Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Newport to Florence - 46 miles

Our last day of riding....311 miles total for this trip!
This day of riding was a lot more slower-paced and jollier knowing that we were finishing.

Until next time,
Justin and Jennifer

Neskowin to Newport - 42 miles

A lot easier day today and fewer miles!
We really enjoyed Newport last time so we have a rest day here tomorrow and a yurt- this makes it easier to leave in the morning without having to set up and tear down camp.

We got to tour the Rogue Brewery which was very interesting to see all that goes into beer making.

Also, the laundry has been cleaned!!!!!

Nehalem Bay to Neskowin - 66 miles

Lots of miles and climbing today!
We started the day off in the rain for about 2 hours.
We then hit the sunshine and beautiful scenery.
Our night ended in a wonderful Air BnB for cyclists!

Astoria to Nehalem Bay SP - 42 miles

Finally it’s sunny!!!!!
We had a crazy tunnel to pass through, which was tough.
 But the cliff and ocean views were Amazing!!!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Rainier to Astoria, OR - 50 miles

Today was up and down with 2200’ of climbing and lots of rain.
We ate some burgers and then decided for a motel room since there is a storm all night tonight.
Locals say this is not normal weather lol!
Hopefully it is sunny tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Portland to Rainier, OR - 52 miles

Today we left beautiful downtown Portland for a pretty quick 52 miles along the Columbia River.
We arrived at our campsite early, set up, ate, an then relaxed in the tent for most of the afternoon.
We will be on the coast tomorrow!!!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Getting Ready!!!!

We will be going on an 8 day tour from Portland to Eugene, Oregon going down the coast.
We will keep you updated...

Monday, July 9, 2018

Climb to Kaiser 2018

C2K- 155 miles and 15,000 feet of Climbing

A 9 year Dream Come True! 

I was dating Jennifer in 2009 and training for my first ever Climb to Kaiser. I had done the shorter version of this ride, the Tollhouse Century, the year before just to prepare and see what it was like. Two weeks before race day, I got sick and was in bed for 5 days straight. All that to say, I lost a lot of training and was in no shape to ride the C2K.

Every year after that, there was always something that got in the way. Whether it was school, or being on my actual wedding day (2011), or just laziness and a lack of training, I was unable to do it until now. This was going to be my year. I said no to teaching summer school, I was riding a lot, and my wife got in my ear so much about not worrying about "training enough" and just to go do it!

I did everything right the day before race day. It's befitting that my dog Mandy woke us up every couple of hours because she wanted to go outside. I woke up on time and left he house just to make it to the finish line 2 minutes before the start. I told myself I meant to do that so I had the least amount of time to sit around and be nervous. I was in such a hurry that I forgot my water bottles in the car.

20 seconds into the ride, I looked down and did not see my bottles and immediately raced back to the car and got back on the road. I am just thankful I looked down at 20 seconds rather than at 20 minutes. Even so, I was riding by myself the first part of the route as I like to go slow and warm up my legs. The last thing I wanted to do was go too fast too soon and tire out my legs-maybe it was a good thing I did not go with the group and try and "keep up."

The first climb, Wildcat, came and went pretty much all by myself. I stopped to fill up my water bottles and a little nervous to get going as I was 3rd from last at this point. Was I going too slow?

A little further along, I saw a few familiar faces and chatted a bit with them. The next climb was Tollhouse, where I started seeing more riders and stayed with Bill for a while. We were riding about the same pace and decided to go together. Near the top I saw John Torres, a family friend who ran next to me until I stopped at the rest area. We chatted a bit, I drank a V8, and then was on my way. 

The next section was the one I was most worried about- the Shaver 6. These 6 miles to Shaver Lake has a very little shoulder and is very busy with cars and trailers. To my surprise, there were no close calls and the climbing went by pretty quickly. I got to the Shaver rest stop and was able to refuel and get a quick break. The "Killer Bees" at this stop were AWESOME and very helpful and encouraging.  

I got back on my bike and started for the infamous "Big Creek" Climb. I had ridden this section only 5 days before, but not with all the climbing in my legs that I had already done that day. All that to say, I rode much slower than anticipated and took more breaks than I have before. Usually I don't have to stop and rest, but if I wanted to last all day, I knew I needed to. The heat was definitely noticeable, but nothing that was different from my training rides. I made it a point to ride in the afternoons on hot days to get my body accustomed to the heat. 

