Bicycle Journey Progress

The journey begins on July 29th and ends on September 11th, 2023

Ride Progress: ABOUT TO START!
Daily summaries:

terça-feira, 1 de agosto de 2023

Day 1 - Niagara Falls

Day 1 started with us, my uncle and I, meeting Emmalee and her baby son Elliot in the morning. It was great to exchange memories and see how their family had grown and evolved since we last met back in 2012.

After organizing our bags, my uncle and I left almost everything at Emmmalee and joey's place and rode with light bikes all the way to the Niaraga Falls. It was about a 2 hours ride each way, more or 20 miles not counting little detours we took.

The ride was mostly smooth with beautiful roads, friendly people along the way and amazing bike paths which covered a good portion of the distance. We stopped at a Subway for lunch (and again later for dinner). After eating, we realized my uncle's tire was not properly placed and was pinching the tube a bit. He fixed it, but that unfortunately resulted in the tube getting punctured and the tire going flat. That was our tube, so I found a bicycle shop 4.2 miles away and decided to and buy some more spare tubes while my uncle waited at the Subway.

After that it was smooth sailing and we reached the Niagara Falls in about ah hour. We tied or bikes to a rack, took all things (bike computer, lights, etc) with us and walked around to do some site seeing and take some pictures. So beautiful! We deicded to skip the boat ride and instead started our ride back to the house where Emmalee and Joey waited for us with a campfire. We bought some drinks and marshmallows and sat down to chat about cycling, life and everything else.

That was another wonderful night we had sleeping on a comfortable bed after a warm shower. Thank you Emmalee and Joey!

segunda-feira, 31 de julho de 2023

Day 0 - Travelling to Buffalo, NY

 Today my uncle and I started our journey early in the morning. After having packed until around 2AM, we woke up at 5:30AM to go to the airport. Needless to say we were tired, but excited nonetheless.

We said our goodbyes and my mom and Isabella were a bit said but supportive, and wished us good luck. 

At the Houston airport, to my surprise the bikes flew for free as "sporting equipment", so we only paid for the two boxes containing the panniers. Our flight had a layover in Charlotte, NC, where we spent about 4 hours. We had lunch and coffee, then found a spot to sit down and catch up with phone calls as well as do a bit of research as to where we would be spending the night.

Being a touristic site, Buffalo has very expensive hotels and the cheaper ones were already completely booked. We searched for campgrounds, but no luck... the only ones available were an hour or two south of Buffalo, which would mean riding all that back north tomorrow in order to visit the Niagara Falls (which we plan on doing tomorrow), not to mention they were either primitive or of difficult access. 

That's when I remembered we could use Warm Showers to find fellow cyclists willing to either host us or let us camp in the front / back yard. After a few messages, we found Joey and Emmalee who agreed to let us spend the night.  

When we arrived at the house, to my amazement I realized that I had met Emmalee and Joey back in 2012, in the Washington State, at another warm shower (where Don and Pat were hosting all of us). My uncle and I took a shower and went to sleep. I was so tired from having slept about 2 hours the previous night and then flying, assembling both bikes and finally riding an hour from the airport to their home, I passed out right away when my head hit the pillow.

The next day, before departing to the Niagara Falls, I showed Emmalee the video from back in 2012 where they appear. It was such a cool moment!

sábado, 11 de agosto de 2012

Hi there!

Hi everyone!
I know it's been a while since we updated the site and that there are a few final days of the trip missing here.

I wanted to let you know that we will complete all the remaining updates very soon! The reason it's been outdated is that I (Eduardo) have continued the bike ride, this time to Vancouver, Canada and since I've been camping pretty much all the way it became very hard to maintain the site updated.

However, we have all the materials up to the last minute when my uncle flew back to Brazil and we will post them shortly.

Thank you for your patience!
- Eduardo & Gilberto

sábado, 14 de julho de 2012

Day 68 – 06/09/2012 – Bakersfield, CA

This was a very pleasant day, in fact the first really enjoyable ride in many days. We woke up around 8:00 am and had a nice meal for breakfast. Judging by the difficulty of our previous day, we decided to prepare ourselves very well. We thought we had a long and hard way to Bakersfield, so our meal had to be strong.

