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!

Advertisements

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 

Always stop at the donut shop 


What’s going on fellas, this past week has been absolutely CRAZY! Up until Wednesday Joe and I had been separated because I had a conference in DC that I attended as part of my job that I’m starting in September.
Even though attending this conference took time out of our bike journey I’m so glad I went. It was my first time being at this conference as an employee and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more. The conference was about educating university students about why it is important to maintain and strengthen the U.S-Israel relationship. Having the opportunity to speak in front of many people and educate them on the issues was extremely empowering and the whole conference I felt like I was just in this awesome groove. It made me realize I hope that in every job I have in the future there will be a public speaking component, I get such an adrenaline rush from it. One last thing from the conference that I learned. Israel is my passion, and now I’m able to incorporate my profession with my passion, and even though I was and will be waking up early and working late, I don’t see that as a negative, I see it as fulfilling my aspirations. 

Okay, now back to the road. I flew into Eugene Wednesday night and coincidently I sat next to a guy on the flight who was staying at the same fraternity house I was that night. So instead of paying $30 for a taxi, his buddy was picking him up and they offered to give me a ride. The luck continues. 

Thursday: Eugene to Mapleton
Alright back on the road. We headed out to a campsite about 40 miles away from Eugene with a couple guys we met staying at the fraternity house, Matt , Michael and David. We camped right next to a river and went exploring around. We made a fire and had hot dogs that evening along with smores which absolutely hit the spot. All night we just sat around the fire and chatted, it was quite relaxing.
Friday: Mapleton the Coos Bay 
We parted ways with our new friends and set off for a long days ride. For some reason that morning we were running into so many cyclists, it gave me such a large boost of energy seeing so many people doing what I love to do. 
After about 40 miles we were heading up this crazy big hill and at the top there was donut shop so we obviously had to stop. As we got to the shop I saw two bikes loaded up with touring gear. We ran in and started chatting with the cyclists. Their names were Marcella and Jacob, from Tallahassee, Florida. We instantly hit it off over donuts and coffee.
After chatting and relaxing for a little we discovered we were heading to the same place, San Diego! As I am writing this on Monday morning, I’m sitting right next Marcella and Jacob so needless to say, we have turned into quite the travel buddies. 
We continued to Coos Bay that night traveling in our new bike pack. Jacob and Marsella are super gnarly people, they’ve traveled all over the world and now work in a bike shop in Tallahassee. Both are recent grads of Florida State University. 
We made it to Coos Bay and had no where to sleep. I thought it was common for cyclists to ask random houses if they can sleep in their yard but Marcella and Jacob had never done that so I thought it would be cool to have them experience it! I thought it might be a little harder now to have someone say yes because we had 4 people instead of 2, but low and behold the first door I went up to said we could. Joe and I taught Marcella and Jacob what to look for when picking a house. If they have a Prius or Subaru you are usually good to go. The quality of grass is important as well along with a level yard and ha hose. If you can get all of that, that is an A+ house. 

The owner was Tammy, a sweet older lady who ever offered us the shower in her house. Her kindness was awesome. After setting up our tents we went into town and stopped at a brewery. We drank great beers and played board games all night! Everyone in the brewery probably thought we were crazy because of how loud we got when playing Egyptian ratscrew and apples to apples. It made me think of my childhood when we would have family board game nights. 
Saturday: Coos Bay to Port Orford
After leaving Tammy’s house, we ran to the local grocery store and stacked up on food for breakfast and lunch seeing as though it was going to be a long day. 
We road about 25 miles and ended up in Bandon, where there was a small farmers market with same amazing fruit. After perusing around for a little I sparked up a conversation with a women who was educating people about locally sourced seafood. We chatted and she said there is a women who hosts cyclists at her house in Port Orford, where we were coincidently ending our day. We were stoked! 
We stopped at a picnic table for lunch and some of Marcella’s friends who are traveling up the coast met up with us. It was awesome meeting some of their friends. It’s great traveling with Jacob and Marcella because they know so much about bikes, and we don’t so they have been quite helpful. 
We made it to Port Orford. Got to the food co-op where Kathy, our potential host worked and it was closed. They closed at 3 and it was 3:45. So after brainstorming ideas I thought I’d go to the restaurant next door and see if they had Kathy’s number. Joe also found Kathy on Facebook and friend requested her haha. Desperate times call for desperate measures. 
The lady got ahold of Kathy but unfortunately Kathy wasn’t able to host us. We were discussing what we wanted to do now over coffee and cookies and in comes a young guy. He told us about this camp spot right on the beach. Sign me up. We headed out, but only after the lady at the restaurant gave us a ton of free food, bread, cheese and meat, it was epic! 
We rode to the beach and set up camp in this little cove right in front of the water. Luckily there was a little creek that fed into the ocean where we all skinny dipped and washed up. That night we made a little fire and hung out, just chatting about how much we love bike touring and how awesome life is. We ate smores and headed to bed, falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves. 
Sunday: Port Orford to Brookings
The scenery on this day was unreal. For most of the day we were biking along the coast, looking at the beautiful clear blue water along these drastic cliffs we were riding on. The day was filled with crazy up hills but fast down hills as well. We hit a personal record of 45 MPH. 
We got to Brookings and decided to ask a random stranger to camp in their yard. Again, the first person said no problem. Shane and Tiffany were the kindest hosts. They offered us a much needed beer and we chatted for a while. 
All four of us walked into town and treated ourselves to Mexican food. Jacob and Marcella aren’t accustomed to Mexican food, so they are trying to get as much as possible. We were stuffed, but it was national ice cream so we obviously had to get ice cream. Joe, Jacob and I split a tub of ice cream that is meant for 12 people but we were able to eat it all.
Today, Monday, we are going to enter into California and continue our journey down to San Diego.  
ALSO please donate to Outdoor Outreach on our donation page through this website! It would be greatly appreciated!

