean. It felt exactly how I pictured our trip to be- Jordan and myself eating by ourselves on the side of the highway, just enjoying the solitude and beautiful scenery. 

A young couple even stopped and offered us a free mango- score! 

While stopping to admire waterfalls off the coast, we chatted with a family from East Mesa, AZ. They were jealous of our trip and admitted they wanted to do a similar cycling tour in the future! They wished us luck and said bye as we continued riding.

At a small restaurant stop, I made small talk with a family from New York doing a 2 month summer cross country trip with their son and daughter. The man was an avid cyclist and added me on Strava (an app used to track running, swimming and cycling). 

When the 40 mile mark came around, we started looking for places to sleep. I spotted a trail on the right that lead to the coast. After scoping it out, we found a nice flat spot 40 feet from the water. We grabbed everything we needed, hid our bikes and then walked the 0.5 mile trail to set up camp. It felt like a private beach! No one was around and we had I all to ourselves. We decided to take full advantage of the privacy and bathed in the ocean. It was cool too because the small rocks and cliffs were great for bouldering so I got a kick out of that!

DAY 62: Sunday – August 7th, 2016

A few miles north of Cambria, CA to  Los Osos, CA – 44 miles

After leaving the beach, we rode a few miles in search of a spot to stop and make breakfast. We found some nice flat rocks near the coast for making sandwiches. 

We threw the frisbee around since the street was mostly deserted and enjoyed our beautiful view. 

Finally, we hit Cambria! Big Sur usually takes a few hours by car but took us two and a half days by bike so it was a small accomplishment to have completed it. This also meant we hit a town where we had cell service after three days without it. Although we enjoyed disconnecting, it was nice to communicate with our friends and family once again. 

At a small coffee joint, Jordan called a Warmshowers host in Los Osos, a town not more than 30 miles from Cambria and a couple by the name of Pat and George offered to host us and even invited us to join them for dinner. Jordan and I looked at each other with big grins on our faces- beds, showers and even dinner?! Wow, this was the best treat post-Big Sur! 

Before we got there, we stopped at the top of a hill next to a farm with a shaded area and cows feeding on hay. We made lunch and fueled up for the next 23 miles. 

We finally made it to Los Osos and knocked on our hosts’ door. Pat and George, a retired couple, greeted us with warm smiles and a cozy atmosphere. We showered, drank cold Sierra Nevadas and ate delicious meat loaf for dinner. Pat worked as a dietian during her career and George as an emergency crisis manager. Both had also spent time teaching at the collegiate level. We enjoyed their company and chatted for a while talking about national parks and life experiences.
Hope you’ve been enjoying our updates! To those who have supported us in raising money for Outdoor Outreach, thank you so much! To those who haven’t but wish to, you can still donate and help us reach $5,000 before August 20th by donating here:https://www.classy.org/checkout/donation?eid=72748

Written by Joe Previte

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All you need in life are good friends and family.


We finally made it San Francisco! The Bay is about 600 miles from San Diego so as sad as it is to say, we only have about 3 weeks left, Which is totally insane. It just feels like yesterday that we were carving through the white mountains in New Hampshire, which was about 2 months ago! 

Let me preface this blog post by giving you a little description of where we are. I’m currently sitting on my Uncle Lees porch in Santa Cruz looking over the ocean, drinking an ice cold beer, so needless to say, I’m loving life right now. 

 This past week has been one for the books, it’s been both exhilarating and relaxing. A time where we have been able to catch up with friends and family and enjoy the beautiful amenities the Bay has to offer. 
Tuesday: Marin County

After arriving to Leah’s house on Monday, we soon realized we couldn’t just spend one night there, so we decided to spend Tuesday with them as well and leave to my uncles house in Portola Valley on Wednesday. Joe and I are both adrenaline junkies so any opportunity we have to experience an action sport, we are all about it. So Satchel and Leah took us mountain biking throughout their local trails. 
The motto of the day was “send it” meaning you can’t hold back. Needless to say, I fell a good amount “sending it” on the trails. We rode up this massive mountain leading us to a flow track with burms and jumps down the mountain. The adrenaline you get pumping down that is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. 

After a long day of riding and falling, they took us to this local bar where it is centered around biking. They said the place is packed on weekends with mountain bikes and road bikes. 

We heading home after lunch a chilled in the pool for a while. Leah also has horses, so it’s a really cool scene in her yard. 

After hanging out for a little, we headed up to Mount Tam for the sunset and dinner. It was an incredible sight on the top because we were above the clouds, looking over the coast and the Golden Gate Bridge. 
Wednesday: Nicasio to Portola Valley 

Unfortunately we had to depart from Leah’s beautiful house to Portola valley, but luckily Leah rode with us to the Golden Gate Bridge, about 20 miles from their house. 
Only about 5 minutes after leaving Leah’s house, she got a flat tire, but that is okay because while repairing it, a woman who camped next to us about a week earlier pedaled up to us. Sue, who is a retired school teacher from New Zealand is riding down the coast as well, she’s just taking her time, usually riding around 40 miles a day. 

After Leah fixed her flat, we continued to the bridge riding through all these cool Marin County towns. I was shocked, we probably passed 10 bike shops, just in a matter of a couple hours. It’s so cool seeing such a strong and vibrant cycling community. 

After climbing some huge hills, We finally arrived at the Golden Gate Bridge. It was covered in fog, which was actually a really cool sight to see. We said by to Leah and started riding on the bridge. There were hordes and hordes of tourists. Luckily since our rigs are so big, people got out of the way. I felt like I was in a semi truck rolling down the street. 

