Monday, August 14, 2006

The Fat Lady has Sung!!!

Hello all,

After 2100 miles of buttock clenching cycling we finally arrived at the Mexican Border today!!! Hurray!!! Just for the record we have sustained only 3 punctures, two broken gear cables and two fallings off (Richard wins as he had two of the punctures).

Just to fill you all in on the last few days since Morro Bay (where we were when we last left a message):
We have completed the southern section of the Californian coast, including the fabulous beaches of LA (Santa Monica, Venice, Huntington, Laguna, and Newport Beaches). All of these were strangely quiet, there were however a number of small pockets of activity; mostly surrounding the Women’s volleyball – wonder why? The terrain has been relatively flat and we even managed to clock one day with an average speed of 16 mph.
On Saturday evening we stayed with a cyclist we met earlier in the trip (back in Oregon), his name was Richard and he lives in Irvine (12 miles inland from Newport Beach). He and his Wife (Sandi) provided us with a magnificent dinner and the comfiest beds ever encountered by two tired cyclists – Thank you so much!
The past two days have been spent cycling with two other students from the University of Oregon – Trevor and Sam – they too started in Vancouver, but unlike us are planning on venturing into Mexico for a day or two (good luck guys).

Sadly we can’t bring you any photos just yet (Richard left his USB cables back in the Hostel). We will try and supply you with more visual delights as soon as possible.

Looking forward to returning home – that’s if British Airways will let us fly our bikes?

Thank you to everybody for your support, be it sponsoring us, comments on the blog, moral support or hospitality en route.

Ben and Rich

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Hello All

Once again we have to apologise for not keeping this up to date, the last week or two has been rather busy. I'm sure your reading this saying "how busy can you get cycling 60 miles a day", well, you'd be supprised!

Since the last blogg loads has happened:
Rich has clocked over 50mph!!
Had group feast with loads of other cyclist heading south, including a family of on tandems (with their two children!!)
Met a guy cycling from Alaska to Argentina!!
Eaten the "Best Burito on the West Coast" - it was good!
Watched otters and sealions playing in the surf.....
.....The list is endless

We reached San Fransisco on the 3rd and had the most amazing views crossing the Golden Gate Bridge - Rich has just uplaod some photos so they should be on the blog somewhere? After a rest day (during which we did the whole tourist thing - walking in the middle of the road looking lost and taking photos of everyting) we battled agains some crazy headwinds as we continued south - Rich was blown off his bike!!!

One of Rich's gear cables has also broken since we last left a message (by some twist of fate it was also inside the shifter), this time however we had to resort to a bike shop where some wonderful ladies fixed it for free!

Once we were away from the urban region of San Fransisco the coast line returned to its narrow roads and steep climbs. We have been treated to some amazing sights this last week. We are also trying extra hard to find the best bakery on the west coast, after a number of amazing goodies we are still yet to decide - Pancakes made on a camping stove are quite high on the list!!

For Ben's birthday (6th) we spent the afternoon in Monterey. After meeting two cyclists on the road (Kevin and Larry) we found a place to stay (Kevin's back yard) and some great local knowledge on where to eat (Larry's favourite pub). We also managed to squeeze in an hour or two at the aquarium plus a quick look around a Turkish festival that was going on. Not forgetting some HUGE margaritas (which were just their regular size)

Having now cycled over 1700 miles the adventure is nearing its end, we do still however have to get through LA and survive reaching the Mexican Border!!

We will try and keep you informed on how we do?

Photos of the trip (a broadband connection at last!!!)

Speed!!!(thats mph)

Oregon Coast

Sunset in Oregon

Rich's Bike

Sunset in california

Golden Gate Bridge

Monterey Aquarium

Todays ride along the coast

Friday, July 28, 2006

Half Way!!

Hello All,

Hope those of you following our progress are not getting too frustrated with our lack of mesages?? Its supprising how much time is taken up cycling 60+ miles a day!!!

We are now in California (a little town called Fortuna) and are over halfway through our adventure. Yesterday my(Ben's) gear cable snapped inside one of the gear shifters!! It took us over an hour to remove the broken wire using only a Leatherman and a multitool - we had to strip the entire thing and rebuild it next to a busy road.

Also yesterday we cycled through the first of many Redwood forrests, the trees are HUGE!!! Tomorrow sometime we will pass through one!!!!!!

As usual we are unable to load any pictures!!! Sorry. When we finally can there will be plenty to look at. Richard has already snapped over 500 pictures and some of them are really cool, you'll all just have to wait.

Blogg again soon,

Ben and Rich

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Onwards and Southwards

Hello all,

Today is our penultimate day in Oregon and the coast is awesome as usual, although a little foggy at times. We hope you enjoy some of these photos. Due to time constaints we have decided to ditch our rest day today and are continuing southwards. The mileages are fine and we are usually getting into camp at about 3-4pm.

We've met loads of people also doing the route or just on parts of it. Last night we shared the hiker/biker campsite with a couple from Liverpool who have done thousands and thousands of miles all over the world (and gave us ideas!!!).

Its getting warmer too now. Today is our hottest day with 35 degrees C and its just going to keep rising. Once again we have troubles uploading pictures, this time because they have a very slow connection (maybe next time).


Thursday, July 20, 2006

No Time to Stop

Hello Everybody,

Sorry we have not been updating our page very often. When your cycling 80 miles a day there isn't much time for anything else. THe past three days have been flat (compared to BC) so we have banged out some big mileage days.

Just to let you know we've just entered the state of Oregon. The weather is getting hotter now (reaching 30 degrees), having been very temperate in British Columbia (with three days of rain as well).

So this morning we went through our first tunnel then cycled over a very long 3 mile bridge which was rather fun!!! Last night in our campsite after cooking pork chops, pasta in tomato sauce and salad I (Richard) packed all the left over food, milk and salad into one of my front pannier bags and set it under our bench (next to Bens tent). This morning it had dissappeared!!!!!!!!!!!!! Apparently the local racoons and quite resourceful and have pulled cooler boxes from peoples campsites before so I am now minus a pannier bag and missing lunch. Not a big problem but my spare chain was also in the bag so was quite an expensive mistake.

We have met other cyclists who are doing the route too. We passed a Swiss family yesterday with twice as much kit as us, and overtook them on a hill and also met a lone cyclist from San Diego, Steve who we shared dinner with two nights ago (we had fresh salmon, mashed potato and green beans, then treated ourselves to icecream from a petrol station down the road. (So anybody who is concerned we are not eating well can be rest assured them we are easily consuming 2000 calories a day!!!

Sadly the computer I'm at does not like my memory card and I can't upload photos, but maybe next time!

See you all soon

Rich and Ben

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Sunshine Coast of British Columbia is rather wet

This is Vancouver, from Stanley Park

So we are now in a little place called Powell River (100 miles north of Vancouver). After getting rather wet cycling on Wednesday we got a lift with a guy called Sandy 40 miles North along the coast and across to a small Island called Savary (one of the Desolation Islands). This morning we cycled 20 miles south again from the beginning of Route 101 and are now awaiting a ferry to take us over to Vancouver Island.

(Please note although we got a lift we haven't dodged any miles, and can now say we have cycled from as far north as possible!!!)

The view from Sandy's cabin

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

It Begins

After a day relaxing in Vancouver and finalising our journey its time to get on the bikes and cycle!!!!

Over the next week we plan to explore British Columbia and become accustomed to our travelers way of life. Its sore arses and legs for the next 37 days and we couldn't be happier.

Ben and Rich