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! 🙂

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.

 

Day #17 – San Francisco – 78 mi

Janos is 86 miles away from San Francisco. This is where Peter will join his brother and together they will ride to San Diego, finishing the North-to-South Cross-Country trip.

Janos could do the distance to San Francisco either in two easy days, or could accomplish the 86 miles in one day. He chose the second option. This way he saves a day (and also the cost of a campground-night in an expensive area).

His plan was to ride on Hwy 101 and over the Golden Gate Bridge, as we discussed in a previous post. He felt it would be safer than Hwy 1. Unfortunately the law doesn’t agree, and Highway Patrol stopped him and sent him off 101. The best route seemed to be to ride to Vallejo, then take the ferry to SF.

Janos is so close to home. He wanted to see his father who just had arrived back from his Yukon kayaking trip the other day, and he just couldn’t pass a nice homemade dinner… Janos decided to take a break and spend one day with his family. His bike could use some attention, and the rider would enjoy sleeping in his own bed instead of in his tent (or on the streets) as most nights in the past month.

Peter picked up his brother close to the SF ferry station. On Tuesday they will work on their bicycles and prepare for the next section, about 930 miles, all the way to San Diego. They will leave Wednesday morning.

Day #16 – Cloverdale – 57 mi

0720-1Janos expected a great day riding declines for most of the day. “I hope there will be no headwind” – he said. There was plenty, enough to make it a less wonderful day.

The campground charged $50 a night for a tent,which Janos did not see as acceptable. He rode on for a while and spent the night at the side of the road.

“The wind was howling and it was really hard to go against it, but at least the weather wasn’t hot” – he said.

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Day #15 – Arnold – 51 mi

Janos is at 756 miles which is half of the Seattle – San Diego distance. He is at day #15, which is half of the 30 days planned for this trip. He is right at schedule.

Janos’ original plan was to only follow Highway 101 until Highway 1 starts, then ride on Hwy 1 on the shore. But he changed his mind after talking to several people. He met a fellow bicyclist who was traveling from south to north. The young person said that Hwy 1 is really dangerous for bicyclists. There is no shoulder and there is only one lane for the cars in each direction. Big trucks have no chance to change lanes, they must pass the bicycle rider very close. In comparison, 101 has a wide shoulder, and cars/trucks are able (if willing) to stay far away. As an additional bonus, 101 is 50 miles (=1 day) shorter and has less mountains to cross.

Other people Janos talked to, backed this opinion. A truck driver confirmed that he had a hard time driving on Hwy 1 and a couple who were hitchhiking also felt that Hwy 1 is not a good choice. We had Janos consult his brother and Peter agreed.

It is a very hot day. Janos 0719purchased more water than usually. He was being “grilled” form up and down, as he could feel the black asphalt radiating the heat.

Today’s elevation profile looked pretty ugly, but Janos said it wasn’t that bad after all, as the inclines were not too steep.

At the campsite Janos “befriended” some ducks that were making a lot of noise and were following him everywhere.
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