Written by jordan mishlove

Experiencing Portlandia and the coast 

I have to preface this blog post with just saying happy 4th of July to everyone. Cycling around the United States has given both Joe and I even more insight into why we live in the most scenic, unique and overall best country in the entire world. I’m currently sitting on a beach on the Oregon coast, on a bright sunny day thinking about how fortunate I am to be doing what I’m doing and meeting the people that we have along the way. So without further ado here is last weeks adventures. 

Raymond to Seaside 
Monday morning we left the little town of Raymond and as usual we were looking for our local diner. The town is quite small, so needless to say our options were limited.we saws Chinese restaurant with the open sign on at 8:00 which we thought was quite strange, but we decided to go check it out since we were starving. We walk and people were eating pankakes and eggs, I thought for sure this was one of the weirdest restaurants I had ever been too, but to my disbelief it was one of the best breakfasts we have had on our trip. No joke, the gravy on Joe’s biscuits was flowing off the plate, he was in heaven. 
As we start riding we come across 2 other cyclist, one American and the other Australian, both probably in there 60’s, super nice people. We also saw a group of high school students touring. It was awesome seeing such a variation of ages doing all colliding on the road enjoying our beautiful backyard. 

We eventually made it to Astoria, where they have a massive bridge that divides Oregon and Washington. As we were riding in the mile long bridge we ran into the American and Aussie who we saw about 3 hours earlier. We rode the rest of the bridge together and everyone was waving and giving us the thumbs up. 

We rode hard for the rest of the day, totaling 74 miles, our longest day yet. We got to our warmshowers host house and nobody was there. I called up Niel, our host, and he said go on in and make yourself at home. He didn’t even know us but he trusted us with his house. 

Later we met Neil. Neil is the man. He hosts over 150 people a year, all the while traveling for half the year. He’s been to over 100 countries. 

That night we ate a whole bag of pasta and a half gallon on ice cream. A perfect example of our extremely balanced diet. 

Seaside to garibaldi 
After saying bye to Neil we took off. A little down the coast is Canon beach, an iconic beach in Oregon because it has huge rocks coming out of the water. 
We kept riding down the coast and at each turn there was an incredible view of the water. We got to this super small town and we were starving. We grabbed a full pizza and probably ate it in 15min. 

After riding for a little longer that day we decided to take a shorter day and stop at 40 miles. We came across the camp site and they wanted $20 a person, ya right. We biked maybe 200 feet down the street and I saw a guy outside his house. I did my usual spiel and he said of course. His name was Bill and his house was right on the ocean. We couldn’t of gotten a better view. And let it be know that we have been on the road for 4 weeks as of today and we still haven’t paid once for sleeping. 

Bill was a great guy. He was the president of a major construction company and now has retired to this house. We spoke for about an hour about Oregon and other things. He said right in front of his house we might see killer whales, so we kept our eyes open. 

