Time flies when you are having a good time! We are currently on day 70, and have only 5 days left on the trip, which is an absolutely insane idea. It’s crazy to think we started this journey on June 6th, out of Camden, Maine. Way on the other side of the states, and now we are almost done with our ride, in the way opposite corner of the U.S
I can honestly say this trip so far has exceeded my expectations and more. This past week has been a funky week to say the least. We’ve experienced what it feels like to be “homeless” along with living amongst celebrities. Yesterday, Sunday, was a monumental day for me. Our goal has been to make it down to San Diego from Seattle and we are so close. Riding down the pacific coast highway we arrived at the Malibu pier, and it hit me that we have almost made it. Going to college in San Diego, I became accustom to the Southern California lifestyle, and while walking on that pier, I felt like I was back in my old stomping grounds. The sun shining, surfers in every direction and every other car was a convertible. It was a sense of familiarity and comfort. We are almost there.
George and Pat cooked us an awesome breakfast. Pat being a nutritionist and a chef, she wurled up some amazing carrot cake waffles, that were out of this world! They didn’t let us leave without a full stomach.
After leaving pat and George’s place, we headed out and checked out this rad van restoration shop called Westies. There we saw many camper vans, old and new. Since Joe and I both are fascinated by van life, we thought this was the coolest place.
Inspired and full, we had a great ride to San Luis Obispo. One of our favorite things to do in these small towns is check out the local coffee joints. And without a doubt, the one we went to in SLO was far better than anyone I’ve been to on this trip. The place was called Scout, a popular place, it looked like. The coffee was great, atmosphere was great, people were great, it was all great!
After stopping at trader joes, we left and departed for the central coast. We hit Pismo Beach and Grover beach along with many other funky towns.
As we continued, it started to get more and more rural. We came across strawberry fields, lettuce fields and much more. Around 5 we came to this little town called Guadeloupe. The Latino community was very strong in this town. We tried asking if we could crash at the boys and girls club but had no luck. Joe and I realized that trying to find to a place to sleep in this town was going to be extremely hard and most likely not too safe. After looking around the neighborhoods for a little, we found this one house tucked away in the corner right next to a strawberry field.
I went up to the door, and this little old lady answered named Maria. I started doing my typical shpeel and she said she spoke very little english. She understood a little and once she saw our bikes, without any hesitation she said yes. She even invited us to her backyard to camp, instead of sleeping in her front yard. Joe and I ended the night by walking to the local store and grabbing some much needed candy bars.
Guadeloupe to Lompoc:
We woke up early and well rested. After saying bye to Maria, we went to this small, local breakfast joint where we has some cheap authentic breakfast burritos. Joe loved it because it allowed him to practice his Spanish.
We headed out and continued riding through numerous fruit and vegetable fields. We came to a little town called Lompoc, it was a cool town with extremely nice people. Because that town was only 35 miles from Guadeloupe we figured we would ride another 55 to Santa Barbara that day. I remembered my friend Jamie from SDSU told me she lived near Santa Barbara so i figured id shoot her a text to see if she was in town. Coincidently she was actually from Lompoc. She unfortunately was not in town, but I asked if Joe and could crash on her parents lawn for that night.
She called her mom, and she said no problem. So we headed over to the house around 2:00. The house was beautiful with a big green lawn that was perfect for us. We spent the afternoon throwing the frisbee around waiting for her parents to get home. While waiting, we chatted with Josh, Jamie’s brother who is a sophomore at SDSU. He is looking to rush, so I talked about the incredible experience i had as a member of the greek system, noting that it was the best decision I made in college.
Once Mrs. Miller got home, she invited us in for dinner which we could not of been more thankful for. We had a huge, beautiful dinner with Josh, Mrs. Miller and Mr. Miller. Later that evening, Josh invited some friends over and we sat around playing board games all night. We are so thankful that the Miller’s took us in on such short notice and created such an incredible night for us.
Lompoc to Santa Barbara:
After the Miller’s spoiling us again with a huge breakfast, we departed Lompoc and headed towards SB. The ride was beautiful, we rode the entire time along massive mountains and the coast.
That evening we were staying with a man named Michael. He was retired from the military and now lives in a big house near the UCSB campus, renting out rooms to college students.
After chatting with Michael for a while, we realized some of the people we were riding with before had stayed at his place a couple nights before us, which was really awesome and neat to hear.
