Blog

  • The Final Leg: Captain Blake

    The Final Leg: Captain Blake

    Guest Blogger - Blake Raney

    The world slows down when you're on a tandem bicycle. Your mind, your heart, your spirit: these things move at a different pace on this trip. I like it.

    Leg 7, The Conclusion, is underway. We set off from Carpinteria on Sunday morning. Pa and Ma Raney made Devon, Jeff, and me breakfast; we set up our gear and peddled down the road: "So long mom and dad, thanks for making us." (Devon's my brother). We made it to Vons, .06 miles into the journey when I realized I forgot the captains knife. This tool is apparently a big deal...so things could only look up for me from this point.

    Our party stopped at Rincon to check the surf. It lacked inspiration, so we kept ours up by peddling to Emma Wood. For you bloggy (if I'm the blogger, doesn't that make you the bloggy) these are pretty sought after surf spots. We were all excited to get in and catch a few waves. I lack all and any real surfing skills, but I sure do love all that it is: the culture, the style, the raw life-giving connection to the earth and her creator. In surfing, we sit atop the mighty ocean hoping to catch the tail end of her final breaths in hopes for a wave that reminds us of who we really are. 

    Following surf session #1 we visited the Ventura Surfrider chapter. Then lunch and to the grocery store. There we met some interesting folks--Alexander and Erin--from Arizona, who were making their second trip up to Canada and back on BEACH CRUISERS!! oh, ya...and they're "salmoning", which means they bike on the wrong side of the rode. But I'm not upset; there are too many other arrogant cyclists on the road to make them feel bad. I think we tried to wave at all of them. Then we finished our day by riding back up north to Faria, where we made dinner, set up camp and slept.

    Day 2: We started the day with a failed attempt to pay a discounted hiker/biker fee; but the park ranger was cool about it. Then off we went to Oxnard High School! We stopped for lunch and In 'n Out and then rolled onto campus. Counselor Scott McNut was there to welcome us and introduce Devon to 250+ kids. He captivated them with his story. Then we gave away a bunch of cool stuff (which never happened at a single one of the lame assemblies in my day).

    A quick departure and we were off to Leo Carillo!


  • A few last thoughts...Trip Leg 5

    A few last thoughts...Trip Leg 5

    Guest Blogger - Tom Burt

    Looking back I think I got the luckiest section of the trip with surf every day and no wind, fog, rain etc.  I have to say thanks to all the others who captained Devon to this point and in the future for all their work.  I found out that traveling by bike is an exceptional way to see, but also hear, smell, and feel the places you are seeing.  So much different than traveling by car where you only see things for a second not minutes.  

    Thinking of exceptional, Devon got some extra smells while riding being downwind of my butt the whole trip. I would say his eyes were watering quite often.

    Something about Devon  “Raney #23” in general.

    Devon is one motivated individual. First to put on wetsuit, last to take it off.  Even after riding all day.

    Always ready to do whatever.  Even go down a 600 vertical cliff trail to get to surf, he really trusted me on that one.  He sweated more going down that trail than at any other time during the trip.  I cannot imagine the amount of energy Devon spent just going down.  The best part was that a local surfer called him into his first wave at that spot.  

    Devon hated me for buying rotisserie chicken but was stoked to eat it.  I am sure he has some sort of hantavirus or other rodent disease from the bagels that had gotten chewed.  I know I am feeling a bit weird.  

    Devon wanted this shot on the tractor for his grand dad.  

    And I had to put in the new $10 sunglasses that he picked out.  Looking good Lewis!!

    I would also have to say we must have incurred the most G-forces on the bike ripping around the sharp corners on the down hills.  I hardly used the brakes, only when we were doing 40 mph into a 15 mph corner.  The trailer just pushes your momentum down the hills like an engine and this being my real first time on a road style bike I was stoked we did not wad it up at speed around those corners.  Devon would just feel me lean into a turn, and he would just trust me and lean with me keeping the bike balanced throughout the turn and the trailer just pushing us along.

    I am pretty sure Michael Jackson is alive!!  We saw him in Monterey or at least this guy who made 10 dollars is the two minutes when we were there.  That guy was on pace to make $300 an hour so I am sure that was Michael.  

