We're biking across the United States to raise money for Gallaudet University's Personal Discovery Program, a 501(c)3 charity. If this is your first visit, please read our welcome page and how you can help page.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The dryer ate my underwear!

Tusayan, AZ to Cameron, AZ
61 miles

I'm feeling a bit better today. My cold has moved through the "hacking up a lung" stage and I'm now on my way to recovery. Dana has taken all of my weight, and my bike now has nothing but a handlebar bag. And guess what... Dana is still faster than me! That really makes me feel like a wuss, but at least our paces are a bit more similar.

We saw the Grand Canyon! It was Dana's first time seeing it, but I had seen it when I was younger. It looks the same as the first time I saw it. The Grand Canyon is a beautiful sight, but if I've seen it once, I really don't care to make the extra effort to see it again. Since I'm Deaf, I have a disabled access card, which lets us into any National park for free. Camping fees and other fees are discounted as well, so we'll make good use of it.

In the past three weeks, I've managed to lose a few items, including:
-2 pannier covers
-my water bottle
-my booties (shoe covers)
-Our map (fortunately we have an extra copy)
-my underwear

How one manages to lose their underwear, I'm really not sure. I put it in with the clothes to be washed yesterday, and I haven't seen it since, so I'm just going to assume the dryer ate it. I'm now down to one last pair, so I'll have to guard it with my life. I used to be able to wash one pair and let it dry while I wore the other. Now I guess I'll be washing this pair every night. I hope it dries fast. It's made by Ex Officio, with special material that dries fast. It's great for camping, but not quite the most comfortable for biking. Actually, they recommend NO underwear for biking, but I don't think I'll go that route.

A big thank you to those who comment on our blog. We get the chance to read the comments every other day or so, when we have reception. It really motivates us during our lowest moments.

Friday, April 27, 2007

So close to the canyon I can smell it

Ok so last night was pretty cold. I have a vent on my bivy sac at the foot area for warm nights, also makes packing it easier. Last night I forgot to close it, it works really well for letting the heat out. While I was feeling chilled in my bag I was imagining what it would be like to have one of those fancy RVs not more than thirty feet from me.....

Woman: Honey I'm a little chilly...
Man: No problem let me just turn this dial within arms reach of the bed to a little more warm.

Man: oh boy it is the middle of the night and I need to pee, oh well, guess I will get up and walk the 5 feet of heated warm RV interior with small nightlights, to the toilet. After I am done I am sure happy the soft comfortable bed will still be warm. Oh right no need to get dressed cause I am inside.

Woman: Honey, the sun is out and I'm a little warm. Man: No problem sweetie, let me just turn on the AC to cool us off while we cook dinner on our stove.

Man: Sweetie, the soup is a little cold. Woman: Oh really? Well let me have it, I will pop it in the microwave for a minute.

Man: Hmm, what should I wear today, I have so many clothes to choose from and they are all so clean and fresh smelling....

Ahhh that could be the life!!!

Yesterday after we got to the Flintstone (Actually I think it was called Bedrock but it was Flintstone themed) campground we had a pigout session.
We started with a huge bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos (never did finish them), a large bag of cookies, and finally a couple of nutella and jelly sandwiches. We ate in the lobby/hangout room and just read and relaxed. It was really good.

As I said, we did not finish the Nacho Cheese Doritos. Heather had the idea of making some walking tacos for today. Basically we would fry up some hamburger and add it to the remaining Doritos. I was skeptical since we are not walking and do not have any beef, but I was willing to try. The decision was made for us. As I woke up this morning I was greeted by a crow 5 feet from me and staring me in the eye. Then I noticed what he was guarding. It was the remainder of the Doritos. I guess they found the bag and tore it up during the night. Bummer for us, I disposed of the bag and the rest of the chips.

Heather left early again this morning. After I cleaned the pots in the sink I returned to our campsite to find a crow (I think it was the same one) eating our bread. Boy, am I a bit slow on the uptake or what? I threw away half the loaf and kept that which had not been touched. Hopefully I have learned this lesson but only time will tell.

I talked with the dude from Germany again. His name is Detlev. He has walked all over the world including Japan and Australia. He said he is walking here in America to help dispel some of the bad press we are getting in Europe. He is walking to meet the "real" Americans. I sure hope I made a good impression cause we already have a bad enough rap overseas without me making it worse. Anyway this dude is super cool!! He is an inspiriation to keep going and do more. I saw him again this afternoon, he had walked all the way to Tusayan. Unfortunatley they are going to sleep in the grand canyon park not at the campground we are at (it was too expensive, and I agree with him). He will be in Desert View in two days I think we may pass him up but wow what a great guy. Thanks for improving
our reputation you rock man.

His website is www.detlev-henschel.de or www.walkabout-japan.com

The real reason we have to stay at this campsite is we got a package delivered here from my brother Alex. He sent me his BoB trailer so I can haul all of my stuff and Heather's stuff too. Good news after packing everything we did not need (bags and racks) into the box BoB came in it weighed more going out than coming in!!. That means less weight overall. But I still think my weight will go up a bit. I am really looking forward to that 1,000 foot climb tomorrow to test it out. Wait... did I really just say I was looking forward to that, oh someone knock some sense into me please.

Here in town we met up with another cyclist from LA, CA he is not using maps per se. He said "I am just making my own way" wow you go dude name "Kim"! He wil be camping close to us tonight. He seemed pretty cool to me but hey this is from a guy looking forward to biking up 1,000 feet. Can I really be trusted?

We watched the Grand Canyon IMAX film here it was worth it. Heather got in free cause there is no captioning. (anyone wanna write a letter of complaint on that, we can't we are busy for the next two months or so). After that we headed down to #$:!$ hotel to do some stealth laundry. I asked a local and he told me the best spot to go to to not get busted.

Soon it will be pasta and chicken for dinner. I have one more post to write tonight then it will be goodbye for now.


Things you learn on the road

Ok you have heard it before that my new clipless pedals rule but I have
been holding back a bit. I heard everyone falls at least once with
clipless pedals and I did not want to brag about how I never fell and then
fall the next day. Yesterday I had my first fall. I was riding behind and
next to Heather about 100 yards from the Bedrock campground entrance when
she slammed on her brakes and clutched her eye. Just an FYI, this is not a
normal thing for her to do. In my concern I stopped immediately next to
her and forgot to unclip. I slowly (I mean excruciatingly slowly, but not
slow enough to free my feet from these contraptions) fell to my left. I
landed with my head in the road and my chainwheel (the big round sharp
teeth thing near the pedals) embeded in my calf. I got up pretty quickly
to find out Heather just had a bug in her eye. After asking me if I was ok
and getting an affirmative nod she burst out laughing at me. I guess it
was pretty funny looking. Funny thing is today the same thing happened
she stopped suddenly (bug in the eye again) and I slowly fell to my right
(not into the road this time). I was able to free myself in time to step
out. Again I think I may be a slow learner in these life lessons.

So there you have it. My first two falls and I still love them. If you
are wondering why, it is because of the power increase. I heard 30% more
power I think I got more. Clipless pedals actually clip (I will explain
the irony in the naming scheme later) to special biking shoes. This way
you become one with the bike. What that translates to is you get a whole
bunch more muscles to use while pedaling. I can pull, push, slide, drag,
twist, and lift my way down the road. My vote for touring is A+ clipless
and C- toe clips.

