On May 18 2007 we packed the kids onto a plane to fly 12000ks from Rockhampton to Los Angeles.
We were embarking on an epic 3 month trip, a bicycle tour that would take us 7,500ks from LA to New York.
Planning to spend two days in LA collecting all of the gear that we had ordered and other provisions, we headed straight to REI Santa Monica to get a start on it. REI was incredible, the selection of stuff and awesome customer assistance had our bikes fitted and panniers full with everything we needed.
We were so keen to get started that we hadn’t got everything that we needed yet. Like a warmer sleeping bag and most importantly shoes or Steve.
We were able to collect these things along the way as we came across Walmart and other cycling shops.
We were so excited to get going that we left the very next day.
When freedom and flexibilty fail
Having no expectations of our fitness or motivation, we had not booked accommodation or any part of the trip. Giving us the flexibility and freedom to ride within our comfort zones.
This approach was a double edged sword. One night that stands out more than others was one of our first. Upland CA. It was becoming late afternoon, there was a hill ahead, and not knowing what lay beyond that we decided to pull into a very seedy looking motel. I cannot give true justice to the situation but picture the owners looking like Crabman from My Name Is Earl and his white, plump wife with few teeth and rusty coloured hair. They were friendly and welcoming. The room however was not. Two beds if you can call them that. One was only a mattress with no base. The other was a base with no mattress. Both different sizes so they didn’t make a complete bed. That combined with the bugs filth and constant hooning of vehicles screeching around the car park all night, did not make for a peaceful stay.
We left very early the next morning. Tired and freaked out. Glad we were not murdered during the night.
Our hearts sank as we got over that hill, not long after we commenced riding. The first sight we saw was a clean, solid, new looking Holiday Inn.
The long road to Las Vegas
The ride to Las Vegas was long and hard. Although we knew it was desert, we were not expecting so much heat, dryness and lack of shade. But we did get to see some great iconic sites.
Just when we thought we were crazy and adventurous we had a stop at the McDonald’s at Cajon Junction CA and ran into a bunch of people hiking. It was disgustingly hot and we could not believe the walk these people were on. This was our first introduction to the Pacific Crest Trail long distance hike from Campo on the Mexican, Californian border to the Northern terminus Washington, Canadian border
One of Steve’s most vivid memories is the variety of road conditions. Some good some bad. This day the road was long flat… and lumpy. So much so that it was painful to ride on. We were glad when it ended.
We were amazed at the size of the cars. It seemed like the bigger the better. There were very few ordinary or compact style cars.
When stopping at a gas station for some cokes we got to see just how big these vehicles were.
We got to witness a redneck in his natural environment
269 miles later we reached our first major mile stone.
The 10 mile down hill into Nevada. While Randell and Jo enjoyed it, Steve and Isaac went through a set of brake pads.
ONE STATE DOWN!