A Video Recap of our Journey

Hello everyone!

A short update here:

It has been over 7 months since we finished our 2,700 cross-country bike trip. We finally finished compiling all the footage into a 30-minute video so you can see what it was like for us living on the road. Enjoy!

 

 

Thank you again to everyone that hosted us or helped us along the way! We wish you all the best.

 

With love,

Joe and Jordan

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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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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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Through the Redwoods and to Marin county 

I should start by apologizing for posting this so late! We always aim to publish a new post every Monday but sometimes time slips away and we aren’t able to. Luckily, it’s here at least. This post recaps our sixth week on the road. Enjoy!
DAY 44: Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Crescent City, CA – 20 miles

That morning, 8 cyclists woke up. We all had stayed the night inside a community room of a church that we all had found through Warmshowers. Two from Germany, two from Tennessee, one from Berkeley, two from Florida and one from Flagstaff, Arizona. We all headed our separate ways. Jordan and I went back to our diners and had a delicious breakfast at Good Morning Cafe. We made deli sandwiches and biked to Jedidiah Smith State Park with Marcella and Jacob (our friends from Florida). 
The Redwoods were beautiful! They were so tall. We enjoyed 2.7 mile hike to Boy Scout Tree. On the way back, I ran into a friend who I met 3 years ago in San Francisco- my friend Bernet! What in the world are the odds of that happening? Bernet and I met while I was staying at the Embassy Network working as an intern for Verbling.
That evening, we made pasta for dinner and then watched Jurassic Park with Marcella and Jacob. 


​DAY 45: Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

Crescent City, CA to Trinidad, CA – 60 miles

After a long morning of packing up, we said bye to Katie, our amazing Warmshowers host, who made us give a final payment- one last hug. As her saying goes, “a hug a day, keeps the crazies away.”

We rode through the beautiful Redwoods and hit Trinidad, a small coastal town of less than 500 people. The first house I knocked on said yes. The owner’s name was Mary and offered us a warmshower and a cold beer. For dinner, Marcella, Jacob, Jordan and I bought deli food from the grocery store and ate it on a bench overlooking the sunset on the pier. 


​DAY 46: Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Trinidad, CA to Myers Flat, CA – 72 miles

We got an early start and left around 7:30am. After hard riding, we ate lunch in Scotia, a very small town on the way. On the road, we saw a woman riding by herself. She told us her husband was following her. 

After that, we finally hit the famous Avenue of the Giants. Imagine tall, wide redwood trees and lots of greenery. This felt amazing for us, almost a sort of meditative feeling because there weren’t many cars. Then we hit Brighton Campground. We wanted to keep to our goal of not paying for accommodations and relying on the kindness of others so at the campsite, we asked some folks if we could set up our tent next to their site. They said yes and their names were Tom and Martha. The woman we saw biking earlier was also camping right next to us with her husband. They invited us over for steak tacos! 

Right after, Tom and Martha invited us to join them for dinner with their friend Debbie (also staying at the same campsite) was cooking homemade vegetable pot pies over the fire. Over dinner, we had great conversations about traveling, the world and the adventureous spirit we shared in common. It was WAY better than stealth camping and being on our own.

After dinner, we made rounds saying hi to the fellow bicycle tourists who were staying at the campground whom we had met in previous days. Being the two gregarious individuals we are, we knew about 5 people there and chatted with each person or couple before heading to bed. It’s awesome because the PCH is a popular route so you’re always meeting new people but making friends who cycle the same pace as you.

​DAY 47: Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Myers Flat, CA to Westport, CA – 75 miles

In the morning, Debbie, who I must also mention recently retired from her work at a nonprofit was doing a four month road trip around the US, hugged us goodbye. 

On the road, we stopped for water at a gift shop but were disappointed when we found out it wasnt potable. However, an older gentleman in his 60s lit up when he saw us at the shop and told us he wanted to do a tour. We gave him some tips and told him that age should never be a factor for limiting one’s adventures in life. He smiled, patted us on the backs and wished us luck on the rest of our journey, telling us he may plan his own trip in the future. 

On the ride, we met Zach, a 20 year old guy from Portland riding to San Francisco, who rode with us over 2,000ft of hills. 

Near the top of the first big hill, a car was stopped. Nelson, the driver, was stopped with his wife because their 2 year old was car sick. While chatting, he offered us cold beers to pay it forward to all the people who helped him when he hiked the AT in his earlier years. 

