T & O Trinidad to SLO! (Or pretty close!)

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T & O Trinidad to SLO! (Or pretty close!)

This year was the 5th edition of our annual coastal adventure!  Each year we have done a slightly different rendition; from 3 days to 7 days, from Eureka to San Luis Obispo, and one time we decided to go all out and start in Portland, Oregon.  You can see every detail to completely recreate any of these adventures on my website on this site under the Adventures tab, including exact routes, food stops, and lodging for each trip to date.  This year our overall plan was to ride from Trinidad to San Luis Obispo over six days.  This was lofty goal given the distances of each day but more unpredictably the past, present, and future weather forecast for California.  The buckets of rain that have been falling on Californians everywhere have done a number on the roads and we knew going into this adventure that this could create a few obstacles.  But we were determined to try, so on the 13th of February we rented a mini van and headed North for Trinidad!

Mini Van rental, check!  Headed North!

Mini Van rental, check!  Headed North!

My Dad and Cort in Trinidad, one of my favorite little coastal towns! :) 

My Dad and Cort in Trinidad, one of my favorite little coastal towns! :) 

    For me our coast adventure each year is like Christmas.  I count down the days until it is time, daydream about each day, and I can barely sleep the night before because the excitement gets the best of me.  Olivia always asks me what I love so much about this trip and I have such a hard time answering because it isn't just one thing, it is all of it!  I love the epic-ness of cycling.  I love how hard it is, and am admittedly a bit addicted to the feeling of total exhaustion after a long, hard, amazing day on the bike.  The coast trip takes this feeling and multiplies it exponentially!  It is day after day of riding until you want to fall over, with beautiful views, and a cozy campsite with family to look forward to at the end.  My Dad and Cort (my step Mom) come all the way from Utah with their RV and drive ahead of us each day to set up camp.  To me this is pretty darn special and I love getting to spend this week with them, seeing incredible places, eating delicious food, and making s’mores by the fire at night.

S'mores :) 

S'mores :) 

    Over the past 4 coastal adventures we’ve learned that a successful coast trip is made up of a few key ingredients; good planning, good support, a lot of coffee, and large amounts of food!  Olivia is the route planning extraordinaire, I’m the campsite picking guru, and collectively and admittedly often somewhat last minute we pull together this extravaganza. Many lists are made; bike equipment to bring (after booting tires the first year we learned to always ride with not only spare tubes, but also tires), food we need to pack (after scavenging through corner stores in the middle of nowhere eating everything in site due to some EPIC hunger flatting we learned to plan ahead in the packable ride food department), clothes needed both cycling and casual (I admittedly wear the same Lulu tights and Equator hoodie nearly everyday so keeping the causal clothes on the light side is an easy one, but planning for various weather conditions can be tricky in the lycra department!)  And last but definitely not least, coffee equipment!  You guessed it, I hauled my Barazza grinder, Hario temperature gauging kettle, weighing scale, and about 5 pounds of Equator coffee (El Salvador and Guatemalan single origins to be exact) all the way north and then all the way back south!  6:15 AM each morning I would pop out of bed and brew up a pour over to start our day with a bang!

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    The first three days were pretty spectacular.  The Lost Coast will always be one of my all time favorite rides.  It is a stretch of the coast that is so rugged and so isolated that it feels like a secret only you know about.  The roads on the route out to that stretch of coast are epic, steep ups and steep downs, pot holes that could swallow a car, and no time to recover, but the views are worth all of that ten fold.  No matter how many times I ride that final right hand turn on the descent towards the lost coast it never gets old.  The view is so breathtaking you have to stop, take it in, and smile at how lucky you are to be in such a magical place.  

Eureka 

Eureka 

She's pretty cute :)

She's pretty cute :)

A flower from Olivia! Valentines day spent riding the most amazing roads with my favorite person! :)

A flower from Olivia! Valentines day spent riding the most amazing roads with my favorite person! :)

The flower made it all the way till Honeydew!

The flower made it all the way till Honeydew!