    And last a special shout out to all the Big Sur area locals who were open to have us surf in their back yards.  Jake Davi, Dave and his son, Dan and the others, who’s names I can’t remember or did not get.  Thanks for sharing.


  • R&R in Santa Barbara County

    R&R in Santa Barbara County

    Guest Blogger - Jeff Hawe

    The Northern reaches of what's typically defined as SoCal is good country. From point conception to Ventura the coastline is defined by numerous points sticking out which deliver a plethora of point break waves to choose from, all right handers, a regular footer paradise! The B3 crew was thinking when they planned a week stop over for some R&R in Carpinteria, right in the middle of this coastline only a couple miles from the queen of the coast, Rincon. Only one problem, the ocean decided for some R&R also apparently. Oh well, I guess it's been good to rest the spaghetti limbs known as my arms after a few days at Jalama. And lucky for us the Carpinteria / Santa Barbara area has more to do than just surf. 

    Some pivotal years of my youth were spent living in Carpinteria and Goleta ( north side of SB) so it was a real treat to be back here. Checking my old haunts and seeing old friends. As hard as it was to not be near Devon all the time day after day after day... I decided I would spend a few nights couch surfing in Santa Barbara. It was a nice break from the saddle, although I think I still managed to pedal close to 100 miles over the week. I got to live the glamorous SB lifestyle for a short bit.

    Wine tasting (drinking), farmers market, Passion Pit at the Bowl, good eats all over, a little visit to the kind folks at Patagonia down in Ventura, and an inspiring tour of Channel Islands surfboards. All these things had me wondering why I left In the first place. Although if I had not I wouldn't be here now on this trip telling you this story. So in the end it all works out. 

    Now I'm rambling. So I will let the photos share the rest as I get ready to pedal south in hopes I don't have to play the roll of family mediator as Devon and Blake Raney share the tandem on this seventh and final leg of the B3 journey. 

    Did I forget to mention we had a session in the coveted coast known as The Ranch..? Oh, sorry, I think Devon covered that :D

  • The Pumpkin.

    The Pumpkin.

    Guest Blogger - Madrona Raney

    We woke up early on Halloween morning and went to Hobson County Park to surf. It was horrible...windy, small and bumpy. After we went back to the house and put on my costume, then we hopped on our bikes and we biked from Carpinteria to the Channel Islands factory for an awesome Halloween party. We got to get a tour of the factory where they chape the boards, it was really special. There were so many boards it was crazy. 

    After, we went to town for trick-or-treating. We took a break for dinner at this awesome thai restaurant. Then we went back to the house so we could give out candy. My mom and I went back out trick-or-treating, we got sooo much candy! When we got back I counted my candy and I got 166 pieces, that was a lot. 

    Oh, I just forgot...I was a pumpkin for halloween, having fun in Carpinteria.

  • WE SURFED AT THE RANCH TODAY.

    WE SURFED AT THE RANCH TODAY.

    Guest Blogger - Devon Raney

    We surfed "The Ranch" today! In 20 years of living down here I have never ben inside "The Ranch" proper. I went in a boat once, from Gaviota, around the corner about a mile, and thought we were surfing "The Ranch", but that was a long time ago, and I learned today that we were way off anyways. "The Ranch" is not a secret, but man, they do a great job of keeping it protected.

    The waves were spectacular, clean, glassy, and some head high sets. I'm thinking of a right I caught, that peaked up on the reef and help up, head high until the shore pound. It was such a special experience, and I am especially happy Becca and Madrona were along for the ride. Much thanks to Josh Ellis who made it all happen, and who called me into great waves.

    Yesterday we spent Halloween at the Channel Islands surfboard factory. They put a killer outdoor picnic on for their employees. We hung out and had lunch, Madrona was dressed up as a pumpkin and Jeff, Becca and I were lame regular people. After we ate, and explained to people why we were too lazy to dress up, we got a tour of the surfboard factory. It's always awesome to see something made in America! And even more awesome to see workers who are stoked doing it. Travis Lee and Scott Martinson took their time and showed us all the aspects of making surfboards at Channel Islands. I was like a kid in a candy shoppe. I had a million questions and enjoyed learning about the new machines. A definite highlight for me was holding 6'6" board they were about to ship to Kelly Slater for him to surf at the Pipeline contest. I gave the board a secret "good Luck" rub, and I think he's going to win because I passed my good "Mojo" on to his board. Good luck Slater!

