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On the road . October 2008 . USA

map route California USA

Jim's Place, Laguna Beach
Sunny Southern California, USA, 05-10-08
Nothing stays the same forever

Ali and I met, just over 14 years ago in Haight and Ashbury and we are just itching to go back to the happening little pub where we first bumped into one another. I was literally in the midst of purchasing my first touring bike: a Kona Hot along with all the touring gear. It was a beautiful machine, but the cost would set me back more than I had expected and obviously cut my European bike tour short of one month. I told the owner of the bike shop I needed to think about it and work out my finances over a beer. Being Australian, he thought it appropriate to direct me to the "Boomerang Bar". And heeding his advice, I stepped into the rather alternative looking drinking den with one truly great jukebox and who should be sitting at the bar, but Aaldrik. We got chatting; he offered to buy me a beer; I refused; but as I had planned to cross into Germany via Elten, a few kilometres down the road from where he lived in Zevenaar, I did ask for his address in The Netherlands.

And so, the story fast forwards something like this: I looked him up; stayed for a few days; he was a real gentleman (no really!)...

read on

ergon gripsTip of the month: when the Ergon-grips wear out...
I think most people that use Ergon grips or similar brands have felt the benefits while touring. We both have fitted the GP-1 series on our bikes. After a little more than a year of cycling however, they were wearing pretty thin on the top side and although the manufacturers will surely dissuade you from doing this, we decided to turn them over and see if the grips had the same supportive effect on the reverse side.
Turns out they worked perfectly, however they did take a few wear-in, but then again, so would a completely new set. We cycled happily with them up until last month, when we both decided it was definitely time to replace our well weathered grips. That was an extra years worth of riding and all in all we cycled with them for a total of 26 months.


Oakland (CA) - Laguna beach (CA, USA)
Kilometres: 1707 kilometers and 160 meters
Riding days: 20 days in total
Alti meters: 14,876 meters up
Weather: from -15 to +36 degrees Celcius; from snow to scorching heat; but generally plenty of sun!
Best accommodation: Binions hotel and casino: a fully decked out hotel room for 20 bucks a night in downtown Las Vegas!

Special thanks to:
Molly once again, for the generous use of her appartment and those mod cons we do so miss, while on the road • Gregory at the Yosemite Valley Visitors Centre for fixing up our stay at the backpackers campsite without having to pay the extra back-country fees • All the rangers in The Wilderness Centre near Tioga Pass for their understanding; allowing us to camp in a closed campground; and their early permission to get over the pass when it was still closed to traffic • Eric and Cresent for putting us up for two nights in their home in Las Vegas (through Warmshowers) • Chris for the Polar Insulated drink bottle • Jim Abraham for being such a generous guy; great friend and a pretty funny dude, but most of all for enjoying our company as much as we enjoy his.

07: derailler cable (Son)
12: tent pole (frozen!)
13: drinks bottles (frozen and split)
14: flat tyre (Son)
15: broken spoke (Son)
15: broken spoke (Son)
15: broken spoke (Son)

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