Garibaldi to Forrest Grove 
Cheese. We saw so many cheese factories that morning. We stopped in at the Tillamook cheese and ice cream factory and had tons of samples of cheese. After filling up on cheddar and Swiss we rode and we rode for many miles up through the Tillamook state park. It was hard but oh so stunning. Once we got to the summit we were beyond stoked cause we knew we had an awesome down hill. It was at least 3 miles down cruising at 35 MPH. 
We finally got to Forrest Grove where we were staying with our friend Krisa. We went out that night with her roommate Emily and Krisa’s boyfriend, Nathan. 

Forrest Grove to Portland
Krisa took us to the local bakery where they were famous for their cinnamon rolls. Joe and I each had a whole one, they were so good. 
We ended up riding over to her boyfriend, Nathan’s house, where we made enchiladas and met some more of their friends. 

We set off for David’s house, a friend of our high school Spanish teacher, Robbie klasky. 

Once we got there we headed out to a brewery. I swear at every corner there is a brewery in Portland. We enjoyed great beer and good conversation. David is an exceptional man. For the past 19 years he has ridin in the AIDS and HIV ride from San Francisco down to LA. Later that evening, we went to Alberta street, quite the scene to say the least. There was a huge street fair with vendors and performances. David explained it as the best representation of Portland, people were walking around naked and smoking weed, quite the scene to say the least. But I couldn’t help but realize the large smiles on everyone’s face. Everyone was living simply and just enjoying themselves. Later David treated us to Salt and Straw, where we had some of the best ice cream ever. They have flavors that incorporate crazy combos, such a balsamic vinaigrette and others. Vice President Joe Biden is a frequent Salt and Straw customer. 

Portland for the next couple days 
The next morning, we got off to a great start. We said bye to David and right as we left, a gentleman by the name of Quinn asked if we were lost, cause he saw our bags. We began chatting and he coincidently works for a company called Ride with GPS. An app that allows you to create maps for cycling. He invited us up to the office, which had to have been the coolest office I’ve ever seen. With 10 employees they had a wide open room with brick and wood. We met everyone else and ended up spending an hour there. One of the guys who worked there, Kevin, brought in his Golden Retriever, and all I could think about is my golden, Ollie, back at home. 
We then headed out and explored Portland having a delicious breakfast at Screen Door. Later that day we were scrambling for a place to stay and luckily Tanja, a host on warmshowers invited us over. They were the kindest family ever. They were in the middle of remodeling their house and still let us come over. We went out to dinner and then they took us to a secret dessert joint that you only know of by word of mouth. I was a little thrown off at first because, my cup kept moving to the left, and I wasn’t even touching it. They all started laughing because I didn’t realize the tables were moving. They said most of them do that in the place and it’s funny watching first timers get so confused. We definitely felt like locals that night. 
The next morning we went to a vegan restaurant. Not really my cup of tea but it was actually really good. A nice change of pace from the food we’ve been eating so far on this trip. 
Later we went downtown and visited the food trucks and a couple more breweries, you really can’t escape them. Experienced the Portland culture and just enjoyed the beautiful weather. 
We ran into a couple of my SDSU friends at a bar. Alec, who lives in Portland, invited us to sleep at his house that night on the river. 
We said bye to Tanja and her family and rode to Alec’s house. We grabbed dinner with Joe’s step sister and funny enough, the waitress thought we were Joe’s parents. People also think I’m around 26 and Joe is, well A LOT younger. 

Portland to Mcminville 
The next day we were planning on heading out early but Alec invited us on a hike and we definitely couldn’t pass that up. It was a great hike going through mountain lakes and coming out at the top to see Mount Hood. We got home around 4:30 and left the house around 5, our latest start yet. We made it to Mcminville at 9:30, and luckily the sun was just about going down by then. We stayed with a guy by the name of Flint. A friend of Chris Beresford who I played baseball with back in high school. 
What a week! We are still amazed by all the hospitality and kindness of every stranger we meet as well as long time friends that we run into. We have now officially been in the rode for a month and have about 6 weeks left! 
We feel extremely fortunate to be raising money for Outdoor Outreach, if you are able to, please donate at Thebendableroad.com. Thanks 

Week 3 Update

A day late but it’s here- our third week on the road. This was typed at a small cafe in Seaside, Oregon on an iPhone so I apologize in advance for any incorrect autocorrections and missed mistakes. Enjoy 🙂

DAY 15: Monday – June 20th, 2016

Buffalo, NY to Seattle, WA 

We woke up and met a guy named Nate, who took us to the airport. It’s funny because we had never met Nate. 