    The Channel Islands tour was amazing and again I was super grateful Becca and Madrona were with me. I keep reminding Madrona how many rad things she gets to do. She's out touring the factory one day and surfing "The Ranch" the next day. Thanks again to Travis Lee, Scott Martinson and Dave Downing for making us a part of such a positive group of people. I really enjoyed surfing Jalama with Scott Martinson. Some call him the "Mayor" of Jalama and people definitely treated him that way. Thanks Scott for calling me into those waves!...It was super cool seeing some of Currens old boards at the factory....

    ...I keep thinking of all these things that have happened to me over the past couple days...did I mention we rode our bikes to the Channel Islands factory. Oh, and did I tell you about the head high waves I got at "The Ranch".

    Becca and Madrona are flying home tommorrow. We will start pedaling again on Sunday. 250 more miles and nine more days, and my brother Blake Raney is the tandem Captain of the final leg. We have two more high schools to stop at, and one Ventura Surfrider Chapter. 

    ...oh, did I mention I surfed "The Ranch" today? ....Just cant't stop smiling!

  • Memoirs of the Tandem Captain from Bodega Bay to Santa Cruz: Part 5

    Memoirs of the Tandem Captain from Bodega Bay to Santa Cruz: Part 5

    Guest Blogger - Mike Cummins

    (This is going to be my last entry on this blog.  I feel like I’m being a BLOG HOG! But it is probably going to be really long.)

    Pedaling is slow drama and there is quite a bit of road time to contemplate and wordify the little sweet and sour ideas of your mind. The flat lengths between the ups and downs were always the best places to say something and to listen. While on the bike, Devon and I spoke about a lot of things great and small going on in our respective lives. “Hills and Bills” was an expression that Temple came up with early in the trip and is probably the best punctuation for almost every topic that came up. We also sang rap songs about sad happenings in other people’s lives. I found the idea to write these memoirs somewhere out there, a way to say a little more about the BBB trip than point A to point B.

    One thing that left the greatest impression on me, and something we all discussed a bit, was how others reacted to the journey. People were so excited and embracing with seeing something different cross their path. We made a lot of postcard friends in parking lots, outside coffee shops, and all over along the road-mostly they wanted to check out the tandem/trailer setup. So many other people were making a similar journey in their cars, on motorcycles, even on their own bike, but not a journey like ours. In most occasions, we would omit that Devon was visually impaired, and just explain what we were doing: Riding down the coast on a tandem bike with surfboards-Duh! 

     

    (Actually, I was lying at the beginning of my blog!  I know I am being a BLOG HOG, but I’m going to keep writing stuff because I feel like writing stuff.) 

  • Leg 6: San Luis Obispo (SLO) to Carpinteria: Captain Ron takes the helm

    Leg 6: San Luis Obispo (SLO) to Carpinteria: Captain Ron takes the helm

    Guest blogger - Ron Hendrickson (Captain Ron)

    My son David and I arrived in SLO for our B3 adventure with Devon and crew.  Jeff and Devon met up with us at the bike shop, we loaded up and hit the road.  To dinner that is.  I hadn't ridden the tandem for quite a while with Devon and never with the trailer.  What a load and it wasn't fully loaded yet.  As we followed Jeff for dinner, I mentioned to Devon I was glad Jeff had a plan. From the stoker seat, he said to me, PLAN, are you kidding, this trip is day to day!  "Great" I am a planned person, now on Devon time and schedule where he can dictate to me from the backseat!  Dinner was good at a small Italian place and we headed back to the hotel for a soak in the hot tub and a good night sleep.  

