Q: Wait… What are you doing???
A: We are cycling about 3,500 miles from the Arctic Ocean at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to San Francisco California. During the trip we’ll be raising money and awareness for the US Blind Judo Foundation.
Q: Who are you?
A: We are two brothers, Peter and Janos Kabai. Peter is going to be 21 at the time of the trip and Janos will be turning 18 during the trip! We biked from New York City to San Francisco during the summer of 2012, and we loved it so much that we decided to do this trip this summer.
Q: Why do this?
A: Because the experience of doing it is worth all the physical and mental hardships. We will see things that not many people ever get to see and experience. Bear encounters, wildlife, the Alaskan landscape, the Dalton Highway and possibly even northern lights, just to name a few. Experiencing these things from a cruise ship or a car is just not the same. On a bicycle you are part of the road, part of the landscape and part of the wildlife.
Q: What gear and supplies will you take?
A: What we can take is limited to size and weight. We will both have front and back panniers on our bikes, and we will also be able to tie on larger items to to back of the bike. We will have a tent, bear spray, sleeping bags, foam pads, one or two changes of clothes, basic tools, basic spare parts and at least 12 liters of water carrying capacity. We will also need to make room for food, as many stretches of our route don’t have even gas stations or water for over a hundred miles.
Q: How will you navigate?
A: Mostly we won’t have to! Our route consists of just a few major highways that stretch for hundreds of ivies each, so we will need very few directions. However just in case we get lost we have offline maps and a GPS in our phones. If our phones happen to have ran out of battery then we can always just ask directions from a trucker passing by.
Q: What kind of bikes do you have?
A: We both have 2010 Schwinn World Tour bikes. They were the cheapest touring bikes we could find. They have been good to us across the US and we know how to fix absolutely everything on them, so they should be great mikes for years to come.
Q: What is a touring bike?
A: A touring bike is a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike. It has thicker tires than the road bike to cope with the weight of the gear. It has a steel frame rather than aluminum or carbon fiber. This makes it heavier but also allows us to carry the 70 to 80 pounds of gear that each of us will have. Touring bikes are made especially to be reliable and heavy duty while still maintaining quality and performance.
Q: What will you eat?
A: To answer that question we must first explain that tour biking can burn up to 7,000 calories a day. This is because of the mountainous terrain, the heavy gear and the very long daily rides. However, during the 11 week tour across the US we both only lost a few pounds. This was because we ate food from gas stations, and we ate very unhealthy. However this time we will try to change that. We will buy food from supermarkets whenever we can and we will do our best to eat healthy. This will make our bodies perform better and it will also give us a chance to get in the best shape of our lives.
Q: Where will you spend the nights?
A: We will be caring foam pads, sleeping bags and a tent, so most nights we will be camping either at campsites or off the side of the road in the forest. It is legal to do that along most of our route. Wildlife and bears will be a problem when doing that, but that’s part of the fun! We will also try Couchsurfing and Warmshowers. Those are two communities that help touring cyclists and other travelers meet people and find free lodging, and even showers. Participating in Warmshowers and Couchsurfing will allow us to meet more people and to spread our stories all along our route.
Q: What about the bears???
A: Yes, during most of the trip we’ll be in bear country. With loaded bikes we wouldn’t be able to out bike a bear, which can reach top speeds of 40 miles per hour. Because of this both of us will have bear spray and air horns. Air horns alert the bear to our presents and they should move off of the road when they hear it. Bear spray will be useful if they come too close. We might also put bells on out bikes to make a constant noise, because what bears hate the most is being surprised.
Q: Why start from Prudhoe Bay?
A: Prudhoe Bay Alaska is as north as roads go in North America. The coast of the Arctic Ocean is only accessible by guided tour because the oil fields are privately owned. The Dalton Highway is an amazing scenic gravel road that we want to ride, and the beginning is right by Prudhoe Bay.
Q: Why end the trip in San Francisco?
A: In 2012 we ended our cross country bike trip in San Francisco, which is one of the major, and possibly the most iconic cities of the west coast. Prudhoe Bay to the San Francisco Bay. It just has a nice ring to it.
Q: Who is sponsoring you?
A: We are looking for companies to sponsor us, for more information about sponsors and how you can help find a sponsor please go to the sponsors page
Q: How can I donate?
A: You can donate to the US Blind Judo Foundation on their website here. If you wish to donate to us to cover some of the costs of that trip you can do that here. To see a list of people who donated you can click here. We thank all the people who donated!
Q: What is the Blind Judo Foundation?
A: The Blind Judo foundation is a non-profit that trains athletes in the sport of judo and prepares them for the Paralympics. The US Blind Judo team is not funded by the government like the regular US Judo team, yet blind American judoka have won more gold medals than sighted American judoka.
Q: Why choose the Blind Judo Foundations?
A: We’ve practiced judo regularly for the past 12 years and we really value the work that the foundation does for blind athletes. It takes a lot to train and get a blind athlete onto the mat, and without the foundation it just wouldn’t happen. That’s why were raising money and awareness during our 2012 cross country trip, and that’s why we are dong it again.
Q: What is judo?
A: Judo is a Japanese martial art that means “the gentle way” It is a contact sport that can be very physically straining at times but is good at any age. We have been practicing for 12 years, and we still love it.
Q: How can I contact you?
A: Check out the contact us page for all the ways of contacting us during our trip. We welcome suggestions, advice as well as support.
Q: What route will you be taking?
A: We will be flying up to Fairbanks Alaska, and we will be mailing our bikes up to Prudhoe Bay Alaska. Then we’ll take a bus from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay to meet up with our bikes. From there we’ll take a tour up to the Arctic Ocean, for a quick dip. We’ll start off on the Dalton Highway, then the Alaska Highway, the Trans-Canada Highway and the Pacific Coast highway.
Q: How long will this take you?
A: We don’t know yet! It depends on the condition of the Dalton Highway, the exact route we’ll be taking and the number of rest days we take. We hope to spend a few days just resting and enjoying the amazing places we will pass. However, we do estimate that it’ll take eight to nine weeks.
Q: Where can I stay updated on the trip?
A: The best place is this blog! But you may also follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr. We will update those social media sites as often as we can, and longer posts will be available on this blog only
Q: Can I check where you are at any given moment?
A: Yes, we have a SPOT GPS device that broadcasts a signal every 15 minutes. You can view our location on a map. The link to the map will be posted when the GPS is activated, shortly before we start the trip.
Q: What’s the hype about the Dalton Highway?
A: The James Dalton Highway is a 414 mile stretch of gravel road that starts a little north of Fairbanks and goes all the way to Deadhorse. It is mainly a trucking route, and has been featured in shows such as Ice Road Truckers. It crosses the Arctic Circle, the continental divide, the Yukon and other famous landmarks. No road in North America goes further north than the Dalton Highway.
Q: What are some interesting places you’ll pass?
A: We’ll see the Arctic Ocean, the Yukon river, the Prudhoe Bay oil fields, Fairbanks, Whitehorse, Seattle, Crater Lake, and San Francisco. Those are just a few, and who knows what other amazing things we’ll encounter!
Q: Are you crazy?!?!
A: No, our mother had us tested
I love your answer to “Are you crazy”. You must be fans of the Big Bang Theory like me. I want to let you know I’m praying for God to watch over you and your brother, Janos, giving you protection and good health as you make this incredible journey. What an exhilarating trek you are making which, in turn, will provide you with amazing stories to tell. Raising awareness about the Blind Judo Club along the way is an awesome goal.
God Bless you,