When we made it out of the Giants and back on the coast, we yelled with excitement! The energy inside us was finally being let out. This was the first moment we hit Highway 1, the main route for the rest of our ride. Nothing felt better than knowing this would be our main road the next 800 miles or so to San Diego. 

We cycled more miles and hit Westport. There, we bought sandwiches at a little market. While outside, Marcella and Jacob cycled up and the five of us stealth camped together behind a church. 


​DAY 48: Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

Westport, CA to Gualala, CA – 75 miles

After grabbing coffee, we all headed out and soon separated off into two groups- Marcella and Jacob, and Jordan, myself anfd Zach.

We all stopped at Taco Bell for a lunch break but then broke into our separate groups. 

Halfway there, we ran into two older gentlemen in their seventies riding from Seattle to Salinas, CA. They were packing way lighter (sleeping in motels) but also pushing 100+ miles each day. We couldn’t believe it. They inspired us more than they know it. 
In Gualala, we received one no from a house. Not having much options and little time, we started brainstorming. We watched two fire trucks by and then thought to follow them. We rode up a hill and found thr station. After asking permission, we camped behind the station and used their regular house hose (with warm water) to rinse off. It was the first “shower” in two days after hard riding.
​DAY 49: Sunday, July 24th, 2016 

Gualala, CA to Bodega Bay, CA – 48 miles

Zach, Jordan and I woke up and headed to the local grocery store to grab breakfast. There, we met an older gentleman who told us about two college students who rode from New York to Long Beach last summer (Westward Wheels). We chatted with him for a bit then hit the road.
While riding, I encountered another cyclist. I stopped to apply sunscreen while Jordan and Zach pedaled on. A younger woman rode up behind me and started chatting. Her name was Megan and she was an outdoor educator from Vancouver B.C. She and I rode together and caught up with Zach and Jordan. Then the four of us trekked over big hills on Highway 1 until we hit Jenner where Megan took off ahead of us. 

Then, we rode the rest of our ride and hit Bodega Bay, where we planned to meet Jordan’s college friend’s parents, Steve and Nancy. After we said bye to Zach, we began searching for a house to camp at.

After one “no” we received a yes from a man named Jeff. Jeff was a carpenter and trained falcons to hunt. He also happened to have a fresh litter of 7 week old chocolate whyrhymers. They were so cute! Jordan and I died a little inside with all the joy of playing with puppies.

Steve and Nancy treated us to a delicious Italian dinner at Denucci’s, a local restaurant, where we enjoyed breaded veal and fine Italian wine. It was super kind of them to drive 100 miles from their home near Sacramento to see us. 



​DAY 50: Monday, July 25th, 2016

Bodega Bay, CA to Nacasio, CA – 48 miles 

In the morning, two of Jordan’s close friends whom he met during his study abroad in France named Satchel and Leah joined us to ride from Bodega Bay to Nacasio in Marin county. 

It wasn’t the easiest ride because of the notorious California rolling hills, but riding 48 miles with company, specifically two people who enjoy cycling (road and mountain) sure made it go by quickly! 

At Leah’s, we jumped in an 80 degree pool and enjoyed the afternoon in Marin.

That evening, both Leah and Satchel’s parents along with a few family friends came over all for a big BBQ dinner. We had a blast learning about all their life experiences and hearing about their careers in psychology, fashion, and the medical field. The night carried away with great conversation and great company. Without a doubt, Jordan and I were happy and thankful to be in Marin county. 
Last, please don’t forget! We’re raising $5,000 for Outdoor Outreach, a nonprofit in San Diego. You can donate by going here and making a contribution to help us reach our goal. Thanks 🙂

https://www.classy.org/checkout/donation?eid=72748

Written by Joe Previte
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Splitting time between Eugene and D.C.

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This week’s blog will cover our fifth week on the road (still crazy for us to think we’ve spent 5 weeks living off our bikes)! To preface this post, Jordan left Eugene this past Friday morning on a plane to D.C. to speak at AIPAC’s annual leadership conference for work. That means that I have been here in Eugene! Check out what’s been happening:

 

DAY 29: Monday, July 4th, 2016

McMinnville, OR to Lincoln City, OR – 55 miles

 

In the morning, our host Flint (friend of friend from Linfield Colege) ran alongside us as we biked to a local diner for breakfast. After delicious pancakes, biscuits and gravy and home fries, we departed McMinnville.

