Friday, October 26, 2007

The End

So after more than 5000 miles, half a million calories plus, two bikes, many many friends(new and old), rain, wind, ice, and so much more i decided to rent a car in Santa Cruz Ca. I was 400 miles short of my final destination, and i wanted to be there by the weekend. After a few days of hard riding i realized that i needed to continue that pace for several more days. At this point i was no longer taking time to see or enjoy myself, it was beginning to be a chore. I think that by driving the last bit i will be able finish my trip with the same joy that i started it on, rather than just riding exhausted for 4 days. I feel good with my accomplishment and am a different person for it. Yes I'm taking the tact that renting the car is a positive and not quiting. For when i arrived in Anacortes i accomplished everything i set out to. Now I'm driving to la. I'm going to hang out with some people that i met at my brother's wedding, Matt and Maurine. I might possibly get up to bishop for a couple of days to climb with Eric and Matt. I hope to see Sam Maloof's house and possibly the Nixon Library, but as for my Bike trip it has come to an end with nothing but pleasant memories even the moments of misery.

Close call

As i was rolling into camp the park ranger said that the hiker/biker campsite had a tree down in it, though there should still be space. What she omited, that i came to find out as i arrived at the site was that the tree fell last night and crushed a cyclists bicycle. This Sounds like pretty bad luck until you realize that the guy was sleeping within 3 feet of the bicycle when it was crushed by the tree. The gentleman was still in the campsite when i got there and related the story to me. The most amazing thing was that he didn't know that the tree had fallen until some other people came by and said “I guess it wasn't his time.” This sounds amazing but he said he woke to a loud noise, sat for a second and then didn't hear anything else so he went back to sleep. By the time i talked to him he was still shaken and was unsure as to what he should think of the whole experience. It definitely made that days of rain seem like less of an ordeal, i guess all you need is perspective to appreciate what you have.

the Sun

So the sun has come out again. After 6 days of pouring rain the sun has come again. Miserable is the best way to describe it, when you don't stop to eat all day because when you get off the bicycle for more than 10 minutes you get extremely cold. My sleeping bag stayed mostly dry, but you only get into it when you have finished for the day. I was never in real danger and there were motels about. I broke down and got a motel room on the six day, since i got into town after the laundromat was closed and i had neither socks, fleece, nor down jacket that didn't need ringing out. I have to say that i can't decide which i like least rain or wind. Fort Bragg, CA is the home of the College of the Redwoods School of Fine Furniture. Which was started by the eminent furniture maker James Krenov. I probably wouldn't have ridden in the rain on the last day but i wanted the opportunity to see the schools facility and talk with the students and professors. I rode all day pedaling hard in the worst rain and arrived an hour before school let out. The hard work paid off, since i not only got all of the information that i was looking for, it was their weekly pot luck get together. Which meant that i got fed(ribs, potato salad, and other good stuff). The following day was sunny and the forecast calls for sun for the next week. I rode into Mendocino were the school was having a 25 year anniversary show at the Highlight Gallery. This was quite fascinating and definitely inspired me to come home and refine my own skills. I broke another rear bike rack in Mendocino. Luckily there was a bike shop less than ½ a mile for were i was. Which i found via my own personal onstar System AKA Michael Whiddon(my older brother). He has been the source of much information along the way. I got some new brake pads and the rack and got everything set up. Oh and the sun is still out.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Northern California

So after a long hiatus in Portland i got back on the road. I took a bus to Grants Pass Or which cut off about 200 miles. The weather looked better down the coast since in Oregon it was 40 mph winds gusting to 60 mph and rain. Still of the next ten days the lowest chance of rain is 40%. It does look better in San Francisco. I was worried that my legs would complain excessively because of the break but after 90 miles the first day they felt fine. The last day was good weather though so don't think it's all bad.

Monday, October 1, 2007


24 hrs and 175 miles later i arrived in Portland were Kim and Bill met me in the downtown area. They threw out several ideas as to what to do so i picked the Pittock mansion. It had the preface of “ it's a bit up hill”. Turns out it is the highest point in Portland and has an amazing view of the City. After we arrived they apologized for taking me up such a hill after having ridden all day. Despite being tired i was really glad i saw it and didn't see it as an imposition. We then rode back to Kim's where i got a shower and we went out. While in Portland we traveled to Smith Rock which is a few hours away but is one of the best sport climbing areas around. It was warm during the day, in the 70's and quite cold at night, below freezing. I had a great time climbing and just chilling out. I was going to stay there and wait to meet up with Matt and Eric who were going to be there in a couple of days, but then i decided that i would just come back to Portland and hang there for a little while longer. I have done so much and had such a good time in Portland that it is hard to relate here. I've been welcomed by everyone and made to feel at home by Kim's roommates, Liz and Elizabeth, and nearly everyone else I've interacted with. I think because the high percentage of transplants, I've been invited by a huge number of people here to move to Portland. Portland is extremely bicycle friendly and because of my current mode of transport it is very appealing, also this city is just full of people with common interests and mentalities.


I arrived in Tacoma a couple of days after leaving Squamish. Tacoma is where Steven Cangelosi lives who is the brother of Jason who many know as the former assistant director of Earth Treks Timonuim. Steven is the Sr. Aquatics Director at the YMCA in Tacoma. He was very hospitable and i felt that his home was mine. It was the first time in a month that i slept inside and it was great. I meet many of his friends, who were all friendly and made me feel a part of the group. I got picked up by Liz Sunday morning and went to the Puyallop Fair, which i had heard of a lot when i lived in Seattle but never made it to. We went to the fair and met Steven, Kenji, and Tea. The YMCA was sponsoring a program who's name i can't remember but it was to encourage walking and eating a little less. So we walked around the fair and eat at the prerequisite foods, funnel cakes and anything else you can imagine that could be fried and some things you couldn't. I also got the opportunity to see Kenji and Tea's house. Kenji paints and his art stems from graffiti. (I'm not much good at describing art, so all I'll say is that i loved it) I left the next day and headed south to Portland.

PS to all who worried about my wasting away to nothing. I've gained about 6 pounds since i left.

My time at Squamish

In total i spent 10 days at Squamish and it was a great time. It was nice to hang out with people i knew and to meet people whom i didn't. The days consisted of climbing, cooking, drinking , and just enjoying one another's company. I met Mark on my first night at Squamish. He had just arrived from Australia, and was just walking around trying find people to climb with. We ended up hang out a good bit and he gave me a ride back to Vancouver when i left because the road to Squamish was the most unsettling road I've ridden on yet. Largely due to Construction for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Also I met this awesome German couple Ben and Karin. They spoke English well, and we (meaning me, Matt, Eric, Ben, and Karin) quickly became friends. I feel a good measure of personal compatibility is how long it takes people to become comfortable enough with each other to make fun of them. My point was just that I had a great time hanging out, despite the fact that i could barely climb anything.