Monday, July 25, 2011

First Run In With The Law

After crossing the State line into California the days have noticeably become hotter.  We have been doing some long and strenuous days these past few days.  We both agree we have to tone it down a notch because it is very tiring getting in late and setting up camp.

A few days ago we were cycling on the US 101 and were stopped by the Highway Patrol.  Bicyclists are not allowed on that section of the road and the officer told us to get off at the next exit.  I think as we head south into more congested areas there will be many more freeways where bicycles are not allowed on.  We will need to look out for those!  At the end of the day he was nice about it so no harm done.  I should have known better though because the road was not suitable for cycling and vehicles were zooming by us at crazy speeds.  I was more than happy to get off that road.

Today we took the day off and rested up in Sacramento.  Good times!  Trevor picked up an English made Brooks saddle so hopefully that will fix things downstairs.  

One of my favourite things to see on the road is the wildlife and we have seen plenty thus far.  This whale was with another baby whale in the Klamath River.  I am not entirely sure though if they were having a good time as I would think a river is not a place for whales.  Poor whales.  
Riding through the Redwood National Park was pure bliss.  These gigantic trees towering over us was very calming.  
Have to be careful in some areas as elk cross the roads.  Here are a bunch of them we saw resting.  

Trevor loves to eat off of the land.  He has a knack for finding blackberry bushes.  Here he is picking some small apples from an apple tree.  
As it gets warmer, the snakes get bigger.  Don’t worry, this rattlesnake is dead.  A little while after we almost rode over another dead snake that had black and white stripes.  Not sure what it was though.  

For all you wine connoisseurs, here I am about to enter the Napa Valley!  My personal preference would be to eat all the grapes in the vineyards as opposed to making wine with them.  
Lake Berryessa, the largest lake in the Napa County.

Saw this on the back of a pickup truck.  Poor grammar yes, but interesting view on things.  
Me with Kaori and Genji, the dog.  A big thanks to her and her husband Nick for letting us stay with them in Sacramento.  We had an excellent time resting up!              
On our day off in Sacramento we did a bit of wine tasting with our hosts Kaori and Nick. 
I do not think I have ever had two all you can eat buffets in a single day.  But we did just that in Sacramento!  All those calories will be burned off very soon, no doubt about that.  

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cycle Friendly Oregon

I am really enjoying the Oregon coast.  They have a coastal bike route which makes things easier for cyclists and hikers alike.  Also this State has these hiker/biker campsites which cost around $5. 

We have been meeting many cyclists en route and it is always great to have a chat with them.  Everyone is so friendly.  A lot of them started their journey in Vancouver, BC and are ending somewhere in California.  They come in all shapes and sizes and if I were to guess ages I would say anywhere from your late twenties all the way to your late sixties or early seventies!  That just goes to show ones' age or fitness level does not matter, anyone can hop on a bike and ride.

Trevor is riding a bit sluggish at the moment because he has been having some problems where the sun don’t shine if you catch my drift.  He may need a new bicycle seat. 

We are now pretty much done Oregon and will head into California this morning.  Hopefully the sun will come out a bit more as we have been experiencing a fair amount of rain.  

Argh!  I got the honors of the first flat tire.  They are never fun and unfortunately more will come.  This one happened on the third day.  
Entering Oregon I find a bicycle map of the Oregon coast.  It definitely helped.   
Me in front of Haystack Rock on a rainy, wet day.  
It is so nice cycling through the rainforest.  The air is so fresh and the scent of the trees emanating throughout is so great.    
I like my milk.  So when I saw this 3.78L jug of milk on reduced price I jumped all over it.  Sure it was a little bit of a struggle to down the whole thing in one go but I am proud to report Trevor and I got the job done.    
A lot of beautiful coastline in Oregon.  

Friday, July 15, 2011

So Far So Good

The first two days have been long and somewhat tiring.  We put in the extra effort to get to my aunt and uncle's place in DuPont, Washington.