We rode 55 hard miles and arrived in Lincoln City around 4pm. After eating burgers, fries and drinking craft beer at a local restaurant called Kylos, we looked for someone’s house to knock on to camp in their lawn. Since it was 4th of July, we knew our luck was slim. While riding in a neighborhood adjacent to the restaurant, we had some luck. We didn’t see any Prius’ or Subarus. While near a cul-de-sac deciding what to do, a woman came out and asked if she could help us find something. I gave her the usual spiel. I had no expectations for her response and was quite surprised when she offered to let us camp in the grass at her house. 5 minutes later, she even came out and offered us a plate of freshly sliced watermelon and mango. We couldn’t believe our luck! Although the news may not always portray it but the American people are kind and friendly humans if you look in the right places.

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Even luckier for us, her house was less than 500 feet from the beach. We set up camp then headed over to the beach and sat down to watch the sunset and celebrate the day our people claimed independence.

DAY 30: Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

Lincoln City to Florence, OR – 78 miles

After eating Burger King for breakfast, we biked 50 miles then stopped for pizza at Grand Central in Waldport. We split a 16″ pizza and then had a conference call with Haley and Cuyla from Outdoor Outreach. They helped us come up with a few more fundraising strategies(donate here) and also gave us tips for increasing our social media traction.

While riding the other 28 miles, Jordan stopped near a pull-off at the same time a car was stopping. A older dad in his late 50s exited the car and looked out towards the ocean.

“Look over there! Do you see the whales breaching?” He said to Jordan.

I stopped my bike in the front of the car and started chatting with his wife. It was strange how quickly we realized we had common ties! They had one son who attended Long Beach State (where I’m attending grad school) and now him, and their other son, both live in Arizona. It’s crazy to think of how much we had common even though 5 minutes previously, we were complete strangers travelling down the same road on the Oregon coast.

That night, our luck didn’t continue. After asking two homes if we could camp in their yard, they both expressed a firm no. Just as the sun was setting, we found a house across from a campground with an Arizona license plate.

“Let me handle this one” Jordan confidently said as we stopped in the driveway. After a little persuading, the elderly woman agreed. (She was from Green Valley, AZ by the way).

 

DAY 31: Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

Florence, OR to Eugene, OR – 65 miles

We woke up early to make sure to leave before our host awoke. However, after packing up our tent, she came out and offered us coffee. Although  Jordan and I don’t consider ourselves big coffee drinkers, we appreciated the kind gesture and said yes.

Over breakfast, we learned that Monique, our host, had traveled to over 161 countries in her lifetime. Her house was filled with artifacts from her travels. After exchanging contact information, we departed and headed towards Eugene.

In Eugene, we headed straight to the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house where we (mostly me) would make base-camp for the next week. Jordan’s family friend from home, Matthew, is in AEPi and offered to let us stay there as long as we needed.

Jordan and I walked around the University of Oregon and admired the green grass and beautiful red brick buildings. The campus feel hit a nostalgic spot for me. It reminded me of U of A’s campus and made me wish I was back in Tucson with my Wildcat family.

That night, Matthew and some other friends brought us to the university strip to experience part of the night-life culture. It was a fun, laid back night.

 

DAY 32: Thursday, July 7th, 2016

Eugene, Oregon

After sleeping in till 8:30am, we headed to Starbucks to use the wifi and get ready for the day. While there, we had a funny coincidence. We spotted Neil, our wonderful Warmshowers host from Seaside, Oregon. He told us that plans fell through and he wasn’t traveling to Iceland but instead staying in Eugene for the remainder of the Olympic Trials.

After Jordan finished a conference call for work, we headed towards the Olympic Trials to watch a few events. When we arrived, they told us it didn’t open to none-ticket-holders until 1:30pm. Since we were on campus, we decided to walk around and check it out. Next door to the opening for the Olympic Trials, we saw an academic building and Jordan said, “Let’s take a look inside.”

At the front lobby, a woman sitting at a table looked to be there to give directions.

“Can you tell us where the linguistics department is located?” I asked.

“You’re in it!” She exclaimed and pointed to the right side of the building where the wall read LINGUISTICS.