Joe and I wanted to go to Freebirds that evening, which was located in near UCSB. It was a little to far to walk, so we asked one of the tenants if he could drive us. He was man from Saudi Arabia, who was hear in the states to study English. It was fascinating learning what he thought of the California culture.
We decided to spend a day in Santa Barbara so we headed into town. We started off by grabbing a cup of coffee at this gnarly shop by Handle Bar coffee. There, we were able to people watch and get a little work done.
We then paroozed around town, checking out the pier and harbor.We even ran into Dwight Howard on the streets.
Santa Barbara to Ventura:
Before leaving town we stopped at a denny’s to grab a quick and fulfilling meal. While there, the manager came up and started chatting with us about our trip. He thought it was so cool what were doing and ended up giving us a discount on our meal.
As we were riding out of SB, Kevin Hart ran past us. Joe and I were shocked, it was pretty cool to see him.
We arrived in Ventura early afternoon that Friday. We stopped at the patagonia Headquarters, and ran into another cyclist by the name of Zayne. Zayne was from Australia, doing about the same route we are doing.
We said bye to Zayne and went to our warmshowers host that evening, Todds place. Todd wasn’t a typical host, instead of having people stay at his house he allowed people to crash on the patio of his coffee shop which we knew from the beginning was going to be an interesting experience.
Todd was great guy. He has owned a couple restaurants in his life, so we asked him a ton of questions pertaining to that. That day we rode around Ventura checking out the scene.
Todd’s coffee shop was located right off the 101 on the corner of a very busy street. Also that evening there was a major concert going on right down the street, so people were walking the streets all night. There also were many homeless people around, who would peek over the fence. Lets just say Joe and I didn’t get the best sleep that night but we were thankful for Todds hospitality.
We left the Coffee Shop super early because we just wanted to get on the road. We road over to Whole Foods to grab some breakfast and sort of re-group from the night before. We got back on the road and headed towards Malibu. Along the way we came across a check-point for bikes. Curious as to what it was for, we stopped and asked. It was the LATri group, a group of people who train for Triathlons. Dave,we was at the check-point, said they were having a BBQ at Zuma beach, so we rode there and met with a ton of the members. It was truly inspiring seeing people in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s being at the peak of their athletic ability.
We left the BBQ around 3 and still in need of a place to sleep. We realized after scoring out a few neighborhoods that it is going to be extremely tough to find a house in Malibu because all of them have gates. But as we were going down one side street, I saw a small little house without a gate, the only one on the block. I figured why not and go up and give it a shot. A cute, 70 year old women named Mary Ellen answered the door with a look of confusion. I explained the situation and at first I could tell she was hesitant but after speaking with her for a couple minutes she was all about it.
She took us to her backyard where she had beautiful green grass and an incredible view of the ocean.
Mary Ellen is one of the most incredible women we have ever met. She immediately offered us a shower and a drink. After sitting on her patio for a couple hours just chatting we quickly learned a lot about one another. Her family was one of the first families to live in Malibu, coming there in 1949.
She later took us on a walk through the neighborhood and was pointing out celebrity homes like Bob Dylan, Mathew McConaughey and Charlie Sheen. She even took us down to a private beach that only residents have access to called Little Dune.
Joe and I could not believe how lucky we got so I thought it would be a nice jesture to make her dinner. So cooked up a mean chicken curry. We chatted all night.
Malibu to UCLA:
Even though it’s happened to us once before, Joe and I seem to always forget to ask the house owner if they could turn off the sprinkler, and we were woken up that night by might I say some powerful sprinklers. We quickly got up and set our sleeping bags and pads out and waited for the sprinklers to turn off.
We woke up and Mary Ellen invited us in for a cup of tea and she gave us some advice for heading into L.A. Mary Ellen truly felt like a grandma to us. She made sure we were safe and well nourished. We couldn’t be more thankful for her and deciding to simply knock on her door.
We grabbed breakfast and Paradise Cove Cafe and then made our way into LA. Before heading up to UCLA we threw the frisbee around on the beach and enjoyed the water.
Once we got to UCLA we headed to our friends Casey’s place. That evening we headed out to a great restaurant called Gracias Madres, with my roommates from SDSU. The restaurant was this hip vegan spot, but to be honest You couldn’t even tell the food was vegan, it was delicious. It was awesome seeing them!
Crazy to think we now only have 4 days left of our ride and we are still short of how much money we want to raise for outdoor outreach so please donate if you are able to. Anything helps and it is going to an incredible cause. See ya soon San Diego!