End of day 3

Posted by mobile phone:
Day 3: After lunch at the seafood place there was a great deal of flat land and a strong headwind. We usually average a little above 15 mph but with the wind we were fighting to keep it above 10. We got to Monterey around 5:30 pm and took some time to look around. We went out to the end of the warf, took some pictures and cruised around. Jason needed some black and white film, so we found a camera store downtown that ended up being the nicest camera store I have seen in a while. They had a room full of rangefinders… At over $2500 a pop. We also made it down to the Rolex Antique Auto Race Show which had a hundred or so amazing cars. Matt I took some pictures, prepare to drool. At this point we were lost, but we met a guy who led us part of the way and pointed us the rest of the way to the Monterey Veterans Memorial Park, the only campground in town. We decided that a 70 mile ride tomorrow that would make us fly past Big Sur and Carmel wasn’t worth it, so we are possibly forsaking Mexico (according to the bums, it isn’t that nice of a place anyway…) to enjoy more of California.

Jason: West coast bums are cooler than east coast bums. They don’t beg, they just talk with you, offer advice, and carry on happy as can be. One guy even related our trip to a Bob Dylan song…in strange bummy way of course. Anyway, sea lions are loud but funny to watch, Monterey is awesome, and tomorrow will be one of the best stretches of the trip–Big Sur. For now it is bedtime, goodnight.

Mid-day update

Posted by mobile phone:
Mid-day update:

We have stopped for lunch just outside the artichoke capitol of the world, Castroville, and had to treat ourselves to some deep fried artichoke hearts. A little while ago we passed through miles and miles of strawberry fields that had hundreds of mexican laborers toiling away in the sun. I stopped to take pictures and they became frantic, pointing and yelling at us until we moved on. Just out of sight we stopped and helped them pick a few…delicious.

Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz

Jason: its day three and I hope yesterday doesn’t repeat itself in any way. When I was changing my flat (a result of glass litter) I thought about that old commercial where the indian is walking down the road and a car drives by throwing trash out the window into the road. For the first time I undrstood his frustration. Trash on the side of the road is not cool. Then a few miles later, like the indian, a single tear fell from my eye as a passing RV threw gum at us. I’m gonna find you license plate 7E889G9 and stick gum in your hair. I will calm down. So its day three and in the spirit of Santa Cruz the song of the day is “Surf Wax America” by Weezer. Sunny skies, 63° and 80 miles behind us.

Ben: Yesterday my chain came off going up a huge hill and I fell over into the road a foot away from a motorcycle. Still alive don’t worry mom… Anyway, about 2 miles from Santa Cruz I got a flat from a rusty nail that lodged itself into my tire, and I, like jason now hate litter on the side of the road. Jason was ahead, and we had already used our C02 on his bike, so I threw my bike on my shoulder, stuck my thumb out and started walking to town. A farmer picked me up not 10 min later and my first attempt at hitchhiking was a success. Oh yeah, in the middle of the hills, we paused at the top and met a guy our age who was headed the other way, loaded down even more than we were. We talked, and found out that he has been on the road since May 1, and biked here, via San Diego, from Boston! Needless to say we felt like wimps and continued on our way. Today we are heading to Monterey. More later…

Santa Cruz

60 miles, a de-railed chain, two flat tires (Jason’s from glass, mine from a nail) and friendly ride from a passing farmer named JP andwe are in Santa Cruz. It is late and I am too tired to type more, but we are in our tent on a bluff 100 feet above the pacific, and we can hear the waves crashing as we are going to sleep. More tomorrow.

We are still here

Posted by mobile phone:
Ben: We begin the second day wiser than the first. Yesterday we did not get started until around 5:30pm and did not make it out of SF until 6:45pm. We were not quite sure how to get out of the city, but we met a guy who also had a bike on the train who showed us the fastest way out. Once we made it to the coast, the views were amazing! However, it is much colder than we had anticipated, and we are glad we bought warm clothes at the REI before we headed out.
Nightfall found us miles away from our campsite, and the beach we went to had “No camping” signs posted, which were vigorously pointed out to us by the crazy, toothless bum who had claimed the beach as his own. Biking in the dark on these roads is a suicide quest, so we pulled in to the only hotel around, the Fallarone Bed and Breakfast.
The blog is not working as planned, so look at the photos on the photos page, or go to flickr and look up user “hannaimage”.

