Pacificcoastcycleforacause's Blog

Day 21: Oceano to Goleta/Santa Barbara, CA
October 26, 2009, 1:18 am
Filed under: BLOGS

The lack of wifi and internet access has hindered the blogging process.  Sorry for all of you who have been reading the daily updates.

Today consisted of a big push to the Santa Barbara area from Oceano.  This was the first day that we have had riding together as the large new Cycle for a Cause crew.  Needless to say, this is extremely different than the first 20 days.  We are no longer the 6-7 person cycling group, but the new arrivals make me realize how important this ride is to everyone.  Thanks to all that can be here to participate, and thanks to all of you who are reading.

After the goodbyes to Ayla and her “Super Nanny”, Jen, we started our morning off heading southeast and away from the coast.  This put us inland and pedaling into vast farmland with long, long, loooooong straightaways of road.  It was a nice change of pace, and a nice change of scenery.

The group thinned out to different riding groups due to speed and riding abilities and we were off to the midday meeting point for the support truck.  Might I add, Alex Obrien, you sir are amazing!  Thanks for lugging all of our stinky gear and much needed cycling supplies day after day.  We all can’t thank you enough.

After a longer than needed break, and some “Cycle for a Cause” poster distribution to the local Starbucks in Lompoc , CA, the crew slowly dispersed to our final destination of Goleta/Santa Barbara El Capitan State Park.  This final 40 miles of riding would include our last major hill climbs, which would in turn, be the hottest section of riding we have experienced on the whole trip.  Once again, Alex was there with the support truck to revive us with fluids and supplies, which was beyond necessary!

Route 1 finally intercepted the 101 (the Pacific Coast Highway) and we were back on the Pacific Coast with our much needed ocean views for the last 15 miles to the State Park.

Upon arrival to El Capitan State Park, the crew decided to hit the beach and get “pummeled” as I like to define it by the small swell of waves.  The salt water on the sore body was the perfect ingredient to the end of the day.

Tomorrow will be a long 90-100 mile day to Malibu.

San Diego is in our sights now….


Day 20: Cambria to Oceano, CA
October 23, 2009, 12:24 am
Filed under: BLOGS

How can I express the refreshment felt by all when a 4-year old little bundle of singing and dancing happiness joins a group of tired and stinky road cyclists who have just pedaled 1200 miles down the Pacific Coast?  You really can’t.  So enter Miss Ayla McConkey.

The Sand Princess

The Sand Princess

We are extremely lucky to have onboard Sherry and Ayla McConkey and a great friend of Shane’s, Tal Fletcher.  These guys drove 8 hours from Lake Tahoe to meet up with us to pedal for a a few days for the cause.  The presence of them along for the ride is unexplainable.

Also joining (or should we say, rejoining) the ride is Tom Dolezel and his group of Canadian film school students.  These guys (and girls) drove 3 days straight from Toronto in a RV to meet us and follow all the way down to San Diego.  Pretty amazing.

On to the ride…today was a very mellow 50-55 miles pedaled from Cambria to Oceano.  This ride was by far the easiest we have had all trip and was very much needed.  A light spin to welcome Sherry and Tal into the group and a light spin to help our legs recover.

Once in Oceano we set up camp, filled the Canadian “CruiseCanada” RV to the brim with people, and headed down to the beach for some sunset photos, a quick cold swim, a few adult beverages, and some dancing with Ayla in her “maybe” halloween princess dress.

The night concluded with a huge dinner at the local mexican restaurant and the arrival of Suz Graham, Carston Oliver, and friend to the roster of people on the ride.

Tomorrow is a big push to Santa Barabara (Approx. 90 miles).

Keep on reading, thanks for all the support, and be sure to check out all the photos below.


Day 19: Big Sur to Cambria, CA
October 21, 2009, 10:01 pm
Filed under: BLOGS

What can be said about today?  Sea Lion lined beaches, lap-sitting squirrels, pedaling above the clouds, amazing downhill sections, tail winds, tons of sun, vultures, the endless views of the Pacific…this ride had it all…and Jackie saw Tarantulas!