It likes to rain a lot in the Pacific Northwest.  I thought maybe since it is summer, it wouldn't be so bad.  I was wrong.  Right off the bat from Vancouver it poured rain.  It wasn't nice.  We were drenched head to toe for some time but it later cleared up so at least we went to sleep dry.  

The border crossing went surprisingly well.  I have never had it so good.  I think since we were on bicycles and told them of our plan around the world we got a little special treatment.  Within five minutes we were back on the road.  Sweet deal.  

Tomorrow we will be on the U.S. Route 101 which will take us all the way to Mexico!  

Me in front of City Hall in Vancouver... the start of the world adventure!

Me along this nice, scenic road somewhere in the Puget Sound region.  

Trevor eating a bulrush.  Yum.  On the topic of food, he was disappointed he broke his ten year boycott of McDonald's.  It had to happen eventually as we need to eat a lot of fatty foods for cheap.  

Our campsite on the first night.  I wasn't expecting to stealth camp so early but it had to be done.  It was a pretty good spot all things considered.

For all you coffee lovers... the first ever Starbucks!  The place was packed to the max at Pike Place Market in Seattle.

Me in DuPont, Washington with my aunt Maria.  A big thanks to her and my uncle Joe for letting us crash at their place. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Off To The Races!

It is early morning and the world bicycle adventure starts now!  

First obstacle: the United States border control.  Every time I enter the USA I get grilled with questions.  Not very pleasant.  I will be surprised if it is smooth sailing...  

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pre-Game Warm-Up

With all this free time Trevor and I went out for a cycle to the Sunshine Coast yesterday.  Funny I have never been out there before and it is only a short ferry ride away from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver.  Shame on me.  I guess that is how it usually is for a lot of us... we seldom explore our own surroundings.   

On the whole it was a good day out.  We didn’t really eat whilst en route and that later reinforced the point of how important it will be to be properly nourished.  I do like to eat so that shouldn’t be a problem. 

Also worth mentioning is I fell.  Yes, fell… off my bike.  Toppled over going up a hill.  But I must admit it was as good a topple as one could ask for.  No harm done and my bike is fine.  Basically I was changing gears, something downstairs jammed, and I couldn’t clip out in time.  I think I have been doing okay with the clipless pedals thus far but still getting used to them. 

But I wasn’t the only who fell!  Trevor tumbled as well.  I missed the show but he told me he just lost his balance… no excuse really.  As a result, he came away with a small cut on his knee.  Don’t worry, he will live to see another day.   

I guess these mishaps probably would not instill a lot of confidence in many seeing how this was our first big outing on the bikes.  Rest assured I am confident this will not be a common occurrence as I have fixed my problem and Trevor… well… he just said he was careless.

Anyway, I am optimistic to depart this week.  Something has to go down because we need to get this show on the road!  

Trevor at Sargeant Bay Provincial Park… proudly showing off the cut on his knee.
Me somewhere along the Sunshine Coast.  Have to say I am really liking my bike attire… very comfortable and I am representing Vancouver!  

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Waiting Game

My first post!  The original plan was to leave in late June but that has been delayed as we are waiting on the front steel racks which are currently in a warehouse somewhere in Washington State.  We were told today that they should arrive by Monday next week (*fingers crossed*).  Basically once they are put on the bikes we ‘vamos’ the following day. 

Aside from that there has been a lot of lounging around and researching on what lies ahead.  I must admit, I may have underestimated the Americas as they appear to be quite daunting.  My primary concerns at the moment include safety as we’ll be cycling through a few countries where the drug trade is prevalent, how to get from Panama to Colombia (no way we’re going through the Darien Gap!), and the hardcore hills in South America.  Ah well... it will be an adventure to say the least.

Hopefully in my next post we’ll be up and running as I have been raring to go for some time now! 

That is me with the bike that I will get to know very well in the next year or two… the Surly Long Haul Trucker.  

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