This awesome guy named Ryan had come up behind us on a bike trail a few days earlier and messaged us on Instagram saying how he was stoked to follow our journey. The day before our flight out of NY, we didn’t have a ride there. We told Ryan and he connected us with his friend Nate who commutes to Buffalo during the week. Nate agreed to pick us up and take us to the airport. We made great conversation on the way there. Nate was working on his second year of his PhD in social work at the University of Buffalo. 

We flew into Seattle and were greeted by Jordan’s lovely Aunt Alexandra.
DAY 16-18: Tuesday-Thursday – June 21-23, 2016

Enjoying Seattle, WA

We spent some time exploring the city including areas like Ballard, Bellevue, and Pike’s Market. It’s crazy how bike-friendly the city is and how easy it is to navigate your way around the town. 

One day was spent cycling on Bainbridge Island. We joined Jordan’s friend Haley for lunch at a local teriyaki joint. After, we visited a state park and sat at the beach taking in the beautiful views, including the view of Mount Reiner. It’s beauty stunned us. It appears as a “mountain of gods” of some sort, peaking high above the cloud line. We found a local brewery and enjoyed delicious nachos and local ales to end the day. On the ferry back, we had quite the laughable moment.

The cyclists exit first on the ferry so naturally we were up in the front with about 20 others. The ferry was approaching the dock. Jordan and I took this moment to try and “fit in as locals” by clipping in one foot. The ferry was a little too far left and I braced myself. Jordan, however, did not anticipate the bumps.

The ferry knocked into the left side, sending a wave of energy throughout the ferry. Jordan wasn’t ready and stumbled a little but grabbed onto me to regain balance. Not anticipating Jordan needing to grab onto me, he fell into me and pushed me to the ground before I could react. I crashed with my 40 pounds of panniers and fell on the ground. Jordan burst out laughing and all I could do was smile thinking, “welp, there goes any shot of us ‘blending in’ as Seattlites.” A few people around laughed and suggested I stay far from Jordan before he “bully” me anymore. It was quite a hysterical moment for the both of us. 

Jordan’s family treated us so well from giving us a room to sleep in to delicious home-cooked meals in the evenings to homemade granola in the morning. It was a wonderful few days in Seattle and we couldn’t have had a better place to stay. 

 
DAY 19: Friday – June 24th, 2016

Seattle, WA to Lakewood, WA – 54 miles

It was time to move on with our trip. After sometime, we made it to our Warmshowers host, Steven. He had basically a second house in his basement that we had all to ourselves. At dinner, we chatted with him and his wife about current issues in the world and the politics involving them. It was quite the conversation and definitely made Friday night a fun one. 
DAY 20: Saturday – June 25th, 2016

Lakewood, WA to Chehalis, WA – 69 miles

That morning, Steven kept his promise and had breakfast ready at 6:30am so that he could ride with us for part of the day. 

He joined us and took us on a slight detour so that we had flat, paved bike paths and a scenic ride through the city of Lakewood. Steven biked with us for 37 miles and wished everyone a wonderful day that we passed. For a man at the age of 75, it was most admirable. Let him serve as a role model to never let age be an excuse to health and fitness in the future. 

That day, we biked our most miles to date- 69. Luckily, we had a wonderful host that night too- Sophie, a friend of mine from college, parents house. Richard, her father, was the only one in town that weekend, but still gave us an unforgettable experience.

Her brought us to dinner at the local Mexican restaurant that everyone raves about- it was absolutely delicious (almost as good as Guadalajara in Tucson!). Over dinner, Jordan and Richard chatted endlessly about politics being that he serves in the Washington state legislature. Even though I didn’t previously have much interest in politics, their conversation gave me more insight in the functions of the system and the possibilities to make a difference within the state. 

After dinner, he gave us a tour of Chehalis and took us downtown where a car drag show was happening. After, he took us to the oldest bar in the town to taste craft ales. 

It’s the experiences like these ones that give us genuine insight into the Americana culture in other parts of our country. It’s these ones that we look forward to most.

 The evening ended well with soft beds and a roof over our heads.
DAY 21: Sunday – June 26th, 2016

Chehalis, WA to Raymond, WA – 49 miles

We slept in as a reward to ourselves for biking so far the day before. Richard had breakfast with us and then invited us to go out on his boat on the Puget Sound. We thought, “Why not? All we have is time.” 

It was a beautiful day to be on a 30-foot boat on clear, crisp water of the Puget Sound. We relaxed and enjoyed the water. Afterwards, we hopped on our bikes at 2pm and still managed to bike 49 miles before calling it a day around 7pm. However, our luck didn’t end there.