Which brings me to my third anecdote of wisdom. If clipless pedals clip to
your shoes then why are they called clipless. My friends at Cynergy cycles

www.cynergycycles.com enlightened me. The old model that looks like
stirrups were called "toe-clips" because they sort of clipped around your
toes. So when these new fancy things came out that attach like magic to
the bottom of the shoes the clips around the toes were gone, therefore the
name "clipless pedals". Who knows, that may be totally wrong but I really
don't care... I liked their story and it is easy for me to remember.

Speaking of Cynergy, that is one of my favorite bike shops in Los Angeles.
All the guys there ride and it is a very comfortable place to go and learn.
(REI is my other favorite store). We bought a lot of gear from Cynergy and
they were very helpful (including me calling them asking how to get my
cassette off to fix my spoke) in many areas. Both Heather and myself got
our bikes professionally fit to us by Steve. He did a great job not only
fitting us but describing proper riding positions and where and how to hold
the handle bars. I still am practicing the stuff he tought me.

Now for the not so good part. Everyone says "Do not replace your saddle
(seat) right before you leave" Um folks they are right. Heather and I
both did just that. Now the seats we got were better than what we had.
Heather told me today her seat is fine and comfortable. I am a different
story. I hurt still and even though I use "butt-butter" a cream for
cyclist that goes right on the shorts I still am in pain. I am haunted by
something Steve said in passing " I believe the padding should come from
the shorts not the seat". Oops my shorts are old, thin padded, and not
very good. Hmmm, I told my dad about it and I think he is going to have my
brother go buy some shorts for me, whatever Steve recommends is fine with
me. As of right now my bum is bummed.

That's it for now folks. Tune in again for more "things you learn on the


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sick, sick, sick

Red Lake, AZ to Valle, AZ
19 miles

Since I'm still sick, we're still taking things slow. I'm starting to get sick of this. I'm sick of biking all day long. I'm sick of setting up camp every night. I'm sick of stuffing myself so full, I can feel the pasta wiggling in my esophagus. I'm sick of rice and beans every night for dinner (and my butt is sick of it too). Someone told us that after the first week, it's 10% physical, and 90% mental. I believe it. 10% of my body is sore, and my mind says the other 90% is sore too!

I made a makeshift toilet paper dispenser on my handlebar bag so that I have tissues handy when I need to blow my nose. I also have a handkerchief around my neck, and I call call it the "snot catcher". It really does wonders, but at the end of the day when I wash it out, it's pretty nasty.

We met a guy that really made us feel like wimps... This guy from Germany is walking across the US. He averages about 20 miles a day. I hope Dana doesn't get any ideas from him. He also recommended that we bike in Europe for 3 reasons: Towns are more frequent (every 3 miles), the wine is better, and the bread is better. Since we don't drink that much, that only gives us 2 reasons. I really hope Dana didn't get any ideas from this guy.

We're staying at the Flintstones campground tonight. We visited the gift shop, where they sell Flintstones everything, except the Flintstones vitamins. Go figure.

Repost of our mail drops

You can send letters and cards of encouragement to the following locations. Please try to send items a week in advance to give enough time for the mail to arrive to the post office. The Post Office will hold items for up to 30 days (except in Berea, KY: they hold items for 2 weeks, unless you write "please hold for 30 days"). Also, the dates do not guarantee that we will arrive on that day. The dates listed are the earliest we will arrive at those locations. Please do not send bulky or heavy items that we will need to bring with us. We are trying to keep our weight light, so hold the trinkets until we finish the trip!

April 15 (done)

May 1
Dana and Heather Arazi
General Delivery
Dolores, CO 81323

May 6
Dana and Heather Arazi
General Delivery
Tribune, KS 67879

May 15 (Heather's aunt will be accepting our mail. Thanks Janice!)
Dana and Heather Arazi
c/o Janice Johnson
1415 Scott Lane
Miami, OK 74354

May 20
Dana and Heather Arazi
c/o Juliana Coambs
2801 Curtis Rd
Champaign, IL 61821

May 24
Dana and Heather Arazi
General Delivery
Berea, KY 40403

Hope this anwers some of your questions.

-dana and Heather

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Things along the road side and interesting Hemet meetings

Today was a short day of riding just six hours on the road and 27 miles.
As you know from this morning Heather is not feeling well so we really got
a late start. We hit the road at noon today, with a large climb of 2,000
feet (this seems to be our max climb in one day) looming in front of us.
Thankfully most of the climb we had to ride on I-40. What that means is we
generally were going in a straight line with a fairly consistant grade.
This makes pacing yourself a lot easier. We hit a new high today at 6,900
feet and still biking.

Oh, a random thing happened twice now so it must be signifigant. Remember
back when we were almost out of CA and we camped right next to the Colorado
River. Well while we were there Ryan and I struck up a conversation (and
played some hacky sac) with the campers next to us. Some how the topic of
home came up. Well my mailing address is in Hemet, CA and guess where the
campers next to us were from. That's right Hemet, CA. That was odd in
itself but what hapened yesterday really got me. In Ash Fork, AZ at the
camp ground there, I had to register for our campsite. The lady behind the
counter screamed for her mom when I put down my address. Guess where they
were from. Yup you got it right again , Hemet, CA. Now I don't know if
any of you have ever been to Hemet (Incidently Brad Pit's character in "Spy
Game" is also from Hemet) but it really is not much to look at. It is
about 3 miles long and 12 blocks wide with a pharmacy on every corner.
That's it. So why am I running into so many people from there? At least
it gives me something to ponder during my hours and hours on the road.

As you may or may not know we are using maps made by adventure cycling

www.adventurecycling.com to guide us on our trip. Each of their maps is
made up of several panels and each panel encompases about 30 miles of a
trip. The panels are numbered from one to as much as thirty. The text on
each panel include discriptions for both directions. A potential bicyclist
could start at number 30 and bike to number 1 or the other way arround. Up
until yesterday I assumed the numbering was arbitrary and it really made no
diference 1-30 or 30-1. We are currently on the "Grand Canyon Conector"
but we are doing it backwards. As it so happens those smart people at
adventure cycling actually did have a reason for their numbering system.
On closer examination of the map I notice some signifigant elevation
differences. For example, panel number 1 starts in Cedar City, UT at 6,000
feet and the final panel ends in Tempe, AZ at 1,000 feet. As you may have
summized this means there is a general down hill trend if doing the route
in order. We of course are doing it backwards so flip that arround for a
general UPHILL trend. Yipee! That is not all there is to it, I found out
one other intersting tidbit about this route. The prevailing winds this
time of year run from north to south (um folks that's not the way we are
going). Given all that explaination the final result is, we are generaly
biking up hill with a strong head wind in our face and there is no hope of
it letting up. At least I do not feel totally responsible for this route
choice, it was my dad who pointed it out to me, thanks dad we owe you one.

As you are biking up hill, into the wind, the slower pace allows you to
observe your surroundings more critically. I have started to notice a tend
on items found along side the road. I have picked out what seem to be the
three most glaringly common items. Now keep in mind this is not a
quantitative study and no chi squared analysis was used to determine the
results, this is more qualitative and based soley on my uphill, wind in
your face, slow paced, casual observation.

Number one is "Retreads". If you don't know what these are I can help out.
Those big 18 wheeled (do the really have 18 wheels I never counted) trucks
have huge tires. Imagine how much each one costs and the natural resources
need to make one for a replacement. Those puppys get a lot of wear on
them. Some one came up with a cool idea, as the tires wear down instead of
replacing the entire thing you only need to replace the tread. They take a
bald tired and stretch a big thick rubberband kind thing arround it with
new tread for the tire. Therefore instead of replacing the entire thing
you only pay for the tread on the outside. Thus the name "Re-Tread". Well
as these thing get used they evetually need to be replaced. Sometimes
(very often I think" they just peel off the tire and end up at the side of
the road for me to observe. I have never actuall seen this occur and I
have no idea if this causes hardship for the trucker or other motorist but
for me it gives me a mini obsticle courses to play with during the day.

