Kit List

The Final Days After Longbeech






After our great few days chilling with karen in longbeach we hit the road for the last leg of our trip.From longbeach we cycle some more great bike paths along the coast through seal beach and huntington beach.  We enterd Orange County and headed to our hosts Dennis and Dine for the night at newport beach, they were great, really interesting people who were full of great stories from their bike touring trips. next we cycled through Laguna beach which turned out to be the worst place to bike on the entire trip, big mistake but it was en route.  There are just too many cars and all the drivers just had no bike sense and skimmed past us several times.  A very unsociable place with very different people compared to further north, safe to say it was the last time i'll be visiting Laguna!


After Laguna nightmare things calmed down and we headed to our camp, at Doheny state beach, we got to camp early so decided to check out the town, a nice little place, great weather and we got talking to a guy who helped Mark Beumont (world record cyclist) on his world record cycle trip.  He met him on the big sur section which we cycled a few weeks earlier.  We met a couple of guys who were just starting out there tour, we chatted in the evening had beers and remenised of our trip and what a great time they are going to have.

The next day we headed to Carlsbad where we chilled out for a few days, a nice little town on the coast which had an awesome bike shop, fully stocked with touring gear! Our last camp came next, we camped at san elijo state park which had some great veiws of the coast, then onto our final part of the trip.

An early start the next day we headed to Chula vista.  The ride was great, partly because we were so close to the border and greatly excited to get there.  We biked along the coast through a place called la jola and its also where the complicatied city navigating started!  La jola was a nice city, we also met another crazy hobo guy who just wouldn't stop talking to us about what he thought was going on in the world! next was a big point on the trip, San Diego. After a bit of navigating around the harbour we headed through the city. San Diego is a really nice, not too crowded and very clean. Out of all the citys San Diego was the best to ride through.

We got to our motel with some navigation issues and checked in for a few days.  The following day we loaded the bikes and head for our last loaded ride to the finish, the Mexican border.  After an easy  ride we headed through chula vista and a town called San Ysidro, a full on mexican town, everything and everyone was mexican!  The road got more and more busy as we approached the border, people in coaches, cars and on foot. The Mexican border, thus the end of our trip was nothing special, abit crazy...and llot of mexicans but it was a great feeling to of officially finished :)!

So, its been an awesome trip, the difference where we are at the end comperd to up north at the start in Canada is massive.  Its been hard at times but overall it was awesome.  We cycled around 2000miles and all with out any machanical faults, not even a punture! and only 1 set of tires... just!  We met some amazing people, some we will deffinately keep in touch with.  The hospitality was amazing, thanks to our hosts en route.

Its Been awesome..............time to start planning the next trip!


The L.A Stretch

So, the riding and the scenery has changed getting further south.  From San  Simeon were we had a day off with some crazy hobos (A large problem in the south as its more populated) and a naughty squirrel who ripped the tent to get to our food bag...ate ur food and then had a poo and a wee before running off...BUGGER. We had an easy few days riding over to Moro bay, where we had another day off (due to being ahead of time we are having many days off!)  We had a nice site all to ourselves for 2 days. Morro bay was a nice little sea side town, built around 9 rocky hills which are called the nine sisters and are volcanic plugs. we had a nice day looking around and chillin out.

The next few days the riding got hot through inland sections before we hit some of the hardest climbs on the trip, not because they were high, but because of the crazy heat, physically it was very demanding.  After an eary start of 8am it was roasting, we headed through some hot flat desert like ares and through some mexican towns, 1 called Guadalupe, where everything and everyone was mexican.  We then started our climbs, it was around 1pm and HOT! the climb went on forever, we had to stop to drink and eat in the shade every 10 mins.  After a hot hot hot sweaty tough climb we got to the top, with good veiws and an awesome descent, which was also hot! and finished the day in Lomopoc between mountains in a hot valley! had a day off which was aminly filled with internet, taco bell and budget cafe :-). The next days ride was the same but this time the climb was right at the sart so its was cooler. We headed up the 13mile climb before descending back to the cool foggy coast to a really nice cam ground with a palm tree lined beach, a place we would of just passed but it was suggested by carl the tourer from long beach, nice 1!

The next few days riding got interesting, it was much easier but becasue of our 7 extra days we had planned to camp 2 nights in state parks and explore the area, but due to the hobo problem there is now a 1 night limit and finding available accomodation over labour day weekend is impossible! so we had to re-think, we kindly got a host through warm showers called diane where we will stay a night and we got some good motel deals!

Next, it was alot of urban riding through some nice sandy beach cities, people biking on typical American cruisers, rollar-blading and volley ball on the beach (being played by super toned tanned people in small clothes!...im surprised dan didnt fall into the sand!!)