    The morning came quickly and we got started on our longest voyage.  Cool and foggy, we headed for Pismo Beach and breakfast.  The tandem, skull and all was running well.  It took a few miles for Devon and I to get our shifting down but soon we were in the groove.  We rolled into Pismo and picked up breakfast at a small world famous breakfast spot at the pier.  (they all say world famous around here in Cali)  On our way out of town we stopped and picked up some fresh strawberries at a fruit stand.  Best ever!   As we pedaled out of Pismo, the farm countryside was incredible.  We headed past rural California farmland like no other.  The strawberry farms were huge.  Guadalupe came up about 10 miles south of Pismo.  We stopped for water and a break.  David, who is not a biker, was looking for water and more water!  He was doing great but 20 miles was about his longest ride ever.  We had 35 to go but didn't tell him! Both of our butts were getting sore.  I looked at the seat on the front of the tandem and it is a lady lux!  Not shaped for men if you know what I mean!  Past captains????  But if past captains made it work, so would Captain Ron!  Lompoc was our goal for day one.  At mile 45 we had two choices, HWY 1 which looked fairly flat or Harris Grade Road.  My definition of grade is a large, steep winding hill.  Jeff and Devon's definition was scenic country side.  2.5 miles at 5% grade and ground off asphalt is what it was.  We made it, even with a truck full of kids blasting an air horn at us.  David almost passed out but was glad to see the top and the reward of the downhill to Lompoc.

    Lompoc brought the addition of Becca and Madrona to the crew.  Devon was super stoked to see Madrona which he hadn't seen for a month.   The girls staked out our camp spot prior to our arrival.  We then loaded into the truck and took our first trip to Jalama Beach.  The road into Jalama is killer!  Steep up and down and never seemed to end.  The truck ride was long and tomorrow we would be riding this beast.  We made it to the Jalama Beach Diner at 5:35 for the famous burger and fries only to find out the grill closed at 5:30!  We checked out the beach and surf conditions, enjoyed one of the many beautiful sunsets (we'll let them claim their sunsets as world famous!) and headed back.  Dinner with the camp stove was perfect and the new bike riders were tired and went to bed early.    

    The next morning,  we now had a support vehicle, so off to the grocery store for more food camp supplies and peanut butter cups we went.  Breakfast at a greasy spoon and then the 20 mile ride into Jalama.  Not a good combination.  Fortunately we were fine and the ride was a success.  After finally cresting the grade, we started the downhill to the beach.  Devon kept telling me to let the bike go faster.  I kept telling him it was steep and windy with gravel!  Didn't seem to bother him, he just wanted to go faster.  I did let the bike run when the curves spread out a bit and he was hooting in my ear.  We rolled into Jalama and the ranger told us reservations were required at most sites.  But one of the four beach front sites was opening in 30 minutes and we could have it.  No way!  Beach front at Jalama, must have been meant to be!  Our site was spectacular.  The surf sessions were soon under way with Devon, Jeff and David chomping at the bit.  (I don't surf so I was designated spotter)  The waves looked good and Devon was hoping for a right breaking wave into the cove past Tarantula's.  He got it!  

    For the next 48 hours it was sleep, eat and surf!  It was double overhead (all surfers lie but it was big!)  Jeff and Devon said they were glassy smooth and steep.  We got the chance to meet and surf with Scott from Channel Island Surfboards.  Jalama burgers had been devoured and it was time to climb back out.  

    It was now Wednesday, Oct 23, David's 26 birthday and he was at the bottom of a huge hill with a bike!  No problem, he left at noon to ride at his pace.  The rest of us meandered out at 2pm for another 40 mile day.  The climb out was hot but quicker than the climb in.  Becca met us on Hwy 1 with coffee boosters!  It worked.  The surfers who were dragging from all that paddling and getting tossed needed the boost.  We powered the next 25 miles in good time.  A huge hill above Gaviota was a thrill.  We put her in full lower gear and ripped the 2.5 mile 7% downhill grade.  We were probably doing 40 to 45mph with all that weight just coasting.  After a nice camp dinner in Refugio, a marshmallow and peanut butter cup cake for David's birthday and nice fire, to bed we went. 