Number Two is bungee cords. I am amazed at how many of these things there
are on the roadside. I know now if I ever want a bungee cord I will just
go bike on a highway and get them for free. Of course the down side of
this is you are picking up a product that has already critically failed at
least once.

Number three is not for the feint of heart so skip this if you wish.
Plastic bottles, but these particular bottles of which I speak, seem to
contain the same refreshment. The bottles very in size, make, and model
but each of them is partially filled with a dark yellowish liquid. I have
as of yet not identified what they are filled with and I hope I never do
find out. One word here "EwE".

As if Hether being sick, going uphill against the wind (i just like to
complain about that one) and yellow filled bottles is not enough I broke a
spoke today. There are no bike shops near here so I was on my own. The
lady who runs the hostel (and gas station next door) called up a buddy of
her's with some tools. I have the critical tool that fits into the
cassette (thats a fancy name for all those teeth looking things attached to
the back tire) all I needed was a couple of wrenches to lossen her up. The
guy showed up and I pulled my cassette and swapped the broken spoke for a
new one. Put everything back together and trued up my wheel. I was very
proud of me (pats self on back) for doing all that for the first time in my

One last thing before I pass out here. Heather is feeling like this biking
stuff is a bit much. I assured her that if she can make it this far she
can make it all the way!! I think it may be a combination of not eating
enough (she is eating a lot more now), being sick, elevation changes, and
climbing a mountain. So I gave my brother a call at 8 am and asked him to
ship his bike trailer to me. After three hours of hard work and running
arround on his part the trailer is on the way. The prupose of the trailer
will be for me to take on all of her gear so she does not have to carry
anything at all. That way each day for her will just be a fun 60 mile ride
and not so much work. I really hope this makes the ride more enjoyable for

So send your encouragements to Heather and let her know we are all rooting
for her. Right now she is sound asleep next to me after dinner and a
theraflu desert.

Until next time

Just wondering if I can post a picture

Well it is the morning of April 25, Heather is still not feeling well so
we slept in. We will be heading to a hostel up in the mountains (Red Lake,
AZ) and let her recoup there.

For now I am just wondering if this picture of Heather will post through
email... If so then expect more to come.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Superwoman on a bike!

Chino Valley, AZ to Ash Fork, AZ
37 miles

This morning, we ate beakfast with the other people that were staying at the Bed and Breakfast. They were there to train for some shooting stuff in town. They started talking about the weather and complained about how it hailed on them yesterday (I don't blame them, I would've complained too). They had to run for cover and wait it out. Then they asked us if we saw the hailstorm. "Yup, biked right through it!" The looks on their faces was PRICELESS! So, I felt like Superwoman for the first few miles of the day.

I'm going to tell a bit about the technology we're using on this trip. Each night, we type up our posts on our phone/pager, then send it as an email to a specific address, which automatically posts it on our website. Because we're limited with our emails, we can't always add fancy stuff, such as links or pictures (or if anyone knows how, please tell us!). Now you're probably wondering how we keep our phone/pagers charged. Dana has a solar charger that he puts on the back of his bike. Throughout the day, it charges up our rechargeable batteries, then at night, we use those batteries to charge up our phone, pager, and GPS trackers. Nifty, eh?

For those who would like to find our mailing points, you can look on the column on the left, there is a link, "Want to send us mail? Here's how". Click on that and you should be able to see our general delivery addresses.

I've come down with a nasty cold, so our day was cut short. I have a headache, my throat is parched no matter how much water I drink, and my nose is a waterfall of snot. I hate being sick. Fortunately, Dana was in good spirits, so I napped while he set up camp and cooked dinner. At times like this, I feel like I should pat myself on the back for marrying the right guy.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Wanna go for a ride

For all of you reading this, friends or family, you are invited. If anyone
wants to join us on any part of our ride we would love to have you. You
can bike for a day or a week it is up to you. If you just want to camp out
and don't want to bike, hey that's cool too, just drive along from campsite
to campsite and we can just hang out there. This trip is not about
arriving in DC this is about the journey and sharing with the people we
meet. So you all are invited to join us on the journey.

Hope to see you on the road.


So much to tell about a tough day in the mountains

Robin: "Holy weather front Batman. The potential precipitation reached a critical temperature and solidified into some crystaline form. Then it proceeded to precipitate and adhere to everything."

Batman: "huh?"

Robin: "It's snowing!!"

You guessed it folks, today at 6,100 feet, it started to snow on us! Oh boy today was a test of wills I think and we barely won out thanks to some help from the locals. Lots to tell today but I wanted to start with the snow part, first time for both of us biking while it snowed. This is also the highest we have ever biked (6,100 feet above sea level).

Let's see... we started off in Yarnell this morning with Heather leaving well ahead of me. The first 10 miles or so really rocked, it was almost no work and mostly downhill. We started at 4,800 feet and went down to 4,000 feet or so. Then the climb started. Actually going into the mountains while very, very (ok it is down right torturous) difficult, is not so bad cause you know you are going up. The thing that gets me is when you get tricked on a long straight stretch of road and because of the very steep mountain way out in front you think it is down hill. When I checked my altimeter on my Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS I found out I had been going uphill for the last hour or so!! All this before I ever reached the mountain. So today we climbed 2,100 feet to reach a peak just South of Prescott. I caught up with Heather and we had PB & J for lunch. It was freeeeeezing. That actually was not an exaggeration it really was below 32°F. I never knew riding a bike up a mountain could be so, so, difficult. FYI Ryan (our riding buddy for a few days who is heading East right now) talked us into buying lower gears for our bikes. If I see him again he gets a SUPER huge hug and thank you from us both. That goes double for my clipless pedals as well, I love them!

Right before we entered Prescott, AZ is where we got snowed on then hail (it was only pea sized), and finally rain. Good news. All our rain gear stuff worked we were dry and semi comfortable. It looked like more rain and hail ahead so we stopped for Heather to change into some thermals to stay warm. As we walked out of the store a reporter was sitting there waiting on us. He said he saw us riding through town and chased us down. How cool is that? Very! That's how cool. His name is Nathaniel and he is a photographer and reporter for "The Daily Courier" in Prescott, AZ. He seemed really cool and he had a quicksilver shirt on so he must be cool. After he interviewed us he raced ahead in his truck and set up to get some shots of us riding through town. We were very excited to get noticed and happy we had a press release on our website already. Yipee.

We rode into Chino Valley looking forward to the campground listed on our map. It was gone! We went all the way through town and saw nothing. We stopped and looked up on google maps for a spot. The one hotel here was totally booked. So we decided to bike back into town and beg for a place to sleep. We went to the Circle K and they were no help at all. As I left the store this high school student on a BMX bike was sitting there checking out our bikes.

After asking him about camping he was totally helpful. Just out of the blue this dude totally rode all around town with us taking us to the police station (they were no help at all, just recommended the booked hotel) and finally he remembered a B&B in town. Wow Patrick was super helpful and went way above and beyond helping us. He even escorted us to the B&B to make sure we made it ok. Thanks man we owe you one. Oh and on an interting side note Patrick just moved here last year from Burbank, CA how random is that.

