latola2011

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Friday, July 22, 2011

San Bernadino, CA to Venice Beach, CA 74 miles

It was an awesome day. Mostly downhill and we just cruised through the burbs. The winds were kind and it was the most enjoyable day of riding in a very long time. Maybe the best of the trip

we got lunch at a cool burger joint. the miles peeled off and it was basically a victory lap. we were very nostalgic all day and spirits were high.

we stopped to buy a marker/poster for our sign and then some champagne to blow all over the beach. we sprinted the last 5 miles and even saw Sami. She said we looked crazy and were blocking the entire lane of traffic. I frantically yelled at everyone to get outta the way while Greg almost got hit by a car 1 block from the beach. Unbelievable. It was a hell of a finish. fitting.

The celebration was great. Sam took a bunch of pics for us and we took it all in. We then got showered up, got a driving tour of LA and the surrounding area, and got Mexican food. We're done.

Love
Jason

29 Palms, CA to San Bernadino, CA 87 miles

It got hot again but not quite as bad as the past couple of days. We had a stiff headwind all day. Brutal

I missed a turn but it ended up that it didn't matter because our original route was a dirt road. We had no choice but to ride illegally on I-10. A cop sniped us about 8 miles in. He was really nice and set us up with a good route off the highway. We hit more wind but cruised on.

We made it to Banning and ate at an ok italian restaurant. Bad service. We then booked a hotel 27 miles away and had a great ride to it. We got into the Motel 6, bought some snacks, and hit the bed to dream about our final day.

Love
Jason

Needles, CA to 29 Palms, CA 136 miles

HOTT HOTT HOTT extra Ts to signify just how hot it was. Definitely the highest temps Ive ever experienced. Over 110 degrees. We started out the day by illegally riding on I-40. No cops caught us though and we ended up getting to 66. At this point I was dying on the side of the road when a strange man who worked at a tire company offered water 10 miles up the road. Awesome. I used what I had liberally and rallied incredibly well. I was a new man and I battled well.

We hung out with an old timer at the tire shop who had seen some things. He built the shop himself 50 years ago. Cool. Then we cruised to Amboy where we got drinks and snacks. Bad service though and no real food.

Then bill lilly and friends pulled over and talked/took pictures with us. Some country folk so to speak...

We climbed and climbed for a long time and finally cruised down the hill only to find out that the hotel was 19 miles further than expected. Tragic. We got in at 330 and crashed hard. Tough day for sure.

Love
Jason

Seligman, AZ to Needles, CA 126+ miles

So we ate breakfast and then I scored my desert gear- an American flag bandana and some sunglasses with flaming skulls down the side. The desert changes people apparently.

It got hot. We rolled on I40 for a quite a while. It was alright. My tires are terrible. I had more flat tire troubles do to a couple of small shards of metal. Don't buy panaracer tires.

We got Panda Garden and continued soldierin down the road. We climbed an extremely rough hill on 66. Steep but manageable and then we cruised for a huge downhill all the way to maybe 5 miles outta Needles. It was awesome. Maybe 12/13 miles of mid grade downhills.

Getting to CA was thrilling

Love
Jason

Grand Canyon to Seligman, AZ 104 miles

Lots of rolling hills today. We woke up reasonably early, stole some cream cheese for our bagels, and rolled out.

Pretty decent day, a bit harder than expected though. We thought we'd be cruising downhills and were quite mistaken. It was hot but not overly exciting. Route 66 was pretty cool.

We got dinner at Jack in the Box. It was ok. Then we finally got our downhills after dinner and we crushed the last 40+ miles to the hotel which is decent and right on the 66. Cool stuff.

Sleepy

Love
Jason

Rest day at the Grand Canyon

Awesome day. After the previous late night's struggles a nice bed felt great. We slept awesomely well.

We awoke lazily and rolled to the market for lunch. Stellar sandwich. We hit up the gift shop and started touristing hard. The Grand Canyon was absolutely amazing and the pictures will turn out stellar. We got great ones that made us look like we were falling off the rim.

This is where we met out pal Robert from Myrtle Beach. He was a great dude and we hung out all afternoon. Good times.

We loafed and watched Bucket List and crashed hard.

