The final days – riding into Los Angeles

215-the-end-of-highway-1-where-we-rejoined-highway-101After a lot of fog induced misery down the US coast we pondered completing the final leg of our 9 month cycle tour by train.  Philippa came up with lots of good reasons why that would’ve been a sensible decision and yet it wouldn’t have seemed like a fitting end to our tour and so after receiving an encouraging email from a Brit who’d cycled to LA a few weeks earlier we opted to carry on by bike.  Before we left San Luis Obispo we had lunch with Neil and Ali, who luckily were also in town on their road trip.  We won’t see them again on this tour, but it gives us another set of friends to visit in the Brisbane / Gold Coast area.  Continue reading

Is this the end? Redwood City to SLO

191-view-of-big-sur-from-kirk-creek-campgroundAfter an amazing time off the bikes in the Bay Area we reluctantly left Jon and Sal’s house and continued the journey southwards towards Los Angeles.  The luxuries of things like fridges, kettles, decent showers and electricity would once again be left behind, although it’s only a short hop to LA compared to what we’ve cycled since January.  We’d been recommended a route by Joth to Pescadero, although work meant he couldn’t cycle with us, but luckily Emma had been able to jiggle her shifts around to allow her to accompany us for the day.  To rejoin the Pacific Coast we first needed to cross the Santa Cruz mountains, which meant a 500+ m climb to ease us back into cycle touring.  In New Zealand this would have been a major worry, but we’re now so use to lugging our heavy touring bikes up hills it wasn’t too bad.  The cool of the redwood trees, beautiful landscape and empty road certainly helped.  We’re jealous that Emma and Joth have this on their doorstep; cycling from our flat in East London to Woolwich isn’t the same. Continue reading

The best and worst of times

141. Lake TahoeThere’s been a bit of a gap since our last post, mainly because there’s not been much cycling to report.  Instead we’ve been having some time off the bikes, which has been much needed because since arriving in North America at the start of June we’ve not had two consecutive rest days.  We’ve been hosted in San Francisco by Manik & Rowan, spent two nights in Napa Valley wine tasting with Neil & Ali, had a weekend in Redwood City with Jon & Sally, met up with cycling friends from the UK who now live in the Bay Area and we’re currently in Truckee, which is in the Sierra Nevadas. Continue reading

Things do eventually get better…

109. Racoon locker beerAfter the rather miserable day last Wednesday we spent another few days battling with the misery of the fog and mist and cold until Sunday, when things improved considerably. I had been worried about updating the blog given how downbeat we have been the last few days so I’m pleased that we’re now in a more positive mood. Having met other cyclists on the road also struggling with similar issues I do feel a bit reassured that it isn’t just us having a low point. Continue reading

Some days are just crap

090. This is probably beautiful when it is sunnyWhilst on tour we’ve discovered that some days we expect to be good can turn out to be different. That may be because of a whole host of things, such as the weather, especially if there’s a headwind, the attitude of the drivers, the quality of the road surface, the view we may or may not see from the road.  Yesterday, Wednesday, was expected to be good day.  We’d heard Highway 1 would be pretty devoid of cars, coastal views would be spectacular and it was only about 65km to Gualala Regional Park where’d planned to camp for the night.  Unfortunately, it turned out to be one of the worst days, often feeling like we were partaking in the Hunger Games. Continue reading

Fogust strikes again

039. Tree at Founders GroveWe left Bayside on Friday morning for what would probably be our last cycling day in excess of 90km (and actually probably 80km) of this tour! As seems to have become the norm, we set off in grey and cold cloud and this was how we spent the rest of the morning. As we had been hosted in Bayside we were already on the Old Arcata Road which we continued to follow all the way to Eureka. This was a good, quiet road with a mostly large shoulder and avoided some of Highway 101.

Continue reading