Day #27 – McGrath State Beach – 57 mi

As Janos and Peter woke up they0731 admired the beautiful scenery. Ocean, palm trees, even the fog looks beautiful.

They had authentic Mexican food for lunch.

When riding in a tunnel, the pavement was unexpectedly wet and Janos probably rode a little too fast in the turn – the back wheel turned out from under him and he fell. He says he slid about 10 feet on the ground on his side. He got a few abrasions on his knee and his elbow, but luckily nothing bad. The scratches burned a little but they got better when he had a chance to wash them. His bike is OK too.

By the end of the day they got some tailwind once again.

Two of the men from the party group the other day stayed with the brothers all day long. After taking care of some shopping, Janos and the others prepared and enjoyed grilled salmon at the campground.

Day #26 – Refugio State Beach – 74 mi

The brothers were planning a long day. There was no suitable campground at 50-60 miles, and they needed to pick up the pace anyway. They set the alarm clock and started earlier than usual.

The first half of the day was harder, it was really hot and there were flies everywhere, they said.

They has Chinese food for lunch for a change.

The afternoon was nice with some friendly tailwind.

The campground was on the beach. The brothers met some of the members of the group once again, and they all had some fun in the water.

It seems Peter was inspired by the palm trees today ūüôā

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Day #25 – Pismo Beach – 58 mi

Peter and Janos had left the mountains behind their backs and now they have a chance to start making up for the lost mileage.

Janos’ knee was grateful for the better terrain and hurts much less. Peter’s knees aren’t getting better yet. We were wondering, how come that two years ago the brothers accomplished 3886 miles while riding from New York to San Francisco without any knee pain, and now they are both having problems. Janos had an answer. When they ride on very steep inclines, even the lowest gear (of their fairly inexpensive bikes) does not give enough torque: they often have to pedal while lifting themselves up from the seat. This is how Peter had hurt his knees on the Dalton, and Janos did the same while riding solo from Seattle. Until he realized that this was bad for his knees. Anyway, the hardest terrain is behind them, and the brothers know better now.

The campground they were looking for, did not exist. They rode back North about three miles to another one shown on the map; that one was closed. Back to South, they found a private hiker/biker camp site.

The two top pictures (of Peter) were taken by Janos. The three bottom pictures are from Peter.

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Step 1. Broken tent pole                       Step 2. Temporary solution
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Step 3. Aluminum tube bought at Home Depot:
Tent pole is good as new! ūüôā
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Day #24 – San Simeon – 42 mi

No communication until the afternoon, when the brothers passed a small town and we had a chance to exchange a few text messages. They confirmed what we already knew:

– This is the first time in a day and a half that we got phone reception – said Janos.

– My knee is pretty bad, that’s why we take it easy while in the mountains – said Peter. – Here a few pictures, I will tell you about them later.

Unfortunately as soon as they left the populated area, we couldn’t communicate any longer.

UPDATE: Late in the evening, Janos spent 10 minutes climbing a hill so that he could have “1 bar”, and would be able to call home. ūüôā

He told us about how in the past few days they have been¬†more or less riding together with several small groups or bikers. Two middle aged women, an older man, a newlywed couple, two older women, and another man – they sometimes go faster or slower than the Kabai brothers, but¬†Peter and Janos still meet at least a few of these groups each night¬†as they settle down¬†at¬†one of the hiker/biker campgrounds. We already heard about a long conversation with someone the other night, but we didn’t realize that there are several groups and that they keep bumping into each other every night.

The 10 bikers actually had a party tonight. They assigned who was responsible for what: hot dogs, buns, condiments, dessert, etc., and they were hoping¬†everybody would actually arrive to the San Simeon campground by the evening. Janos was their cook, he BBQ’d the hot dogs for everybody, using a piece of foil, and two spare spokes as tongs.

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Day #23 – Kirk Creek – 30 mi

We had no communication with the brothers today. They are riding through state parks (Los Padres National Forest) and it seems that there is no phone reception at all.

Looking at the Spot messages we know that they stopped pretty early in the day, most likely because of the rough terrain and Peter’s knee pain.

We don’t want to leave our readers without pictures; let’s see two “left over” photos.

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Day #22 – Big Sur – 32 mi

The brothers are facing very steep inclines in this area. This is probably the hardest part of the trip.

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Unfortunately Peter’s knee is getting worse, even Janos started feeling his knees. They decided not to push hard at this difficult terrain, and were planning¬†to make up the mileage later when the terrain would be¬†better.

They found another hiker/biker campground and had a nice long conversation with some people about biking, judo, their previous trip and the Blind Judo Foundation.