From Santa Babara we then cycled onto the L.A stretch, it was awesome. Very different from any other rides.  Starting at Malibu, through Venice, Manhatten beach and finally through L.A.  Everyone is in skimpy clothes, riding around with there getto blasters with there tunes on, very cliche! 
video
the dude on a trike with his tunes blasting out!

 its very busy and the weather is great! the ride was'nt as complicated as i had thought, there were lots of bike paths which run right through the middle of the beach for the best veiws! We are now in Longbeach where we are staying with Karen, Carls partner (Carl we met at Bodega Dunes) he is heading north on the same route, they kindly put us up for 2 nights, thanks guys! Next, more crazy city riding along the beaches! Roll on San Diego!
L.A in the distance!

Doing The Syrup Thing



Since leaving San Fran California has been very different.Our first stop was a camp ground at half moon bay, an easy ride, very foggaay again, we met another tourer called paul who was from new zeland, he arived in the usa in november last year and clocked up 12,000 miles and was now back round on the same route again! We stayed with paul for a few days, he was interesting guy who was well travelled.  The next few days were interesting, first we headed through santa cruz which was a good idea but turned out to be a nightmare to navigate and was way too busy so we didnt stop too long before heading out to camp.

The next day was easy, very flat riding on our way to Monterey bay. On our approch about 10miles out we met a cyclist called Larry who gave us a guided tour through an unknown route to the bay, Larry was full of info and guided us to the camp ground after taking us to some nice veiwing spots off the planned route.  Monterey was a cool little town, not too big with a sea front.  There was a big car show on that weekend to, it had a good atmosphere and some nice cars driving around, we stayed for a day and cycled the bike route along the sea wall.

After monterey the terrain changed, we enterd the Big Sur area of the coast, the caost road followed the cliff edge with some bigger climbs and some amazing scenery, very rugged rockey cliffs dropped to sandy beaches and a bright blue sea. it was an awesome ride with some of the best veiws on this section of coast. We also encountered a rather cheeky racoon who got the food bag out of the tent in the night and tried to rip into it, on being caught it just sat there staring at dan as if...crap, ive been rumbled...cheeky little bugger.


The weather has improoved considerably as we start getting even further south, the elephant seals on the beaches are an amusing road side watch as they flop up the beach and throw sand over each other. We have had a nice chilled day in Cambria where we started the day doing the syrup thing with Dave who we met a couple of days ago, Dave is a cool guy from Burkley and he is riding to San Dieago. Next stop Morro bay, hopefully there will be less hobos in the campsites!
 

Manchester to San Fransisco




After leaving Manchester the riding seemed to get hard! The terrain was very hilly, and despite it being California the inland was so hot that it had a big effect on the coast so there was lots of fog...cold chilly damp fog.  Because of the fog there wasnt much to look at so mentally it was a hard slog through some hilly terrrain to our next camp at woodside state park.So we peddeld on and arrived at camp which turned out to be really nice, just us and 1 other tourer and the woodland, we lit a big fire and toasted marshmellows and enjoyed the evening.


The next day the ride got a little better, an easy ride to bodega bay, the weather was slightly better, and we arrived at camp early, we both felt much better todays, 1 because of the better ride and also because we were 1 day closer to San Fran!  That evenong we met a bunch of other tourers, 1 guy called Carl from Long Beach, Carl was a cool guy and offord to let us stay at his house at Long Beach.

The next couple of days were great, we were both exited about San Fran and the riding was good, heading inland we hit some nice warm weather, some easy riding on rolling hills. We stopped at a nice little town called point rayes station, cruised around and ate pancakes (not at the same time of course).

That evening we camped at samuel p tayler camp ground, about 30 miles outside of sanfran.  The site was great, set in the red woods we met a few other local tourers had another fire and Fe had her first taste of local raw oysters...it was pretty salty! Luckily the racoons didnt eat all our food either as they are quite renound for being mischievious and in vast numbers in samuel p!!

The final ride before sanfran was easy, we set off at 7am,  cycled through some nice towns and hit san fram at about 11am after some interesting navigation through suburban america!



Carl, the dude from Long beach, We are starying with his partner karren


San Fransico, what a crazy city. On our ride through san fran we couldnt find the hostel, we knew it was on Mason sreet which is ok on either side but the middle was a massive steep hill, so we went up it...and then down the other side, the up part wasnt so fun, this hill was crazy, but going down was awesome!  We found the hostel on the other end of the street, right in the centre of downtown san fran.  We have had a nice couple of days here, we have been to some great american diners and had all kinds of shrimp at bubba gumps, awesome!  We mostly cycled arond the city as its quite big and there was just too much choice with transport and its free to pedal! We did the tourist thin, spending time at peier 39, visiting the aquarium which was cool and watched a movie in the evening at the cinema and seeing black dolphins in the bay from the golden gate bridge was pretty special.  The city is really busy, mostly tourists but its bike freindly, lots of bike routes and on flatter areas bikes seem to rule the road.  san Fran was a bit of a cultre shock at first as we were used to the friendly laid back camp grounds but its been a good few days........we are looking foward to getting back on the road though...600 miles to go!