Saturday, August 8, 2009

By the numbers

Miles travelled: 3853.6
People who told us we were crazy: 3852 (Sarah's mother was the one person who supported us from the start. Thanks, Suzie).
People who entered the bet against us in Peru, Indiana: 10
Money we won from proving them all wrong: $100
Days on the road: 60
Rest days: 10
Average miles per riding day: 77.1
Most miles in one day: 112
Tires used: 10 (Lisa's still on the originals and had no flats, but she can't steer)
Jars of peanut butter consumed: 21
Icees drank: 75
States Crossed: 13
Mental breakdowns (main criteria = tears): 6
Steroid shots: 2
Mg of Advil: countless
Beers: Not enough
New friends: thousands
New friend firemen: 20
ISO-1s: 1
Number of mountain ranges in Oregon: too many
Average temperature in Oregon: 108 degrees
Last time it was 108 degrees in Oregon: 1930
People we've met who are more hardcore than we: 3
Bull elk sightings: 4
American Idol Auditions: 1
Youth inspired: 85
Radio apearances: 1
Shrunken Breasts: 6
Current money raised for Children's HeartLink: $1450

Things we've learned

Iowa's not flat.
Neither are Oregon, Pennsylvania, nor California.
Your butt will never go numb.
Pearl Izumi's worth the extra money.
Take that bike maintenance class.
Training might help.
Amish people know best the hills.
4000 calories are hard to consume.
A surprising number of bars come equipped with free showers.
A surprsing number of campgrounds do not.
The Haitians are right; beyond mountains, there are mountains.
One can never have too many parents on the road.
There are a lot of white people in America.
10 pounds is a lot for a tent.
Ohio smells like sulfur.
The wind will always find you.
Jelly Bellies.
Dogs like cream cheese crab rolls in collapsible containers.
Said crab rolls are not good bike food.
Stop biking when you start crying.
If you look desperate enough, someone will help.
That guy was right, wear sunscreen.

An Ode to Bob and Doris

This is a poem about Alkali Lake;
We arrived there one day in need of a break.
We could write a song. Nay, a Romantic Chorus,
But even that's not enough to thank Bob and Doris!

Last day pictures

1. Dipping day #2. Front tires.
2. Lisa's friend Tarek met us in New York and then again in San Francisco. It was his birthday.
3. Lisa and my bike on Patti's car in San Francisco. We're not riding them.
4. Celebration dinner with Tarek, Tawfic, Tami and Kristine. Bottom's up. Thank you guys so much for a great welcome, making us feel like rockstars, and for dinner. It was delicious! Especially the specially ordered drinks.

And yet, there are more pictures

1. Melissa's self portrait.
2. We made it! That's the Golden Gate Bridge. And that's us. On the San Francisco side.
3. The Redwoods are all they're cracked up to be. Notice we look stressed? That's because my tire had a hole in it and we just needed to get to the next bike shop by 5:30. We made it.
4. This is why you buy the expensive shoes. That's Lisa's foot.
5. Cows. Not something you expect to see on the turnout of the PCH. By the way, those turn outs are necessary when the road winds precariously close to the edge of the cliffs and has no shoulder.

More Oregon and California Pictures

1. The motorcycling dentists we met outside of Yellowstone were impressed.
2. Also in Yellowstone, we met Jim Clause (no relation) from Lakeview, Oregon, which happened to be on our route a week later. He and his wife, Lorrie, took us in and fed us an amazing steak dinner complete with the best sweet corn we've had yet. Thanks!
3. Jim also set us up with his sister, Gail, in Eureka, Calif. Gail thought we were a joke until we showed up on her doorstep after biking up the steepest hill in all of America (ok, Lisa biked; Mel and I walked). Thanks to Gail and her husband, Bryan, for the delicious Mexican dinner, for taking us in, and for setting us up on the radio.
4. Primary colored helmets. Self explanatory.
5. Mel's gears broke, so she experimented with new options while I fixed my tire, which had gotten yet another hole.

Idaho, Oregon, California Pictures

1. Did you know Oregon has mountains?
2. We met Mike the Fireman at the hippie camp in Ashland, Or. The whole place smelled like sulfur from the "healing mineral baths", so he took Lisa out on his sweet bike to buy some potable water. As they were preparing to leave, a half naked girl asked for a ride on the basis that "Beamers make me wet." She then asked Melissa if the three of us were intimate lovers. Later the same evening, a man felt my calf and declared that he "felt power."
3. Finally!
4/5. Our first day in the Pacific Ocean, which is on the other side of the country, "clear 'cross town," as someone in Indiana told us. Little did we know what the next six days would entail. Turns out sea level is full of mountains too. And whoever said all roads are graded to 6% LIED.