I rode slowly into the Huntington Lake rest stop tired, legs very heavy, and my mind wondering if I should keep going. I knew I wanted to accomplish this, but I also knew I had never ridden this far before, climbed this much before, and need to be cautious and listen to my body. My stomach was hurting for the last hour or so and I had not eaten as much as I needed. Even at this rest stop, it was hard to put down a much needed sandwich and some electrolytes. The lady in charge of the rest stop was my life saver; after telling her how tired I was and thinking of not going to the top, she made me take some sport leg pills for cramping, packed my pockets with electrolytes, and said "You are too close to not finish." It was that sentence that kicked my butt and mind into gear to pedal on. She had the comfort and encouragement of a mother-she was truly a godsend!   

I left Huntington, turned left on Kaiser Pass Road, and started climbing. By now I had to throw out my initial time goals and just spin. I had wanted to be at the top in 8 hours, but I was already at 8.5 hours and still 7 miles away. I put the time out of my mind and just wanted to get to the top. My stomach was still hurting and I now officially had to poop so bad! I had signal in one spot and decided to call Jennifer to let her know how it was going. Hands down, she was my biggest fan and encouragement throughout this journey. She text me prayers throughout the day and again got in my ear about staying positive and continuing on. 

I got to the one lane road which meant only one thing: 2 more miles, steep miles, but only 2 of them! I saw a lot of riders descending which was encouraging knowing that I was close to a lot of riders. I heard the music, turned the corner, saw the flags, and had a huge smile on my face. I was at the top. My eyes were getting watery as I knew this was the peak of a 9 year dream. I still had 70+ miles to ride, but the majority of the climbing was over. 

I was able to eat a lot of food, drink a Coke, and felt a lot better after my time at this rest stop. I decided to head back now. I descended down to Highway 168, took 2 more sport leg pills as I had one more extended climb to Tamarack Ridge, and got back into the saddle.

My legs were feeling pretty good and I rode to the Shaver Lake rest stop where I was able to meet up with a few other riders for the next descent. After eating and feeling a lot better than I had at Huntington Lake, I took off with this group for the next 30+ miles of downhill. I eventually fell off the back of this group, but made it to the hot Millerton Lake rest stop.

At this point, I decided to look at my back tire to see how it was holding up and I found a shred in the rubber with very little tread on it. I saw this a few days before the race and thought about getting a new one, but eventually convinced myself that it was okay. Come to find out, it was almost ready to pop. I was still ready to keep riding on it, but my hero Steve at the aid station pretty much told me he was going to change it for me and just needed my permission. I conceded, took of the wheel, and handed it to him. He gave me a tire, a tube, and fixed it while I ate some food. He was another godsend and who knows what would have happened if I did not take his advice.

I said thank you, quickly got back on my bike, and speedily down the hill. I knew I needed to go quick as it was getting dark, I only had my prescription sunglasses and could not wear those in the dark, and my rear light was going to run out of battery soon. I was surprised at how strong my legs felt and was able to ride in at 18-20 mph. I had to take off my sunglasses with about 5 miles left, but my front light was bright enough that lit up the entire road which helped my vision. My back light eventually went out with 2 miles to go, but again, my front light was so bright that I was definitely visible.

I was one left turn and one right turn away from the finish line and I saw my wife waiting for me and my parents cheering me in: a glorious and wonderful sight! I was so thankful they were there to see me finish and congratulate me! I looked down the time said 15 hours, 54 minutes. My initial goal was 12 hours, but I told myself that I would be okay with 14 hours. After realizing that 14 hours was not going to happen, I then told myself 16 hours would be okay, but really just wanted to finish at that point.

I put my bike on the rack, sate with my family, and ate a meal and drank a coke to finish off the day's food. I was very thankful for all the volunteers who helped me with my bike, with food, with cheers, and with smiles.

