Part 2: San Fran to LA

Chillin here in the LBC with my Dad and my Uncle Jeff, I have had the opportunity to catch up on some world news, read some books, and kick it in a very nice hot tub. Thanks Jeff for letting us crash at your place; you are the best. In his down time, Abe was able to put together a really cool vid from the last part of our trip. Check it out and stay posted, for updates as we near the border and beyond. Nos Vemos!

The Climb to Mount Olympus!

Leaving the wonderful hospitality of Vick’s place, we dove into Southern California, where we were immediately engulfed by traffic, warmer surfing conditions and the So-Cal Vibe. Although the surf was small, Abe and I continued our 10 day surfing streak in Ocean Dunes, and Ventura Beach, and Zuma Beach, while riding almost 50 miles per day. Today was an especially memorable day, given that it was Typhoon and Lance’s Last day. We peddled from Malibu, through Venice Beach, all the way to Mount Olympus (Palos Verdes). Chanel warned us that we were going to encounter a brutal hill at the end of our 50 mile day, but I was not prepared for this!! Powering through the fog, we found ourselves in our lowest gears, amidst equestrians, nice cars, and golfers, sweating profusely. Refusing to give up on our last day, I dumped an entire bottle of water on my head, and made the push all the way to Zeus’ Palace on the very pinnacle of the tallest hill within eyesight of LA. Zeus (Chanel’s Dad Slick Rick) met us with open arms and led us to the heavenly palace overlooking a sea of clouds perfectly illuminated by the setting sun. Within the palace grounds, we ate a heavenly feast, took showers, and stewed upon memories of broken spokes, crashing waves, and unforgettable adventures. We are going to be in LA for a couple of days, so stay posted for further updates!!!

BIG BIG Sur

Seriously…… Big Sur was BIG! In more ways than one, we experienced this incredible chunk of undeveloped coastline in a very BIG way! We left Lance and Sharon after an amazing dinner party culminating in the most incredible massage I have ever had from Abe’s cute Santa Cruz friend Jackie. It was very well appreciated given the beat down I received while surfing at Moss landing the following day. After surfing, we continued to Monterey, where we had a very entertaining night. At Veteran’s Memorial Camp Ground, Abe spilt an entire 24 ounces of beer in his tent on Chanel, and we met a witty dreadlocked guy named Ryan who introduced himself as the Psychedelic Warrior. With distain for authority, Ryan struggled to leave the campground in the morning without paying his dues. Unfortunately, the raccoons got into his weed, slowing down his exit. As the ranger approached, Ryan began frantically stuffing his tent into his bag, before…..Shoot, busted!! Unfortunately, Ryan had to pay; however, we were excited to hear about his plans to take mushrooms and sneak into Esalen (an exclusive, high-end spa and research institute in Big Sur). As Ryan began his BIG rampage against the man, our band of rowdy bike bandits entered Big Sur to experience a BIG adventure of our own! Here is a series of brief tales, which help depict the bigness our epic adventure.

Big Hills

After leaving the small town of Carmel, we began to climb into Big Sur, known for big hills. With blowing 30 mile an hour tailwinds, we ascended one of many 1000- foot climbs. ¾ of the way up the grinding hill, we encountered a guy heaving a giant shopping cart. With his bright blond mullet blowing in the wind, Dusty Dave struggled up the hill to the pull out, where we had a very interesting conversation. After introducing me to his cat “Pork Chop”, sleeping in the middle layer of the shopping cart, Dusty Dave told me about his journey. “I used to have a wheel barrow, but it broke down, so I found this shopping cart”. “How do you like the cart so far?” I asked. “Four wheels…ball bearings…its fast as hell!!” he said. Wishing Dave the best of luck, we continued on to our next camp at Andrew Molera State Park.

Big Waves

Our surfer extraordinaire friend Justin warned as we left for Big Sur that the swell might be too BIG for us to surf. “There is one spot that might be good for you guys. Check out Andrew Molera State Park.” After cranking 30 miles past Dusty Dave, we road our bikes down a sketchy dirt road to Andrew Molera. Hearing the thunderous roar of crashing waves coming from the near by beach, we set up a shitty camp, because we were nervous as hell. After getting up our courage, we ventured down a small path to the beach, where we where blown away by BIG, BIG, swell. We sat and watched crashing barrels torment the coastline for a good twenty minutes before entering the abyss. Honestly, this could have been the most violent ocean experience I have had so far. Luckily, Abe and I where on the same page, surfing 3 to 4 waves, and exiting quickly and unharmed! “Wow, that was BIG!”

