alabama to The district of columbia!

I have some time now to post some pictures from the past 2 weeks
prior to getting on our train in Tuscaloosa Alabama we camped here. It was nice because we were only 20 miles from town. We woke up that morning with just that short ride, we were able to stop and eat breakfast before catching the train. That's the first time we ate at waffle house. "good food fast" it was really good we've been there a second time since that first time.

so we got our train and transported to Virginia.
we try ed really hard to find some "virgina is for lovers" apparel, like stickers or a beer coozie or something. But the best we could do was find this wall in an ally of Richmond.

This is a picture Nicole shot of us from up in the Church Hill neighborhood over looking downtown Richmond.

we spent the first night in town going to a few bars in part of a Micro brew pub crawl with Vanessas friend Nicole and her boyfriend Aaron. After that we Met Ryan at a place called "Empire" where some bands were playing.
Richmond was the first place in a long time where we were surrounded by like minded young people. Three of which Vanessa has known since long ago. It was really great.
We spent our 2nd night in town at a house show/party. After that night we felt like we could just end the trip here and start over in richmond. everyone was so fun and friendly. and into good music, and riding bicycles. It was hard for us to get ourselves to eventually move on to the next town.

A few different people told Ryan and I that we looked a lot alike, I cant argue with that.

www.twoholesarebetterthanone.com Check out the may 18th video.

The very next day nicole and ryan took us out for a day of exploring, Mostly by the River. It was really neat. its like a whole different world when you go down there.

We ate lunch everyday we were in richmond at Perlys. Its the restaurant that Ryan works at. And every day we'd get a different kind of sandwich with fries or coleslaw or potato salad, and it was always so good. And we drank a lot of good coffee while in town also, Between Aaron being way into brewing good coffee at home and Ryan being way into going to good coffee shops, we had the coffee situation covered.
It was strange getting moving again when it came time to leave the Richmond area. We feel right into the pattern of hangin out with everyone we were meeting, we took just as many days off in richmond as we had the entire trip prior to getting there.
But we did in fact have to move on, and to a great place at that. took a two day ride and got to DC. It started to rain when we were about 10 miles to where we were trying to get. But it wasn't end of the world downpour rain like the day we rode into richmond, it was like... A summer rain. So we tryed our best to not let it get to us, And the fact that we were on a bike path, not a busy road, and we could see our nations capitol forming in the skyline, these things helped. It was really pretty surreal riding into DC, to have traveled so far over the past two months and to now be here in the capitol of our country. It was an epic feeling thats hard to describe. We went straight to the Hostel on 11th and K st. Its not where we are staying but it is where Sarah works. My long time good friend, were staying with her while we are here in town. We met her there at her work so she could pass us her keys to her house which was just up the road from the hostel. That day of riding was just .3 miles short of being the 2nd longest day of the trip. 79.4 miles.
We've spent the past few days wondering the city and people watching, And last night sarah had a party for her birthday/the going away of one of her friends. It was really nice to be able to meet all of her friends from collage. We made pizzas and home made ice cream and someone supplied the party with a ton of maryland crabs, so it was pretty amazing. It has been really nice to see some more familiar faces and to spend time with sarah and her friends. These things are extra special to us. We really love that we've been able to reconnect with friends in their environments as opposed to it being on Long Island in familiar territory. To see what their life away from where we all grew up is like.
We are spending our last full day here today. Our bodies are really getting tired. Its hard for us to want to even go out and explore. But we'll do just that today because this is all coming to an end soon. I think maybe were going out to dinner with sarah and her friends tonight to have a more mellow birthday celebration, then leaving in the morning. Its a straight line from here to NY we'll stop off in A few big spots along the way, Baltimore, Philadelphia. then straight to mikevargas house.
If all goes as planned our last day of riding will be June the 3rd. That will be our ride from Hoboken NJ to sayville NY. And it sounds like we'll be joined by a group of friends that will most likely meet us In queens and ride our last 45 miles together. This will be a lot of fun, we're both just crossing our fingers that the weather will be on our side from here on out...