I owe a very special thank you to my wife Jennifer, for being my biggest cheerleader. Something she said to me the day before replayed in my mind quite a bit throughout it all: "If you don't ride all 155 miles and cross that finish line, I'm going to punch you!" Although she was joking and is not abusive whatsoever, I knew what she meant. She really wanted me to do this, to finish, to press on, to persist, and to accomplish something that was difficult. I am truly so grateful for my partner, my love, my best friend.

From this experience, I learned and was reminded that when life is easy, I don't rely on God because I feel as if I don't need him. When life is difficult, I normally give up so I don't have to do the hard work and thus don't need to rely on God. I am hoping that this experience allows me to trust in God through every moment, whether it is easy or hard.

Mini Summer Tour-Half Moon Bay to Monterey, CA

On our Way!
Half Moon Bay!
Here is the lighthouse and hostel along Highway 1 near Santa Cruz. It was very windy, but beautiful!

Mark, from Sacramento, whom we met along the way and shared some good stories together. A very nice man with a lot of cycling experience. Great meeting you Mark!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Day 20: Sam Taylor to Golden Gate Bridge- 27 miles

We made it!!! Today we had a nice, smooth ride into San Francisco from the Sausalito area and it was gorgeous. Lots of cool air, pretty hills, and a layer of fog covering most of the Golden Gate Bridge. We rode across it and then ate at the Wharf with Dan before heading to the BART, parting ways, and boarding the Amtrak train. Now we are resting and ready to be home in our own bed tonight! We will have total mileage up tomorrow!

Day 19: Salt Point to Sam Taylor State Park- 65 miles

What an early start to the day! Our high school summer camp friends woke up at 5 am and were not necessarily the quietest morning group. Jennifer had to go ask them to keep it down after a while, which they soon did. Our morning was chilly, but beautiful with scenes of wild deer, cows, wonderful architecture, and breathtaking cliffs below to gorgeous blue seas.The road had lots of traffic, but everything was smooth sailing for us. We got into camp and shared stories with some friends before quickly tucking in for the night after a few long days on the road.

Below are our friends from the last few days who we have kept up with, shared campsites with, and reminisced about stories of the road's journey after each grueling day of tour. From left to right: Dan the Man (from South Lake Tahoe), Jen, Justin, Brian (from Boston/father of Ian/USA Olympic Triathlon Competitor), Ian (teacher in Vermont/son of Brian).

Day 18: Russian Gulch to Salt Point Stae Park- 70 miles

Our biggest day of mileage!!! We clocked over 10 hours in the saddle today, but we made it! We experienced the steepest grade on the pacific coast today near Elk, CA and also had a nice tailwind that seemed to push us along at times. Our campsite tonight has a summer camp group of 20 high schoolers camping near us, so it is a little "talkative" to say the least. But I think we will be able to sleep through anything at this point in the day!

We also experienced our first flat tire...ever on a tour. It was bound to happen sometime. It has been over 3,500 miles and was inevitable. But we got it fixed quickly and hit the road again.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Day 17: Standish Hickey to Russian Gulch State Park- 52 miles

Lots of climbing today and tons of wind along the coast, but temperatures were WAY better than yesterday! We had to climb out of the valley we were in, reaching the highest point on the Pacific Coastline at 2000 feet elevation. We were able to stop and do laundry, eat, and have enough time to catch the sunset at th beautiful cove by our campground. Tired, and ready for bed!

Below is a picture of our friend Dan the Man. We met him back in Oregon and have been about the same place as him each day for the past week. We've enjoyed seeing him day after day, even if he does sleep in, leave hours after us, and beats us to the destination by a long shot. He's a cool guy and we hope the best for him in his travels!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Day 16: Myers Flat to Standish Hickey Park- 40 miles

It was a hot one today! We finished the Avenue of the Giants for the first part of the day and then were out on highway 101 with no shade for the majority of the afternoon. As we went inland, temperatures soared and so did our anger at the sun!!! But we made it and will be back at the coast tomorrow. Can't wait!!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Day 15: Eureka to Myers Flat, CA- 58 miles

