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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