We the day started out at Big Sur, where we found ourselves climbing up a large 1200-foot climb for breakfast. Great way to start the day…I hope you can feel my sarcasm in that statement. Once past the climb, we rode above the cloud/fog layer lining the Pacific Ocean that was very similar to the day riding from Manchester to Bodega Bay. Unbelievable.

The midway point of our ride, and point where we met our support vehicle and Alex, was at a scenic overlook with the most outgoing and daring little group of squirrels I have ever seen in my life. Look at the photos and see for yourselves.

After that was yet again two large climbs along the coast and then down to the shoreline for about 10 miles before we hit the land of the Sea Lions.  When I say land, I am not exaggerating.  These guys littered about one mile of beach and were quite entertaining with their mannerisms and sounds.  Again, see the photos.  They speak for themselves.

The day concluded in Cambria, CA about 75-80 miles from our departing town of Big Sur.  Tonight more people are meeting up and the pedaling crew will increase the more we head south.

Tomorrow is in the works, so stay tuned for updates, blogs, and photos from the road.  The end is in sight, about 350 miles in sight…


Day 18: Santa Cruz to Big Sur
October 21, 2009, 10:36 am
Filed under: BLOGS

One would think that 10 hours of sleep would be enough for anyone, but I beg to differ.  Waking up this morning was not easy, but after an amazing breakfast and about 6 cups of coffee at a Brazilian restaurant in Santa Cruz (One of Steiner’s “Zones”), I and the crew were fully charged for the sunny day ride in front of us.

We left our hotel and rode along the coast to meet up and say big “Hello” to freeskiing’s super star’s Cody Townsend and Elise.  Great to see you two for the brief time that we did.  You guys rock and we are all coming back to catch some waves right outside your house ASAP!

The weather website we checked the night before was apparently lying about the wind situation for today with its prediction of north/northwest winds, but instead the wind we a terrible cross/headwind all day.  Spectacular actually…

The ride brought us through gorgeous beach Pacific beach roads to huge farm rich land consisting of strawberry field and other fields filled with fruits and vegetables.  The amount of farmland here is way more than I expected.

Navigating through the first half of our ride was a little complicated and we actually decided to ride on the Route 1 Interstate after we noticed that there wasn’t any signs stating was illegal.  Well you guessed it, we got pulled over on our bikes by the CHP and scolded for riding on the freeway, and luckily we weren’t sited.  I have to honestly say, I have never been pulled over on a bicycle before, but I do find it extremely hilarious.

After that interesting little situation, we headed into Seaside to meet Alex and the truck for a quick refueling of water/ClifBars/etc. and regrouping of riders, and then hit the road for the next 30 miles to Big Sur.

This section of the ride was yet again, amazing!  The views were incredible and I will let the images below speak for themselves.  And no, Jesse and Max did not jump the bridge in the images today. The conditions and size of the bridge were not desirable.

Tomorrow we will be climbing…I mean pedaling about 65-75 miles to Cambria, CA.  There we will be meeting up with the crew from Tahoe that we are “EXTREME”ly (you’re welcome Shane) excited about.

Stay tuned for the next blog from when that crew is onboard.


Day 17: San Francisco to Santa Cruz
October 21, 2009, 10:29 am
Filed under: BLOGS

Yes, I have to admit the long days of riding are effecting my after ride blogging ritual.  I am sorry.  Here is the highlights from the past two days.

Finally, after a great rest day in San Francisco, we departed the rainy city a little later than expected, and pedaled south into a nasty headwind all day long.

The ride started out slow, especially due to poor navigation through San Fran and some flat tires…typical. Then there was the south wind, rain and cloudy damp weather that would put a damper on the whole day.  This was not the best way to continue our ride after a great, relaxing, recovery day in the city.

The group separated once again, Steiner, Pep and our Canadian (Oh Canadian Eh?) friend took the lead after Jackie and myself had multiple flat tires. Then Jackie decided to call it a day halfway through the ride to assist our new support driver, Alex Obrien.  Maybe she wasn’t there to assist, but to help socialize with the hitchhiker that was picked up in Half Moon Bay who was doing the same ride as us. You meet some interesting people out on the road.

