Uh oh and Bravo!

The message, stern and somewhat threatening, appeared yesterday on every single door of my daughter Katherine’s apartment building.

“The laundry room is not for personal storage space,” it read. “If those are your bikes downstairs, you have 24 hours to remove them, otherwise the office will remove and dispose of them.”

And that’s how Paired Experience’s glorious, challenging, entertaining, surprising 1,325-mile bike ride came to a somewhat undignified end.

My son Vinnie and daughter in-law Danni met a lot of helpful strangers on their route, and connected with generous family and friends.

They climbed mountains so steep their poor, Midwestern-trained muscles ached for days and rested on plateaus that offered panoramic vistas even more beautiful than they had imagined.

They slept in tents, a covered wagon, an exquisite yurt, a couple of Air Bnbs and a hotel room or two; in campsites, RV Parks, a dune buggy track and the backyard of a kindly couple’s Santa Barbara home.

Just over halfway through their trip, they found themselves marooned by fires coming at them from both directions.

“We had high hopes for quickly cycling the Sonoma Coast last week before rolling into San Francisco,” they wrote in one of their Instagram posts. “But, like a hazard sign, the orange sky warned us to bunker down at a safe campsite for a couple of days.”

After a day or two of recalculating from their base at a $5 a night campsite, they biked to Petaluma, rented a truck, drove past the fires and continued their ride, which eventually landed them in Los Angeles ahead of schedule.

So, after a quick visit with Katherine, they saddled up and rode south, through San Diego to the border and then back up again to Katherine’s apartment in LA, where they parked their weary bikes in a corner of her building’s basement and, apparently, offended management there.

“I am very embarrassed,” Danni wrote and added that they “removed the bikes within three seconds of reading the letter.”

Some day, they plan to return to California to bike the central coast portion they had to skip (San Francisco to San Luis Obispo) due to the fires.

Today, though, they are on a train heading east toward home.

Congratulations to both of them! (And many thanks to Katherine for her superior hosting skills. We hope your neighbors never find out that the offensive bike parkers were related to you.)

Imperial Beach is the southern most city in California. Vinnie and Danni added that destination to their route after wild fires forced them to recalculate.
This is what that beautiful coastline looked like as the fires raged.
The conditions became too smokey to bike safely, so they hunkered down at a campsite on a quiet oceanside cove.
Roadside repairs also marred the first part of their trip as they had five flat tires and 19 broken spokes. Just as they entered California, though, they received a new wheel from Salsa Cycles in Minneapolis and they rode smoothly through the rest of their route.
Despite some unanticipated challenges, they had a great time and met some very cool people, including Bill from the Chinook RV Park.
They didn’t get to see any whales during a stop at Depoe Bay, so Vinnie improvised.
As first level sommeliers, they also visited a few vineyards enroute.
They also treated themselves to a few wine tastings.
Their accomodations varied, from a covered wagon to a luxury hotel. My favorite, other than the cute little apartment they stayed in during both of their LA stays, is this Yurt they rented in San Diego.
One of their secret weapons on the trip was Danni’s father Jeff, an avid biker himself. How cute is this picture of him teaching Danni to ride a bike? Hard to say which father was more focused on safety but I think they’re equally relieved that the trip is over.
This is Danni about to cross the border into California.
Three of my favorite people enjoying sunset on the beach last night.

6 thoughts on “Uh oh and Bravo!

  1. Congratulations to Vinnie & Danni on their bike ride to Cal. They had to be in great shape to complete the trip with the good & bad times. ALSO look at your Did he or Didn’t he on my answer.

  2. Yes thanks Laura for a “feel good” story! What an adventure these kids have to share with their kids someday.
    “The Apple doesn’t fall far”😉.
    Not sure how I missed this blog on Wednesday 🤨.

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