Border To Border Benefit Ride
Our Laptop failed in Sacramento on our way home. We just received it back from HP today repaired under warranty.
Total Mileage: 1,760 miles
Total Ascent: 86,640 feet
Total Calories Burned: 125,755 calories
Total Saddle Time: 127.5 hours
Total Flats: 12 (Kevin 7, Terry 5)
Total Tire Replacement: 6 (Kevin 4, Terry 2)
Total Number of Wheel Revolutions: 1,340,000
Todays ride is dedicated to Vancouver Rotary. Thanks for all your support. I bet Timothy is very proud of his club members.
We can almost see the border! There is an end to this madness coming soon!
Travelled through Ventura, Malibu, Santa Monica, Beaches galore. Lodging difficult with X-Games and beach volleyball tournements. Lots of human life.
The entire team is pretty tired at this point. Diane and the girls got to visit with Diane's brother Bob Leatherbarrow. Bob is a professional musician and has a home in Bel Air. Bob is a percusionist specializing on the jazz kit and vibraphone. Lots of live performances as well as mega studio work. If you have ever seen The Simpsons, it is Bob playing percussion on the soundtracks. Check out Brother Bob at: www.BobLeatherbarrow.com He has a great solo jazz CD, Bumpin in the Basement.
Kevin and Terry plowed on through some well inhabited landscapes. Channel 4 news only had one reporter today and the X-Games and Beach Volleyball Championships are much more important that a few crazy people on bikes, so the postponed our meeting. Perhaps at the border.
Speaking of the border, looks like two more days of riding. From here to San Clemente, then to San Diego and the border!
As great an adventure as this has been, we are all ready to bring things to a close. Body's need rest, repair and sleep. Brains need to be off high alert for a while. This ride requires total concentration at all times. In all seriousness, constant concentration is required to stay alive. Continuous interpretation of visual and auditory inputs for hours at a time. Sounds a bit corny, but for those who have taken on a journey of this length or longer, you know what we're talking about. At night the brain reviews the many miles travelled in our dreams, often highlighting one or more of the days close calls.
Its been a bad couple of days for tires. Terry got a flat at the 38 mile mark and Kevin at 56. His rear tire was in pretty bad shape, so we stopped in Santa Monica at the Performance Bike Shop and got him two new tires.
The Tire & Flat pool stands at Kevin-4 tires, 7 flats vs Terry-2 tires, 5 flats
Todays ride is dedicated to Cutsforth. Thanks for your support Steve!
The morning began with a surprise visit at our campground from Judy and Ken, Kevin's Mom & Stepdad, his sister Deborah and 3 of her lovely kids Britta, Brook and Brandon! Judy and Ken brought us fresh grapes and almonds from the Central Valley and Deborah brought us home made energy cookies. All of the delectibles helped get us down the road.
That wasn't the end of our visit. A couple hours later, the entire gang rallied up at the Great American Fish Company in Morro Bay for an outstanding lunch.
Flexibility is still key to finding lodging. We had to modify our route to Santa Maria to find lodging for the night.
Kevin experienced his most dramatic flat yet. A nice metal spike the size of a nail. For those tracking the Flat Tire Pool, its Kevin-5 vs Terry-3. The faster you go, the less you can see those foreign objects...at least thats my theory.
Interesting ride day. From strawberry fields to Monterey/Carmel to narrow winding roads into Big Sur.
Terrific campsite right on a river. Lots of poison oak, got to teach thje girls about that nasty plant. Skunk visitor we did not disturb. Nice campfire. Only $52.00 to camp in Big Sur and $9.00 for firewood.
Hour 3-Thats some strong side wind. Move your knee toward the center so you dont have to lean too far into the wind. The wind keeps changing directions and too much lean is going to leave you on the ground.
Hour 4-Death by Racoon? It could happen, here’s how. Short fast downhill following a long climb. Lots of wind, 6-8 inch bike lane, long line of cars. Read the road, its moving fast…look further ahead, 20-30 feet, focus. Riding on the white side-line turning a tight corner with lots of overgrowth. Mustard and ragweed slapping our legs as we struggle to stay out of the lane of traffic. 30 mph, crap…whats that? A recent raccoon roadkill with his mouth open wide aligned directly in line with my front tire like a miniature golf coarse ball cup. I could envision the mouthful of sharp coon teeth puncturing my front tire instantly causing a blow out, the wind pushing me into the lane making me a hood ornament on that nice Jaguar to my left. Not today, no raccoon revenge. A quick tight swerve and I was able to miss the mouth by a whisker. The poor fellow.