What luck! Jordan and I headed inside the office and I asked if anyone was available to talk to about a PhD in linguistics. The receptionist made a quick phone call and told me a professor would be happy to talk to me for a few minutes. He came out, shook my hand and told us we could sit down in the hallway to chat for a few minutes. A few minutes into the conversation, I mentioned that I was particularly interested in Second Language Acquisition. He said they had two professors who focused on SLA.

“And what do you know. He comes one of them: Professor Baese-Berk” He said with a surprised tone.

She happened to have a short break and happily offered to sit down with me in her office to answer any questions that I had. The serendipitous moments on this trip continue day after day.

We chatted for 20 minutes in her office about the PhD in Linguistics and she answered all my questions. She was so kind and incredibly helpful. I would definitely considering applying there after my Master’s program.

Afterwards, we headed to the Olympic Trials and set up our chairs on the grass in front of the screens projecting live streams of the events. Being there, watching people compete to represent our country in the Olympics in Rio filled my body with chills. The atmosphere there filled you with thrills. Jordan and I looked at each other and smiled, “What are the odds that we end up in Eugene, where the Olympic Trials are happening and are witnessing this live right now?” We couldn’t believe it.

 

DAY 33- Friday, July 8th, 2016

Eugene, Oregon

My eyes widened with fear. It was 4:30am. I heard loud thumps and bags rustling.

“Oh no… Did someone break in to the house and trying to steal my bike?” My first thought every time I wake up in the middle of the night while on tour. Then I remembered it was Friday. Jordan was packing last-minute for his trip to D.C.

Jordan and I hugged goodbye as he headed to the airport.

After looking at the weather and weighing my options, I decided the best thing for me to do for the next half week was to stay in Eugene. Originally, I had contemplated hitchhiking to Bend but I decided to stay and watch the Trials during the weekend.

That morning, I had a fascinating conversation with a guy who lived in the house. His name was Zack and he was from LA. I told him I was from Arizona. “Oh cool. I transferred here last year from U of A”

“From U of A? Why would you ever leave want to leave U of A?” My initial thoughts.

For the next 30 minutes, he told me about his freshman year. He mentioned how he rushed because he heard Greek life at UA was awesome and how it was a great way to meet people. However, through the process, he didn’t feel like he fit in with the guys in there. He didn’t go through with rush, but he was living in Coronado, which is the largest dorm on campus so he expected to meet people. But he had trouble- with the girls. He said that most of the girls that he met fired the question, “Are you in a frat?” immediately after they asked his name.  According to him, when he responded, “no,” they simply wrote him off as “not worth their time” in his words.

This shocked me! I had a lot of friends in Greek life- both sorority and fraternity- but had never heard of people experiencing what Zack described to me. I felt sad. I LOVED my experience at U of A and wouldn’t trade it for the world. Now, I never went through rush freshman year so I can’t say much but I’m optimistic that this isn’t a common experience.

Zack told me how he transferred to the University of Oregon after a not-so-great year at Arizona and rushed again, this time finding guys who he fit in with in AEPi. He really enjoyed Oregon and realized Arizona wasn’t the right place for him. At the end of the conversation, I was glad to hear he found his fit.

 

DAY 34: Saturday, July 9th, 2016

Eugene, Oregon

I cooked oatmeal for breakfast then headed to the library to finish some work related to grad school registration.

Luckily, I arrived at the Olympic Trials just in time to catch the first round of the women’s 5000m and the final for the men’s 5000m. Out of all the people there, I just so happened to sit next to a man named Larry, who was in his sixties. Larry and I chatted and soon after meeting, I learned that he had also participated in a long distance bicycle ride. Wow. There’s serendipity again for ya’. We stayed to watch the award ceremonies. We even saw Devon Allen, University of Oregon football and track athlete, win the finals for the 110m hurdles. Guess where he’s from? Phoenix, Arizona! How crazy is that? I later found out he attended Brophy, a college preparatory school in downtown Phoenix.

 

DAY 35: Sunday, July 10th, 2016

Eugene, Oregon 

This day started out like yesterday- breakfast then the Olympic Trials. This time, I went a little earlier because I didn’t have much else to do. I arrived around 1pm. Lucky for me, there was a live band playing and since it was sprinkling, no one was near the stage. I plopped my REI camping chair near the front and sat there, enjoying the sounds of live music. After three songs, the band concluded their performance and headed in. “Well, at least I was able to catch the end of it!” I thought to myself.

