Vancouver to Mexico: DONE!

2100 miles, 3 flats, one fall (Ross stuck in his kleets at a traffic light), a few tears (mostly Ross’s when he fell at the traffic lights), 38 packets of trail mix, too much coffee, and a few tails to tell the grandkids.

It’s not about the numbers though. It’s about living in the moment, about the stories, about the adventure. Being on the road with someone you love, with nothing more than a bike, a tent and a few spare t-shirts. The simple life is rewarding.

The road treated us well and the final ride was both a sad and happy trail. We’ll miss the people we have met, the wind in our faces and the ever changing scenery evolving in front of us. We’ll pack the bikes away very grateful for the dreams they helped us discover. On to the next chapter now though, a winter surfing in Costa Rica awaits. We will continue our blog so stay tuned and thank you to all our followers so far.

Here is a little 3 minute video highlighting the best bits from our adventures. http://youtu.be/b1cMvFjSCIM.

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The cookie was right

We’ve never really been into fortune telling so when we cracked the fortune cookie open 50 miles north of Santa Barbara we laughed at the message inside. “Your road to glory will be rocky, but fulfilling”. Little did we know this little cookie was telling the truth.

That afternoon after a sweet and sour lunch at Panda Express we had a real tough climb up through some big hills with no shoulder. We were rewarded though with sweeping views from the top of the mountains and the best downhills of the trip. Further south again the hills disappeared and we cruised through Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Muscle Beach, and Huntington Beach. There were smooth, wide, Tarmac cycle paths right along the beach taking us to to our resting place for the next couple of weeks. So it was just like the fortune cookie said, “rocky, but fulfilling”.

For those of you who are interested in our current whereabouts, we are staying near a surf spot called Trestles in San Clemente, California. We are working on a project with the Surfrider Foundation and are here for around 20 more days before we head to Costa Rica for our winter there in Nosara. Before we fly though we will finish what we started and complete the ride to Mexico. We are about 90 miles from the border and are heading down to Tijuana next weekend, without our luggage. Since it is our last day on the road we invite anyone who would like to join us to tag along on Saturday 2nd Nov. So who’s in?

An outstanding 25th Birthday

I had a fantastic three day fiesta for my birthday this year. And it was pretty outstanding to say the least.

On Saturday night a bunch of us had a pizza feast at Il Basilico with the Surf Simply team, followed by a pool party and massive cake fight at The Rancho.

On Sunday Jessie Carnes, a new friend of mine and I, along with 50 other horse riders including Ticos, Ticas and tourists; some experts and rookies, went on a ‘Cabalgata’ – a day trek on horse back taking us through jungle, deep rivers, and cantering up dirt tracks with a beer, food and music truck accompanying us the whole way. The ride finished at sunset at Olga’s bar on the beach for arroz con pollo, dancing and margaritas.

Monday, a little sore from riding started with a wonderful breakfast with my husband and a surf at Guiones beach. 3ft, super clean and heaps of waves. After an early lunch we headed to meet DK from Drifters Kayaking, an old friend of Ross’, we cruised up a mellow river in and out of the mangroves on sit on top kayaks, spotting two crocodiles, kingfishers, cormorants, and hawks. We had a spontaneous lunch and a ‘michelada style (lime, ice and salt) beer at La Luna restaurant, cycled the 20 minutes home in booming thunder and lightening that lit up the whole night sky. And then incase I hadn’t been treated enough already we went out for dinner at Dos Pochotes.

We leave Costa Rica in five days and will head straight to Campovida, Hopland to start getting ready for The Do Lectures USA (19th-23rd). After that it’s the Alcatraz swim on the 28th and cycling south to Surfrider for an October Internship.

I know there will be tonnes of ‘Outstanding’ to come so watch this space.

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A thousand miles and smiles

Two wheels held in a frame one behind the other, propelled by pedals, steered with handlebars and powered by trail mix and water (mostly).

We have just hit 1,253 miles, not including side trips and wrong turns. Our last day on the road before we take a short break saw us climb 72 miles over 1,200ft of brutal hills, in 42°C (107°F). We ran out of water and a front tyre exploded in the heat flying down a screaming decent – only puncture number two. Thankfully by 7pm we were celebrating our arrival at Campovida paradise with a cool beer, doughnuts, ice creams, Pringles, and buckets of cold water.

