Los Angeles – FINALLY!

November 2nd, 2010

First off, I want to apologize for the week long delay in posts… After we got to L.A., and had our finish line event, our minds and bodies shut down. Waking up at 5:30 everyday for three months takes it toll on you when you’re biking 80 miles a day, and we all just couldn’t muster the mental energy to write even a quick blog.

We got to L.A. on Saturday, and our official “ride in” event was scheduled for Sunday in Santa Monica. We leisurely biked our last 5 miles to a seaside park in Santa Monica where we were met by a small group of friends, family, and supporters.

The event wasn’t as well attended as we had hoped, but as we’ve found out, it’s just tough to drum up support in big cities for a cause that’s too often on the fringes of social thought. We were elated though, to have the group that we did, and BIG HUGE thank you to Tina & Cesar Maciel, and Tom Rios for helping us organize a perfect L.A. ride in. We got to reunite with D2L supporter and filmmaker Angela Shelton, as well as Nickolodeon star Challen Cates and her family.

We’re working on a few more blogs which will trickle in over the next few weeks, so be sure and stay posted! We’ll be posting all of our entries to Facebook and Twitter, so if you want an easy way to stay in touch, join our social media networks!

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Day 59 – Cambria, CA to San Luis Obispo, CA

October 25th, 2010

Computer Stats:
Miles – 37.45
Avg. Speed -16.6

Today was the day; our last official ride. We were 40 miles from San Luis Obispo where we had a car rental lined up to take us the last 150 miles into L.A.. After three days of cold, wet weather, the sun was shining bright across the Pacific, and we could hardly contain our jubilation knowing that in forty miles, our physical journey would be done.

We set off early and flew across the rolling hills to San Luis Obispo. For an hour or so our route placed us in a bike race, and we did our best to keep up with the semi-pro racers on all sides of us. It was hilarious seeing our “mega-bikes” beside these featherweights, and Landon’s and Mike’s beards were a stark contrast to the fully shaven legs and arms of the racers. We thought about gate crashing their finish line and eating all of their food, but the temptation of getting to L.A. and seeing loved ones took precedent.

We made it to San Luis Obispo on time, and picked up our mini-van, loaded up our bikes and gear and drove the last 150 miles down the 101 into massive, overwhelming Los Angeles. “What a place” is all we could say, and we all felt like we had closed our eyes and been placed in a movie set.

Our physical journey was done, and all that was left was to bike into our Sunday event and celebrate having completed the first ever Pedal for Prevention!

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Day 58 – Big Sur, CA to Cambria, CA

October 24th, 2010

Computer Stats:
Miles – 73.24
Avg. Speed -13.1

After a sound sleep in Big Sur, it was back on the road with another big day ahead. As it was Friday, and we wanted to be in L.A. on Saturday night to get ready for our Sunday event, we set a goal of getting to San Luis Obispo (SLO), where we could catch an early morning train to Los Angeles. “SLO” is 115 miles from Big Sur, and the road twists and rises over endless bluffs and cliffs. The weather was cool and nice in the morning after evening showers, but unfortunately our luck wouldn’t hold out.

Big Sur, as we’ve told you, is spectacular, and it’s hard to put words down which do justice to feeling you get flying 35 mph down a mountain beside a cliff with the Pacific crashing into ocean rocks. Despite the weariness, we did our best to soak up some of the last, and most spectacular, hours we’d have on our bikes, but when it started to downpour, it got to be tough going. On and on with the gray ocean down below, we moved slowly and safely towards civilization.

We were drenched and freezing when finally we came down out of the mountains, and being only 60 miles into our day by 4:30, we knew we’d never make it to SLO without a ride. When we got to Cambria, we parked outside of a gas station for an hour and a half and did our best to hitch a ride to no avail. Out of luck, frozen and wet, we called it a day and checked into a cheap motel on Main Street. With no chance of catching our 6:45 am train, it was one more 35 mile day to San Luis Obispo, where we lined up a minivan rental which would escort into The City of Angels!

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Day 57 – Monterey, CA to Big Sur, CA

October 23rd, 2010

Computer Stats:
Miles – 60.86
Avg. Speed -13.1

Since we left San Francisco on Tuesday, the weather has been dreary, and what we would have considered a short day’s ride has seemed to drag on endlessly. I don’t know if the weather is affecting us, or if we’re just at the end of our tether, but these last few days have been a fight mentally.