    On our second day we hit a few obstacles but it only added to the adventure.  We began in Myers Flat and rode the windy Avenue of the Giants towards the turn off for Leggett which is the beginning of HWY 1.  Once we got to the turn we saw road closed signs and quite a few warnings about the road condition, but of course we flew right passed them, how bad could it be right?  That is until we were forced to stop by dozens of road workers and more tractors and dump trucks than I’ve ever seen in one place.  Thankfully Olivia has some serious charm and she sweet talked her way through the rubble.  The first landslide was child’s play, just a bit of mud on the road, which left me wondering why they were so adamant that we would be unable to cross it.  Then a few miles up the road we reached the real barrier which came in the form of the biggest landslide I had ever seen!  Carefully we hiked up and over it cyclocross style, stopped briefly to dig the massive amounts of mud from our cleats and headed on towards the coast on a car free road!  Again I felt like we had found roads that no one knew existed, feeling as though we were the only souls for miles.  We hit the coast and flew past Westport towards our all time favorite stop, Mendocino.  

Check out that landslide behind me, it was no joke! 

Check out that landslide behind me, it was no joke! 

Bear hugs and a handful of potato chips ;) 

Bear hugs and a handful of potato chips ;) 

Whales? 

Whales? 

Landslides were not gonna stop us!

Landslides were not gonna stop us!

Little bit tired...

Little bit tired...

My Dads & Corts Rig! 

My Dads & Corts Rig! 

Dinner at Patterson's! Always a highlight! 

Dinner at Patterson's! Always a highlight! 

    The Mendocino to Jenner day was definitely the highlight of our trip.  It was one of the shorter days milage wise so we got to relax a bit in the morning and have breakfast with my Dad and Cort.  We set off in beautiful sunshine and had gorgeous coastal views all day.  Anna Grace met us about 20 miles from Jenner and we got to cruise along one of my favorite stretches of road with one of our favorite people.  We made it to Jenner just in time to have a quick coffee and snack at Cafe Aquatica (a cozy little spot right on the water) and then pedaled the few miles we had left to our campsite on Wrights Beach.  We got to the campsite just before sunset so we went out for a sunset ice bath in the crashing waves!  We capped the night off with a proper campsite BBQ, s’mores and all!  To me, it was the most perfect day.

We found AG!!

We found AG!!

Irish Beach!

Irish Beach!

Me and Olivia on the beach, pic courtesy of the amazing AG!

Me and Olivia on the beach, pic courtesy of the amazing AG!

AG is multi-talented!

AG is multi-talented!

A good wife carries her wife back from the beach when her feet hurt! :) (After 100 miles ride, I get added points!)

A good wife carries her wife back from the beach when her feet hurt! :) (After 100 miles ride, I get added points!)

My Dad and Cort...aren't they adorable!

My Dad and Cort...aren't they adorable!

    However with bliss and perfection we were bound to hit some bumps, and we woke up the next morning to some of the worst weather I’ve ever experienced in the Bay Area.  Pouring rain and howling winds, not ideal for a 110 mile ride from Jenner to Half Moon Bay.  We put on brave faces and headed out into the craziness, fenders, lights, rain gear and all.  We told stories to distract each other from the fact that it was pretty miserable out, and we even managed to smile and laugh at the situation.  However 3.5 hours in we realized we hadn’t quite made it half way, we were soaked to the core, and were quickly approaching the point of no return.  We made the collective decision to abort mission and ride to Fairfax (where Olivia and I live) take warm showers, eat a good lunch, and drive the rest of the way to Half Moon Bay.  It was a tough decision, as a group of bike racers, epic experience enthusiasts, and just plain competitive souls we really didn’t want to give up on the adventure.  But in all honesty it was getting a bit dangerous and I think it was the smartest decision we could have made.  4 hours in pouring rain and 20+ mph wind was epic enough that day.  Sorry no pics from this day, there was much too much wetness for photography ;) 

    The next morning proved to also be a bit harrowing as we woke up to another rainy day and even stronger wind, dangerously strong.  We deliberated and finally came to the decision that we would ride as far as Santa Cruz because that direction was all straight tail wind.  Once you get to Santa Cruz you turn inland until you hit Monterey and the crosswinds at 30+ mph could get a bit dodgy.  We headed out and zoomed to Santa Cruz in one of the fasted, most fun tail winds I’ve ever experienced!  We literally flew, and the day was semi-salvaged.  

    Unfortunately I can’t say so much for the last day of our trip.  Our original plan was to ride from Carmel to San Luis Obispo which is one of my all time favorite stretches of road.  However the crazy California winter has done some pretty serious damage to that stretch of the coast and with landslides and crumbling bridges, HWY 1 through Big Sur has been closed indefinitely.  Not wanting to give up all together we decided that we would still stay in Carmel and do a fun ride around the area.  We were staying between Carmel by the Sea and Carmel Valley so we cruised up and around both areas, went back and forth on 17 mile drive and enjoyed the little spots of sunshine we got between rain showers.