    Carpinteria, the destination of leg 6 was in site.  Since it was a short 25 mile day, we took the scenic route.  Devon and I motored ahead of Jeff and David down Hwy 101 for Santa Barbara.  We missed the sign that said bikes exit here!  The California Hwy patrol noticed us and gave us an escort up the off-ramp.  No problem, Captain Ron was nice to the officers, told them the navigator missed the sign and that was that.  We met up the Jeff and David off the 101 who saw the sign.  We had a great lunch in SB at La Super Rica and then rode the bike path to Carp!

    What a great adventure to be a part of!  Thanks so much to Devon and Becca for all the planning and letting David and I be a part of the crew! The skull rocks and I will be passing the captain's knife to Blake soon! 

  • Trip Leg 5: Santa Cruz to San Luis Obispo - Part 2

    Trip Leg 5: Santa Cruz to San Luis Obispo - Part 2

    Guest Blogger - Tom Burt

    Carmel to San Luis Obispo

    For Clint Eastwood

    El Muy Joven, El Ojo Roto, y El Muy Viejo 

    For all the jokes

    Los Tres Amigos

    The real story

    9 dias total con 11 tiempos de esurfar, mucho sol, no viento, 190 miles peddled

    One last dinner in Carmel after a sunset surf session, Pizza at La Bicyclette, so apropos, and a night cap of Devon’s favorite, root beer float, but this one made with gelato. 

    We said our goodbyes to Chris and Bev...but not before Chris had styled us out with B3 stickers to grass roots market our trip.  You may see one sometime traveling down the coast at a place where we stopped and had a good time.  Chris also thought a skull would be a good addition for the up coming miles so I figured out how to mount it to the handle bars with our head light blinking out of its mouth. We hit the last big grocery store and stocked up with the staple of the trip, Reese’s, bags of them.  Onto the road south.

    This of course is the information dead zone of the trip.  No phones or internet.  Just one of the most beautiful coast lines in the world,  one narrow road along straight down cliffs with no shoulder half the time, great camping, really expensive stores and restaurants, tourists in cars trying to run you over but there are incredible places to surf along the way if you take the time to look.  And as it happens on a bicycle you have the time. 

    Also with no external distractions we started with nicknames and bad jokes as a way to keep my mind off my sore butt and makes the miles go by fast.  If you can call going up and down hills with very little or no flats fast.  I felt like all I did was shift gears constantly to find the perfect spin but as soon as I would find it, the road gets steeper, or you crest over a hill, but rarely could I relax and just peddle.  Devon must of thought that I was screwing with him and not peddling, I shifted so many times.  Anyway I had my eyes peeled on any potential surf spot and before noon on day one we ran into this wave. Great wave and we got our first Big Sur surf on.  The weather was all time, sunny, warm, dry with no wind and if there was any wind at all it was off shore.  We did not pitch a tent the entire week.  Yes, I am talking about Big Sur the Fog Bank as it usually is was way off shore.

    The first night we slept under the Redwoods with great views looking up at a quarter moon.  That morning we peddled a while to find coffee and food at the Big Sur Bakery and as in fashion with our new found friend, the skull, we parked it and ate.   Energy at top levels we heading back up and down hills looking for our next surf.  We happened upon a wave around noon, made a sandwich, went surfing and did not get back on our bikes until after 5pm.  We watched the sun set peddling south hoping to make it before dark to Lucia for dinner and to find a place to stay for the night.  We arrived in the dark by headlamp  ate and peddled down the coast in the dark to Limekiln State Park and found some other bike riders who we had met earlier in the trip to stay with for the night.  Of course we could not stay or use any of the US Government campgrounds because congress can not get there shit together and it is screwing with us even here. 

    The next morning we got on our saddles and headed to surf a few miles of kind of flat terrain to Sand Dollar Beach, yes one of the closed areas by our Government, but the waves were calling, we walked pasted the closed sign and we surfed.  Heading south that afternoon to get to Gorda.  Happy to hit that store because we were all out of water from the long day so far. With water, and a snack in the belly and two of the biggest hills to go over, we headed to Ragged Point and a hamburger. Ran into a surfer there, who sent us to Carp to surf and camp.  It was a great tip and we surfed another sunset surf by ourselves with great waves, slept under a cypress tree and surfed again in the morning by ourselves.  