Hour 5-wow, redwoods! Campground is near.
Todays ride is dedicated to Frontier Landscape. Thanks for your support Steve and Tina!
Nothing like a big climb in the morning. Downhill interrupted only by an espresso stop at a hillside gallery. Kevin has been trending prices. We always order the same thing. A white mocha and a double shot espresso. What cost us $3.50 in Washington is approaching the $10.00 mark in California.
We had some apprehension about todays ride. Horror stories other riders, drivers and people of all sorts. What we found was, the roads we encountered were okay. There were three single lane sections requiring stop signals, but that worked to our advantage in that it meters the traffic in clumps. A group of 20 cars would pass and then 5-10 minutes with no traffic. Kevin and I both think we have seen much worse roads in previous days. The Bodega Bay area in particular. The worst section for us so far was the 3 miles departing Pacifica. No bike lane, steep incline and massive truck and auto traffic. Completing todays ride was comforting and we were pleasantly surprised.
After all the uphill came lots of downhill. The last 12 miles of todays ride were relatively flat and took us past beach loads of silly looking elephant seals, the Hearst Castle and a field with Zebras.
Today's Birthday ride is dedicated to HRST, Inc. Thanks Scott and team!
So how did we spend Terry's 50th birthday? Sweating up the Garberville hill to raise money for SHARE of Vancouver and to bring awareness to the hungry and homeless in America. Think globally, act locally
Can't think of a better way to spend a birthday than in the Redwoods of California. And was it just a coincidence that we had lunch on the grounds of Benbow Inn where Diane and I were married 20 years ago? It was a brilliant day of pleasant riding on the Avenue of the Giants and beyond. Sarah and Shannon joined us again to work toward their riding goals.
Todays ride is dedicated to ride supporter Just Fruit-Gorge Delights. They provided excellent Just Fruit bars for the ride. Thanks for the support!
What a way to start the day! We met our good friends Phil and Lunell Haysmer for a terrific and hearty breakfast. Great to see you guys!
Sarah and Shannon joined us today as soon as we hit the Avenue of the Giants in Pepperwood.
Todays ride is dedicated to our freinds at Above and Beyond Dentistry! Thanks for your support Dr. Hollar and of course, your excellent dental artistry.
Began the day with some big climbs. Met the suppor crew at the Trees of Mystery. Lunch in Orick, then...the fog cleared. Sunshine and...wait for it...TAIL WIND! Wahooooo.
We had an interesting tag along cyclist for awhile. A database programmer from HI, originally from Germany. He hollared at me from a campground in Prairie Creek, I slowed down to see what he wanted, he said he confused me with another cyclist he had met. He asked if he could ride along. I said sure. He was fresh on his bike, we are on day 11. He didn't day anything, but I could tell he wanted to ride faster than my pace. I couldn't wait to catch up with Kevin.
We had separated because the young lady at the espresso drive through in Klamath advised us of the alternate route that shortened the climb significantly. I chose to take that route, Kevin took stayed on 101. He got an additional 900 ft of climbing in! I got to ride peacefully with few cars throught beautiful groves of ancient and 2nd growth redwood forest. The down side is I picked up the stray.
We eventually joined up again in Orick. I introduced the German guy to the team. Following lunch, we started up the next grade. I told the stray to keep on Kevins tail, he tried. Within an hour he was at the side of the road fixing something. I stopped to see if he needed anything, then continued on. Tail wind picked up and we were making great time 24-26 mph. Kevin did get ahead again, and I read a sign on 101 that said Bicycles Must Exit. I took the exit, hoping that Kevin saw the sign too. The detour routed us around some major construction and took us on some back roads, trails, railroad bridges and then...construction. 2 miles of dirt road that they were in the process of watering. Oh man, just cleaned the bikes. Asked the signalman if he had seen another biker, he said nope. Hmmmm, is it possible that I somehow passed Kevin.