    Every year we call our trip a coast ‘adventure’ but this year we were truly given the adventure part.  With ups and downs, rain and sun, dirt and mud, and a quite a bit of wind just to keep us on our toes, it was nothing short of adventurous.

    Here was our overall route plan, lodging, food stops, and dinner joints for each day so you could re-create this adventure and make it your own.  My only extra advice would be to pick a sunny week! :) 

Overall Plan & Logistics! 

  • Travel Day: We rented a car in Marin and drove up to Eureka to drop it off and meet up with my Dad and Cort in their RV.  Then we all drove 20 minutes North to Trinidad together. 
    • Lodging: Emerald Forest RV Park
    • Dinner: Trinidad Bay Eatery and Gallery.  This place is a hidden GEM, they have an incredible chef and the food is delicious.
  • Day 1: Trinidad to Myers Flat via The Lost Coast
    • Distance: 120 miles
    • Route: https://www.strava.com/activities/881175985 
    • Food stops: 
      • Fortuna: stop here to get water before heading to lost coast
        • Petrolia: Post office/general store in this cute tiny town
      • Honeydew: General store before climbing back over King Range
    • Lodging: Giant Redwoods RV Park
    • Dinner: Riverwood Inn in Phillipsville.  Not the best Mexican food ever but usually there is live music and a fun local scene.
  • Day 2: Myers Flat to Mendocino
    • Distance: 98 Miles
    • Route: https://www.strava.com/activities/881176874 
    • Food Stops
      • Cafe/General store on the left hand side a few miles before turn off to Leggett
      • Westport General store
    • Lodging: Hill House Inn (We couldn’t find a good RV Park close by)
    • Dinner: Pattersons Pub.  This place has the best sweet potato fries EVER and yummy Bison Burgers and Veggie Burgers for Vegos like me!
  • Day 3: Mendocino to Jenner
    • Distance: 95 Miles
    • Route: https://www.strava.com/activities/881176916 
    • Food Stops
      • General store in Ancor Bay
      • Cafe Aquatica in Jenner, at the end but worth the wait for the most delicious sandwiches and baked goods.
    • Lodging: Wrights Beach State Park (one of my favorite campgrounds)
    • Dinner: Campsite BBQ (Don’t forget the s’mores!)
  • Day 4: Jenner to Half Moon Bay (Or in our case, Fairfax due to crazy weather)
    • Distance: 110 Miles
    • Route: goo.gl/JVq1s9
    • Food stops: 
      • Tamales Bakery
      • Bovine in Point Reyes Station
    • Lodging: Half Moon Bay State Beach (another one of my favorite campgrounds)
    • Dinner: Cafe Castrano (Don't be fooled and go to the Mexican place right next to it that looks exactly the same…we might have accidentally done this and Olivia may never forgive me).
  • Day 5: Half Moon Bay to Carmel
    • Distance: 100 Miles
    • Route: goo.gl/XcXn6s
    • Lodging: Saddle Mountain Ranch RV Park
    • Dinner: Corkscrew Cafe in Carmel Valley.  This place is incredible!
  • Day 6: Carmel to San Luis Obispo
    • Distance: 130 Miles
    • Route: goo.gl/vLFko8
    • Lodging: Friends house ;) 
    • Dinner: Friends house with the best homemade tacos you’ll ever eat…so sad we never made it there!

ENJOY!!!! :) 

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UnitedHealthcare Colombia Team Camp Adventures

In the cycling world, there is an annual tradition that generally occurs sometime between the end of one season and the beginning of the next.  This event can come in many forms but typically involves warm weather, new teammates, lots of bright shiny equipment, and many hours in the saddle.  This crazy tradition is known as team camp, and this year I got to spend camp in the beautiful country of Colombia.  For me this team camp was a bit of a new beginning as I transition from Orica AIS in 2016 to UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team in 2017.  I went into camp without a clue as to what to expect from both the team and Colombia but I was looking forward to the new adventure.  Now at the end, I can happily say that I am leaving with nothing but excitement and admiration for my new team and a deep love of Colombia.