So now we are comfortable and cozy in this B&B. It is really nice here but way way out of our budget. Really, we're stuck here in Chino Valley, with nowhere to go. We are so lucky to have found this place and the owners are super sweet to us. They let us cook our dinner here (rice, black beans and a cucumber) and made cookies too.

Three of the other guys staying here are taking classes at Gunwise, a world famous shooting school. In talking with the guys I found out that Joe is from Champaign, IL where my aunt lives. We will be visiting there on our trip. I hope he follows the blog and looks us up when we are there. He seemed pretty cool and laid back.

That's about it for today except that we did 56 miles total. One more post then off to dreamland for us.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Refrigerator on wheels

Wickenburg, AZ to Yarnell, AZ
27 miles

27 miles isn't far, but when you climb 3,000 feet, it sure makes for a long day. The last 10 miles were 9 to 11% grades, so we were ready to call it a day when we arrived to Yarnell. Along the way, a bunch of old-fashioned cars passed us by. You know, with the skinny tires and no top that our grandparents probably drove back in the day. I thought it was funny how we were dressed so differently. They all wore goggles, leather hats, and were all bundled up, while I wore a tank top and lycra shorts. Anyway, since they were kinda slower than most cars, they encouraged us on and waved to us.

Since I've lost so much weight, Dana really has me stuffing myself. Every night for dinner, I get 2nds and 3rds. Every hour when I take a break, I eat a Myoplex bar or some other weight-gainer stuff. It doesn't taste good. In fact, it tastes a lot like cardboard with sweetener. The texture is about the same, too.

Someone asked how we keep our food cold. Well, Dana rigged up a mini-refrigerator on wheels with a really long extension cord... Oh, I'm just kidding :-) We usually eat food that doesn't need to be refrigerated. A lot of things can be substituted for perishable stuff. For example, we use oil in place of butter, dried milk rather than regular milk, canned chicken, etc. A lot of food will stay cold through the night, such as leftovers or eggs. Sometimes we have food that lasts into the next day, and that is kept in our food bag, which has two layers, so it's a bit more insulated. However, anything more than 24 hours old, we throw out.

I've since found out that several classrooms have been using our blog as a learning tool in their class. So, do me a favor, and if your class is reading our blog, send us a letter to our next mailing point. Tell us about yourselves and what you've learned from our trip. If you have any questions for us, we'll be happy to answer them.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Back in wickenburg

Well our trip into Phoenix was a 180 mile detour but well worth it. We had
a blast there and would not trade it for the world. We are back in
Wickenburg at the Horsepitality RV park and this time they are more

One thing I forgot to mention earlier about our sleeping last night. I
heard two animals one off in the distance sounded like it was being
attacked. That one did not bother me too much but the one real close
sounded like it was growling or something. I was pretty worried. After
trying to figure out what it was for a while I decided to go inspect. I
crawled out of my cocoon of bedding with my trusty hunting knife in hand.
I stood real still listening and was finally able to identify that other
terrifying animal that was just waiting to pounce on us once I fell asleep.
It was right next to me. In fact, it was asleep. I even had a name for
it. It was Heather snoring away blissfully ignorant to my torment. I felt
kinda silly shivering in the night air, knife in hand ready to defend us
from her snoring.

After lunch the rest of the ride was pretty much uneventful. I did almost
get eaten by a pitbull today. I saw him a way off barking at me behind a
fence. That was no big deal because most dogs bark at us and chase us
behind their fence. This one, however, as I watched it running parallel to
my course was different. His fence ended but he kept going. Right out of
the yard and on a beeline path for me. Once I saw this happening, I poured
on the speed and was able to outrun him at 22 mph. After he gave up I
stopped, parked my bike, and walked back to a spot just out of range of the
dog. I had a weapon in hand just in case. I waited there for Heather to
crest the hill. When she did I waved wildly for her to cross the highway.
Luckily the dog did not chase her down and no further action was needed.

We did laundry here at the campground tonight so we will be fresh and ready
for the morning ride. We hope to do 60 miles tomorrow straight uphill it
seems. That should put us well on our way to the Grand Canyon.

We want to thank you all who are reading our blog and thank those of you
who leave us comments, we do get to read them and they are an inspiration
to us on our journey.

Some of you may remember that before we left, Heather went on a special
diet to gain some weight. Well she was able to gain 10 pounds before we
left. While we were at Eric's house she weighed herself again and she has
lost those 10 pounds plus 6 more!

I have started buying super protein and carb weight-gainer bars for her to
eat on her breaks. They taste awful but we both agree she needs the
calories. Each bar has about 350 calories in it and she eats about 3 per
day plus breakfast lunch and dinner. I also make sure she always eats
seconds at every meal. She is actually eating more calories per day than I
am. We hope she starts gaining some weight, but her energy and attitude
are just great so we are not worried.

While we were at the School for Deaf in Tempe one of the students asked us
what we do when we fight. We were hard pressed to answer that cause we
have not fought yet. I guess we are just too tired after our ride to fight
or we just don't annoy each other yet. When we do have a fight we will try
to include you, our faithful readers in on the action.

That's all for now. Check in, in the next few days for some additional
pictures being posted by my bro Alex. If you ever read a post and then
later read it again and it seems to change, ie mispellings corrected,
formatting easier to read, well we have Alex to thank for that so give him
a round of applause for his diligent work at making this look great.


Our Visit with the Sequoia Charter School for the Deaf

Gilbert, AZ to Peoria, AZ
56 miles

We started off our day with a sad goodbye to the Hirning family. They really took care of everything for us, including laundry, delicious food, a soft bed, and some good trail mix for us to snack on.

We stopped by the Sequoia Charter School for the Deaf and gave a presentation and answered questions from the students. I must say that we were very impressed with the school. The kids were a great audience, were very helpful to us, and wished us luck as we continued our journey. We really enjoyed answering the kids' questions, and had a few laughs as we talked about our experience. We had a couple of volunteers come up to see if they could lift our bikes. One brave girl proudly lifted my bike (okay, I guess it isn't that heavy!), but poor Efrain struggled to lift Dana's bike. We were also surprised to see Ena, who worked with us as a Discovery staff a few years back. The Sequoia school follows the bi-bi philosophy, and all of the teachers use sign language at all times. The students' smiles and chatter stayed in our minds and kept us in high spirits for many miles!

We also stopped at the Post Office. We realized that we had a lot of stuff that we haven't used and won't need. Here's a list of some of the stuff we sent back:
-Dana's 2 pairs of shoes
-Sleeping bag liners
-Heather's 2 front panniers
-Extra clothes
-Extra parts we had replaced at REI

It weighed 20 pounds, so our load is much lighter. We're stealth camping for tonight, and the weather is beautiful, so I look forward to getting a good night's sleep!

We could use some help.

If some of you are reading this thinking that maybe you could make our trip a little better I have thought of some ideas how.

It would be nice to have a water proof sign or two (not laminated, those leak) saying

1: In vertical large block letters about 11 inches long and 4 inches wide, maybe bright yellow with black letters, a sign that says-

2: Anouther sign of similar design reading

3: A third sign on about 8 1/2x 11 size also water proof, saying something like,
"bicycling for a cause ask me how you can help. www.Bike4D.org"

4: A massage when we get to either Janice's house or Julies house.

5: We have a press release on our site here. It would be great if some news media people got ahold of it and wrote about us. Please call any papers, radios shows, or TV news you can think of and provide them with our info and press release.

If you want to send us signs then please send them to our second mail drop, general delivery listed earier in the blog here. I trust you can work out among yourselfs, through the comments section, who will do what.

As for the messages, the address and citys are listed in our mail drop
section so you can look up where we will be, using that means to find a location in close proximety.

