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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sure, it may be possible to travel on a low budget in Southeast Asia, but first you have to prepare. And that is expensive. Immunizations, while not required, are pretty much standard. I’m running at about $1000 so far, (and insurance will not pay for the shots… think they will pay if I actually get Japanese Encephalitis and my brain swells up out of my head?) Still have to get typhoid fever and malaria pills. The malaria pills I have to take once a day, for the whole time I am over there. I am pretty sure that insurance will cover all of the pills except for my co-pay, which will only be bad because I have to buy a years worth of pills at once. (No reliable way to get them in Cambodia…)
I also have to get travelers insurance, and the right equipment for the trip.
It is now official. The flight has been booked, leaving October 16th to Houston, then from Houston to Seoul, Korea for two weeks before the final hop to Bangkok. I thought I might mess around there for a while before really beginning my trip. The extended layover didn’t cost anymore, so really, why not? Maybe I can get a jump on teaching English there for a while if I get tired of traveling (or more likely, go broke).
I went ahead and booked a return flight six months out which I can cancel or move at anytime for $50.