With nowhere to sleep, we ventured down a neighborhood nearby the end of our ride. The first house we saw had a Hilary 2016 sign and an SUV out front. “Hmm… Why not?” We thought. Jordan warmed up the usual spiel and asked if we could pitch our tents in her back lawn. 

“Of course you can. Go right ahead” replied the woman who answered the door. 

The kindness in strangers we encounter each day continues. We feel profound gratitude to all the people we have met thus far and look forward to those we have yet to meet.
Written by Joe Previte

###

Doing what we want to do


When Joe and I first started planning our trip, we wanted to conquer a 7,700 mile trek across the U.S and then some. You could say we were a little nieve and ambitious.  But as with most things, that idea was soon replaced with a new one.  I was offered my dream job in D.C and Joe will soon be attending graduate school at California State University at Long Beach.  Because of this, we shortened our trip, so now instead of traveling all throughout Utah and Colorado after we made it to Seattle, we were now going to finish in Salt Lake City via Seattle.

Now, flash forward to 3 days ago.  As we were riding through rural New York on our way to Rochester, we were talking about whats to come.  We had just rode through the Green Mountains, the White Mountains and the Adirondacks, arguably some of the most beautiful places in the country.  And what did we have to look forward to now, corn and big bugs in the Midwest.

Now I’m not saying the Midwest isn’t beautiful, its just not the beautiful Joe and I were looking for.  So as we were riding, we were joking about the possibility of getting to Seattle quicker and bypassing the Midwest and Montana.  At first, it started as a joke, but as we talked more and more, we realized we could do this.  We stopped for dinner at this rad Mexican restaurant and looked up ways to get to Seattle.  This was Friday evening, and now as I am writing this blog post on Monday night, I’m sitting in my beautiful cousins house in Seattle.

We ended up packing up our bikes in Rochester and snagged a flight out of Buffalo this morning.  Its really crazy how things happen.  We had an idea and made a spontaneous decision.  You are probably wondering what are they going to do now?  Well, we both have a great desire to see the Pacific Northwest and the California coast so in a couple days we are going to set off for San Diego, taking our time and visiting towns such as Portland, Eugene and San Francisco along the way riding the whole time down the Pacific Coast Highway.

When making this decision, Joe and I asked each other, are we cheating ourselves?  We concluded that in no way that is the case.  We figured, this is our trip, one that we will remember for the rest of our lives.  An experience that most other people won’t have during their life time, so why not make the most out of the limited time we had on the road.  Yes, going through the Midwest, we might have met some amazing people, but it would not give us the experience that we both want, which is a beautiful sight around each corner.  This is our trip, we don’t have to live up to any expectations, the whole emphasis of this journey from the start was to see our own “backyard” in our own terms, and we are doing just that.  We are beyond excited to begin our trek south, meeting more amazing people along the way and raising money for Outdoor Outreach.

Sorry for the long explanation, but I figured I’d share our reasoning so others would know why we chose to do what we did.  Now, I’look share a little bit about this past week and the incredible experiences we have had.
Middlebury,VT to Paradox, NY

After leaving Zane and Elana’s house, we headed west to New York.  After splitting a large pizza at a gas station, we ended up at the Lake Champlain Ferry crossing that led us into Ticonderoga, New York.

Once we got to Ticonderoga, we were faced with one of the biggest hills we have had our whole trip, a steep 2 mile incline that took it out of us.  We were exhausted and it was getting to around the time we like to find where we are going to sleep that night so we stopped at one house and they said no, but pointed us to the boat dock where he said nobody would find us.  After intensely looking, we could not find the dock so we just continued.

We decided to take a little side street that led us to this massive house on a river.  We knocked and a friendly gentleman by the name of Chris came out and said it was totally cool if we camped in his backyard.  After setting up, he came over and offered us his kayaks to go checkout the local lake.  We obviously said yes.  After about 20 minutes of riding, it started pouring so we raced back home.  Chris felt so bad and invited us in for hot chocolate and even offered to dry our clothes.  After we got to talking, we found out that Chris is a Professor of Literature at Eastern Kentucky University.  Joe is interested in getting his Ph.D. so we had a lot to talk about.  After about two hours, we parted ways and went back to our tent.

Paradox to Long Lake

Chris and his wife Susan invited us in for a quick breakfast and then we took off for Long Lake.  After going 38 miles we finally came across a super small, hole in the wall bar where we snagged some burgers and beer.  So refreshing on a hot day.  After riding another 14 miles we finally hit Long Lake.  We stopped at a convince store and each ate  a pint of ice cream, this has since become a tradition.