It was interesting to observe the various reactions I got from people when I told them that I was heading to team camp in Colombia.  I experienced everything from confused and hesitant looks, to the common “Oh (dramatic pause) wow, ok. Isn’t the Netflix series Narcos about that area?”  Admittedly I had the same somewhat mysterious misconception about Colombia and the most I honestly knew about the country was that some delicious single origin beans are grown there.  It only took one day in the country for my preconceived notions of what Colombia was about to be completely flipped. 

First off Colombia is a huge cycling hub.  I saw more people, especially women, on bikes during one ride there then I see in a week in the Bay area.  As I see it, the main reason for this is the roads.  The terrain for cycling there is nothing short of dreamy; rolling lush green hills lined with farm after farm, smooth pavement, and descents that leave a permanent smile plastered to your face.  All it takes is a few days of riding there to realize it is a little slice of cycling heaven.  Secondly, the food in Colombia is phenomenal.  Fresh fruits, the best avocados, mangos, papaya, and pineapple I have ever tasted, along with plantains prepared in many different but equally delicious ways.  All of this kept my mind happily occupied and dreaming about lunch while pedaling hour after hour through the hills around Medellin.

What struck me the most about Colombia was the people, they are the warmest, most incredible individuals I have had the pleasure of meeting.  We stayed in a lovely family owned casita in Rionegro, and the family that worked there were some of the most welcoming people I’ve met.  The language barrier was no problem, between hand signals and google translate I made special bonds with our host family as they worked unbelievably hard to feed us three incredible meals a day.  This is no small feat either, a single cyclist eats about three times the amount of food a normal person eats and with the men’s and women’s teams combined there were 26 cyclists to feed.  Not to mention the physiotherapists, mechanics, directors, management and media, which at one point during the trip meant feeding 62 people, three full meals a day!  A few nights during the camp we had outdoor family style BBQ’s in this beautiful space that allowed us to watch as they prepared delicious local specialties of Arepas, fried plantains, and Natilla with Buñuelos.

Being something of a coffee fanatic I was excited to explore the coffee culture in Colombia.  We were staying in the high-altitude region of Antioquia, which is known for its delicious coffee grown slope side. Unfortunately, the intensity of our training schedule made it impossible to plan a visit to a coffee farm, however riding past them day after day gave me a huge appreciation for what it takes to grow and harvest those delicious beans.  We enjoyed some incredible single origin coffee beans from a local family owned company called Pergamino that my teammate Katie had researched.  My favorite beans were grown just miles from where we were staying on a farm called Finca Lomaverde in the hills of Santa Barbara, Antioquia. 

On one of our rest days we went into Medellin and explored a small portion of that incredible city.  Medellin, home to four million people, is set in the largest valley I have ever seen, surrounded by towering green mountains.  It is the biggest city I have seen from above in terms of sprawl and density and is the definition of breathtaking.  Once again my preconceived ideas of Colombia were completely transformed as we wandered the streets around Palma.  The cafe and food scene is on par with most major cities I’ve visited around the world, but with the distinct Colombian character that comes alive in the bright colors, traditional music that makes even the stiffest of bodies want to move, and the smiles of the people around you.  Leaving the city at night and making the long, winding drive back up the mountain, you see dozens of cyclists out on their post work rides, slogging up the brightly lit climb with the most spectacular of views.  Looking down at the city from above was like looking into a giant glowing treasure chest.

Sitting on the plane, flying farther from that beautiful country I can’t help but plan my next trip back and dream about all the places I have yet to explore.  I hope that someday all the notions and misconceptions people have about Colombia can be erased and replaced by all the wonderful things I now know it for.  Colombia truly is a unique and beautiful place and holds a special place in my heart.

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Reflections and the Future

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Reflections and the Future

    Yes, the news is out and I am excited to announce that I will be racing with United Healthcare Pro Cycling team for 2017.  Naturally the cycling social media networks have been buzzing and many people have reached out to me with curiosity about this move.  Out of respect for my previous team as well as my new one I would like to provide some clarity and pure honesty.  First I have to share just how much I absolutely loved my season with Orica-AIS, it was an incredible year.  The girls on the team are so much more than just teammates to me, they are close friends and the relationships I built over the season are some I hope to keep forever.  The staff is hands down some of the best out there and I will miss each one of them, along with the hilarious Australian (and South African) wit that had me in stitches on a daily basis.  We were a family and I learned so much from everyone who was a part of the program.  Unfortunately this sport is an unsteady one, team finances fluctuate, the pressure of Championship and Olympic events along with budgets being dictated by performance at such events lead to somewhat of a volatile environment and sometimes even the best teams are affected by these demands.  Sadly, I was told this September that Orica-AIS had their budget cut and were forced to let go of one of their two international riders.  This was devastating news as I loved the team and hadn’t contemplated leaving, however it is the nature of the sport and I don’t blame anyone involved, it was a difficult situation for everyone.  I am extremely sad to leave but I want to thank every person involved in the team; management, staff, and riders, you will always hold a pretty special place in my heart.