We've been hanging out in richmond, VA for a few days now.
The day we arrived was the first really rainy day we have had throughout this entire voyage, and it sucked...
We got really poured on, it started sometime in the middle of the night when we were still about 30 miles from the city area. So come morning we had to pack and ride away from where we were. We rode 21 miles that day before we had to throw in the towel. We were stopping almost every 5-7 miles. I got a flat and had to change it in the down pour, vanessas feet were both numb, and she couldn't ride with her glasses on so once we got within 10 miles of downtown the traffic was way to intense. We were able to find out info on the local bus system, take out panniers off the back of our bikes and get the bikes on the bus bike rack. The bus took us to a stop just blocks away from where vanessas friend nicole lives.
We have now taken just as many days off here in this area as we had the entire trip prior to getting here. Vanessa has a few people in the city here that she knows from back in high school days and we have spent the past three nights crashing their couches.
I dont have the time to get into all the fun stuff we've been up too. But it has been that, A lot of fun. Everyone here is way into bicycles and good times and we've been very happy to take a few days to hang with them.
We'll sleep at nicoles again tonight and leave in the morning to start heading further north. In DC we'll hang with sarah ruth and were excited for that. Im going to try and get online and post some pictures and some more words about everything thats been happening when we get there. That will be 2-3 days from today.
Things are getting really very close to the end and it is a bitter sweet kinda thing.
for now, were still partying our days away in Virginia.


I forgot to mention we bought a small size of "slap ya mother, cajun Seasoning" made in ville Platte the town we met tony in!

Above is a picture of vanessa and myself with our new friend, Tony.
We stop ed in a town called Ville platte, Louisiana to get some lunch. We almost went to the first place we saw as we entered town, but instead we took a lap around the town and decided to go to this other cafe on the fact that their were way more cars outside of this place, and that's a pretty easy way to judge who's serving the good stuff.
Tony was sitting at the table next to us, he started talking to us because he wanted to know about our tattoos, and about our trip because he saw our bicycles out front on his way in. He told us about his trip to New York when he was working as a truck driver. We finished our meals, which were amazing, and said our goodbyes. We left from that cafe and rode just about 4 miles down the road to the local Wal-mart to get some food to eat later that night for dinner. In the towns that have Wal-mart, it is your only option for anything, so thats where we ended up.
We wasted some time there, even sat down and ate a small ice cream each right in the doorway. As we were getting ready to finally leave, out walks Tony. So we started talking again. He then confessed to us that he had wished earlier that he would have asked us if we need a place to stay or anything he could do to help. We let him know that we were doing just fine. But he told us he'd really love to have us stay at his place and that he would drive us back down the road the next morning to start where we would have anyway. We gave it a minute before we answered, continued talking, just last minute make sure measures to prove to ourselves Tony was not a serial killer. And he wasn't, not at all.
We headed to Tony's apartment and hung out all afternoon. He had just gone fishing the day before and had already planned to cook a bunch of them up that night with his neighbor and their friend Jan. So we ended up meeting all of them. Not only that but before all of that we stop ed by the local store so he could buy some "boudin" a local food, alot like sausage but smokey er and has rice in it as well. He insisted we get it once he found out we had never tried it before. We were happy we listened once we ate. They informed us that we were in the real heart of Cajun Culture. His neighbor Tim talked in such a thick Cajun accent, which is a mix of a thick southern speech mixed with a french twist. All of the food was amazing, but what really made it all so great was to realize how lucky we were to be able to experience Louisiana this way. We slept on the couch and got up early to hit the road.
We got this picture when Tony dropped us off at the gas station the next morning in Washington, LA. We always forget to do this, NOT THIS TIME!
So many people are to afraid of the world to let things like this ever happen. Sure you have to be careful about who you trust, and I am plenty aware that there are bad people out there in the world. But for the most part you can trust your gut, and if you can start doing that you'll find life a lot more interesting.

Its been hot out lately.