Thanks to all of you

Good morning readers

Well I am laying here at the side of the road on highway 74 north west of
Phoenix. We did not make it to a camp ground last night and had to pull
off into the desert. We had just enough time to make camp cook dinner and
crawl into our sleeping bags before we lost the light.

Every night before we go to sleep we clean up and cover everything with
their water proof covers, just in case. Last night I woke up to a light
pitter patter on the bivy. I pulled our shoes inside our bivys and about 5
minutes later it poured on us. Funny we get rained on hard in the middle
of the desert. We had chosen some high ground for our camp spot so I had
no worries about it flooding.

I woke up at 6 am, really bummed, not sure why, maybe it is the cold I am
fighting right now. Plus mornings have never been my thing anyway. For
breakfast we had the rest of the cold hummus, chicken, and bread. Actually
it was retty filling and tasty. As usual Heather left early. We were
pretty low on water but the Wild Horses bar was just up the road.

After breaking camp I made it to the bar about 30 minutes after heather
left. The bar tendeder looked up the weather for me and said it should be
clearing up today and stay that way for a while. As I sit here now I can
say that is pretty accurate.

I caught up with Heather YIPEE!! (that is always a favorite time for me),
then she headed off again. It works better for me if she is way ahaead of
me so I can catch up with her later instead of waiting for her. So I
thought I would take this time to write a post or two.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A beautiful rest day in Tempe

So we took a full day off here at Eric and Terri Hirnings. They were nice
enough to accomodate us for two nights. So we could really feel rested.
They have been fabulous to us, from doing our laundry to feeding us. All
the while taking care of their three beautiful children Emma, Mathew, and
Tori. What a great place to rest up with great people. Thanks for taking
care of us.

Talking about great let me just tell you, Tempe/Gilbert Arizona is on my
top ten list for best citys to bike in. On our way into town last night
you heard we stopped at REI. What you did not hear is what awsome service
the REI at Southern and Priest in Tempe, AZ gave us. I walked in and
showed Aron (I think that's his name) my bike and said "I broke it can you
fix it please". Then I crawled my way to the energy bars to get some kind
of food in me. When I came back to my bike, parts were taken off and stuff
was being fixed. They really hooked us up there with discount prices and
most importantly great service. I highly recomend them.

Today we went into the local school for the deaf and arranged to give our
PowerPoint presentation tomorrow morning. We will be there at 8 am to give
our speach. It was only 8.5 miles there so we left the bags behind and
biked there. Wow we are fast now.

After a lovley and very friendly tour of the school by the Principal we
headed back to Erics. We stopped off at a bike store called Adventure
Bicycle company. Paul helped me out by replacing my cassette and chain
right there on the spot and gave me a free lesson in how to do it. Paul
will be moving to MO close to our route in a month or so. He told me to
look him up when we get there. If he is close enough you bet we will.

After the bike shop we meandered about this lovely city for a while longer.
Most of the streets here have bike lanes. And I really mean MOST. Twice
now we have been stuck on a street without a bike lane. When we were, both
times, we had a car pull in behind us put on their blinkers and follow us
slowly to block traffic. That is awsome.

Funny thing is. On our rest day we ended up biking 30 miles just
wandering. I remember when 30 miles was a real ride not a rstful thing.

Well I am falling asleep as I type so good bye for now.


Things you can learn on the road

Sitting on the side of the road this dude walks up to us to start chatting.
This guy makes the machines that make the bottles for most of Americas
household bleach and pool chemicals. Ironically he says he does not use
the stuff. He was a fountain of knowledge on chemical topics. Here are
some of the things he attests to. Try at your own risk.

Dairy queen uses soy milk

clorox II cures athletes foot (apply leave for max 10 min then rinse)

Ivory soap does not work well for cleaning humans but is an excellent
leather softener.

that's all for now.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Long long long day

Wickenburg to Tempe, AZ
86 miles

What a long day! We left early this morning from the Horsepitable RV campground, which wasn't that "horsepitable" at $34 for a tent site. As we left, Dana had two flats. On the second flat he got about 5 offers for help. Some people offered to use their compressor and one motorcyclist offered to give him a ride into town. Dana also got a broken spoke later in the day. He had to ride 20 miles on a messed up tire to get it fixed.

We stopped at REI to replace some parts. Dana had his pedals switched to clipless pedals (clipless pedals are pedals that, ironically, clip onto your shoes) because Ryan claims that only idiots ride without clipless pedals. Heather had a bigger rear chainwheel put on so that it'll be easier to climb mountains. Ryan was great with helping us put the parts back together on the bikes, so it's great to have him with us.

We met several people today but one stands out. A guy named Eric was out biking and stopped to chat. Turns out several years ago he went around the perimeter of the US by bicycle. His bike was set up to go fast and faster, no low gears for him.

We finally made it to Eric Hirning's (Dana's best friend's brother) place, and I'm ready to zonk out as soon as I send this.

Good night!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Another beautiful day on the road

Yipee we are in Wickenburg, AZ (65 miles). About 70 miles outside of Tempe
and we will be at Eric's house tomorrow evening.

Some of you may have noticed that when Heather writes the days seem pretty
tough and when I write the days seem easier. Well let me assure you that
is not because of the person writing. It just happens to work out that she
gets to write on the really tough days. Well since today is my turn I get
to tell you about the easy day we had.

We started off with a 500 foot climb but it was early and we were fresh so
no problem. Heather left about 2 hours before us again and that seems to
work out well. Overall we had to climb about 1,200 feet today but it was a
slow gentle grade with a slight wind at our backs on a super super straight
road. We stoped at a farmers market for lunch and Heather and I finished
off a whole huge water-mellon by ourselves. The land was a high desert and
pretty. Not too hot and not too cold. Really just a perfect day for
riding :-)

Hey remember my eggs from yesterday, Well I was pretty bumbed out. I went
from highly motivated in high gear ready to tackle the road mode, to this
bites I'm tired and want to go back to bed dragging me feet mode. I guess
Ryan noticed how bummed I was so last night he bought some eggs to cook up
for breakfast.... Well folks turns out my coleman stove with the squeeze,
detachable handles are lousy! Ryan dumped the eggs this morning:-( I at
least felt better that I was not the only one to do it. So we had the
three eggs that were left in the carton. Basically out of 24 eggs we have
been able to eat 6. Kinda funny I think.

Last nights camp ground was super nice with bathrooms that melled of summer
flowers and tastefully decorated. Tonight we are in the parking lot grassy
area. Kind of a big step down. On an upside there are pleny of plugs so
all of our stuff is charging now.

Tomorrow at Tempe we are hitting up REI for some gear. Number one is new
pots. Heather is getting some lower gears and I am too. Also I will get
clipless pedals so I can be like Heather. New extra padded shorts for me
so maybe my bum will stop hurting so much.

Well I am zonked and heading to bed now. Goodnight and talk to you later.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Feeling better

Blythe, CA to Hope, AZ
59 miles

Remember a couple of days back, when I said that my shoulders felt as if explosions were going off? Well, it doesn't feel like that anymore. Instead, it actually feels better! What a relief! Now if only the rest of my body would feel better...

Yesterday, I was fighting some pretty strong sidewinds, when all of a sudden, before I could realize what was happening, a stong gust of wind swept me off the road. I somehow managed to stay on my bike, although I probably looked like a kid with an out-of-control motorcycle, legs sticking out and all. I looked up to see the remains of a dust storm picking up grass and dust from the field next to me. Whew!