Big Appetite

We continued out of Andrew Molera after having another encounter with BIG raccoons that got into Abe’s coffee. He was not stoked! (Seriously, if you know Abe, you will know that you don’t mess with his coffee.) After a grueling 50 miles overlooking incredible views of surferless 20 foot waves, we reached Jade Cove for lunch. Our BIG appetite inspired a brilliant food concoction that, to my knowledge, has never been created. The quadruple decker, peanut butter, raisin, cream cheese, walnut, banana, jelly, and apple cobbler sandwich, hit me about as hard as a 20 foot wave, so we decided to camp just a mile down the road!

Big Tan lines

We left early Jade cove, anticipating a super hot day. We climbed the last of the 1000 foot hills, watched the sun come up over the glassy ocean, and stopped for a surf session in San Simeon just as we exited Big Sur. After getting electrolighted up, we endured some hot sun and cranked to Morro Bay for the night. The Bigness of Big Sur, was evident in the tan line found on my legs. Currently, we are posted up at Vic Hyde’s place in Arroyo Grande, experiencing the BIGness of generosity found by some folks we met in Big Sur. Check it out!! Stay posted for surf and bike stories as we continue south! Hasta Pronto!

 

900 miles and counting!

Tomorrow we head out again to complete our 9 to 5 shifts for the week. Our Stay with The Tolaio’s has been more than a dream  Our spirits have all rose and we are ready to pedal! We plan on cruising through the remainder of the Monterey  Bay in the morning. The waves are suppose to pick up tomorrow, hopefully giving us a few good waves. After a quick visit to the world famous Aquarium we will be ready to call it a day. The next few days should be beautiful as we ride through Big Sur. Lots of climbing and descending to come! I have been reading the comments that people have been writing. Thank you to everyone for the support. It keeps us going! We will continue to ride down the CA 1. Anytime anyone wants to ride for a mile, for a day, or for a week it is welcome. Don’t just talk about it, DO IT! In life dreams are important but making it happen is everything.

See you soon Friends

Abe

Surfing the Storm!

We left Mendocino, picking up a second stowaway, (Typhoon, AKA my Dad, Tyler). We came up with the name, because of his explosive style, both on the bike and off the bike. Huffing and puffing, Abe and I watch Typhoon with his oversized bob trailer tucking up and down steep hills, raiding fresh veggies from roadside farms, and skiing down any sand dune within eyesight. He has been an incredible asset, accumulating all sorts of free gear (from a leatherman at a campsite to free bread at a bakery) and cooking delicious meals for our gang of wily bike bandits.

The following 3 days of biking on highway one, were difficult, because of the incessant fog, and heavy rain! Although morale was slightly lower than normal due to damp sleeping bags and stinky wet socks, we knew that the storm was bringing big surf. After a windy steep ride, we stopped short of Point Arena at Manchester State beach, to find off shore winds and curling waves with no people. Abe and I enjoyed 5 to 6 foot waves all afternoon, before going back to shore and enduring another night of rain. About 5 AM the next morning, I hear Abe yelling at me from outside the tent. “Bob, let’s go surf”. In complete darkness, we threw our boards on our bikes and strolled through the rain down to the beach. The swell picked up over night, and we could barely see the waves from the shore, because of fog and low light. It could not have been a scarier sight; no other surfers, and loud crashing waves that we couldn’t see. We dove in, immediately ducking waves. Losing sight of Abe, I struggled under a set of 10-12 foot faces to get to the outside. After several minutes with no sight of Abe, I finally saw him emerge from the whitewash with a big smile on his face. First barrel of the trip: stoked!!!