Half Moon Bay, houses one of the ride’s supporters, Go Pro Camera and Mavrick’s, the big wave mecca offshore break.  So after a quick stop at the Go Pro offices, Jesse and myself continued our drafting game to Santa Cruz, which was long and grueling.  Even the weather wasn’t as beautiful as it has been recently, so the amazing scenic ocean views weren’t up to par with the rest of the ride, although they were quite amazing.  Not to mention the amount of pumpkin farms and paths along Route 1.  I think I wore my voice out yelling to Jesse, “It’s the great pumpkin Charlie Brown” all afternoon long.

We arrived in Santa Cruz around 6:00pm about an hour after the first crew, and made a quick decision to clean up and hit the town for some Mexican food to recharge our rundown, sore and tired bodies.  The weather for the rest of the week and ride looks very promising so that is keeping out spirits high during the cloudy, wet weather. Tomorrow we have a long day to Big Sur so bedtime soon followed.

Two more days till Sherry, Ayla, and Tal meet up for some riding with the crew so everyone is very excited.

Till then…


Day 16: A Day Off in San Francisco
October 19, 2009, 12:39 am
Filed under: BLOGS

We have been on the road now for a little over 2 weeks, and the down days have been few and far between (only 1 day to be exact).  So we decided to take a day off in San Francisco to let our bodies recover, to sight see, and to relax.

We have been very fortunate to meet up with Adam Bunshoft (Jesse’s half brother) and his family here in San Fran.  They have been amazing to us and extremely kind.  From lodging, to dinners, they have been great and we cannot express our gratitude to them for it.

The day here in San Fran has been relaxing and a day to let our bodies recover from all the miles. Kyle Tanguay, a great friend from Connecticut and now lives in Berkley, met up with us for the day and joined the crew in their down day adventures…and also harmonized with me the lyrics from the Rancid song, “Another East Bay Night….” all day long. You have to listen to Rancid when you are in San Fran, it is the rules!

A short drive over to Berkley to meet up with some ClifBar people to replenish our nutritional supplies for riding and then it was over to the Bunshoft residence for some great Thai food.  Again, you guys are the best and it was great meeting you.  Thanks for everything.

Time for rest.  Tomorrow we are back “on” the saddle again to Santa Cruz to meet up with Cody Townsend!

Till then….


Day 15: Bodega Bay, CA to San Francisco, CA
October 18, 2009, 6:21 pm
Filed under: BLOGS

15 Days of pedaling…nearly a 1000 miles…and we have finally reached San Francisco!  What a crazy experience it has been to this point.  Reaching this city has finally made us realize the actual distance we have covered in the short 2 weeks on our bikes.

The ride today from Bodega Bay to San Francisco was again a gorgeous ride, from the rolling farmland landscape, to coastal Red Tide overlooks on the Pacific, the ride proved itself to be top notch (like every single day so far on this trip).  I will let the mass amount of photos below speak for themselves…

Upon arrival to the outskirts of San Fran, we regrouped all the riders, and headed over the Golden Gate Bridge.  I can honestly say, I never thought I would ever be riding a bike over this massive bridge in my life.  But, I now can check it off my “bucket list” and say that I have, or should I say, we all have.  It was definitely a high light of the day.

We were lucky to meet up with Sherry McConkey for some drinks and sushi in the marina area of SF.  Great times had by all and it was the perfect cap to the day to have dinner with her.  We are all very excited to have her, Ayla, and Tal onboard come midweek.

Unfortunately, San Francisco is the last stop for Angeli on this trip.  She has to depart, but we are all very grateful for her help up to this point in the trip and couldn’t have made it without her.  A HUGE THANKS TO ANGELI AND HER SUPPORT!  Alex Obrien is now onboard to replace her, take some photos, and to keep the group motoring down the 101 and Route 1.

We will be taking a down day for recovery in San Fran, but will be hitting the road again to Santa Cruz early Monday morning.

Thanks for reading.  Enjoy the photos.

…and always remember, if you ride this far like we have, be sure to use a lot of Butt Butt’r!