Tue April 6, 2011
Woke up this morning after a night on the town in San Fran with Bones, Jenny, and Alex. Brady greeted us with beers and a rooftop view overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. We watched the sun set over San Francisco Bay while drinking on the roof and then went to a bar to catch the NCAA National Championship game. I’m so glad Butler lost.
Anyway, this morning we got out of San Fran around 11:00am after stopping at REI. We were trying to get to ‘the five’ to head south. Instead we got lost and ended up on a southbound freeway for San Jose. We followed that for a while until the Hwy 101 exit came up. Just like in southern Oregon, we bolted for 101 again. This time the highway was much more of a freeway and we logged over 350 miles of it barreling towards L.A.. This was by far our longest day and I am definitely feeling it: sunburn, sore back, and a tired neck. Earplugs have been a lifesaver. So have the communication headsets we bought have been lifesavers; they have a 1000 yard range and play music off my iPod.
We got here to L.A. around 10:00pm. Too much night riding for me but we had a good reason to get here. Our new teammate Charlie invited us here to Glendale to meet up for a night on our way down. Charlie is Australian and rides an awesome Yamaha Tenere. He will be riding as far south as Argentina with us and we are glad to have the company. Alex and I are at a Rodeway Inn tonight in Glendale, CA. Charlie is with a family friend a couple blocks away.
Tomorrow we all meet up and go over our possessions and hopefully shed some weight. After we streamline our packing, we will all ride to San Diego to post up with Chad Jerde for a night. I will be swinging by the post office in San Diego because my parents had to mail me my bike’s registration ahead of time. So far that is the only thing I forgot at home. After Chad’s we are hopping into Mexico via the Mexicali crossing and off to Ensenada. In Ensenada, we will meet our fourth teammate Sarah and take it from there. Everybody’s got one thing on their minds: south.
Four days in this trip is just beginning to unfold. I already feel that sense of excitement I experienced while living in Hood River. We have met only good people so far. Many are interested in where we’re from. When we explain we’re going to Argentina they end up hanging around for ten more minutes asking questions.
Our bikes are kicking ass. I had one flat in Phillipville, CA, but that has been our single issue. 42 mpg at freeway speeds has us excited for our mileage potential on the slower Mexican roads. I have definitely become a better rider already although today I did put down my bike during an awkward turn in a parking garage. Nothing was hurt but it was a lesson learned never to lose focus.
Now I’m too exhausted and burnt from today’s riding to continue. I miss everyone at home, especially my family, but I’m having the time of my life. Everybody wish us a hassle-free border crossing on Thursday and as little diarrhea as possible Friday!