We took a Ferry ride across the Mississippi River!
And once we landed on the east side of it, everything changed. really, through my life I think I always considered the old Mississippi the divider of the east to the rest of the country, When we drove across a few years ago up in st. Louis, not much changed from one side to the other. But down here in LA. It was really like two separate worlds from the west side the east side. The lay of the land just changed, Hilly, greener, the towns just felt more east coast as opposed to Cajun land Louisiana.

swampy though, no matter where you go down here. This picture is of a creek in Mississippi. We didnt get a welcome sign into the state of Mississippi either, like texas and Louisiana. This creek was picture worthy more then the other because it ate my water bottle. It slipped from my hand and dropped all the way to the water and quickly floated down the stream.
We were only in Mississippi for about 3 days, nothing that interesting happened in Mississippi. I have to thank it though, It provided us with great weather, excellent days of bicycling. Just not all that much to see or do.
(we made flags so all of the reckless driving logging trucks can see us from further away)
Ahh Yes finally, a new sign for us to take our picture under. Alabama! The miles seem to double in size here. We ride 30 and we feel like we rode 60. Its the Hotness, Humidity, and Hills, that cause this feeling.
We are trucking along just fine though. As I mentioned in my last entry, we have been considering the idea of getting on a train from Tuscaloosa, AL ( home of the university of alabama) and taking it up to Charlettesville, VA. and that is exactly what we are going to do. We already had a route that planned to ride in the direction of this town anyway. We hit mobile ,Alabama which was a pretty neat town with loads of civil war history and from there we go north. We are officially off of the southern Tier of America, Heading north.
Undesirables are listed in order
undesirable #1=Bugs that bite
undesirable #2=Dogs that chase ( this happens way to often)
undesirable #3=Logging trucks/ Other really loud large vehicles
Vanessa cut my hair shorter the other night, it was much needed. 90 degrees with 90 percent humidity!
We are about 2 days from Tuscaloosa, we hope to get there before the rain hits us. It's headed this way apparently and should come down for a few days. From Charlettesville time will fly I'm sure(good or bad I'm not sure). We still have lots of land to cover but after being to such foreign feeling areas just being on the eastern coast will make me feel like we have made it.


20 days of texas

Texas Texas Texas.
The state that at any point in time has the right and ability to split into Four separate states.
The state that has an average speed limit of 80 mph, except at night when they have to lower to 70 mph... They have "hills" here that are more like Mini Mountains. Steaks that are bigger then my head. The list goes on, the point is this... Everything really is bigger in Texas.

we crossed into the central time zone shortly after crossing into texas. This was strange for a week or so. we were still so much closer to The west coast and yet we were closer in time to the east coast. It threw us off a bit with the sun setting so much later. When it did set though, the stars were incredible. So many camp spots blew my mind once night fell.
There was this one day where I got two Flats. This was unusual, In total, from start till today Vanessa and I have gotten 5 flats combined. NOT BAD!.... A guy I became friends with through work, his name is mike. He and his two friends rode from san diego to the east coast in 2005, they only took 2 days off and did the whole ride in just 44 days. but in those 44 days they got something like 78 flats between the three of them. Im sorry to tell you mike, but you guys were doing Something wrong! He was a good guy, gave me a bunch of helpful hints before leaving. but yeah, those two flats used our last two spare tubes, causing us to make sure we stoped at the next bicycle shop on route.
This next shop was in the town of Alpine, Tx. The name of it was "Bike Man". Here we met the owner and wrench worker, John. He was the bike man. There was a painting on the outside of a superman but it was with his face and it had a B on his chest!
Anyways, he helped us out. We bought four new tubes, Puncture protection tubes at his suggestion. Some real heavy duty stuff. He also gave us the heads up on the local natural foods store, and about a Hostel/art compound 30 miles down the road that let any cyclist spend the night free of charge. He reminded Vanessa and I of an Older Seamus. Seamus is our buddy and local bicycle mechanic shop owner in downtown San Diego. He helped us out a lot prior to this trip( www.thisisabikeshop.com )

so yeah, we went to that hostel. It was in the town of Marathon, Tx. A population of somewhere between 400-600 people in the entire town, And this amazing place is a part of it.

The outdoor Kitchen. attached to the Hostel House.

The Entrance
The wash room. Laundry/Toilets/showers.
A really inspiring place, And a free bed and roof to sleep under. On a night that rained no less!
The 5 or 6 people living and working there are "wwoof'ing" (world wide opportunities on organic farms) They are working for Room and board. There is an organic garden here but the main objective is to build this place that is sustainable and practice and experiment with different ways to do this. All the buildings are made from various recycled components. And everything is beautifully done really. Nothing is just what is needs to be, everything is turned into a piece of art.

