Day Ten: Spandex Cowboys

If the end of the last blog didn’t paint a vibrant enough picture for you on how hard we are driving this struggle bus, let us elaborate more:

California State Parks decided it’s a good idea to provide their campers with water that you must boil in order to not contract ebola from drinking it. So we went without water for about 12 hours because we didn’t pack any in. Rex is in pretty poor shape. First of all, our hot dog juice filled cooler leaked everywhere in the trunk, and has now fermented for about 24 hours. The stench has become incredible - wafting the fresh scent of “raw man-gooch” every time a door is opened. We ran out of icy hot, so Milan and Luke had serious withdrawals last night. While everyone was out putting gear away, they were heard discussing in the tent: “how the hell is my body going to be comfortable enough to fall asleep without icy hot on it?”

The drivers, Cesar and Dave, picked up the campground while Luis, Milan, Gabe and Luke got a head start on the day. Rex made a stop at Safeway to get water and icy hot, along with our 20th and 21st bags of potato chips. Rex also made an appearance at the local organic coffee shop in Fort Bragg (Dave was starting to worry he hadn’t consumed anything not fertilized with daisies and cow crap for awhile). While at the coffee shop, we again coincidentally ran into our friends from Oregon. Everyone was shocked - Cesar looked at David, David looked at Cesar - and the two began bantering at the biker friends immediately. After dishing and giving the appropriate insults to each other, everyone split and hit the road. Luis’ wheel skewer was loose enough to allow his back wheel to fall out of the frame after he stopped to check on his bike. Wtf, dude. The first stop of the day was made in Elk, CA. About 130 miles north of San Francisco.

We stopped at a lovely cafe called Queenies Cafe, where we got to feel like we were in an old western film. We ordered lunch starting out onto the California desert, and the four other buildings that reside in Elk. We ate our breakfast fast, clogged their toilet even faster, and paid. We then filled our water from the old spigot attached to the restaurant, spit left out of the frame into a can that went ‘P-TINGGG,’ and ditched town like cowboys in tight shorts.

On the way to the next destination, David and Cesar filmed the boys biking at a few different angles for the C4C film that will be coming out after the ride (stay posted on that). After pretending to be a Hollywood film crew and taking the videos way too seriously, the two found themselves sitting on the edge of a bluff hanging out. Literally in a field of dandelions and California brush, they sat and talked philosophy for about an hour contemplating life, as one does in a field of dandelions. They both agree it was the best part of the day. Meanwhile, Luke Boksem lead the biker pack by going 5 mph in a 50, taking the “share the road” signs way to seriously. Eventually the biker boys caught up with them. However, they were greeted with surprise Red Bulls and forced to shotgun them on the bluff while the song Thunderstruck by AC/DC was blasted out the car. Milan was excited to tell everyone about how he’d gotten the attention of a hundred cows as he biked past their pasture: “Dude they had the whole field, but they chose to come see me!” The lads slapped hands and carried on.

Everyone met 10 miles later for lunch in a town called Gualala. We commandeered some tables outside of one of the cooler super markets in California, called Surf Market. We ate delicious ham and cheese sandwiches, with ingredients freshly cut from the deli. While we ferociously munched, a man came up to us and asked us if we needed any spare tubes - he’d sell em if we did. It turned out we didn’t need the tubes, but we told him why we were out riding when he commented more on our bikes. The man ended up being a sincerely welcoming and cheerful person who was well connected in the California biking community. He invited us to check out his favorite cyclist pit stops in Santa Rosa, and told us he’d spread the word about the Cycle for Charvat. It was really awesome to see how excited he got for us on our ride, and was a spirit lifter for the rest of the day. On the way to the campsite, we figured out Luke should be a NASCAR driver instead of a cyclist. He legitimately does not know how to turn right. Every single right turn that came along, Boksem slowed to a fraction of the speed he could take left turns at. He was quoted saying: “I just wanna go fast.”

At 4:00 PM the 90+ mile day was toasted, and the campsite set up. We only have one more day of biking until San Francisco, and it seems like even though this ride has been grueling at times, the time is slipping away. It’s pretty unbelievable we’ve made it this far (how the hell did we actually do this), but with any luck we’ll be in San Francisco for dinner tomorrow evening.