Love
Jason

Thursday, July 21, 2011

somewhere past Kayenta, AZ to the Grand Canyon, AZ 138 miles

well this was a long day. We woke up pretty early at our little cliff spot. It was actually beautiful. Due to the fact that AZ doesnt observe daylight savings time we awoke at 4:15 local time. We were on the road by 5:30. We started off hot and really cruised all the way to Tuba City. The miles were peeling off and so were our clothes as the day warmed.

Then the winds started blowing and we started climbing. We slowed down lots :( The last two miles to Cameron, the last significant town before the Grand Canyon, were very challenging. We posted up and I had the best popsicle of my life. Edy's strawberry. Divine. Two french girls posted up next to us. They were passable.

Then we started climbing. And climbing. And then we climbed some more. For probably close to 6 hours and 30 miles or so. Tiring. Greg conquered some demons and I had a suprisingly pleasant attitude. This can be attributed to knowing that it was all hotels the rest of the way.

We finally rolled in at around 1130 making for over 18 hours of riding. Brutal. The hotel room was great and we passed out hard.

Love
Jason

Saturday, July 16, 2011

day 36 Somewhere past Shiprock, NM to 16 miles past Kayenta, AZ 10

Waking up was harsh. Mud everywhere. Cleaning up and getting the bikes functional took quite a while but we got out there.

We got into Arizona which is swell. The miles were easy early and harder as the day went on. Southwestern headwinds are brutal.

Greg got a flat, tough chirp.

Things continued to be alright. Navajo nation was questionable. Lots of litter and mildly hostile natives.

We me team ball and chain, this great couple who love biking. They had a sickk transport van and got married on a bike trip. They were super nice and gave us tubes and coke/muscle milk. Surprise win.

Dinner was subway obviously. Then we rolled down the road and slept at a nice cliff. No rattlesnakes.

Love
Jason

day 35 ???, NM to somewhere past Shiprock, NM 97 miles

Waking up was awesome. The view was so cool and we were in a national forest.

We crushed miles early on before we got a brutal headwind. We ended up in Navajo nation, the natives were a bit hostile and asked us for money. We look wealthy? Questionable

We got dinner and brought it to sonic where they magically ran out of slush when we ordered.

Then we decided we needed to get extra miles in. A storm was a brewing and we made the decision to forge on and head through it. Mistake. We got wrecked and had to drag through the mud into the middle of a roadside field where we set up. The rain was incredible and I have never seen such harsh, intense lightning.

Love
Jason

Friday, July 15, 2011

Day 34 Chama, NM to ???, NM 62 miles

We slept in a little and headed out. The original schedule had us at a short day, but we pushed further obviously. I got another flat but we seemed to have found the problem and things are better. Breakfast was solid.

We kept plugging along and magically made it into the Carson National Forest which was truly beautiful. Definitely worth checking out. One of the coolest places ever.

We slept down a dirt road between some bushes in a valley, it was nice. As soon as we got set a massive thunderstorm hit. These storms are crazy, one of the hardest rains I've ever endured, probably the hardest.

But we slept and didn't get bitten by snakes. Win.

Love
Jason

Day 33 Alamosa, CO to Chama, NM

Apparently today was the day to move cattle the rodeo so we awoke with tons of company.

Then we hit the road. Vicious headwinds. We had lunch in Antonito with a loud, eyebrowless waitress. We also found Madman's blog. Tooooo funny.

We rode hard and darkness was a bit severe. We climbed the La Manga pass which clocked in at 10230 ft. The downhill was dark but amazing.

I saw one of the most incredible things in my life. I came around a corner and a giant elk was in the road. It scampered to the side and climbed a small hill so the moon was perfectly behind it. Unbelievable. I went for my camera but it ran off, a picture for the memory I guess.

We made it to a campground and showered. Win.

Love
Jason

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 32 Walsenberg, CO to Alamosa, CO

Well we woke up and started climbing. We hit a really stiff headwind that was worse than the actual Rockies. There was a 6 to 7 miles climb to the top of La Veta Pass which clocked in at over 9500 ft. Tough stuff but hit it pretty well. The ride to Alamosa was pretty easy. We got to the bikke shop and everyone was super friendly. We fixed bikes and got new tires on.

