Day #13 – Fortuna – 62 mi

Last night’s campground seemed to be the filthiest one Janos had ever seen. It was noisy too; with dogs barking, TVs shouting and¬†people yelling, he felt that this place was less desirable than the streets of Fairbanks. And he knows ūüôā

Janos’ daily “quota” is 50 miles. Today, there was no campground at around 50 miles, not even a park where he could put up his tent. He had to choose between covering 40 miles or 62. The weather wasn’t bad, the terrain wasn’t terrible. After little hesitation, he decided to go for the 62. With this he almost (2 miles less) made up for the short day #3 when he had been struggling with stomach problems.

0717-1a 0717-2For lunch he stopped at a gas station that served Mexican food. Janos was pleasantly surprised that instead of the usual American style tacos he got what seemed to be an authentic Mexican dish.

Later in Eureka he got some headwind that he truly hates, but as the road turned south again, the wind became a tailwind and actually helped him climb the last mountain of the day. At one point he saw about a dozen cars stopped on the road. What happened? It was a herd of elks, about 30-40 animals, crossing the road. People were all excited, getting out of cars, taking pictures. Highway 101 had stopped until the elks walked away.

Janos found a nice and clean campground this time. He celebrated the 62 miles with a soda and a Snickers bar.

Day #12 – Orick – 48 mi

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Every day¬†Janos spends some time planning the next day’s route. He uses his cell phone to find a campground about 50 miles from his current position. Then he looks at the elevation profile to know what to expect… When he sees an alternate route he checks the elevation profile of that. This is how he was able to save 2 miles and 400 feet of incline today.

This is one of the reasons that he needs to keep his cell phone charged. The most important reason is for emergency calls of course, and communication with family comes third.

Janos enjoyed his ride surrounded by beautiful redwoods. He also did some shopping today to replace a water bottle he had lost yesterday, and to pick up a few pairs of socks so that his stock of clean socks would last longer.

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Day #11 – Fort Dick, CA – 47 mi

Welcome to California!

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Shortly before reaching California, Janos’ odometer showed 500 miles since he started from Seattle on July 5th.

The weather went back and forth rapidly between foggy and sunny. Janos was amazed at how quickly the sky changed – then changed again. The panorama pictures below show overcast on the left and sunny on the right, but this would change in no time.

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Day #10 – Gold Beach – 52 mi

Janos had a great day, maybe the best day so far on his journey. It started with no fog and no drizzle, no need to take off his glasses, with nice and bright views.

The GPS suggested a shortcut off 101 that would have saved about 0.8 miles. Luckily Janos checked the elevation profile and saw that the shortcut would have meant ¬†about 500 feet of additional inclines. Of course car drivers don’t mind. Janos stayed on Highway 101, and was happy that he “outsmarted” the GPS.

In the afternoon the road took him back to the seashore where he got some nice tailwind.

At the camp site he made a reservation then rode to town to have dinner. Back at¬†the campground he was able to do his laundry for the first time since he left Fairbanks. He could¬†wash and dry all his clothes that were wet from last day’s rain. Janos was blown away by the luxury of clean and dry socks!

We agreed that little things like food, clean clothes and an electric outlet are everyday luxuries that we take absolutely granted. Now Janos is actually¬†happy¬†when he has them. “This is one of the good things in this trip” – he said.

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Day #9 – Bandon – 50 mi

0713-6Janos rode in drizzle/rain all morning. Again, for several miles he needed to take off his glasses, as it was still safer than trying to see through them.

He had saved a sandwich from last night for breakfast today, which seemed like a very smart idea. Except that it turned out a Subway sandwich gets all soggy by the next day. Frowning, he still ate it as it was still better than his cereal bars. The fuel station he was counting on was out of business, which was a disappointment. Then he came across another one that wasn’t on the map at all. Here he bought some sugary stuff (?) to get him going, to cover 23 miles before he was able to get real food.

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In the restaurant he had a chance to watch the last hour of the World Cup Final. He didn’t feel like leaving until the game ended.