    We pack our trailers and headed out of Big Sur peddling on our way to San Simeon, Cambria, Cayucuos, Morro Bay.  The first real wind of our trip started blowing but it was blowing south just pushing us along making it easy and we cranked out the 45 miles before dark and ate dinner at the Taco Temple.  A huge meal no matter what you order for only a few dollars. Our whole bill was $22.00 and we ate like kings. A must stop in Morro Bay.  

    Our last day we checked out Morro Rock, saw a submarine ....and did our my last surf of the trip with Devon and Jeff south of the rock down over the sand dunes.(photo checking surf).  Devon even took the fins off a board and road the dunes for fun.  We peddled with a tail wind to San Louis Obispo and we stopped by Art’s cyclery who charged me $2.70  (cheap bastards, Devon was getting the biked tuned for the rest of the trip there) for a bag to stuff my closes in so I could ride the Dog back to Santa Cruz.

    Let me just say thanks to Devon for inviting me.  It was a great time and he did put up with all my stupid sarcastic humor.  Becca, whom I never got to see, and for all her organization to get me ready for the trip.  Madrona, for letting me hang with your Dad. Jeff Hawe, whom I never met before, for peddling with Devon and documenting the trip.  He is one motivated photographer, fun surfer and a new friend in life.  Lets here it for the body Carl!  Thanks to my wife, Trish and kids, Nina and Hannah, for giving me the time to do this.  Thank to my good friends, John and Madeline Hope, Gus and Sheryl Samios, and Chris and Bev Sanders for taking in Devon, Jeff, Mike, myself and anyone else.  You are the best and I am honored to call you my friends.  I look forward to the rest of the stories to be told.

    Tom Burt


  • Chasing Blue Crush-by Chris Sanders

    Chasing Blue Crush-by Chris Sanders

    Guest Blogger - Chris Sanders

    Carmel is located at the south end of the Monterey Bay, past Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach. It was inhabited by the Esselen and Ohlone tribes for centuries before Spanish explorers "discovered" the bay in the 1500's. After the Spanish, missionaries and ranchers "discovered" the area in the 1800's bringing enlightenment and a good steak. Then artists, writers, and musicians discovered Carmel after the 1906 earthquake. But it wasn't really discovered until the arrival of realtors, art galleries, wine bars, and Houstonians, named for the annual migration of Texans who love the cool, fogged-in summers and European cafes on every corner. At first glance, Carmel would appear to be the cultural opposite of Santa Cruz at the north end of the massive Monterey Bay, but it's only different by degrees and the police log. Property values are equally high. Santa Cruz is connected to Silicon Valley, Carmel is the last stop before the frontier called Big Sur.

    It's better that this blogpost is published after Team BBB peddled through Big Sur. Of course, Devon, Jeff, and Tom didn't underestimate the peril of riding from Canada to Mexico along the narrow highways of the Pacific coast, but the stretch from Carmel to Cambria is world-class insane. 101 miles of rocky outcroppings and hairpin curves I don't even like to drive in a car. 

    This week, parades of holiday refugees snaked down scenic HWY 1, funneling over narrow bridges and jockeying for passing lanes, attempting to salvage their vacations during a government shutdown that closed popular national parks. Minivans full of restless, carsick escapees from suburbia gambled on landing one of the few Big Sur campsites. And if that didn't work- a damp motel room. But 200 turns and two hours later they discovered there were no campsites nor motel rooms. Only a netted rock face to the left and the Pacific Ocean to the right, crashing 1000 feet below. For drivers on the outer curve, adding a bike or two to the mix complicated the equation.

    I know. I've driven it many times. I barely noticed the cyclists trudging up to Bixby Bridge or resting on the windblown shoulder at Hurricane Point. I was too busy clinging to the centerline. 