With the L.A. in sight, we hopped on our bikes in Monterey and pushed off South against a cold and gray sky towards Pebble Beach and Big Sur. We knew the day’s ride would be a beautiful ride, but a challenging one as we had our sights set on a 100 mile day to San Simeon. We left early in order to allow ourselves enough time to ride the famous “17 Mile Drive” through Pebble Beach, and we’re happy that we did. A $10 fee for cars, it was free for bikes, and we cruised by famous golf course after famous golf course stopping to see the sights, and to drop Pedal for Prevention cards in every mailbox. We figure one millionaire could bring the whole thing together, and a mailbox is a good a place as any to start!

After we got back on the US-1 in Carmel, we immediately began to climb up and down towards Big Sur. The road shrunk to two lanes, and took a more direct path along the bluffs. With lush mountains rising high on our left, four hundred foot cliffs falling to the Pacific skirted our wheels on the right. Caution was in high demand as we navigated tight and winding roads with SUVs, trucks, and Winnebagos. Winnebagos are the worst, most of them are rentals by elderly folds, and Mike thought of a great bumper sticker for them “To Old to Camp, To Young to Die. Go RVing.”

Anyway, we continued up and down mile after mile, and it was very slow going. Having to pull over for every semi, coupled with wanting pictures at every corner meant that there was no way we’d make it one hundred miles to San Simeon. When we finally arrived in the town of Big Sur (the last town for 50 miles) we knew we’d have to stay. There was one problem though… The hotels/lodges were extortionate! Rates of $300 were the average, and with no options other than to camp, we went to the gas station and loaded up for dinner and breakfast. Canned fruit, mini bottles of wine, stale sandwiches, and pop tarts were all in order, and with no sleeping bags, and only a tarp for shelter it looked to be a long, wet and cold night. Just as we were leaving town towards the campground we passed one last lodge… It couldn’t hurt to try, and when the inn quoted us a decent price we were stunned and happy! We had beds, but we were still stuck with the canned fruit and stale sandwiches.

Our blog is a couple of days behind, but we’re arriving officially in L.A. on Sunday! We’re having an event from two to four on the corner of Ocean Avenue and Alta Avenue. 551 Ocean Avenue Santa Monica, CA. It should be good fun, and we’re inviting anyone to come out!

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Day 56 – Davenport, CA to Monterey, CA

October 22nd, 2010

Computer Stats:
Miles – 69.34
Avg. Speed – 13.7

Waking up in comfy beds, listening to the Pacific crash into the shore,  in a beautiful house that overlooks the ocean, is probably one of the most pleasant things I’ll ever do, and needless to say, it was very hard for all of us to get up. It took us around 4 hours to get ready, and just after noon we were out the door with hopes of an easy ride to Monterey Bay.

The weather started off gray, foggy, and chilly. It wasn’t until we hit Santa Cruz that the California sunshine poked it’s head out of the clouds and warmed up the air for us.

Santa Cruz was a really captivating place. We could all tell that Santa Cruz was this first time that we felt like we were actually in a “California Town. ” The tall palm trees lined the roads where the colorful and interesting little Spanish inspired houses sat. All the kids were getting out of all their school, and everyone had a skateboard or a fat wheeled bike, and was wearing board shorts. You can easily tell that west coast and east coast styles are completely different.

Once we left Santa Cruz the sky turned gray and cold again.

We took a detour off US 1, that made us weave in and out of strawberry and artichoke fields. I can tell you now, that one of the best smells in the world is a field of fresh strawberries, that’s right next to a salty ocean, lined with giant eucalyptus tree’s. Mmm, so good!!

We finally made our way down to Monterey. It was such a great feeling to get out of the tiresome weather, and into some warm clothes, then followed a warm filling meal. Bedtime is just better when it works out that way.

With only three days left on our trip, the end is in sight for us all. It won’t be long before we’re back to day to day life, and instead of worrying about sore legs or media coverage, we’re going to be worrying about school and work… I don’t know which sounds worse! So anyway, we may not make our goal of $40,000 (maybe it was too ambitious in a depleted economy), but every dollar that we raise will help Darkness to Light help keep kids safe from sexual abuse. So Join the Ride to L.A!


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