Later Janos was lucky to find a campground where he had access to two electric outlets. This means he can charge not only his cell phone but also his music player. Being able to listen to music actually makes a difference when you spend your day pedaling and when you are all alone.

Day #8 – Winchester Bay – 48 mi

The park manager was once again very nice to Janos: she surprised him with a hot breakfast. Her kindness was really appreciated, as Janos wasn’t very happy with the cereal bar breakfast that he planned to have. He would have had to ride 23 miles before getting real food.

This was a wet day. No real rain, but drizzling all night and all day. Sometimes Janos had a hard time to decide if it was safer to ride with or without his glasses. He tried both. The fog was so thick that the cars were hard to see. But you cannot ride a bicycle while constantly wiping your glasses inside and out.

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As he arrived to town, Janos looked for¬†a Subway restaurant, of course. He filled up his cell phone and his stomach, bought another sandwich for breakfast tomorrow ūüôā ¬†then continued to ride on. He uses a cell phone app that is specialized for finding campgrounds. It is a great tool to quickly get¬†detailed information, much faster than doing several internet searches.

At Winchester Bay Janos was greeted by annoying mosquitoes. “It’s nothing compared to the tons of mosquitoes everywhere in Alaska, but I didn’t expect them here on the coast” – he said. Most of his stuff is wet, his bags got wet during last night’s drizzle. Covering the bags during the day was too late. The weather was gloomy all day, and so was his mood.

 

 

Blind Judo Foundation ‚Äď Why?

Why Judo?

Judo is a great sport. The word means “gentle way” and that sounds strange as we are talking about a type of martial arts, but it’s true. There are no punches or kicks in judo, and your goal is NOT to hurt your partner. You use their weight and momentum to take them to the floor and your own weight to keep them down. You do need strength, but it is much more about technique.

Judo people are a wonderful community. At the SJB Judo Club, which the Kabai family belongs to, all instructors are volunteers. They have been training for many years or even decades, and they don’t get a dime for showing up twice a week to teach. They use their time and money to travel to tournaments to coach the kids. Even some of the best instructors, the tournament referees, are volunteers. So are the parents who staff all judo events.

Janos and Peter have been doing judo for over ten years. Peter has a black belt and Janos has brown.

Why Blind Judo?

If you are like most people and you don’t have a blind person in your immediate family or circle of friends, this question probably never crossed your mind: How do blind people exercise to stay healthy? Judo can be a great choice for a blind or visually impaired person. The opponents are in constant physical contact, so seeing your opponent is not essential. In fact blind people often win against a sighted athlete. Judo improves their sense of balance¬† and teaches them how to fall safely, skills that can be of great help in a blind person’s everyday life, let they be a child, an adult, or maybe an injured veteran.

Why Blind Judo Foundation?

During the season of the Olympics, remember reading “Proudly Supporting the Olympic Games” on every bottle of soft drink and every box of cereal? Have you ever seen “Proudly Supporting the Paralympic Games” anywhere? Who sponsors blind athletes when they travel to international tournaments or the Paralympic Games? Well, often their coach does, from his own money. The Blind Judo Foundation supports these athletes and also young kids to participate in judo camps, clinics and tournaments. We want to help.

To learn more or to donate, please click here.

Day #7 – Cape Perpetua – 54 mi

Janos had a quiet night and slept well. That was a nice change after the previous campgrounds that were too noisy with trucks (and one time with big boats).

While having breakfast he talked to a couple who warned him about constant thick fog in one area of 101. They suggested to use Otter Crest Loop instead. Janos was happy for the idea as he didn’t just avoid the fog, but also had an easier terrain than if he had crossed the pass.

It was Friday afternoon, and each campground Janos had passed had a No Vacancy sign posted. Finally one park manager told him to wait until everything quieted down and then put up his tent behind the office building.

Alsea Bay Bridge

Alsea Bay Bridge

Waldport Bridge

Day #5 – Tillamook Bay – 52 mi

Janos enjoys the beautiful scenery while riding along the ocean.

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He says cars and trucks are passing very close so he needs to keep his eyes on the road, but every now and then he stops to look around and take pictures.

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The road was flat for most of the day, but he also had to cross some mountains.

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