Another big day of miles and a beautiful one! We spent 39 miles on the busy 101 freeway and eventually got to the Avenue of the Giants where we spent the remainder of the day. The Redwoods were glorious, the road quiet, and the shade pleasant. We were able to see the Immortal Tree which has withstood fire, axe, and flood. We also walked through the eternal tree house, a hollowed out massive Redwood below ground that we could walk in (about the size of a small bedroom). Temperatures began to rise and will tomorrow as we parallel the Eel River away from the coast. But we will hit Highway 1 soon and be  back at the ocean with all its breeze and cool temperatures we enjoy.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Day 14: Klamath to Eureka, CA- 60 miles

Not many pictures from today, but the weather was GORGEOUS!!! Finally, not a rain cloud in sight! We had a really nice tail wind that seemed to really push us along at times. We were able to get into town, have a good burger, and now are relaxing. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Day 13: Rest Day- 0 miles

After 9 straight ride days, we have our one and only rest day. Staying at a hotel means drying out the tent and wet gear, doing laundry, sleeping in, and watching lots of TV! Back at it again tomorrow for a big day that hopefully our bodies are ready for. Crossing our fingers for no more rain!

Here is a late picture of the Oregon border. Since we did not see one when we passed into the state from Washington, Jen had to cross the street at the California border to take a picture and make it official!

Day 12: Harris Beach to Klamath, CA- 50 miles

We have finally arrived in California! Today we had lots of climbing over the Crescent City "hills" as they are called here. We hit rain pretty much all morning which turned to overcast and cloudy the rest of the day. We are now in the Redwoods section of the coast with tall trees and lots of shade. It is beautiful here as we stay near the beach and Klamath River. Now for a hotel and rest day of doing nothing!!! Can't wait!

Now finally for som downhill action!!!
Only about 325 more miles now until we reach San Fran!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Day 11: Port Orford to Harris Beach- 55 miles

Last day in Oregon!!! :( We woke up early to fog, but it burned off pretty quickly. Eating an early breakfast gave us a good start to the day. Along the way, Jennifer made a new friend with a life size T-Rex. We had some great cliff views, endless coast and beaches, and quite a bit of climbing. It is now sprinkling outside and light rain is in the forecast all night and into the morning hours. It's looking like it will be another rainy day start tomorrow but should end in the afternoon with sunny days ahead! We a flooding forward to one more day of riding not tomorrow until we take our only rest day of the trip. After that, we will only have a total of 7 more ride days left. Wow, the days and miles really fly by. We now total 380 miles and have 416 left...bring it on!!!
A beautiful bridge we crossed today in Gold Coast, Jen and her Dino friend, and below is a backdrop near our campsite for the night.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Day 10: Sunset Bay to Port Orford, OR- 53 miles

It rained ALL night, so we got an EARLY start at 6:30 am which helped us tremendously! It rained practically all day and was pretty foggy at times. We decided to dry off by getting a motel room which gave us a chance to do laundry. Pictures were few and far between, but we did get a chance to squeeze in a pretty glimpse of Elkhorn River. Hopefully when we wake up tomorrow morning we will be able to see the bay, which is right outside our window, currently being hidden by all t he fog, clouds, and rain.

Day 9: Honeyman to Sunset Bay State Park- 55 miles

Today we got a later start than hoped for. And for the first time we got RAIN- lots of rain! We met up with quite a few cyclists as we were waiting for a bridge to turn sideways (road crews were just doing some tests). Meanwhile, we also met Santa Clause on a motorcycle who almost got into a fight with an old lady in a car right before laying his motorcycle down. What a wild afternoon of events! We got rain all night long and were confined to our tent. But we got a lot of rest!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Day 8: Newport to Honeyman State Park- 52 miles

Today was a great day! We got up early and hit the road by 7:30 am which gave us a nice strong start. We quickly met Kim and Michelle, a couple from South Korea who quit their jobs, sold their house, and are now traveling the world by bicycle. They are an adventurous and daring couple, and we were thankful to have spent a few moments with them. We hope the very best for their next 2 years as they still have 5 more continents to discover. Our campsite tonight has massive sand dunes where kids are found playing, rolling around, and surfing down hills with special sand boards. Looks like fun! We also met a new friend named Bill who seems to be a massive slug of some sort. Kinda freaked us out at first. There are 10 total cyclists camped here tonight and all are getting ready to turn in for the night. Cheers!