The trains were a really big part of our trip through the south west. Everyday some times for days on end our Route followed along the same route of the train tracks. Sometimes we'd see amtrak trains but for the most part its freight trains. I really enjoyed this. Sure sometimes it was frustrating when we were camping (what felt like) only feet from the tracks and we'd be woken up multiple times in the night. But for the most part it was really nice. Everyday i'd see these huge trains fly by. I always try ed to read all the graffiti writing as it zipped by. And there was a lot of that. We'd also try and see if we could spot anyone that was getting a free ride. Never did.

Most of the rivers are marked on our map. When we ride we hardly ever go further the 20 miles without stopping for at least a few minutes. So when we see that a river will be up ahead we usually wait to take our break there. Eat an apple, Banana, Peanut butter snack, and watch the water go by. This here is one of the larger rivers we have crossed. Most of them are much smaller and we can walk right down to them from the road with our bikes, we've even been lucky enough to camp right by a few of them. That might not be ideal now a days with being on the east coast comes Humidity, humidity+More water= BUGS.

Somewhere along the line before hitting austin we camped at this campground that had a great tent area. we were tucked away from all the RV's deep into the woods. We met two guys there who were also traveling by bicycle. The one kid Kinda Dressed like a mix between a punk Rocker and a cowboy, I liked it...
We made a pretty great fire that night.
We have no digital pictures of our trip to austin at all. This trip happened a pretty funny way really.
We ended up heading into San Antonio Prior to Austin but then got stuck because of rain and had no way of getting to austin but did not want to be in san antonio. I went onto the rideshare section of Craigs list and found a listing from a women name Sarah who drives to work 5 days a week from san antonio to Austin and is always looking for someone to split the gas for the trip. After talking to her and deciding she wasn't a crazy psycho killer. We met the next morning and got a ride with our bikes and all in her ford explorer to austin, Tx!
we took two days off there, they city was cool, Its population is about half of san diegos but yet felt very crowded... I enjoyed the Bike Lanes. and the massive amount of other people who were riding bicycles. It was really nice to see a city that worked this way. where so many people were aware of the connivance and benefits to cycling instead of driving. And how the city helped make this happen.
Being in Austin wasnt everything we hoped for though really. Its just hard. When we enter a city of this sort, not knowing anyone or anything. We end up being viewed as tourist. and we aren't your average tourist who wants to hang out on 6th street and go to the shot bars. We want to experience each city and town the way the locals experience it. But how does one do that when you know no one. you don't! ahh whatever. we still had a really good time. We met some really really great people at the hostel. 3 other people, YOUNG PEOPLE traveling by bicycle! everyone we meet on the road is at least 20 years older then us. so this was great. we didn't just meet them in passing, we were able to sit all night, over drinks, and share our stories. We'll probably stay in touch with Will, He is also riding from CA-NY but going all the way south to New Orleans before heading north, so we'll be a bit ahead of him.
What I did like about Austin was the amount of grass and trees that were right there in the city itself. And that when we left town, we stooped about 10 miles away from the hostel and realized we were once again surrounded by country farms. no sign of city life. Its nice that people can live just 10 miles away and feel like they are in a different world.