Tomorrow we will head to San Francisco to watch a Giants game, get a hair cut, and hit the thrift stores for shorts, sunnies and swimwear. We are moving to live in Costa Rica this November, so to prepare us for a year in Central America, this weekend we are flying down for a six week rekki. We will then return to Campovida where our bikes will have been patiently waiting for us, to continue the ride south to the Mexican border.

Jungle and beachside blogging coming soon.

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Tail winds, state parks and a giant plastic seagull

We have had such a blast whizzing along on the wide shoulders of the 101. There has been a steady northerly wind on our backs blowing us to the border and tomorrow we will be crossing into California.

Last night we stopped the night in a little town called Bandon after seeing a 12ft seal made of plastic marine litter. It just so happened that there was an exhibit and workshop of the seals friends (turtles, jelly fish, whales, and other ocean themed displays on show). The works of art belonged to the Washed Ashore project who are touring the US with the exhibit to educate huge coastal and inland communities about the catastrophic amounts of litter washing up on the shore lines. The project was founded by artist Angela Hazeltine Pozzi who was from Brandon, and all of the features are made by volunteers with plastics found on Oregon beaches. We thought their project was pretty outstanding to say the least and were also impressed by their retail section where you could buy biodegradable cornstarch buckets and spades, flipflop jewellery and thought provoking postcards. Check out http://www.washedashore.org for more info.

We have been in Oregon for seven days and six of those nights were spent in some absolutely awesome Oregon State Parks where we camped in our wonderful little tent in the hiker/biker site. This is an area ranging in size and comfort dedicated to people like us cycling/walking the coast, so they become a hub of connectivity and stories as people chat around campfires about the trials and tribulations of life on the road. They only cost $5.00 US per person (about three quid) and in all the Oregon state parks the hot showers are free which is a rarity here in the US and welcomed after a day in the saddle.

Enjoy some of our favourite photos of the last week and we will write soon from Northern California!

Adios amigos

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Back on the saddle in search of waves

Our time at the farm came to an end on Friday last week. It was sad to say goodbye to Noah, Elisabeth, Finn Bond and our two fellow WWOOFers Faye and Annais, but as much as we enjoyed having our hands in the dirt we were both missing having our toes in the sand.

So we are on a little ferry cruising down a narrow inlet heading for the Pacific Ocean; looking left and right for bears on the waters edge, drinking average ferry coffee, eating a carrot muffin and enjoying the sun on our faces. Some may call this ferry business cheating as we float our way over two thirds of the width of Vancouver Island. We don’t see it that way because this trip is definitely not all about the bike, sure, pushing pedals is a lush way to travel; stay fit, go slow and breathe the wild air but this particular stretch of road from Port Alberni through to Ucluelet/Tofino is one mean, treacherous son of a bitch and over a dozen people warned us, with stern faces and serious eyes not to cycle this bit due to the numerous deaths, crashes and near misses, so we listened. Plus this ferry ride is stunning.

Fingers crossed there are waves and good times on the west coast. We have got a few interviews, which we hope to be outstanding, lined up with the mayor, and a few local people doing good stuff. We will keep you in the

Look!!! There’s three orcas on the left! Breathtaking!”

Like we said… we will keep you in the loop!

Hugs

Ross and Alice

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And so the story starts

On the 19th May 2012 we got married in St Davids Cathedral and on the 19th May 2013 we will be embarking on the next chapter of our lives. We are going ‘In Pursuit of Outstanding’ to create a better world for ourselves and future generations. As our world leaders aren’t taking action, it is up to us and others to find new ways of collaborating to create a world we want to live in.

The long and the short of it is this: the fundamental systems that allow humans to live on planet earth are under enormous pressure from the impacts of climate change, biodiversity loss and ineffective resource use, and a lack of care and compassion for the world around us.

Wales was the cradle of the industrial revolution that changed the face of the world; our natural resources were used to power the businesses that reached to all corners. With nearly all of the coal mines closed and only a couple of steelworks left, Wales has the opportunity to embrace the green revolution and lead the way in one planet living; our pursuit is to find inspiration and practical examples from the individuals and organisations around the World who are leading the way.

We are taking two years to volunteer, intern and work our way around the world’s coastlines, traveling by bicycle with a trailer for our surfboards and camping gear. We start our journey in Vancouver on Monday 20th May 2013 and will

cycle 2000 miles south to Los Angeles.

4 days and counting.

PS – this blog is not just a diary for the next few years but also a great way for friends, family and anyone else who is reading to share, comment and engage in our journey so feel free and post away!