    The day before B3 left Carmel, I saw my friend Scott hobbling up the sidewalk, elbow canes strapped to each wrist. Not old man canes, but those canes for people with spinal injuries. Scott used to ride his bike everyday from his house boat in Monterey to his job down the street. And he's ridden Big Sur's Old Coast Highway for decades. But last February, Scott was pedaling through Carmel Valley when he was rear-ended by a driver blinded by the sun. He's still recovering. I told him of the B3 adventure and solicited some advice. "Wait until the bridge is empty before you cross." he cautioned, "Drivers down there get spooked on the narrow bridges and underestimate their width. They'll pinch you."

    Thanks Scott, I'll try to work that into the conversation.

    UPDATE: I got word from Becca that the boys made it safely to Morro Bay beyond Big Sur. Exhale. That adventure was nothing short of amazing.

    ______________________________________

    Rolling back a couple days, I got a call from bike captain Tom Burt, an old friend from the golden days of snowboarding. When we worked together at Avalanche snowboards, I'd dream up some innovation and Tom would prove it worked. Little secret, I could have mounted swim fins to an ironing board and Tom would have proved it worked. 

    Tom called to let me know the riders would be arriving in Carmel for evening glass. My wife Bev and I were looking forward to their visit. The Carmel Art & Film Festival would be happening the same weekend. This would neatly dovetail into my grand plan to introduce Bev to actor Kate Bosworth. She was in town introducing her new film appropriately titled Big Sur. This seems random, but Kate starred in the surf melodrama Blue Crush back in 2002. It turned out to be an important cultural meme that inspired many women to surf after seeing the film. Bev, founder of Las Olas surf safaris for women, felt the seismic shift of the movie that year. I thought it made sense to connect the women. I only needed to warm Bev and Kate to the idea.

    I shared my plan with the boys over dinner of NY steaks and barbecued sweet potatoes. I guess my sedentary lifestyle requires a lower caloric intake than three guys who just peddled 60 miles. I thought we could split a couple steaks. The correct formula turned out to be pretty simple: estimate what you would normally eat… then double it.

    Naturally, I was curious about the degree of Devon's sight condition. Could he see at all? Shadows? Forms? Light? The truth is, I still don't know. He has mastered the ability to look right at you in conversation and move gracefully through the room like he's been there before. I soon found myself forgetting he had any limitations. That led to absent-minded faux pas when talking about visual things like art on the wall or surf conditions. I awkwardly tested his sense of humor when he settled into the guest room by saying he had a direct view to the surf break, which in fact, was a brick wall. But he was unaffected and it felt like the joke was on me.

    And he's completely at home on the beach. He must be drawing from years of experience because Tom said he surfs circles around him. In fact, I doubt any surfer in the lineup would have even noticed Devon couldn't see the set… or could he?

    Carmel proper is about one square mile that ends at an idyllic cove bordered in white sand. Within that square is 60 restaurants and bars. It was no problem for us to find places to eat, drink, and meet up. With the film festival going on, the corner tavern was thick with indy filmmakers pitching the next Little Miss Sunshine. Despite the influx of Hollywood types, people were genuinely curious about the BBB adventure. I almost thought Devon would land a movie deal.

    I hadn't given up on my carefully orchestrated 'chance meeting' with Kate. By Saturday night, the restaurant staff was on the look out and reports of "she just left" or "back in an hour" were filtering in. 

    Sunday was sunny and warm with waist high swell. We carbo-loaded at Little Swiss Cafe where surfer/owner Steve shared his single snowboard story- basically he followed his expert friends to the top of an expert run and expertly had his ass handed to him. What he lacks in snowboard skill, he definitely makes up for in the kitchen. His food is outstanding.

    The boys surfed while Bev and I saw Kate premier her new film Big Sur, a dark story of Jack Kerouac's escape to a hidden cabin 20 miles south. I tried for a chance to sidle up to her during the meet-and-greet, but I was seriously starting to look like a stalker. The movie was good, Kate and her new director husband were gracious hosts, but I needed to bring it down a notch or get escorted out. Unfortunately, I hesitated and again she was gone.

    That evening we settled into the back room at La Bicyclette cafe on the corner. Using the aforementioned formula, we doubled the pizza order while a stream of attractive servers made sure our glasses were never empty. That bike/surf/eat/sleep program doesn't jibe with bar crawls, so we ambled back to the house and chatted around the fire.