The following day, we passed through Bodega Bay, cooking lunch in a laundry mat, eating fresh salt water taffy (oxymoron?) and chatting with a local surf legend, Bob from Bodega Bay Surf Shack. Bob hit us with some stellar advice to check out Dillon Beach, 7 miles off the highway 1 for some good surf. “Be careful bros!” Bob suggested, “The camping is exposed and a nasty storm is dropping in fast”. After battling one of the steepest hills of the trip, we rolled into Dillon Beach just in time to set up camp and weather the nastiest storm I have experienced in a tent. I did not sleep the entire night, as sheets of rain attacked our tents with 50 mile an hour winds. At points, the wind hit so hard, the top tent poles almost flexed to the ground. If the tent exploded, I was ready to bail for a nearby RV and pray for a spot on their floor. Luckily, the tent did not explode and we woke up to a glorious sunny morning with cows grazing outside our tent. Unfortunately, I stepped barefoot into a giant cow pie as I exited the tent to enjoy the morning sun. “Shit” (Literally)!

After two days of surf at Dillon Beach, we cruised through Point Reyes National Preserve, eating raw oysters, and enjoying views of giant elk in the park. We continued on through Point Reyes station and into the Samuel P. Taylor state park, where we rode on a mossy bike trail through redwood groves. Closing in on the Bay area, we entered neighborhoods in the evening and made it to Sausalito. From here we veered off through a tunnel into the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. We had reservations for a camp spot, but we arrived in the dark, and did not have the energy to find the ranger station. We cruised up an old service road to find ourselves on an abandoned bluff looking down on the most beautiful view of the ocean under the stars.

The next day, we moved through San Fran, surfing killer waves at Ocean Beach, before Abe got cut in the face with his fin. Fortunately, he did not need stitches and we moved over the hill to Half Moon Bay, after a scary ride over Devil’s Slide. Yesterday we left Half Moon Bay, getting killer surf at Waddell Creek, and eating an absurd amount of strawberries at Swanton Strawberry Farms.

Currently, we are staying at the coolest spot, just south of Santa Cruz and Abe’s buddy Lance’s place. Over the last twenty years, Lance has hand crafted his beautiful house out of red wood trees found on his property. We were fortunate to have an invitation to stay in the bungalows on his property, and are enjoying a hot tub, and some sunny weather!! Thank you Lance and Sharon for your amazing hospitality!! We are off the surf Manresa state beach, so I got to go. Thanks for staying posted and get outside for some fun in the sun!!

Mennonites in Mendocino!

Since, we last updated, we picked up a stowaway (Chanel), who has been tagging along for the last couple hundred miles. Actually, Abe and I have been tagging along, because she smokes us up the hills. With the new nickname “Lance”, Chanel has been a great addition to our team, taking the lead, and making it seem like we are actual bikers.

The biking over the last several days has been very interesting, given the fact that this route is very popular for other bike touristas! We have met many interesting folks including, a couple from Switzerland bound for Panama, a group from Whistler, an older couple on a Tandom bike, and the most interesting of all, a band of 15 Mennonites. I am always impressed when I ask people how far they have ridden, when they say, “Oh, I started in Alaska 3 months ago”. While talking to one of the bearded Mennonites, he replied “Oh….just twenty years”. Holy shit, I said!! He gave me a mean look in response to my obscene language. “Oh my gosh” I said as a retort. Sure enough, he and his band of spiritual bikers have been biking around the United States since 1982 in pursuit of salvation. The men bike in jeans and full length shirts, and the Women in Full length denim dresses. I thought this ridiculous  until I saw them climbing a steep hill out of Leggit on highway 1. Wearing my Lichra bike shorts and a neon yellow bike jersey, I crawled up the hill at 3.6 miles per hour sweating and cursing the hill. A Mennonite woman with hair down past her lower back, ripped by me caring twice as much gear, and gave me a smile (obviously not tired at all). Maybe I should join!!

After dogging inland around the lost coast and through the Redwoods, we finally made it back to the coast. We only made it one mile , before we were compelled to stop and surf. Taking a mid day brake, Abe and I hopped off the bike and into the water, getting instantly swallowed by big waves. After our quick shred stop, we were back on the bikes, weaving in and out of the fog. Camping just short of Mendocino last night, we were slightly unnerved by wanted signs for a murder on the loose. A couple hours after we hit the sack, something popped up under my vestibule, making strange sounds. “Ahhhhhhhh” I screamed. I turned on my headlamp expecting to see the murderer right there, and…..there was a skunk just chillen looking at me. I froze, hearing Abe and Chanel in the other tent laughing at my scream! Worried that the skunk was about to spray I sat helpless as the skunk perused through my stuff. Today we are hanging in Mendocino, waiting for waves, and loving the farmers market. Hasta Pronto!