    However, I also believe that with every hard situation comes a silver lining and I believe UHC is just that.  I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to race with United Healthcare in 2017.  It is a program I have always had a great deal of respect for and I am very honored to join a talented list of riders on the team for next season.  On UHC, I will have the support and opportunity to focus on time trialing and stage racing and I am really looking forward to using my experience to be a leader on the team.  We have an incredible group of riders whose individual talents truly compliment each other and will combine to be a force in the peloton both in the US and overseas.  I want to thank UHC for this opportunity, I believe 2017 is going to be a great one!

    I also wanted to thank all of you for your constant support and belief in me.  I am so lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful family, friends, and people passionate about the sport of cycling.  I couldn’t do it without all of you and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I can’t wait to see what 2017 holds!  Big dreams, big goals, and big changes!  I hope to bring you all along on the adventure! 

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T & O Eureka to Morro Bay!

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T & O Eureka to Morro Bay!

Sadly my very favorite week of the year has come and gone but I have some absolutely incredible memories from it!  This is Olivia and I's 4th edition of a Coast Adventure.  1st time was Half Moon Bay to SLO over two days, 2nd time was Eureka to Fairfax over three days, last year we upped our game and did Portland to Fairfax in a week with a rest day in the middle, and this year we decided to take our two favorite sections of the California coast and mesh them into one epic 5 day ride from Eureka to Morro Bay!  This year we were lucky enough to be powered by Equator Coffees & Teas each morning and outfitted in style each day by Velocio Apparel!  Both of these companies are near and dear to my heart and create phenomenal product while also creating a unique & inclusive community. 

I'll lay out the trip like I did last year with details of campsites, route, restaurants, snack stops etc so anyone who wants to 100% recreate this adventure, can do it!  Obviously, I highly recommend it!! 

Day 1 Eureka to Benbow via the Lost Coast/Avenue of the Giants!

The best start to an epic adventure, Equator Coffee!! Stoke level was so high!

The best start to an epic adventure, Equator Coffee!! Stoke level was so high!

This is always one of Olivia and I's favorite days because the Lost Coast is just spectacular!  It is something I can't even describe.  Plan a ride there and you will have the very best day ever!  

Day 1 details:

  • Routehttps://www.strava.com/activities/488540403
  • Good refueling points: There is a general store/post office in Petrolia that has pretty great snacks.  Make sure you start off with enough food though as it takes awhile to get there with some pretty big climbs along the way!  There is also a little store 15 miles past Petrolia in Honeydew.
  • Campsite: Benbow KOA (Great campsite on the river, very clean, hot showers, laundry, it was great!)
  • Dinner: We ate at Humboldt Bar and Grill and it was pretty tasty!  Its just a mile or two down the road in Garberville. 
Pre-ride, so excited to start Coast Adventure #4!!

Pre-ride, so excited to start Coast Adventure #4!!

Rolling through Ferndale! It was a Velocio Mid Jacket kind of day! Warm, comfy and super breathable. 

Rolling through Ferndale! It was a Velocio Mid Jacket kind of day! Warm, comfy and super breathable. 

Did I mention how high the stoke level was! 

Did I mention how high the stoke level was! 

Can't beat a view like that!

Can't beat a view like that!

Channeling my inner Johnny Cash with this Velocio get up! #woMANinBlack 

Channeling my inner Johnny Cash with this Velocio get up! #woMANinBlack 

One of my favorite spots on earth.

One of my favorite spots on earth.

This stretch of the lost coast is our happy place! 

This stretch of the lost coast is our happy place! 

The bridge between Honeydew and the start of the climb over King Range & decent into Humbolt National Park.

The bridge between Honeydew and the start of the climb over King Range & decent into Humbolt National Park.

Dried mango in the Redwoods, yum! 

Dried mango in the Redwoods, yum! 