Then we housed literally about 3 to 4 lbs of Mexican food each. Greg left chain lube as a tip - weird. We tried to camp by a rodeo fairgrounds under the bleachers but intruders showed up so we wound up behind a sand pit instead. Woohoo

Love
Jason

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Day 31 La Junta, CO to Walsenburg, CO 75 miles

Man we woke up great. We had an awesome night's sleep at the hotel, feasted, and grabbed food for the road at safeway.

Then we got on route 10 and that was our dayy. Greg had bike troubles but we worked through them. We basically rode through this desert/prairie all day. We also climbed a lot, walsenburg is about 2000 feet higher than La Junta coming in at 6000 feet. It's nice to be this high without doing any hardcore climbing. The views of the rockies came in about 30 miles outside of walsenburg.

We got dinner at a mediocre mexican place and grabbed snacks/breakfast for tomorrow at a gas station now we're at a state park trying to get out of paying for a site. We'll make up for it someday when we aren't broke college grads/students.

Lots of climbing tomorrow. Can't wait.

Love
Jason

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day 30 Lamar, CO to La Junta, CO 61 miles

Greg woke me up abruptly because a softball team was starting their practice. I also immediately discovered that I blew a tire the night before when I went on an orange juice run. Wild morning indeed and the stares were priceless. We changed the tire, got breakfast at the Loafin Jug (best place ever)

We had a short day so the riding wasn't urgent but we kept a solid pace. Lunch was this awesome cafe in Las Animos. We talked bikes with some guys and had awesome sandwiches. We picked up a big dude in jean shorts with a diesel mustache. His name was James and he rode a few miles with us.

Greg got a flat and rode on it like a boss until it really blew out 2 miles from the hotel. I rode my stuff to the hotel and then went back and rode his gear in. Teamwork makes dreams work.

We got into La Junta and got dinner at Sonic after a pool dip. Our hotel is nice. We earned it with all of the questionable camping we've done lately. Our assault on the rockies begins soon.

Don't be unhappy
Baby don't be sad
Better things are coming
You know there's truth in that

Love
Jason

Day 29 Lakin, KS to Lamar, CO 72 miles

Welp we had a solid wake up in the fairgroundsy area where we slept last night. A woman working there wasn't initially pumped about our surprise presence. Greg encountered the town Sherrif who seemed ok with us. We got a later start but we rolled.

We decided to ride shirtless for a bit to even out our tans. My back is horribly sunburned. Ouch.

We hit mountain time which is just grand. Extra hours are great, but it did get dark earlier.

It was a pretty smooth, uneventful day. The heat was around 103 at its peak. I did find an American flag in the ditch, so Greg and I match. Groundscore. Surprise win.

Colorado is cool. We crossed over around Holly. Its nicer than Kansas obviously. Colorado poaches all the water before it gets to KS, so there's actually some green grass. Go fig

We're now sleeping in centerfield of a high school girls softball field. solid.

Tiiiirrrreeed

Love
Jason

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Day 28 Dodge City, KS to Lakin, KS 81 miles

We woke up. In Dodge City ready to roll. We had a great breakfast at a gas station and the feel was patriotic. The morning was calm but hot and we cranked 15 to 20 miles to an early lunch at Subway in Cimmaron. We also bought bows at Dollar General for the bikes, Greg got a sick flag. Still jealous.

Seeing the remnants of the Santa Fe trail was awesome. So much history, Greg and I.are now full of facts, ask us trivia.

We made it to Garden City by 5 in hopes of celebrating the 4th, but their parade and fireworks were cancelled. Too dry and a lack of parade interest - how unAmerican.

Of course we made it to the one town that is still allowing/having fireworks and they're everywhere. I wish they'd just let a bro sleep.

Tomorrow we begin the march to the Rockies. Mixed emotions. Where are your friends tonight?

Love
Jason

Monday, July 4, 2011

Day 27 Arlington, KS to Dodge City, KS 118 miles

Today was a good day. Exciting.

We woke up slowly and didn't rush to the road. It was time to get back to our old routine. The best, most pleasant suprise came - our first significant, sustained tailwind. It was aweeeeesssssoooommmmeeee.