We crossed into Arizona today, but I couldn't find the "Welcome to Arizona" sign, so we don't have a picture of it. This morning, we watched a beautiful sunrise over the Colorado river as we packed up camp. We had bought eggs, so we were excited about having a big breakfast. I went off to brush my teeth, while Dana started cooking the eggs. When I came back, Dana had the most folorn look I had ever seen. I asked him what was wrong, and he pointed to the table... That had half-cooked eggs all over it. Poor Dana had somehow bumped the pan, and you know how camping stoves aren't that stable, and there went our breakfast. Ah well, we had plenty of avocados that we had bought
4 days ago from a local farmer that had finally ripened, so we had those for breakfast. I left earlier than the boys, which seems to be working out well. They catch up with me at about lunchtime, so I eat with them, then they bike ahead and set up camp, so it's ready by the time I arrive. Before they left, Martin and Tracy, who we met last night, gave us some BBQ chicken to bring with us. We ate that for lunch, and it was fan-finger-licking-tastic!

While we were setting up camp in Hope, a man named Doug was driving along the road that we had just biked on. He happened to see a beanie hat on the side of the road, so he pulled over and picked it up. He figured that some bicyclists must be in town, so he pulled into the campground looking for people with bicycles, found us, and sure enough, Ryan hadn't realized that his beanie hat had slipped off his bob trailer! Amazing!

As I was pulling into town at the end of the day, I saw a coyote on the opposite side of the road. I prepared for an attack by trying to get my headlight off so that I could use it as a baton-like weapon, and wouldn't you know, I dropped it! I should put a bit more practice into this. So I picked it up while keeping an eye on him, but he took off, to my relief. In our preparation for this trip, I read all about what to do if I was attacked by a bear, wolf, or dog, but a coyote? I gotta look that one up.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

At the colorado river

So after we finally caught up with Heather we dropped out of the desert
into the valley were the Colorado River flows.

I remember reading a sign many years ago, I think it was in Fresno, CA and it said "food grows where water flows" and I thought, "well duh". As we rounded a corner today and got a good look at the valley I really understood that sign better. It was such a contrast in geography, from rocky and baren to green and open. With the river running through here, there is life all over this place. So we cruised through blue skys, green fields, and white puffy clouds.

We ran into Robert today a fellow bicycle tourist. He is heading the opposite direction. I gave him my brothers number in LA and told him Alex would take care of him for a night. Sorry Alex I hopes that's cool by you. Robert seemed really cool. He is averaging 100-130 miles a day. Holy Cow, that's a fast pace.

After getting some shopping done in town we headed to a camp a little off route. It is right on the river. As I type this we are both tucked in our sleeping bags under our tarp (it rained a bit earlier) and 100 feet from the water. It is prime camping here.

Ryan went out and made a friend ,Mark, who had lectical plugs so our stuff is all charged.

For "linner" we had red beans and rice topped off with an egg. We also have a dozen eggs for breakfast and hard boiling tmw morning. I cooked some more later (pasta, corned beef, and pinto beans) for dinner. That should set us up for lunch tomorrow too.

We made such good time getting here we have just been hanging out, cleaning the bikes and oiling them, and just enjoying the warm comfortable weather. Well actually Heather has been sleeping since linner and woke briefly to eat dinner then zonked again. She deserves it after her hard ride today.

From here on out we are in good shape for stores and stuff into Tempe, AZ. We are both looking forward to a hot shower and hot tub. Thanks Eric for letting us crash there a night.

Oh good news the school for the Deaf on Tempe has asked us to come and give a presentation about our trip... That should be cool.

Well it is getting later and I am envious of Heather snoring gently next to me so until next. -dana

Oh and by the way, we only did 60 miles today and we are close to Blythe, CA.

comming out of the desert

Today I want to start with emphasizing what a great group of people we were
with last night and this morning.

Roy and his family really took care of us. They set up cones arround
Ryan's tent so the dune buggys would not hit him. Heather and I got an
empty trailer to spread out in. We got a fire pit at night and great
conversation. This morning they topped off our water gave us coffee. And
sent us off with a fond farewell. I am really starting to understand what
the books say about what great people you can meet on the road.

So if you are reading this Roy, Roy, Roy (yes there are three of them), and
family, thanks for the great time we really apreciate it. If you guys are
not doing anything later on and want to take a road trip feel free to
follow along behind us and provide food and shelter at night, we'll buy the
food and do the cooking :-)

Today we were geared up for a big push. 70 miles by my calculations, which
we all know are never accurate. Ryan thought closer to 60 miles. So we
packed up a gallon of extra water in addition to the two litter bottles I
picked up in ocotillo. Between heather and I, I think we had 3 gallons of
water for a 70 mile ride through the desert with no services in between.
Turns out that was over kill. The wind was at our backs for most of the
ride, and we made great time

Heather left camp about an hour before Ryan and I. The idea was she could
get a head start and we could ride a little harder. She packed up plenty
of snacking foods and we agreed on a signal. Every time she stoped she
would make an "H" on the road side using rocks. That way I would know she
was up ahead and doing fine.

Ryan and I each paid a dollar to use the bathrooms at the Glamis general
store. Expensive yes but as Ryan put it, "Well worth it". I shot out of
there at 9am and raced ahead hoping to catch Heather. Right after I came
accross her first marker (at 10 miles) a car stoped from the oposite
direction. Heather had asked them to tell me she was up ahead and doing
great. They said she was 10 miles up! wow I really had to pick up the
pace to catch up. It ended up taking Ryan and I almost 4 hours to get to
her and about 30 miles. She was flying!

Turns out that big push we were afraid of was super easy with a tail wind.
I spend most up my time cruising in my high gears between 25-30 mph!

Oh I think we forgot to tell you. Ryan yesterday convinced me to take on
some of heather's weight for her. I took about 15 lbs of sleeping bags
from her. So I think that helped her with her speed (and topped me off at
about 130lbs). Regardles of the weight she was a speed demon today. I
better not give her such a lead or I will not be able to catch her soon.

More to come...

Pictures & Maps Section

Check out our new Pictures & Maps section on the left side of this page. It will be updated regularly throughout our trip, so keep coming back to look for new content!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Biking through the desert

Brawley, CA to Glamis, CA
31 miles

Remember a couple of days back, when I said that my shoulders felt like someone put electrodes in them and every time I move, I get short bursts of electricity? Well, I don't feel that anymore. Instead, it feels like someone implanted mini cherry bombs in my shoulders, so that every time I move, I feel mini explosions through my muscles. I really don't think it could get worse than this.

Today was a particularly tough ride. We biked through some dry desert, with few towns in between. We arrived to Glamis, CA, which is big on riding 4-wheelers and other recreational vehicles over the sand dunes. I guess that's what the folks around here do for fun. We were trying to figure out a place to camp in the shade and out of the wind, when a nice gentleman named Roy offered the spot next to his RV. Another man offered to let us sleep in his trailer (that is used to haul their 4-wheeler around). The boys declined, but I happily accepted ( I know, I'm a wimp). Turns out it smells a lot like grease and gas. Oh well. Another nice woman offered us water, which we were grateful to have. A gallon of water here is $3.80, and you have to pay $1.00 to us the toilet.

It's really great having Ryan (who's biking from CA to FL)along with us. He keeps us entertained with his four-wheeling stories. He seems to know a lot about bikes, while Dana seems to know a lot about camping, so they swap stories and tips. It's also nice to have someone to share dinner with. Ryan works in Ocean Beach as a pedicab driver. You know, where they bike people around town using a cart towed by the bicycle. No wonder he knows a lot about bikes.