Once we were done we finished packing and left through the downtown area of Tehachapi. We were looking for a good place to have coffee, but all the coffee shops had high windows and no place for bicycles inside, so we decided to drink at a gas station and move on.
Once we entered the highway, to our surprise the path was mostly downhill. Right away we saw a sign warning drivers for a steep downhill stretch 14 miles long. That was very good news to us since we had struggled so badly in the previous day to cover just 23 miles.

The descent was smooth, with large shoulder area and no issues whatsoever. The landscape was beautiful, with many mountains extending up to where the eyes could see. They were mostly covered by a very light yellow grass and had sparse trees all over, which added to the beauty of the place. Railroads were cutting through the mountains as well, and in a few occasions we could see the trains passing through the tunnels.

About eleven miles down this path we reached a small city called Keene. We stopped and had lunch as a local restaurant. The waitress was very friendly and the good was great. They were very busy with many drivers and motorcycles making their stop there as well.

We then had coffee as usual and resumed our way. Again going downhill and with very feel stretches uphill we completed our journey to Bakersfield. We then found a nearby Walmart and decided to go get food before checking in the hotel. Unfortunately the five miles to that Walmart were basically all on a steep uphill street, but we made it just fine.

After buying what we needed we rode 6 more miles to get to the hotel. When we arrived our impression was not good: the place was falling apart and there was just one car in the parking lot. There was a big sign in capital letters on the front desk saying there were no refunds, so I asked to see the room before paying for it. The owner agreed and I checked it out. The room was in bad condition, but it did seem cleaner than some places we have been before. However, when we were to pay we discovered they didn’t accept credit cards. We didn’t have cash enough so we decided to ride to another hotel.

Three miles later and we arrived in an Econo Lodge where we checked in. The hotel was in much better condition, but we had issues there too. As soon as we got into the room, our non-smoking room, we could barely breathe, so strong the smoke was. So we asked to change rooms. The next one was worst. It felt like someone had just smoked a full pack of cigarettes in there, we could even see the thick smoke in the air. So one more time we asked to change rooms. The third also smelled of cigarettes but not so strong.

We finally had a chance to shower, eat and rest.

sexta-feira, 6 de julho de 2012

Day 67 – 06/08/2012 – Tehachapi, CA

Our plan for this day was to cross a chain of mountains that was still between us and the California valley. We left the hotel fairly early, but as soon as we did we noticed the winds were very strong and, of course, against us as usual.

As we approached the mountains the winds started to increase in speed and intensity. What were only gusts became a constant flow and moving forward became a challenge. We moved forward slowly, at a speed not greater than 5mph. Soon enough we were on the hilly roads and that only added to the overall difficulty of the course. Every thirty minutes or so, we would stop to recover our energies and then resume the ride.

Just as we were thinking how unlucky we were to catch such strong winds crossing such hilly roads we started seeing wind turbines on top of the mountains, a sign that this was not a bad day but simply a typical day. First we saw dozens, then hundreds of turbines. Every hill had several, all lines up towards West and all spinning very fast.

Our initial plan was to have lunch on a small town about 25 miles from our origin called Tehachapi. However, it was about 3:00pm already and we had not even approached that city. Clearly, we would not be able to complete all miles we had planned for the day.

And so we struggled, for about five intense hours we struggled against those strong winds and intense elevation. When we finally completed the hilly section of the path we went downhill for about a mile and then entered a flat stretch that led us straight into Tehachapi.

We stopped by the first gas station which also happened to have a Subway restaurant. We definitely needed to recover our energies so we eat there and also took the opportunity to call Brazil. Searching the GPS we found a hotel nearby that was not too expensive called Ranch Motel, so we decided to start in town for the night and do the remainder miles in the next day.

We rode towards the hotel cutting through Tehachapi’s beautiful main street. They had small shops, coffee houses, a historical train station and many people walking in the streets regardless of the strong winds and somewhat chilly weather. Maybe they were just used to it.

We stopped by a supermarket and got what we needed for the night, then headed to the hotel.  There we found a nice rustic room with comfortable beds, clean sheets and high speed internet. What else could we ask for?! We showered, had diner, washed clothes and slept tight.