Rolled into the Super 8 in Eureka, no Kevin. Hmmm. The support team had located a big suite complete with kitchen. Upon exploration, they found an old pizza in the oven. Science project, hairy, green and generally unappealling. Use caution when staying at the Super 8 in Eureka, the room was great but management was really not happening there.
So...our first day in the redwoods and no Kev. I showered, Diane did laundry and no Kevin. I went for a walk on 101 into town with Shannon to see if we could spot him. His cell phone service is non-existent in the area. While we know Kevin is a creative problem solver, it was a bit un-nerving to not know where he was. Its not like loosing one of the kids...well, on second thought....
I decided to stand watch on the balcony, sure enough Kevin blew by on his muddy bike. I yelled, the girls yelled, he just kept cruising like he was headed to Mexico. I grabbed Shannon and we jumped in the van to track him down. Drove half way to Ferndale and no more sign of Kevin. Great...we returned to the luxurious Super 8. Did you get him Diane said, nope. I said, remember, Kevins a smart and clever guy, he'll figure out a way to reach us.
Within moments, the phone rang with some unknown number. Kevin had found the last remaining payphone in Eureka, bought a snack to get change and placed an old fashioned phone call. We told him where we were and met him on the corner with a glass of Recoverite, one his favorite post ride potions.
Todays ride is dedicated to SW Washington Shotokan Karate Club of Vancouver. Thanks Sensei Kraisler!
Today was a day of rest for Kevin and Terry. It has been 9 days of pretty strong riding with pretty bad weather. We have logged a total of 700 miles. To enjoy the day of rest, we rode 32 miles of relatively flat terrain. It was a perfect opportunity to have Sarah and Shannon join us, which they did. Shannon rode 15 miles and Sarah rode all the way to Crescent City
Sarah was "In Training" with Kevin and Shannon got some great Dad time with Terry. I really have great kids and a terrific wife. Love em lots.
The day was not without excitement. We crossed the border from Oregon into California, declared no fruit and kept riding. An interesting individual pulled over to take our photo at the Welcome to California sign, which was great. The he pulled out a wallmart bag and gave each one of us a lighted key chain...go figure. Kevin is going to carry his for the ride duration and auction it off as a fundraiser!
Other notable events included Sarahs adventurous solo journey promulgated by a wrong turn in Crescent City. She was not happy about her adventure, but was happy to see Kevin when he tracked her down.
Lodging was at the Curly Redwood Lodge, a vintage "Motor Hotel" The entire motel was built with lumber from a single giant redwood tree back in the day. Dinner was at The Grotto. Everybody had something yummy and no one had to cook.
Todays ride is dedicated to Pacific Die Casting, Corp in Vancouver, WA. Thank you Mr. Bill Byrd III!
Todays ride was the longest so far, and not an easy one. 900ft climb at the 90 mile mark, again with wind. Dragged ourselves into Brookings after 8pm. Just before dark.
Kevin and I have been praising the thousands of excellent and considerate drivers on the road. There have been very few close calls and we are grateful. Today, however, we encountered a driver whos passenger tossed trash out the window and hit Kevin square in the back. The physics and math are easy, if we are travelling at 20 mph and the car is travelling in the same direction at 50 mph, the object thrown has a forward velocity of 30 mph. An empty cup of ice can cause serious injury. Not only did it leave spwooge of an unknown nature on his jersey, but a nice bruise as well. An unfortunate event. We still send high praise to all the considerate drivers, and encourage the others not to throw things at cyclists.
With a few 6% and better grades, we were able to achieve some high downhill speeds in spite of the head wind. 41.5 was very exciting.
Hour 2 in the saddle-The only bird that spoke today was also serving us espresso. She said very clearly, "three more days of rain." Time to keep going.
Hour 3 in the saddle- Hey, That perfectly restored 50's vintage green delivery van is the same color as an old Hot Wheels car I used to have...the metalic lime green Beatnic Bandit...I think I still have that in a box somewhere....
Hour 5 in the saddle- Support van and Terry met at a vista point on the ocean. Kevin was far ahead and that was good as an emotional safety relief valve lifted. Big family cry just north of Humbug Mountain. Loss of loved ones, stress of support, missing memorial service, sore aching bodies, bad weather all played a part in a cathartic moment that helped us all. The safety valve didn't seat solidly, its still chattering, there is no doubt it will lift again, but it was a magical moment for the T's. Grief is something every person experiences differently. One tries to push it aside, another tries to postpone it and another embraces it hoping to get through it more quickly. We will all get throught it in our own way together.