Later that evening we found ourselves at a campsite right on the lake.  Absolutely epic spot!  We did laundry for the first time using our soap and faucet.  The people next to us got a good laugh out of it.

Long Lake to McKeever

After grabbing breakfast at the town diner we headed west, still riding through the beautiful Adirondacks.  All day were riding through cool mountain towns and eventually we stopped in Old Forge to where we grabbed a bite to eat.

Later that evening when it was about time to find a place to sleep, we asked a couple homes if we could sleep on their lawn and they all said no.  Up until then, everyone had said yes, maybe Joe smelled bad or my facial hair was to long and they thought I was 35 years old.

We ended up sleeping on the side of a highway.  Cars stopped to look at us but it didn’t really bother us to much.  That night Joe had a blister so I had to perform a surgical procedure using a needle to relieve the pain.  It was quite epic if I can say so myself.

McKeever to Pulaski

After not having the best night sleep on the side of the highway, we boogied on out and rode 20 miles along a river to Boonville and ate at my favorite diner yet called Silks.

We continued to a small town called Redfield where we grabbed a beer at this hole in the wall bar.  We chatted with some firefighters and the bartender for about an hour about riding and motorcycles.

That evening my Uncle Lee and Aunt Kim met up with us.  They were driving from San Francisco out to Maine with their Airstream.  We made camp at a state park right on Lake Ontario.  They treated us to an actual dinner which was much needed.  We talked all night about traveling and our crazy adventures thus far.
Pulaski to Sodus

In the morning we grabbed breakfast at the smallest diner I had ever been to but it was unbelievable.  I had the best blueberry pancakes there.  After, we parted ways with my Uncle and Aunt and we headed towards Sodus.

This was the first time we got lost.  We decided to take our own route and not the one on our map, but this turned out disastrous.  Instead of saving time, we lost time and rode on super busy streets.  We learned a great lesson that day.

After finding our way back on track, we starting talking about what we wanted with this trip.  We had just left the Adirondacks and realized for the next couple thousand miles, it would be nothing but corn fields and flat roads.  We jokingly threw out ideas and after a while we started thinking this could actually happen.

We sat down for a great Mexican food dinner and researched ways to get to Seattle.  First we wanted a train and then we thought a car might be a cool idea.

We got to our warmshowers host that evening and took a shower using their hose on the side.  People looked at us like we were freaks, but you got to do what you got to do.


Sodus to Rochester

The next morning we decided that we were going to fly so the next thing we knew we had two, one way tickets to Seattle for Monday.  It was Saturday. On the way to Rochester, we met Ryan, a great guy who also tours on the Erie Canal.  Our friend in in Phoenix, Erick, put us in contact with two othercyclists,  Alex and Cole.  They had been biking for 5 months on the same route we were going to do, except they started from the West Coast.  They were carrying their dog with them as well which was so rad to see.

After a long days ride, we arrived at my cousins house in Rodchester.  I totally forgot I had cousins who lived in Rochester until my mom told me a day before, but it could not of worked out any better. They opened their stunning house up to us and showed us all around the city.

My cousins are the same age as Joe and I, so we went out that evening in Downtown Rochester. It was great being in that environment because we hadn’t done that since we started out journey. We ended the night with a garbage plate, a dish that is a Rochester staple.  It was basically a combination of pasta salad, home fries and cheese burgers topped with meat sauce.  It is up there with one of the best late night foods I’ve ever had.

We stayed at their house playing soccer in the backyard and relaxing until Monday morning when we left to the airport.  Ryan, the guy who we met on the Erie Canal had a friend who drove us to the airport.  His name is Nate.  He’s a Ph.D student studying social work.  Sure cool guy.

Once we got into Seattle, my cousins picked us up from the airport and brought us back to their house.  We had an amazing salmon dinner and spoke about what we should do it Seattle for the next couple days. Neither Joe nor I’s parents knew we were going to Seattle, so we called my mom and she didn’t believe me for 10 minutes.  We all got a good laugh out of it.  We could not be more stoked to start our new journey.


Sorry for any spelling mistakes or typos in advance.

 

Written by Jordan Mishlove.

###

 

 

 

Week 1: churches to home brewing to river views

Each Monday, we hope to post a summary of that week’s adventures. For organizational purposes, each day has a few paragraphs to give you a sense of what we experienced. We apologize in advance for any errors/typos/formatting issues- this was typed on an iPhone in a small cafe in Middlebury, Vermont. 