Jason: As you see yesterday was nerve racking to say the least, but we have made it to coast of California and it is awesome. I tried to post a song of the day yesterday, “Bicycle Race” by Queen, because after one plane, three trains, two hours at REI, and another trian, I just wanted wanted to ride my bike.
Todays song: As I wake in this very pleasant but slightly tacky Indian hotel overlooking the ocean, preparing for a curry infused, continental breakfast before a sixty mile bike ride, I’m thinking “Once in a Lifetime” by Talking Heads.

Gone for good…

Last day at work with Bluezoom, and I am going to miss it. Come to think about it, it is my last day at work for what could be a very long time. Jason and I head out tomorrow morning, I am going to Atlanta, and he is going home to Knoxville for the weekend, and meeting me in Atlanta on Sunday night. Monday morning will see us fly to California. We have not started packing yet, but that is our plan for the rest of today, and the rest of the weekend.
I hope I got everything working for this blog so that people can follow me while I am gone. I got a GPS for my phone that will allow people to see where I am in real time, and allow me to upload photos, videos and such with location tags. If you want to follow my progress, choose the tab at the top.

I probably wont have time to post again until I am in the airport, but will give a complete update at that time. Elon, I’m outta here.

The first overnight trip with the bike

Originally uploaded by hannaimage

I got home from work today after getting my 2nd shot of Japanese Encephalitis vaccine and realized that I eally did not want to hang around Elon for another Friday night.Since Jason is still out of town, it is a little awkward being the only kid who graduated but is still around.

I decided to put my bike through its paces. I packed a PB&J sandwich, a banana and some water into my hiking pack and headed off to Cedar rock park, about 13 mile away.

I learned a few things so far.
1. Don’t bike with a hiking pack on. It sucks.
2. I am going to die in California.
3. This is the most fun I have had in a while.

I’m going to go read Bill Bryson’s “The Lost Continent” in my tent now. More about the ride back tomorrow.

Focus Shift

Now that the basic medical necessities for traveling abroad have been taken care of, it is time to shift my focus to the bike trip that is rapidly approaching. On August 13th, my roommate Jason and I will be flying to San Francisco to bike the Southern California Coast. We are going to take two weeks and attempt the lofty goal of Tijuana. However, neither of us are in excellent biking shape, so this may be a bit of a stretch. We aren’t to worried. However far we get, we get. When we hit a certain date, we are jumping on a greyhound bus back up the coast. He will be headed back to San Francisco for his flight home, and I will be headed to Reno, NV, to try to hitchhike to Burningman.

Jason has purchased a Bianchi bike for the trip and I have purchased a 2006 Jamis Quest. So far, I am extremely happy with it. It weighs under 20lbs, has carbon fiber forks, and was half price. Yesterday I went to my favorite store, REI, and got clip-in shoes. I set them up, clipped in once or twice while holding on to a door, then promptly fell over. I’ll get better, but it needs to happen fast. Fall over on the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) and it could mean you aren’t coming home. 06 Jamis Quest


I am now a World Nomad. Or so my insurance policy by a company of that name says. It was what I think is a decent deal, $240 for six months of travelers insurance. It covers loss of property, medical bills, evacuation, and trip cancellation costs among many other things.
Lonely Planet Guidebooks
donated $11.82 to build a school somewhere because I signed up through them. Cool. At least I don’t have to worry about getting stuck in a Cambodian hospital anymore.



Cool security gadget

PacSafe anti theft mesh

I guess you can call it a gadget, or a tool, but whatever it is, I am getting one of these to keep everything I own mine. This mesh keeps people from slashing your bag open while you are distracted and in crowds. (A common way of stealing your stuff) It also allows me to lock my bag to something secure, like the underside of my bed, and wander for a while. I will probably keep the mesh around my gear on the inside of my bag however, as to not advertise that I am carrying stuff worth stealing.