We´ve made it to the Salt Mining town of Guerrero Negro, half way down Baja.
Total Tacos Consumed in Mexico to Date - 106
We're currently in San Felipe, Mexico -- celebrating Gregg's 31st birthday in style with beers under a Palapa on the beach.
Total Tacos Consumed in Mexico to Date (5 days in Mexico total): 56
* Pictures online for this Part of the trip in the Gallery
section of this Web siteSan Francisco, California to San Diego, California
Halloween weekend proved to be a perfect way to kick off our San Francisco rest stop. Gregg was joined by Alexis, who flew down from Seattle for the fun-filled week of good food, endless bottles of wine, and a bird watching class. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we’re actually on a 19,500 mile bike tour when we’re surrounded by all our close friends and family. The fun never stopped until Rob, a fellow University of Oregon grad, showed up early one morning at Brooks' door step with his bike and gear. He peddled with us for 300 miles to Santa Barbara, CA. We wasted no time and put Rob’s skills to the test on his first day riding. From San Francisco, our first stop (through a strong headwind, rain and a shoulder-less section of highway 1 properly named “Devil’s Slide”) was Santa Cruz. Rob passed the Ribbon of Road rider test with ease, showing only a few signs of fatigue, earning his new road name, Rod.
As we headed for the Monterrey Peninsula, the weather gods gifted us nothing but blue skies and warm sun. It turned out to be a consistent daily theme all the way to San Diego. If all our route planning pays off, such weather should follow us for the next ten months, producing our own version of the endless summer. Monterrey and Carmel were as beautiful as always, but most importantly, the two towns act as the gateway to Big Sur and some of California’s finest coastline. Miles of rugged, untouched shores were made even more special when we were joined in Big Sur by our biggest group of friends yet. Not often do we inhabit a campsite with nine people. All was well until our friend Steve Gross left at 6am with Brooks’ woman and the cooler full of beer – waking everyone up in the process.
The last bit of Big Sur provided for ample bird watching and a long stop at Pierdas Blancas to gaze at a beach full of elephant seals. We all agreed that those seals could quite possibly be the most horrid creatures on the planet. However, we had a hard time deciding which one of us shared the most similarities with them. The debate continued well past San Luis Obispo and into Lompoc, CA where we settled into some comfortable stools at the Your Place or Mine Tavern for happy hour. Too excited for our Santa Ynez Valley “Sideways” wine tour, we decided to take advantage of the full moon and made an evening ride to the nearby town of Buellton. After 20 miles of highway in the dark, we found ourselves leaning our bikes against the oak barrels outside The Hitching Post. Three bottles of their finest Pinot later, we figured it might be rude not to blow another week’s worth of our budget on a few $45 filet mignons. The night was properly capped off when Gregg staggered off to the restaurants only unisex restroom. Moments later a woman returned to the bar after an attempted bathroom visit and exclaimed to her friends… “I must have misread the sign on the door. I thought it said ‘vacant’, but apparently it said ‘vagrant’ because there’s a bum in there peeing.” Surprising no-one, it was Gregg in there that forgot to lock the door behind him. Brooks finds great pleasure when, each day, he reminds Gregg that he was mistaken for a homeless person.
A ringing headache and a busy freeway made for a tough short ride to Santa Barbara, but we were overwhelmed with hospitality the second we reached Morgan’s (Brooks’ cousin) house. A couple days off in Santa Barbara was just what the doctor ordered. We got the opportunity to send Rod off in style as he rented a huge Caddy for his luxurious cruise back to the Bay Area. It was that day the Ducks beat the Beavers 56-14 in the Civil War, finishing the season an impressive 10-1 (in case there are any BCS pollers reading this journal). Leaving Santa Barbara, we managed to bypass the bulk of Southern Californian traffic and urban sprawl by connecting a series of lengthy beach boardwalks. The palm trees and endless beaches never got old, but we were a little disappointed that we couldn’t find any meat heads at Muscle Beach that would pose with us in our spandex for the perfect website shot. In Hermosa Beach, we ditched our bikes at our friend Jay’s house for Thanksgiving. Brooks returned to SF for some turkey and family fun at Jon on Jordan’s – a low to no star neighborhood restaurant. Gregg was joined by Alexis where they celebrated the day of the turkey and Alexis’ birthday with friends.
We never could tell if the huge holiday meals and flowing wine gave us the energy to make it to the end of Stage 1 in San Diego or if it made those final miles tougher? Either way, the sun kept getting hotter and the sunsets more spectacular. We had one final night in the comforts of a friends’ home at Mark’s house in Hunington Beach. That was followed up with a frenzied final day in San Diego, where we scrambled to get all our gear organized to head south of the border. Finishing stage 1 of our trip has left us with a huge sense of accomplishment, but with nearly 5,000 miles of pavement under our tires, we’re still dreaming of all that lies ahead.Stage 1 Part 6 Stats:
Miles: 671.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 35,689ft.
Ride Time: 50 hours 29 minutesOverall Expedition Stats:
Miles: 4,871.2 miles
Flat Tires: Brooks 7, Gregg 2Sponsored by:
Co-Motion Cycles, Schwalbe North America, Rudy Project, Outdoor Research, eRoi, ThinkHost, ZUM, Bay Club, Canright Interactive, R Bar, IBEX, Lombardi Sports, Jaunt