After we got off the bridge, to get to my uncle’s house, which was south of the city, we had to ride through downtown San Francisco. The night before, Leah’s parents told us a couple scenic ways on how to navigate the city, but somehow we got way sidetracked from the route. We ended up going through some very low socioeconomic areas, much different than the routes we are accustomed too. But it was great, we saw some parts of the city that we would of never seen. And it ended up in our favor. 

After getting a little lost, we asked this random guy outside of a construction zone on how to get to a road called Skyline. We said, “well I’m actually heading that way now if you boys want to put your bikes in the truck and hitch a ride?” Without hesitation we both said yes. The guy’s name was Richard, he was the head of an asphalt facility. Very down to earth guy, worked hard for every buck he made. He dropped us off about 15 miles from our destination. Those 15 minutes we spent with Richard hitching a ride were probably some of the most educational and inspiring minutes of our trip. 

Once Richard dropped us off we headed up this extremely scenic path towards Portola valley. After finally getting to the top, we looked over the bay and the coast, seeing mountains far in the distance. when we got the top, we were on one side of the road and huge bike group was on the other. They were fascinated by our setup and all came over to chat. They were cool dudes. After carting for a little, one guy was splitting from the group and was heading our way. David led us down this insane 4 mile down hill, hitting speeds of 40+ MPH. All along the way, David was telling us all the famous people that lived in these homes. It was pretty coooool. We said bye to David and after a couple more miles ended up at my uncle Lee and aunt Kim’s house. 

That night we had a great dinner at the house. 

Both my uncle and aunt are two of the most hospitable and gracious people I have ever met. They filled our stay with laughter and relaxation. 
Thursday: Palo Alto 
Joe and I were on rest and relaxation mode, we new we had a couple days ahead of us just to take a step back from the bikes and enjoy ourselves. 

We took the car and drove to Stanford. Let me preface this by saying, neither of us had driven a car in 2 months so it was quite exhilarating getting back behind the wheel. 

We explored downtown Palo Alto and Stanford, a school that Joe is considering applying to Ph.D programs at. 

That evening Joe and I decided to make dinner for my uncle and aunt. We made stuffed bell peppers, they weren’t our best dish we’ve made but everyone enjoyed them.
Friday: the city 
We left early that morning and departed to spend the day in the city. We went over to Verblings office, a start up company that Joe has been working for that allows people to learn languages online. 

We wondered around the city more, grabbed a good bite to eat then headed home. On the way home, we stopped at this small hole in the wall joint near my uncles house called Rissottis. One would never know, but the internet was actually founded at this place. 

That evening my aunt has been planning a surprise party for my uncle, he had NO idea it was going to happen. My sister and her friend Miranda also just arrived because they were doing the San Francisco Half Marathon. 

So around 6, we blindfolded my Uncle, and my cousin Todd threw him in his car and we drove to the house, putting him in different cars along the way. Needless to say, he didn’t like that.  

Once we got to this house, everyone was waiting and yelled “surprise”! Everything went so smoothly! That evening was filled with meeting new and amazing people along with seeing family that me and my sister hadn’t seen for years. 


Saturday: Portola valley 
We started off the day going up to this super cool, local breakfast joint called Alice’s up in the mountains. All the motorcyclists and cyclists go to this place along their route. There must had been over 50 motorcycles outside, along with gnarly sports cars. 

After breakfast my uncle and aunt left for their house in Santa Cruz and we headed back to Portola valley. That day Joe and I just relaxed and explored the mountains. I think we went to bed around 8 that night haha. 
Sunday: Portola Valley 

We woke up ready and excited to get a full day of hiking in. On the way up to the mountain, Joe said, “why don’t we hand beers out to cyclists at the top of the hill”? The reason Joe came up with this is because, about a week earlier as we climbed this massive mountain pass, a gentleman offered us a beer at the top. It could not have been better timing. 
So we turned around, grabbed a 30 pack and headed up the hill. This hill is iconic for people living in the bay, it’s Called old la Honda road, about 3 miles of a 10% grade.

We drove to the top, put up some chairs and had our cooler of beer. We had some AWESOME conversations with people from then on. They thought it was awesome that we were “paying it forward”. A couple people we met worked for Google and Twitter along with other tech companies. One lady spoke with us for about 20min and thought what we were doing was so rad and said she would donate to Outdoor Outreach when she got home. We later learned she donated a significant amount. This has to be one of the coolest experiences we’ve had in the trip. 

I’m also fortunate to have my grandma in Palo Alto, not to far from where we’re staying. I rarely get to see her, but I made sure to head over there. She’s 85 and doesn’t look a day over 60.

Once we were home my sister Jessica and her friend Miranda were done with their half marathon. Miranda finished first out of every single women who raced, INSANE! 

We all had a great dinner that evening outside. We even had a guest come over. A long time friend of Joe and mine, Morgan Waldrom who we’ve known since kindergarten. 
Monday: Portola valley to Santa Cruz 

Back on the road! Luckily, one of my uncle and aunts longtime friends, Jamie, started off the ride with us. We went up the iconic old la Honda road, and then took back roads all the way to highway one, stopping in a little town called Pescadero. He munched on a great sandwich and met a guy named Norm while eating. Monday was Norms first day of retirement, and he spent it doing what he loves, cycling. Norm had also toured a little while he was younger, he shared some funny stories with us. We chatted for a while, and went our separate ways.  
Once we got back on highway one, we realized we are going to be on this for the rest of our trip, a crazy thought. 


We ended up at my uncles Santa Cruz house and have been there since. We had dinner that night with Sydney, a friend of Joe’s who he met in Thailand, she’s now getting her Ph.D at UC Santa Cruz.  
Well that about does it for last week. We can not thank my uncle and aunt anymore for allowing us to stay with them and providing us with such a welcoming and enjoyable past couple days. Crazy to think we only have 18 days left before we hit San Diego. Cheers
Written by Jordan Mishlove