Please enjoy 🙂 

DAY 1: Monday – June 6th, 2016

Camden, ME to Bath, ME – 42 miles

Wow, Maine was hilly. While coasting downhill, one of my panniers fell off. Luckily, no damage. We stayed with our first warm showers host- Mike, Amy and Juniper. 

We chatted with us almost the entire night about their travels. They were extremely kind and shared their delicious meal with us. The coolest part was looking at a map with their two year, Juniper, who showed us all the states where she knew people. Lucky for us, they had a guest bed for us to sleep in on our first night. We couldn’t have asked for a better first night.

DAY 2: Tuesday – June 7th, 2016

Bath, ME to Poland, ME – 50 miles
“Joe, wait! What time is it?” Jordan shouted to me as we passed a tall, white church in Durham, ME. I looked at my bike computer: it read 11:20. The sign sitting outside the church read LUNCH 11:30. We parked our bikes and headed inside.

There, we were met by the kindest elderly folk who welcomed us in and asked for a small donation to cover the cost of the food. While there, we chatted about our trip and received significant donations. One man even told us to stop at his friends in Bridgton who brews his own beer. 

That night, we found a parking lot behind a church to pitch our tents. As soon as Jordan finished attaching the rain fly, the rain poured down and all we could do was laugh at how timely we had set up our tents. 
DAY 3: Wednesday – June 8th, 2016

Poland, ME to Fryeburg, ME – ~40 miles
We stopped at the house of the friend we met the day before to taste home brewed beer. Steve, the friend, opened the door. “I was expected you two yesterday! What happened?” He chuckled. “Come on in, I heard you two were interested in trying my home brews.” 

He taught us all about the art of home brewing, what he liked to call “Old Pondy’s.” We tried a raspberry ale and a porter- both delicious. Then, he sent us off with a bottle of wheat beer that was the same recipe of the beer he entered into a town contest and win first place. The day didn’t end there.

That evening, we weren’t sure where we’d be resting our heads that night. After being turned down by the Fryeburg Fire Department, we thought we’d try our luck with a complete stranger. Down the street, we watched a woman gardening in the back. I approached her with our situation and asked if we could camp in her backyard. As a worker for th tourist center, she said yes with hesitation. 

While there, her tenant who lived upstairs came out to say hello. Her name was Nickie and she was a water activist and a director for Wilderness First Responder training programs in the US who lived lightly with her son who was 12 named Luke. She told about her hikes thru the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail and her work with refugees in Burma and Thailand. Then, she invited us in for beers, to meet her son and on a hike. She brought us in her car to a place called Jockey Cap, which was on a small mountain that overlooked all the nearby mountains in Maine. It was gorgeous. 
DAY 4: Thursday – June 9th, 2016

Fryeburg, ME to Lincon, NH- 47.5 miles 
We conquered our toughest hill- Kancamagus  Pass- 22 miles of uphill to reach 2,855 feet in elevation.


Oh, and while stopping at a creek, my phone fell out of my jacket pocket and into the creek, two feet under water. Jordan had to hold me by my feet to reach it. My Lifeproof case failed me and didn’t stop the water from entering. However, lucky I have amazing friends like Jessica Edwards who is shipping me her brothers old phone to use (thank you so much!). 

That night, we didn’t know where we were going to sleep. We stopped at a pizza shop but they were out of slices, lucky for us (although we didn’t know it at the time). So we headed to Woodstock Brewery, where we told the bartender our situation and she told us about a guy who hosts Appalachain Trail thru hikers at his house. We headed to his house and crossed our fingers.

At the house, we made eye contact with a man through the window seconds before ringing the door bell. He pulled a cord and the window opened. 

“Can I help you?” 

“We’re looking for Chet. That’s me. Who are you?” 

“I’m Joe and this is Jordan and we’re riding our bikes across the country and we heard you host AT thru hikers. We were hoping to stay at your place or pitch our tents.” 

“Where did you start and where are you going?”

“We started in Camden, Maine and we’re heading to Seattle.”

He paused for a few seconds. Then he said with a smile, “Well, that’s enough information for me. You boys have a place tonight. Welcome to Chet’s Hostel.”