Day 9: Eureka

Only a week into our ride and both Robin and I have experienced more in terms of emotions then we both expected, that’s for sure! On Friday we rolled into Arcata to meet a good friend of mine. Justin had promised great un-crowded surf. He on the other hand didn’t promise warmth. Justin is a very close friend of mine. As a young Tahoe local Justin was always sneaking away to the coast to surf. Justin is a very passionate surfer always finding and ripping the most un-crowded waves. Spending years in Santa Cruz, Justin also started acquiring horticulture skills. He began to find these skills very profitable. Living in a saturated market and needing a change in lifestyle He packed his things and moved up to Arcata. With endless opportunities for work and surf Justin has found home.  I knew we were in for a treat but also some very scary surf.

As we neared the coast on highway 36 the vibe began to change almost as much as the scenery. The nothingness that we had experienced for the last one-hundred and thirty miles started to end. Robin and I started receiving weird vibes while biking. The land started to become more private and people really didn’t like seeing us rolling on our bicycles so slow past there “secret stashes”. There were people who also didn’t look like they belonged, who I highly suspected were looking for these giant plantations. Helicopters were circling overhead while numerous government vehicles speed by as we climbed hill after hill at a heart stopping pace of just three miles per hour. We could sense the California Green Rush was on! The time for all of these farmers was now. With rain coming in the near future there was quiet buzz everywhere.

Robin and I had used every ounce of energy we had, each and every day for the last 6 days. Consuming amounts of food that, before this trip, I wouldn’t believe possible. Robin and I started to get into rhythm, riding becomes second nature and camping goes from this scary “where are we going to camp?- to- check this cutty dirt road out, it’s gonna be awesome!” We settle down at night and Robin is instantly cooking up to-die-for meals. I on the other hand can barely move and drag my worked body to my repair kit and either work on Robin’s or my bike. I have realized the importance of checking our gear daily. We ride at a mind numbing pace uphill but riding downhill is a totally different feeling. The Surly bikes connected to the Bob trailers perform amazing. We have kept our speeds down, riding around thirty-five miles per hour on the steep down-hills. Cornering and handling of the rigs has taken some getting used to but the we are both stoked on the overall feel. With so many racks, quick-releases, screws and nuts, I have made the promise to myself and Robin that checking and tightening become habit.

As we continued to ride down the steep and narrow winding roads route 36 threw at us, the weird vibe just kept getting more wild! Robin was whipping through the corners of an exciting descent. As the end of the hill came into site Robin noticed an incredible swimming hole in snaking Trinity River below. An easy to reach pullout with a parking lot followed and without hesitation we bumped our way down towards the river. After furkeling around for a good amount of time, Robin and I had our lunch ready to take down to the river. As we walked our tired bodies down to the emerald pools we joked about the challenging past few days. After setting our belongings down on nearly sandy beach we both dove into the beautiful pool without hesitation. The water was cold and refreshing. After days without seeing water, the Trinity was an unbelievable gift. Robin and I walked back up to where we left our lunch and glanced up the river. Not even fifty yards away sat two topless young women drinking beers. These were not the stinky hairy green creatures I was expecting.  I glanced at Robin then immediately back up the river. I honestly thought I was hallucinating. We both glanced up the river intermittently trying not to get caught. Our luck didn’t last forever. Instead of putting clothing on, the two girls invited us to come chill with them. For the remainder of the afternoon we exchanged stories and just chilled. For god sakes we already had them topless, we didn’t want to move too fast!

We are taking a couple days rest, and will be back on our bikes on Tuesday! We are stoked to have two new hoodlums join us for a week or two. Both my Dad Tyrone, and Abe’s girlfriend Chanel are stoked to hit the road and join this motley crew! Although we will not have service for a couple days, we will try and keep the blog up to date soon!! Thanks again for staying posted. Also, hope you enjoy this short video edit from the last week. Stay up and get outside!!