Look who we found crushing it! Papa Wiles giving us inspiration for the last 25 miles of the day!

Look who we found crushing it! Papa Wiles giving us inspiration for the last 25 miles of the day!

Families that wear Velocio together, stay together! ;) 

Families that wear Velocio together, stay together! ;) 

Mandatory snack stop in Myers Flat

Mandatory snack stop in Myers Flat

Day 2 Benbow to Manchester

Benbow is a cool little spot just off the 101 along the river.  The KOA we stayed at was great!  We got another early start, the fog in the morning was beautiful and then burned off making for another beautiful day!  The first 15 or so miles of the day you zig zag on and off the 101 but it is still beautiful through the redwoods.  Then you hit Hwy1 in Leggett and go up a climb and down Olivia and I's favorite decent until it opens up to the ocean.  From there it is ocean views all the way!

Pre-ride shenanigans! 

Pre-ride shenanigans! 

Started in the fog but ended in glorious sunshine!  

Started in the fog but ended in glorious sunshine!  

  • Route: https://www.strava.com/activities/490312891
  • Good refueling points: There is a great general store in Westport that we love, and Mendocino is a MUST stop!  One of my favorite spots on earth!  In Mendocino Goodlife Bakery and Cafe has delicious food and pretty good coffee, Moodys also had pretty good coffee but not as much food choice.
  • Campsite: Manchester Beach/Mendocino Coast KOA (Great campsite, clean, warm showers, laundry, short walk to the beach!)
  • Dinner: Manchester is pretty remote so we BBQ'ed at the campsite that night, Burgers, salad, and sweet potatoes, mmmmmm! :) 
Olivia was a pop of color among the fog in the Citrine ES Jersey & bibs and the cyan wind vest!  

Olivia was a pop of color among the fog in the Citrine ES Jersey & bibs and the cyan wind vest!  

Wardrobe change thanks to Papa Wiles passing in the RV!  Suns out, Origami and Pop red vest time! 

Wardrobe change thanks to Papa Wiles passing in the RV!  Suns out, Origami and Pop red vest time! 

My Dad pulling Roo! Pretty sweet set up!

My Dad pulling Roo! Pretty sweet set up!

Checking to see if she is as stoked as me! ;) 

Checking to see if she is as stoked as me! ;) 

Rolling into Heaven, aka Mendocino :)

Rolling into Heaven, aka Mendocino :)

Great stop for goodies! 

Great stop for goodies! 

Lunch with a view! 

Lunch with a view! 

Life goal, to live in Mendocino when I'm old and retired :) 

Life goal, to live in Mendocino when I'm old and retired :) 

We didn't want to leave!

We didn't want to leave!

Got to ride the last 10 miles into Manchester with my Dad, it was pretty specail!:)  

Got to ride the last 10 miles into Manchester with my Dad, it was pretty specail!:)  

Proud of this guy!

Proud of this guy!

We decided to finish the ride at the beach near our campsite and have a ocean ice bath!

We decided to finish the ride at the beach near our campsite and have a ocean ice bath!

Foot race? ;) 

Foot race? ;) 

Hamburgers, sweet potatoes, and yummy salad! Mmmmm so good! 

Hamburgers, sweet potatoes, and yummy salad! Mmmmm so good! 

Dreaming of smores! 

Dreaming of smores! 

Day 3 Manchester to Mill Valley (+Transfer to Half Moon Bay)

Waking up with some Equator Coffee Tayler Wiles Blend! Loved this campsite! KOAs are the way to go!

Waking up with some Equator Coffee Tayler Wiles Blend! Loved this campsite! KOAs are the way to go!

  • Routehttps://www.strava.com/activities/489925232
  • Good refueling points:  Stuart's Point general store is great, we booked it all the way to Jenner this year though to enjoy one of our favorite stops along the way Aquatica Cafe!  Its on the right side of the road just as you are leaving town and it's another MUST stop!  They roast their own coffee, make some incredible baked goods, and I hear the sandwiches are to die for!
  • Campsite: We didn't stay in Mill Valley, instead we met my Dad their and he drove us to Half Moon Bay so we didn't have to ride through the city the next day. We stayed at Half Moon Bay state beach.  This campsite was by far my FAVORITE!  Right on the ocean, beautiful beach!  The showers were coin operated but warm!
  • Dinner: We ate at this great little spot in Half Moon Bay called Cafe Capistrano.  It was delicious Mexican/Latin American food!
Ultra light jersey and Navy bibs today! Loved this combo with the cyan wind vest!  