We discovered a new favorite snack, so I'll share the recipe with y'all.

Snickers Gel
-Buy a Snickers bar
-Put it in your bag (if you have a black bag or a top pocket, that's better)
-Ride for an hour in the desert

And there you have it. A gooey, chocolatey snack you can squeeze right out of the package. For an extra-gritty version, ride until you reach an extra windy area with lots of sand. Be prepared for the hysterical fits of laughter you'll get from your riding partner at all the chocolate on your face. Enjoy!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Another great day in the desert

Last night was fun, Ryan and I went into town for a beer. The folks in
there were crowded around us, asking, where we were going and what we were
doing it for. This one dude (whose name I never did figure out) was trying
to talk to me. About the only thing I could understand through his
drunken, slurred, Pensilvania accent was "let me slow down for you"
unfortunatley the only thing he slowed down to say was that one sentence.
Later I asked ryan and he had no idea either. When we left the guy seemed
to have enjoyed talking at me.

As you know from yesterday we are in the desert now. We camped out in BLM
owned land. Meaning free country, owned by uncle sam, do what you like,
kinda land. We were actually right behind some guys house. We (meaning
Ryan) asked permission first. Turns out he owns a rooster.

So in the "morning" when Mr. Rooster started his "cock-a-doodle-do" I was
happy for the alam clock. I wriggled out of my sleeping bag and started to
wake up. Still seemed kinda dark so I checked the time... Oh my... IT WAS
2 AM. Mr Rooster needs to keep better time. He must have known he was off
cause he and his friend Mr. OffKey Rooster kept at it untill 9 am. They
must have thought "better to cluck at all times, then at least once it will
be the right time."

Well after oatmeal for breakfast, stocking up on water, and downing a half
gallon of gatorade to pre-hydrate, we headed out.

Oh incidentally yesterday on our way to the camp site I lost a 4lb bag
(mostly full) of trail mix, from costco. I was not too bummed as we have
enough food to last us a long while. But this morning luckily I found the
bag. It was only the bag left, I guess the animals were hungry. I did
put the bag in the trash though.

Ryan was with us all day and is camped right next to us right now. He is
an awsome riding companion. Keeps a good pace and is very patient waiting
on heather. He and I will race a head for about 30 minutes then stop and
wait for heatherto catchup. We all rest together then she leaves and we
wait a while and do it all over again. Like bike leap frog.

We did 61 miles today and made it through El Centro to Brawley. At the
county camp ground now. Free hot showers and nice comfortable grass. This
place rocks!!

You may remeber some advice I gave several days ago about not sitting on
your food bag esecially if it has tortillas in it. Well today we opened up
the last bag of tortillas. I figured at this point they are so mangled...
Why fight it. So I crushed them up even more, added precooked BBQ
chicken, and a can of beans. All right into the tortilla bag! With two
bannans (on the side) to top it off we had an amazing high energy lunch.

Well I am tired and heading to sleep now.


Sent with SnapperMail

Over the first mountains yipee

Somewhere between Alpine and Pine Valley,CA to somewhere near Calexico, CA
60 miles

Remember a couple of days ago, my shoulders felt like someone put razor blades into them? Well, I don't feel that anymore. Instead, it feels like someone put electrodes in, so every time I move my shoulders, a burst of electricity shocks my muscles.

We had a bit of rain this morning, but fortunately, it stopped before we got up. Our panniers (bicycle bags) are
waterproof, so everything was well protected. It still made for a wet, cold, and uncomfortable morning. We went over the top of a mountain, or rather, a series of mountains, so the day was slow at first, but the last 10 mile or so we soared down the mountain at 25-30 mph.

What really kept our spirits up is meeting so many friendly people. We stopped at the Descanso Junction restaurant, (www.descansojunction.com) and met Tammy, who owns the restaurant with her husband. She shared with us the good news of sunny weather ahead of us, and let us charge up our electronics (which I'm starting to think we have too many of). She really made ourday..Thanks Tammy.

Dana was also excited about meeting Ryan, from Ocean Beach, who is biking to Florida. He joined us for the day, and will camp with us tonight.

Of course, we've also had our share of not-so-friendly people, such as this guy who told us to get off his property when we were having a short break (we were on the shoulder of the road). We promptly moved 10 feet down the road and finished our break, with a call of nature (I really had to go!).

Overall it was a fantastic day. Great miles and beautiful scenery . We really look forward to the morning.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Stealth camping

Short post. who put a mountain here?? I did not realize until andrew
pointed it out yesterday that we had a 4000 foot mountain to climb today.
We could not make it over. We are at 3000 feet now and about 10 miles from
the nearest place to camp. We tried Viejas indian reservation. Found a rv
park and some big lady with a mean personality shoed us off. She said if
we biked on the reservation she has already called the police on us and
they will arrest us. so much for nice people arround here. So we left
there and are now "stealth camping"

I would tell you where but then it would not be very stealthif you knew
where we are. But we are for ssure not on the reservation. Any way cold
dinner tonight of couscous and canned tuna... No fires to stay stealth.

Bad ending to a great day of riding. I look forward to tomorrow. Heather
is already asleep ane I think I will try for that soon.
Later for now. -Dana

Some stories for lunch time

So we are stopped for lunch now and I thought I would share with you some of the people we have met the last few days.

Yesterday some dude stopped on his bike to start chatting with me. Turns out he just got done with a 9 month stint going from canada to mexio the across the US or arround it not sure wich. He just got back 2 months ago.

Yesterday again this older than me guy 60s I think pulls up next to us with a set of panniers and touring gear. We were in torry pines at that point (san diego) and he had ridden down from Santa Cruz. He averaged 85 miles a day! He said he was just in town to visit his grandson for a while. Wow what an inspiration. He told us he did the same trek we are doing back in 2001. His advice, "cross country is more ental than physical". Well I guess I am looking forward to those mind games.

More to follow

More lunch time stories

Met a guy named Steve today up in missin gorge buy the mission trails park dam in san diego. Gave us some good advice that we took on the up coming roads thanks Steve. Now here is the funny part, keep inmind we are on a park trail in the middle of no where and steve is just som random person who stopped to say hi, WE KNEW HIM! Met him last time we were in san diego at the REI meeting for adventure cycling. He remembered us (minus the 7 foot brother) that was cool

While resting / stocking up on trail mix at costco this very attractive woman walks up to us and introduces herself as Amelia (amy) she is a triathlete and from the looks of her she is a darn good one too. She is from italy and her father was a professional cyclist in Italy . Now that is awsome. But wait it gets better she has also climbed mount Kilimanjaro (may be spelled wrong). What an inspiration, the best part was, she was totally cool and down to earth chatting with heather and I.

Last funny thing as I am sitting here typing this heathers bike, which is just sitting totally dormant decides to blow a tub. No worning no one touched it. Itust went flat. So I better go and help her change it later


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A half-day

Southern Carlsbad State Beach to San Diego
25 miles

One question keeps popping up in my head over and over the past few days: WHAT THE HECK WERE WE THINKING??? Yesterday, my butt hurt so bad I wore both of my biking shorts, one on top of the other (both have padding sewn in) My shoulders feel like someone put razor blades into them and with every move, I can feel them cutting into my muscles and nerves. My right big toe is swollen and feels like it was crushed by the big Yoda statue from the movie Spaceballs.

Someone had told us that it would be exciting for the first two weeks, then boring for the rest of the trip. I don't think the exciting part has started yet. We are enjoying meeting people and spending all day with each other, but I can't wait for our bodies to heal and we can enjoy ourselves more.