The Jean E Toland Memorial Ride has been re-named the Jean E Toland and Joyce R Pundt Memorial Ride to honor the both Grandmothers who have recently passed. It hard to loose a Grandma, its really hard to loose both in one year. Its really really hard to loose one, while trying to memorialize the first one.
Hour 8-Dang, its getting dark...that last hill was not fun...I hope we see the van soon...Yeah, there they are...Wahooo.
Today is day 9 of the Border To Border ride, and so far, our progress has been great! It was another 100 mile day for the guys, and a gloomy one at that! All day there was a strong headwind, rain, and treacherous paths. Kevin and Dad are keeping their spirits high. It was a rather eventful day for the support group too, my mom my sister and I all had a great day. After we left the gracious hospitality of Cathy and Mack the riders and us went our separate ways.
First we headed over to the Wild game safari park in Bandon, and it was absolutely awesome! We saw (and pet) tons of different animals, like Emu’s llamas, tiger cubs and zebras! There were animals like goats, ducks, and donkeys wandering around on the paths, it was so cool to be able to touch and creatures that I would normally never see. My favorite animal there was the lemur named Julian. He was adorable and very sweet. His was the very first cage that we saw and when we put our hands in his cage he would either hop onto our hands or hold our fingers and lick us! It was so cute! We went back to his cage later though after we had been petting lots of other animals and tried to pet Julian again but when he smelled our hands he started jumping around his cage like he was crazy! We didn’t know what had spooked him until we washed our hands and one last time attempted to pet the lemur. He was completely calm then and licked our fingers and held our hands just like before! We realized that the scent of the other animals on our hands was what made him upset!
After we left the park we decided that we needed to re-stock on food so we drove over to the closest grocery store. We only bought a few things because we have been shopping close to every day so we are trying to take it one day at a time. Close by there was a small coffee shop. We all appreciated the caffeine boost. We met up with the guys soon after and gave them some lunch. Unfortunately the store bought wraps weren’t as tasty as we had hoped. We had planned on making sandwiches for them (like we have managed to do every day previous) but after staying so long at the park we didn’t have any time. Once that was finished we headed off to find a motel to spend the night.
After we got situated at the Wayside Motel we headed across the street for a dinner of Chinese food. The guys arrived at around 8:00 p.m, a 10 hour day of riding from start to finish. Another hard day for both Kevin and Dad. Everybody is still motivated and ready for tomorrow!
Todays ride segment is dedicated to jersey supporter EES Consulting. Thank you guys!
Rain. We tried to out wait it, but it persisted. Started the day with a tire replacement. Bill Byrd III would be really proud of Kevin. He squeezed a couple hundred addition miles out of a cut tire by patching it from inside. Not until the patch protruded through the cut did Kevin decide to change it.
Sloshy feet for the day. Rode through Reedsport, Dune City, North Bend to Coos Bay. I learned today that Kevin really has a strong distaste for riding in the rain. He dislikes it more than me. It does create visibility issues, glasses get drop covered outside and steamed from the inside so they come off. Then, you have to watch your distance from the rider in front so you dont get your eyes full of road grime from his rooster tail. No fenders on this trip, didn't think we would need them.
We are staying the night at the lovely home of one of Kevins cousins. Kathy, thank you guys so much for your hospitality, shower, food and soft bed! You rock!
In case some of you think Toland's loosing it with the Raven ramble, I have heard from highly qualified spiritual authorities who assure me that all birds talk. I need to learn to understand what they are saying. So don't worry.
Hour 1 in the saddle-So what would it mean if a Raven flew by with a frog in his mouth? Do they really eat frogs? If one were to eat the Raven that had eaten the frog, and you were Frog clan, would that be canibalism once removed?...
Hour 2-How can there be so many people that think the climate is not changing? Go outside and ask yourself when the last July like this was. Not just locally, but look at the world weather map. Why the climate is changing is another story and could be subject to lively debate. Whether or not it is caused by humans, magnet pole shifts, solar activity or just part of the 300k year cycle, I find it unfortunate that it has become a political debate rather than one based on science. Follow the money behind the opinions and you find special interests on all sides. Can't solve this one, but it makes good solo discussion.