While contemplating what I should do until the events starting at 3pm, I sat in my chair, taking in everything around me. Then, my luck continued.

Out of my left peripheral, a woman who worked for USATF approached me and asked, “Do you have a ticket for today?”

“No.” I said shyly.

“Do you want one?” She proceeded.

“Uh, yes, I’d love one!” I said in disbelief.

She handed me a ticket. Just like that, I had a ticket to see the Olympic Trials on the last day when my favorite events were happening- the men’s and women’s finals for the 1500m. Wow, I couldn’t believe it.

That afternoon, I found my seat on the bleachers at the Historic Hayward Field. I watched the finals for the women’s pole vault, 200m final, 5000m and 1500m final and the men’s high jump, and 1500m final. The crowd was filled with energy. During high jump, a few of the jumpers would start a clap and continue until the entire arena followed in suit. It brought back the old cross country and track and field days from high school.

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I loved being in that environment, cheering on the athletes who trained and put in hard work and dedication in order to compete to represent our beautiful country.

At the end of the day, I felt extreme gratitude for all the luck I experienced that weekend.

 

Jordan returns on Wednesday night so we’ll be heading down the coast of Oregon this Thursday. Thank you to everyone who has donated to help us reach our goal of $5,000 for Outdoor Outreach! We’ve raised close to $1,500 already and know we’ll hit our mark by August 20th, the day we plan to finish in San Diego. If you’d like to donate, you can do so here.

If you let life steer, good things come your way. I couldn’t be happier with the way our trip has turned out these past 5 weeks. It’s been an amazing ride quite far and I can’t wait to see how this next month and a half unwinds.

Written by Joe Previte

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12 days Till We hit the East Coast

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Wow! It’s crazy to think that in less than two weeks, Jordan and I will be in Maine! We fly out on June 1st. We’re heading to Boston to see his mom graduate from her master’s program and then, on June 6th, we head out.

We’ve been buying all our last minute gear items this week and we also went on a nice easy 12 mile ride today in Phoenix.

 

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This Wednesday (May 18th), I biked from Tucson, AZ all the way to Chandler, AZ (a smaller city within Phoenix). I rode 100 miles and it took about 7 and a half hours, including a few breaks. It was tough but it gave me a great taste for what to expect during our ride. Luckily, we won’t be riding as far. We’re aiming for 60 miles per day during our trip. Check out a video I posted on our Instagram here.

If you can, help us reach our goal of $20,000 by donating to Outdoor Outreach here!

Stay tuned for future updates!

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Hiking and Geocaching with Outdoor Outreach in the Elfin Forest

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Last Sunday, February 21st, Outdoor Outreach invited us on their hiking and geocaching trip with a group of students from San Pasqual Academy.

We met them at the Elfin Forest in Escondido Forest around 9am. A few of the Outdoor Outreach staff greeted us with warm welcomes and sun-shining smiles 🙂 It was the first time geocaching for both Jordan and myself so we were excited to be learning alongside the students!

Before we started the hike and search for geocaches, OO organized an opportunity for us to learn about the Elfin Forest from two park rangers that run the recreational reserve.

From the trailhead to the top, our route stretched two miles up and around the mountain. Using a geocaching app, we stopped along the trail and searched for multiple geocaches. In case you are unfamiliar, the way it works is the app informs you when you are within 30 feet of the geocache, or hidden object. It is usually camouflaged and obviously hidden out of clear sight.

A few of the kids had keen eyes and found the geocaches. When they found them, a flash of pride showed across their faces. It was a rewarding feeling to find one.

Once it is found (usually a pill bottle container), you open it up, pull it out the slip of paper and write your name and date on it. It is a lot of fun scanning the names to see how many times the geocache has already been discovered. Then, you hide it again in a similar location for the next person to find.

At the end of the trail, we stopped, enjoyed the views of a beautiful lake and then made our way back down the trail. Outdoor Outreach brough sandwich materials and delegated the art of sandwich making to their finest leaders.

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We explained to the kids the idea of the project and what we hoped to accomplish. They thought it was really cool! It was awesome for us because it was our first time explaining the project to a group of kids in the outdoors. In that moment, we had a glimpse of all that our trip has in store for us.

Special thanks goes out to Mallory at Outdoor Outreach for inviting us to join them on the trip and experience hiking in the Elfin Forest with their group!

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[Photo courtesy of Outdoor Outreach]