We were housing miles and decided to pause to read cosmo and suck down a slushy- fun. We basically continued to fly all the way until lunch at Starvin Marvin's bbq. It was excellent, true bbq. Maybe the best lemonade I've ever had. Sadly, the wind shifted to headwinds. Bummer.

Then as usual the tides turned. I swear I almost told greg to build an ark. The heavens rained upon us, pea sized hail pelted us, but the wind shifted! Eventually back to a strong tailwind! Hallelujah. It was great. We yelled primal screams and strange songs but man did we move. Sustained 19 to 20mph. Unheard of.

After more good miles the heavens broke again, this time I thought it was the apocalypse. We saw it coming, but had nowhere to go so we just had to take it. Sheets of rain came flying across the rode so it looked like it was coming from a fire hose. The storm warning said winds of over 60mph, but I know these were stronger. I got stopped dead in my tracks and started getting pushed backwards. The storm warning said quarter sized hail but id say it was more around dime. We just stood our ground as all the cars pulled over. We survived.

And then we continued to crush miles at a great pace! Another storm loomed but we outran it. We had dinner at a great mexican place at our original destination, but we felt so good we decided to take advantage of the wind and crushed another 30 miles or so out to Dodge City. We made it in well before 9.

Then we checked out town. Its an awesome place and greg and I have done enough research on it tto give you a great history lesson. However, we didn't have a place to stay. We ended up sneaking out to a park with a bunch of soccer and baseball fields. We found a baseball field that was tougher to see so we posted up behind the outfield wall. We were protected by a grass mound on the other side, although a runner rolled up on us the next morning. Meh.

Love
Jason

Day 26 Newton, KS to Arlington, KS 62 miles

Today was even warmer. We had easily our most suprising wakeup. A car show was forming around us. There was also a fellow cross country biker named Oliver who slept later than us an awoke completely surrounded. He recommended riding through the night to get cooler temps. More on that later.

The day was excruciatingly hot but we rolled ok. The heat index was over 100 again but we dealt a little better. We planned to ride what we could during the day, and then put up some miles at night. Fortunately a relative of mine named Trenda lives in Hutchinson and took us in on short notice. We got to hang out in AC at peak heat, do laundry, chill with Trenton and Alyssa, and most importantly watch high school musical. Vanessa hudgens is cute.

We put up some lazy miles in the afternoon and ate dinner at a place in Arlington. Solid steak subs. Our waitress was extremelly nice and we had a great time chatting with her. Then we went to buy fireworks and got stopped by some great townie kids. They loved us and even gave us $15 even though we turned them down. We bought firworks.

Then we realized how stupid riding in the night was a mere half mile after we started. We backtracked to arlington and slept on the side of the road in a small unused park. Tough chirp.

Love
Jason

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Day 25 Cottonwood Falls, KS to Newton KS 61 miles

Welp it's warm still. Really warm. It was also incredibly windy and it was in our face just about the entire time. Florence was a highlight. We got awesome burgers at Auntie M's and then crashed another town pool. Solid. Great popsicles too. We kept taking our time and eventually had a solid Taylor Swift/ pretzels break in Peabody, KS. We continued to truck towards Newton and had awesome Mexican food downtown. Then we slept in a random town park. Great day. Everyone shoots fireworks in the streets, it's intense. Sleeping is a sport

Love
Jason

Friday, July 1, 2011

Day 24 Lyndon, KS to Cottonwood Falls, KS 64 miles

We awoke and it was hot. That was the theme of the day - hot getting hotter. It ended up being the single warmest day of my life. What an accomplishment! Survival woo

We rode through some hills and tried to put up miles. We hung around Osage City for a bit and really raised some hell there. Then there was just a huge stretch of nothing. That's rough when it's pushing 110 for the heat index, 103 standard temp. Eventually we got to Emporia and found a gas station and our new pal Terrance. He is a retiree who is just grand. He loves travelling and we shared great stories.

Next we hit up goodwill. Really solid. We caused more trouble, laughed till it hurt, and bought 2 dollar tees. Feasted at subway and then beasted towards the campground. We arrived and found that they had a pool. Filled with middle school girls. No matter, we stormed it and got refreshed. Then we ate Caseys and passed out. Success.

Love
Jason

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