Hour 3-Its really wet. Hey theres the same hitch-hiker we saw yesterday.
Hour 4-my butt really hurts.
Best panhandling sign of the week on a corner in Newport..."Spaceship broke down...Need Parts!"
At a food break in the pouring rain, I was looking into the dense forest, green with ferns and was reminded of my days working cruise ships. In 1981, I was aboard the MV Royal Viking Sea. In July we were in Alaska in very similar weather, but you expected it there. I particularly remember walking back to the Red Dog Saloon from the soccer field in Juneau. Each ship had a soccer team, and when docked or anchored in port together, the teams would play. I believe we played Norweigian Caribean Lines that day. In any case, we were soaked, having a great time working our way around the world. Ahh youth.
Tire Pool info-1Tire, 3 flats Kevin vs. 1 flat Terry. Sarah, Shannon and driver, 0 flats.
Todays ride segment is dedicated to our friends and jersey sponsor Addylabs. Thank you Tom! Please keep our water clean.
Strong head winds. We had heard from dozens of people, read it in several cycling guides and noted from personal experience, that during summer on the Pacific coast, the wind blows from North to South. Not this year. While not the strongest hill climber, I can do it knowing that the payoff is at the summit when you get to enjoy the long downhill side of the climb. I detest peddaling downhill...its just wrong, but thats what Kevin and I got to do. The up side was there was no rain. A few heavy mist spots, but no sizable drops.
With no rain and relatively good pavement near Lincoln City, the girls, Shannon and Sarah, joined us. Kevin mushed Sarah for 17 miles and I coached Shannon on for 11 miles. Kevin's goal is to make Sarah faster than her Dad by the end of the trip. With her Karate legs and my fatigued condition, it is very likely that Kevin will succeed.
Saw many Raven pals today, but astonishingly, they were silent. Two made some ruckus over food, but other than that, they flew by, eyeballed us and kept going. Others watched us from their comfortable perches but their beaks stayed closed. hmmm.
The River Road Generation Plant Team had talked about a "flat tire pool". If Ken is keeping track its 3-1. Terry got his first flat today. Kevin was all smiles.
Our support team is the finest! Diane found us a perfect place to stay in Florence that included a hot tub. Great for weary muscles, tendons and joints.
Between Lincoln City there are several very nice bridges. As we rolled across them I couldn't help but think of the CRC and the challenges there. Certainly, all these bridges could not have presented as many challenges as I-5.
Also, between Lincoln City there were many distractions for the suport team. They visited Ripleys Believe it Or Not in Newport and the Sea Lion Caves. The riders dined on smoked salmon and cheese sandwiches. Yum.
Todays ride is dedicated to our freinds at CH2MHill. Thanks for your support Lee!
Kevins words of wisdom for the day as the sun made a 3 minute appearance today..."look at the bright side, its sunny and theres a tail wind if youre travelling North". Of course it was a strong head wind for us and it rained all morning.
Camping in the rain is great if you plan for it. Its July so we planned for summer camping not early spring or fall camping. Such is life.
Electronics...they are nice. GPS, Bike Computers, Cameras, Video Cameras, Phones and Laptops. They do complicate life, and as we learned the hard way, when everyone plugs into a port on the new van overnight, the battery will be sucked down to zero volts. AAA has no problem finding campgrounds.
Sarah and Shannon are eager to ride and they do intend to make their goals. Their parents are being very conservative with safety. It was too windy and raining for them on Hwy101 today, so they had to remain with the van. Not so bad, they got to do fun stuff.
The support team got to visit Tillamook Cheese Factory. We got to eat cheese.
It is interesting the solo conversations that one has when in the bike saddle for 5 hours. Here is an example of an in cranium stream.