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Day #21 – Monterey – 42 mi

Peter and Janos had breakfast in a Subway restaurant (why 0725-1are we not surprised). Janos loves the fresh bread and veggies, and he can select whichever kind of meat he is in the mood for. For Peter Subway is the best choice because he is a vegetarian, and most other fast food chains don’t have anything but french fries for him.

As they arrived to the restaurant, Janos’ odometer showed 1000 miles. Who knew there was a Subway restaurant exactly 1000 miles from Seattle Airport! ūüôā

The brothers are taking Hwy 1. Some sections are open for bicyclist, but some are not. The boys successfully left a few such sections behind, but shortly before reaching Seaside, Highway Patrol required them to leave the highway (and to make sure they do so, they followed them with flashing lights for two miles).

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Day #20 – Santa Cruz – 58 mi

The brothers got up earlier than usual to be able to charge their phones. In the morning they made good progress, then they lost some time because of bike problems. First Peter’s chain got somehow between the front gears and he had to take it out in 2-3 pieces. Later he had a flat tire to change. They had tacos for lunch, and again found a hiker/biker campsite for the night.

It was a hot day. Peter’s knee still hurts, it gets neither better nor worse. He decided to have a healthy diet during the trip: he pledged not to drink sodas, and tries to get¬†most of his calories to come from whole grain carbs.

Peter sent several beautiful pictures today. He spent five minutes waiting for the best shot in the bottom left picture. We were not able to pick just two or three, rather we posted most of them as thumbnails. Please click to enlarge.

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Day #19 – Half Moon Bay – 40 mi

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Andras drove his brothers to San Francisco. The Spot map shows that Peter and Janos continued from the exact same spot where Janos arrived to SF two days ago. (Right under the Bay Bridge.)

They rode across the park where two years ago over 20 people (family, judo instructors, friends) greeted them after finishing their NY-SF cross-country trip. They smiled, remembering that day.

Peter’s knee still hurts, since riding the Dalton Hwy. But he says he will be all right. Today they just have a half day, and tomorrow will be mostly flat terrain.

The brothers spent the night at an inexpensive hiker/biker campground in Half Moon Bay.

 

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San Francisco Bay Bridge

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Golden Gate Bridge

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Day #18 – San Francisco – 0 mi

This post is written by Janos:

Now that I have a little time today, I decided it would be a good idea if I wrote today’s post myself. Both to give my mom a well-deserved break, and to thank all of our followers who are helping us throughout this journey and in our effort to raise awareness for our excellent cause.

The main goal Peter and I had today was to prepare for the last leg of our journey. This included preparing both our bikes and our gear. Also, given that this section would only take around 14 days, we could take many liberties we couldn’t allow ourselves up to this point, in both the environment of Alaska and during my trip from Seattle. For example, we only need to take light clothing because of the good weather we are guaranteed to have, and since the areas we will bike through are much more densely populated than before, we don’t need to be as cautious with maintaining our supplies of food and water, not to mention the heavy bear-proof boxes and our numerous water filtration systems which were imperative up to now.

We started this morning by tuning up our bikes. We adjusted everything on our bikes from the brakes to the derailleur, and cleaned and oiled all of the creaking parts. In a few hours of work our bikes were ready to go. Next, we gathered all of the gear we needed to bring, both new and previously used, and made sure it was all in good shape. This included cleaning panniers, and filling water bags with a baking soda solution to get rid of any strange tastes or smells.

After preforming these necessities, and several loads of laundry, Peter and I had all of our things packed and ready for the next two weeks. We were both very pleasantly surprised by the decreased weight of our total setup. Before now, both Peter and I had to carry four panniers hooked onto our bikes as well as have gear strapped behind our seats in order to have all of the necessary equipment. Now, however, we both managed to fit into only two panniers each. Thankfully, our total weight is much less than it was before. This means less weight to haul up mountains, and less air resistance slowing us down on the other side.

Luckily, I even had a bit of time left to meet up with people I missed most while away from home.

Now that we’re both ready for the leg of the journey thats left, our brother Andras will drive us up to San Francisco early tomorrow morning. Once there, he’ll drop us off at the precise spot where I finished my solo section coming from Seattle. From there Peter and I will continue on together.

Once again I would like to thank my mom who spent every night for the past month staying up and writing our blog, allowing us to communicate with all of you. I would also like to thank Mr. Peck, Coach Cahill and everyone else at the Foundation for providing us such an excellent cause we can be proud to support. Finally, I want to thank all of you reading this and all those who leave comments in helping to support us, the bikers. Your thoughts are much appreciated.

 

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The Blind Judo Foundation bracelet, that the blogger has been wearing since day #1 and pledged not to take off until both father and sons are safely at home.