We felt a bit dejected when we were climbing an especially long hill, and two people out for a jog passed us! Yeah, let's see them drag 80 pounds with them and then we'll see who's faster! That's right, my bike weighs 80 pounds, while Dana's weighs 120 pounds. We were excited though when we met another man who was currently biking from northern California to Mexico. He biked across the US in 2001, and really enjoyed it, so that gave us some inspiration.

We biked into San Diego and met up with Andrew Hirning, Dana's best friend, and his family. It was nice to have a half-day of cycling, as well as to get a nice hot shower and eat at a restaurant.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Not quite to San Diego

Many tales to tell today but I will start this one out with one simple
word... "Ouch!"

A bicycle only makes contact in three places: the feet, the hands, and the
butt. Let's just say our feet hurt the least right now. We are both
pretty sore.

We did not make it to San Diego today but that's ok because our mileage is
pretty good. We are averaging 60 miles a day. I thought today would be a
40 mile day and I was ready to call it quits at San Onofre state beach.
Unfortunately they only allow camping starting may 15. What is that all
about? Does nature need a break during the rest of the year or what? The
nice guy at the entrace said we had three choices, turn arround and go back
5 miles to another campground (no way was that happening), keep going for
20 more miles to Carlsbad state beach, or find the ranger and beg him to
let us stay there.

I was all for begging but Heather stuck her chin up smiled a wicked little
smile and said "I can do 20 more miles" I was not sure I could do it but
if she was willing then so was I (I guess). To be honest, I am not sure
where she gets it from, she has no fat reserves but just keeps on keeping
on. She inspires me to keep going, and going, and... you get the idea.

So here we are in Carlsbad at a campground. It is nice enough and pretty
popular too. Dinner was rice with some soup mix. At this point it tastes
like gourmet :-)

Oh! Some of you may remember the post about our trial run to San Diego
Well turns out where
we stopped on that run and threw in the towel was a little premature. If
we had kept going 1.3 miles down hill we would have been at a lovely little
campground. Oh well, we still had fun on that trip. We revisited some of
out old stops as well, like the Subway we had dinner at. It was really a
happy time.

I am not sure if this is good or bad but I am starting to remember this
route to San diego without the map. I guess if you do anything enough
times you can't help but remember it.

Speaking of remembering...note to self, sitting on the sleeping bag stuff
sack for comfort: GOOD, sitting on the bag containing all of our food: BAD
BAD. The fallout was not too bad. We had two small jelly packs burst
(they were held in a seperate bag in the food sack so contamination was
minimal) and our tortillas are now precut into bite size stips. But that
was about it. Lucky for us.

As you may notice Heather and I are taking turns posting and tonight is
Dana's night. I wanted to thank Natalie my sister for rolling out of bed
at the crack of dawn on our departure date to take pictures and give us a
fond farewell.

To all of those I have not called I do apologize and I will call when one
of two things happen, I am at a location with a plug so I can charge my
stuff or you follow me with a portable generator so... You guessed it...I
can charge my stuff. We are trying to stretch our batteries and posting
every night is already a stretch for our little solar charger. We just
have enough juice to charge 4 AA batteries which in turn charge our gps

Tomorrow will be a short day just 30 miles or so, and for those of you who
are not aware, my ability to read maps is top notch, my ability to judge
distances on maps is seriously lacking. So 30 miles could very well turn
into 50... But I hope not. Andrew Hirning, my best friend and an all
around great guy will be picking us up at our campsite and driving us to
get some real San Diego food. Then in two days we will "head east young
man head easy" or maybe it was the other way, dyslexia is a pian.

Well, until tomorrow, I hope you enjoyed the post.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

First day out

Los Angeles, CA to Huntington Beach, CA
63 miles

We left our apartment this morning at 8am. We rode for 63 miles before setting up camp at Bolsa Chica Beach State Park. We stopped by Dana's brother's place, and he joined us for 20 miles or so before heading back home. For lunch, we had hummus and chicken on corn tortillas. As we were getting ready to leave, several people stopped by to ask where we were headed. They were in awe that we were heading all the way across the country! For dinner, we had Perk's Beef Stroganoff, a recipe we found on www.freezerbagcooking.com.

The weather was overcast most of the day, but it was nice nevertheless. We are tired and sore, but nothing we didn't expect. It's very cold and windy, so I look forward to getting into my sleeping bag and getting a good night's rest.

On to San Diego!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Want to send us mail? Here's how: General Delivery

You can send letters and cards of encouragement to the following locations. Please try to send items a week in advance to give enough time for the mail to arrive to the post office. The Post Office will hold items for up to 30 days (except in Berea, KY: they hold items for 2 weeks, unless you write "please hold for 30 days"). Also, the dates do not guarantee that we will arrive on that day. The dates listed are the earliest we will arrive at those locations. Please do not send bulky or heavy items that we will need to bring with us. We are trying to keep our weight light, so hold the trinkets until we finish the trip!

April 15 (Eric Hirning has agreed to accept our mail for us. Thanks buddy!)
Dana and Heather Arazi
c/o Eric Hirning
3490 East Cullumber Ct.
Gilbert, AZ 85234

April 28
Dana and Heather Arazi
General Delivery
Dolores, CO 81323

May 6
Dana and Heather Arazi
General Delivery
Tribune, KS 67879

May 5 (Heather's aunt will be accepting our mail. Thanks Janice!)
Dana and Heather Arazi
c/o Janice Johnson
1415 Scott Lane
Miami, OK 74354

May 20
Dana and Heather Arazi
General Delivery
Berea, KY 40403

Press Release

Check out our press release and pass it on to any press people you are interesting in passing it on to. Thanks


We are off...almost

Well we had planned on leaving last Tuesday, but that did not happen. So we moved it forward to Friday, but that did not happen. So we postponed it to Saturday, but that did not happen. finally we are all set and ready to go. looks like Sunday is the big day. Turns out that packing up all your stuff and putting it in storage is actually a big endeavour. I guess we just did not focus on that because we were so hyped about leaving on our bikes.

We are leaving at 7 am from Van Nuys CA and will head south to San Diego.

We look forward to all of your comments we know we will receive on the trip. Wish us luck and a safe journey. We write every day and post whenever our cell phones get Internet service.

Dana and Heather

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Route Update

Some of you may remember the previous post about our route on here. Well, a few people asked to see a visual representation of our route, so here it is. Here are several links for several different maps showing segments of our trip, or you can just look at the overview. Please keep in mind these are not exact turns and directions (cause that would take forever to do) this is just for you to get a general idea of where we are going. If you want more detailed maps they can be found at Adventure Cycling. This is where we bought ours.

Entire route Overview

Los Angeles to San Diego, CA to Tempe, AZ

Tempe, AZ to Cedar City UT

Cedar City, UT to Alexander, KS

Alexander, KS to Girard, KS

Girard, KS to Murphysboro, IL

Murphysboro, IL to Christiansburg, VA

Christiansburg, VA to Ashland, VA

Ashland, VA to Washington, DC

Don't let the mileage counter fool you. We are really doing 4,200 miles of turns, twists, uphills, and flats (thats right, no downhills included). If only we could fly... maybe on the way back.

Fuddraising Party

We had a great time at our "Fuddraising" party at Fuddruckers last Thursday. We want to thank those who came, as we enjoyed the company, as well as the wishes for a safe and happy journey.

Several people have been asking us when we plan to leave. The answer is: we don't know yet. We plan to leave sometime between April 3 and 15. We will keep you posted when we feel more definite.