The ravens have been very noisey and they have been appearing frequently. They make many noises, but yesterday and today, they were laughing at us. In fact, last evening there was a raven doing its best Kookabura imitation and Kevin said "dude, that bird is laughing at you". I had to agree, he was mocking me. The laughter continued today. We would approach a hill, beads of sweat would appear and a raven would swoop down and laugh. So I was thinking about my Moms connection with the Frog Clan. While she is not Native American, one of her specialties was teaching elementary school children about the Native American culture using a collection of artifacts, many of which were given to her by her father. In any case, she knew Frog Clan and was probably an honerary Frog Clan member...that would make me the son of an honerary Frog Clan member. While living and working in Alaska, I heard many stories about Frog and Raven. They didn't always get along well. So...the ravens were letting me know today, that they know I am somehow connected to Frog Clan and they were having a laugh about it. Ha Raven, we will persevere!
That was hour 3, hour 4 was mental re-runs of the Bohemian Rhapsody scene in Wayne's World. Hour 5 was simply, "my butt really hurts..."
Written by Sarah Toland
Alright... well, (this blogging thing is new to me. Fun!) this whole trip, in summary has been interesting. It's been really fun, yet we've had several bumps along the way. But because we are doing this for something we are truly passionate about, i've noticed that we are not easily discouraged. I know that there have been some times, like this morning when I was taking down my tent in the pouring rain, when i've thought, ...really?? But, when I think about the big picture, I don't mind the rough spots that much.
So far...I've logged about 32 miles. I had hoped to have logged more by now, but there have been some road conditions preventing my sister and I from riding. However, the days that I have been on my bike have been really awesome. The last ride was mostly flat, with a few brutal hills. But...what goes up, must come down. So naturally there were awesome downhills following them. I was also happy when I realized that I was able to ride to Seaside without trouble.
Mom has been a great help to all of us in the support van. She always drives by and yells and cheers at us when we're riding. It's great for motivation and support. Because of the non-ideal riding conditions, I have also spent a lot of time in the car with mom and Shannon. That has also been fun. Ive gotten to catch up on some sleep, and witness lots of awesome scenery. We've also done a lot of... sort of random things along the way. For example, yesterday, my sister and I went on the bumper cars at Seaside. She kicked my butt. Over all, it's been a great ride. I'm looking forward to getting more miles done, and getting closer to my goal of 500.
Todays ride is dedicated to our freinds at Chemtreat. Thanks for your support John!
Woke up to rain. Evaluating route. Sarah and Shannon would like to ride today so we are looking for semi-hill free zones.
Sarah completed 17.5 miles, Shannon 8.5 miles.
It was a recovery day with beautiful views of the Pacific.
We kept hop-scotching with a rider loaded down with panniers. Turns out he has been cycling for 2.5 years, 19,000 km and is documenting the dwindling forests worldwide. From France, he has travelled across Russia, Canada and is now travelling to South America. Check out his blog at:
Interesting stuff. There is an English translator on the right side of the page.
Friends from Vancouver Dave Fergus and his daughter Julie met us at the campground for a spagetti dinner. They brought fresh salad, bread and sodas. Great fun! Thanks Dave and Julie. Trying to get more sleep.
Friends Janine and Lyn Ayers met us in Astoria yesterday. Thanks for taking Diane out for coffee! They also brought us an aircard for the computer to help with connectivity.
We are trying to keep things up to date, but it is a challenge!
Kevin got a flat in Seaside at the boardwalk. We stopped there for clam chowder with Diane and the girls.
Todays ride is dedicated to our good friends at BRM&Co, Total Quality Managment. Thanks Patti & Ben. Rough day for riders and support. We managed to find heavy rain in July. Navigated 12 miles in torrential downpour. Sloshy shoes and a 12 mil layer of road grime on our legs.
Even when mixed with Hammer Gel and water, a mouthfull of road grit from the water bottle top is unpleasant. Kinda like chewing glass. Even Kevin found it offensive.
The Astoria Bridge is probably not intimidating on its own, but at mile 86, it was a daunting challenge. We were glad to pull into Astoria, get an espresso, a hot shower and a meal.
We are all grieving the loss of Dianes mom. Joyce Pundt passed away moments after our arrival in Astoria. Joyce was quite ill with cancer and was surrounded by loving family members. Her earthly presence will be missed by many.
This was a tough way to end a really tough day.
So-we have been told by many that the fourth day of an extended ride is the hardest. Lets hope so.
A special thanks to Greg at McCords Vancouver Toyota who has generously donated the fuel required for the Border to Border Benefit support van. A beautiful new Toyota Sienna that we purchased from Jeff at their fine dealership. Cheers!