I could write a whole blog post on this night but I’ll summarize for you. Chet was injured in a backpacking incident and now sits in a wheel chair. He told us it’s a miracle he’s even alive but through spiritual healing techniques like reiki, he awoke from a coma. Now, he hosts hikers and cyclists for a work/trade stay, meaning you do something as simple as sweeping the porch or donating any unused gear to stay for free. Chet told us some amazing stories. We felt so thankful to have met him and stay with him. He is one of the most inspiring individuals we’ve met this far.
DAY 5: Friday, June 10th, 2016

Lincon, NH to Lime, NH – 42 miles 
We rode over another hill and then stopped in Orford to eat some of the not-so-delicious mac and cheese and mozzarella. After attempting to contact a few other warmshowers hosts, we didn’t have too much luck. We decided to keep riding and just camp when we were tired of riding. 

A few miles from the convenience store, we stopped to double check the map. A cyclist, an older gentleman around the age of a grandpa,  came up behind me while Jordan was looking at the map and said, “Where you going?” 

“Thetford, I think.”

“Where are you coming from?”

“Camden, Maine.”

Jordan stopped looking at the map to join the conversation. He looked at me with the face “Should I ask?” and then went for it. 

“This may sound strange… but do you have a patch of grass at your house?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Well, we don’t have a place to stay tonight. Could we camp on your grass?”

“Sure, follow me.”

Of course, his house happened to be along the road our map told us to take. After a mile, we turned right down a lightly gravel-ed driveway that seemed to extend for at least 50 yards where we pulled up to a gorgeous mansion, right next to the Conneticut River. He had more than a small patch of grass. 

Then he offered to take us to the grocery store to buy sandwiches for dinner. We returned to the house, showered and sat on a bench overlooking the river. He would have had us over for dinner but he had guests coming and didn’t prepare enough food.

He later came down and invited us to join his guests for food and drinks on the back patio. It turns out his three Dartmouth roommates were over for dinner along with his daughter, son-in-law and their two year old. We made great conversation and him and his wife made us feel so welcome with their friends and family. They also let us sleep in their small guest house. It felt like a true New England experience. 
DAY 6: Saturday, June 11th, 2016

Lime, NH to Rochester, VT – 57 miles 

Dave, the man we stayed with, walked us out that morning and sent us to Isabell’s, a local diner. There, we met two University of Arizona alum who graduated in 2008 and now the wife is pursuing a PhD in computer engineering at Dartmouth. 

On our way, a woman told us that a bike shop in Rochester might let us camp out there. 

We arrived ten minutes before they closed shop and found clip less pedals to switch to becaus we figured they might help us go faster. The bike shop guys were so kind and helpful. While there, the owner offered to let us camp in his backyard behind the shop. It worked out too because this awesome guy named Vince was doing a demo the next day for Kona bikes. He inspected our bikes, taught us a lot and even gave us chain lube and a rag. 
DAY 7: Sunday, June 12th, 2016

Rochester, VT to Middlebury, VT- 32 miles 

In the morning, Vince gave us a few more cycling tips and said bye. We passed over Brandon Gap, about 2,000 feet in elevation, and even saw other cyclists pass by us on the way up.

On the way down, we hit 43 mph- our fastest yet! At the bottom, we stopped at the convenience store and ran into about 10 cyclists, the same ones who passed us and chatted with us earlier. One, who I had talked to briefly, walked up and handled me a $10 bill. “Hey, lunch is on me guys.” 

It was really kind of him and he really didn’t need to but he wouldn’t take no for a answer. Later, a woman from the group said he was the town postman and had once climbed Mount Everest. 

In Middlebury, we struggled a bit. We didn’t know where we would stay and we were banking on Jordan’s friend of a friend to respond to our Facebook. After riding on Middlebury College campus with no luck of running into students who might let us crash in their dorm, we went back to a cafe we had eaten at earlier. We asked someone on Couchsurfing  and later received a yes, we could stay with her.

On our way to her house, Jordan’s connection came through. “Oh no… Now what?” I asked Jordan. 

We went to the Couchsurfer’s house and explained the situation. She understood and was very kind. We rode to Elana’s, Jordan’s friend’s house, and ended up staying there with her and her roommate Zane. 

They gave us a tour of Middlebury, introduced us to several friends and were very hospitable. All the conversations that night pertained to education, journalism, politics and the incredible amount of opportunities youth have today in society. 
Wow, we could end our trip today and be satisfied with our experience. Thank you to everyone out there cheering us on and supporting us! We couldn’t imagine doing anything else right now.

If you’d like to donate to Outdoor Outreach, please follow this link and help us reach our goal of $20,000:

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

Written by Joe Previte
###