    The following morning, bikes loaded and team caffeinated, we hugged goodbye and wished them well. They had a few hundred miles ahead before joining Becca and Madrona in San Luis Obispo next weekend. As they say on the set, we're burning daylight, so we waved them out of sight as they headed south down towards the highway. On our walk back home, Bev and I stopped at the same cafe for coffee. The pretty barista asked how their trip was going. "Amazing," I replied, "They just started down the road towards Big Sur." 

    "One of them was really cute," she smiled. 

    "Oh really?" Then I smiled back and asked, "You didn't see Kate Bosworth, did you?"


  • Memoirs of the Tandem Captain from Bodega Bay to Santa Cruz: Part 4

    Memoirs of the Tandem Captain from Bodega Bay to Santa Cruz: Part 4

    Guest blogger Mike Cummins

    Finally on the road.

     We were at the top of the driveway in Bodega Bay. I clipped my right shoe into the pedal. Lifted it up in unison with Devon to poise our power for the first pedal-push of our journey. 1 And 2 and go! We were on the road. I got my left pedal clicked in on the 2nd or 3rd go round and we were on our way with grace. Thankfully, I had the opportunity to practice for some miles with Devon and the Tandem on Temp's route from Sequim to Crescent Beach.  Slowly we got up to riding speed and balance with the road starting to blur beneath us and the views of Tomales Bay opened up in front.  I tried my best to navigate just to the left of the roadsides white line.

     Towing the trailer was a new thing for me. Going up the hills it was like hauling a dirty, wet stump and going down the hills it was like being pushed by a rhinoceros. Also, the weight of gear in the saddlebags off the front forks made the bike very pivoty, especially when we were going up the hills.  Aaaaaand.....I'm embarrassed to say that getting in the right unison with the gearing was a challenge, I mean really tough! Really, this was my only BIG stressor the entire way. I will give you an example- Imagine a hill is coming up ahead, "downshifting" I would say. But then the hill gets more hilly "downshifting more" I would say. And then the hill grows more hellishly hillier, "downshifting even more" I would say. "No" Devon would say, "we have to stop and put it into the granny gear!"  Crap I would always think to myself, what a bad captain I turned out to be.   If our pedaling put too much tension on the long tandem chain, it could snap!  We would both have to get off the bike, lift up the back tire, and turn it to the granny gear by shifting and turning the crank with our hands. Sorry, I haven't been to this hill before!  

    But, my blue shirt was preforming amazing well, exceeding my expectations. Not to cool, not to warm, I think I'm going to wear it the entire trip.  And then my great thoughts were interrupted by the saddlebag bouncing off the bike an hour or so into our day, tumbled down the road and skidded to a stop. I had put it on the wrong way-backwards I guess. I ran to retrieve it before Jeff saw my mistake, but I'm sure he got a photo. Did I mention Jeff was sometimes behind us, sometimes in front of us all day, everyday riding and taking photos? He wanted us to find an old barn on the roadside for us to pose in front of, I’m sure with the secret hope of making a photo for a National Geographic issue.

     We rode up and down the little hills towards Point Reyes Station. On our way, the bay to our left had smooth water with a low tide.  It was Sunday afternoon and the traffic was thin and slow. We got some water in a little town and then pushed towards someplace with better food. Point Reyes is where the famous blue cheese is from, and it as at the deepest southern nook of Tomales Bay.  Our ride was 40 easy miles that felt like 40 easy miles. Becca and Laura meet us at this little deli and we shared some sandwiches.   We got some coffees and a quick bike tune at a weird bike shop and then headed towards John Hope's little boathouse.  

    Just so everyone knows, Becca and Laura were not on bicycles. They were in the same silver businessman rental car: the support vehicle. Pretty much they were Devon’s cheerleaders. On the first day, I gave them 10 bucks to find me a fanny pack and a visor, fashion items I really needed for my trip.  The said they couldn’t find anything-I believed them until just now.  

    There were at least 6 bottles of wine in the trunk.  Just saying!