Cows. They were everywhere, we saw some other farm animals also. Donkeys, horses, Sheep, Goats. Mostly cows though. We always say hi to the animals as we pass them. I often try and Moo at the cows in hopes that i'll make some sort of sense to them. sometimes i think i do. They often stand up and stare at us. Maybe my moo translates to ( stand up and stare at me.)
Many night time thunder storms!
we've been really lucky though. To this date we have only had that one day from san antonio where we felt we didn't want to ride because of the weather. It has rained, A LOT. but mostly at night and alot of those nights we've been able to find an over hang of sorts to set our tent up under. we have had a few motels though, like right now, im in one. The 6th one of the trip. we hate em, but they let us update with the Internet world and do laundry and shower and all of that.
Not often but at times we have gotten stuck. Not sure where we are going to sleep. Tired and thirsty with no water. destroyed tire with 60 miles to the nearest bicycle shop, the sun about to set and in the middle of no where... These things happen and have happened. But somehow it never lasts due to the goodness of the people we have met along the way. I have started to call them "Road Angels". Our first morning on the road set the pace and it has continued along the way. That first morning waking up away from san diego we met two really great people who invited us in for coffee and breakfast, which included mimosas. our visit to the hostel in Phoenix hardly dented our pockets because of the women working who only wanted to charge us half price. The TWO separate store owners we met in Texas who took it upon themselves to invite us to camp in a safe spot behind their store under an overhang rather then a not so great place down the road. And most Recently and older man named Dave and his Neighbors Mark, Willow, and Kyle.
In austin Vanessa and I both got brand New back Tires and new chains. (we were also given the travelers discount at that shop as well) and here we are not even a week later. We found this great spot to camp down by the river, we rested our bikes up against a pole and sat down to eat an orange. Only minutes later a loud "POW" vanessa's back tire exploded... Her bike was apparently sitting in a not so old fire pit. There was no sign of heat or anything when we put the bikes there, but there was apparently still some hot embers. completely melted through the tire and tube destroying them both. We were in the sticks. really nothing around, nearest bike shop was off route by 60 miles. With plans to hitch hike because we saw no other options, we headed down the road towards the nearest gas station. Along the way an older man waved us into his yard and offered us some cold water. This led to us talking, which led to him offering his front yard as a camp spot and a ride the next morning to the bicycle shop 60 miles away.
Dave is a retired navy worker. He mentioned many times of his Seven tours in Vietnam, And that he sleeps with a gun in his hand so we better not come inside at night because he'd kill us without thinking...
Meeting dave and having that offer to stay also led us to meet His neighbors, they came over after talking to dave and hearing our story. Mark told us they had a big tent set up in his backyard from when his son wanted to camp out the week before and that we should sleep in it. It really was a big tent. we thanked him and moved our sleeping bags into it. They had a big Bon fire going in their backyard and they then invited us into their house to eat dinner with them "sausage and potatoes". These people were so kind, So sooo different from us. a world away. In any other setting we would have never even talked. But we had dinner and talked about what they all did for work, how they just moved into this house and were fixing it up. they offered us some canned food for the road and mark gave me a whole roll of toilet paper haha. Things got really southern when after dinner the guys went out back to shoot some guns off into the fire.... true story.
Anyway, we got our ride the next day and were on our way, still got just as far as we planned to prior to the tire thing. Point is. We had a tire explode and sound like a gun shot and later that night there really were guns being shot... with some really amazing people. and im glad we had that happen to Vanessa's bike.
And then it happened, WE MADE IT OUT OF TEXAS. Were officially in Louisiana. The home of Gumbo, Jambalaya, and Po' Boys. which we ate within the first 48 hours in the state!

Brian Lynch asked me if the hype is real, and it is. So Sooo good. were going through a section of Louisiana that has a good mix of southern style home cooking and Cajun kitchen style cooking. MMMmmm. so yeah. those pictures are of the lunch Vanessa and I ate yesterday.
We spoke about headed north off our original route to take the Natchez Trace Parkway from Natchez Mississippi - Nashville, Tn.
Pretty sure we aren't going to do this. There is some really Terrible weather going on right now north of us in northern Alabama,Mississippi and Tennessee. So we really aren't in a rush to get up there.
With the Oil spills in the gulf right now that is completely out of control. and Tornado's with flooding and other terrible stuff going on to the north of us. We're in wild spot. A safe spot but wild.
Right now it is 94% humidity outside. with a chance of thunderstorms this afternoon. but supposed to clear up tomorrow.
From here we continue east and a bit further south to Mobil, Alabama then north up through Alabama, following the "underground railroad Route" thanks to Adventure cycling Association. If the weather stays this way, or maybe just for the heck of it we may take a train ride from a spot in mid Alabama to a spot in Virginia, Taking a chunk of riding out but overall saving us $ time and possibly our lives. The foot of rain Tenn. has gotten over the past 24 hours dosen't sound very exciting.
So for now here we are. Im sure our next week or so of riding will provide us with wet weather, hot humid weather, and probably a lot of roadside frogs. The stereotypes are real. They are everywhere down here.
This trip continues to surprise and inspire us. We miss our san diego friends very much, NY family and friends as well, but really SD because we both know we wont be seeing those people anytime soon. Hope you are all well. Love and miss you. Thank you for everything.
With best regards to everyone from coast to coast
NobadDays from Louisiana!