Ultra light jersey and Navy bibs today! Loved this combo with the cyan wind vest!  

Sea Ranch near Stewarts Point

Sea Ranch near Stewarts Point

Sea Ranch near stewarts point.

Sea Ranch near stewarts point.

Once you get within 10 miles of Jenner everything turns green, twisty, and incredible!  Such a beautiful stretch of road, and all the climbing to get to Jenner is made worth it by the treats and coffee you get to eat at Cafe Aquatica! :) 

Once you get within 10 miles of Jenner everything turns green, twisty, and incredible!  Such a beautiful stretch of road, and all the climbing to get to Jenner is made worth it by the treats and coffee you get to eat at Cafe Aquatica! :) 

Cafe Aquatica!! 

Cafe Aquatica!! 

We were so happy to meet up with Ted King in Point Reyes for the last few hours of our ride!  Kept us entertained and cruising up Hwy 1 to Mill Valley :) Ted rocking Velocio Origami! 

We were so happy to meet up with Ted King in Point Reyes for the last few hours of our ride!  Kept us entertained and cruising up Hwy 1 to Mill Valley :) Ted rocking Velocio Origami! 

Cruising along Hwy1 between Bolinas and Stinson Beach.

Cruising along Hwy1 between Bolinas and Stinson Beach.

Love that view of Stinson Beach, was fun to incorporate home training roads into our coast adventure this year!  So lucky to be able to train on roads like this all the time!

Love that view of Stinson Beach, was fun to incorporate home training roads into our coast adventure this year!  So lucky to be able to train on roads like this all the time!

Day 4 Half Moon Bay to Big Sur! 

This was by far my favorite campsite, waking up to the sunset on the beach was something I'll never forget!  I will definitely be back!  Another early start to get us rolling towards our first stop of the day in Santa Cruz.  Today's ride starts off beautiful, the road from half moon bay to santa cruz is gorgeous.  Navigating Santa Cruz is a bit tricky but not too bad, admittedly between Santa cruz and Carmel isn't the most scenic as you are mainly passing through strawberry farms and on and off the 101, however Carmel to Big Sur might be the most spectacular stretch of road I have ever seen (I know I said that about the lost coast too but it is another one I just can't describe, its just spectacular!) 

  • Routehttps://www.strava.com/activities/495246079
  • Good refueling points:  We stopped in Santa Cruz at a bakery/deli called Buttery and it was great, there are tons of great spots there and really good coffee but most of it is off the beaten path.  The Buttery was on the route and it was great!  There is a great general store on the left just outside of Carmel that has lots of goodies to fuel you for the BEAUTIFUL final 25 miles to Big Sur.
  • Campsite: We stayed in the Riverside RV Campground.  It was good, right on the river, super friendly staff.  Coin operated showers again but they were warm!  There are 3 RV campsites clustered together in Big Sur and I think they are all pretty good.
  • Dinner: We ate at the Riverside Inn just down the road from our campsite and it was delicious!
Matching the scenery today! 

Matching the scenery today! 

Citrine ES jersey and bibs, so so good!  

Citrine ES jersey and bibs, so so good!  

Rolling into Santa Cruz!

Rolling into Santa Cruz!

A bird, a plane, a whale, a surfer, who knows what the heck I'm pointing at!

A bird, a plane, a whale, a surfer, who knows what the heck I'm pointing at!

The Buttery! 

The Buttery! 

Cooooookkkkiiiiieeeeee!!!!!

Cooooookkkkiiiiieeeeee!!!!!

We were chasing light all the way to Big Sur from Carmel, which was a bit nerve wracking but riding that section at dusk was something I will never forget!  So beautiful I was at a loss for words!

We were chasing light all the way to Big Sur from Carmel, which was a bit nerve wracking but riding that section at dusk was something I will never forget!  So beautiful I was at a loss for words!

I mean is this for real!!?? 

I mean is this for real!!?? 

One of my favorite shots of the whole trip, such a gorgeous place!

One of my favorite shots of the whole trip, such a gorgeous place!

Day 5 Big Sur to Morro Bay!

Last day of the trip!  Coffee by the river was a pretty great way to start the day!  We climbed out of Big Sur and it was epic ocean views the whole way!  We stopped in Gorda for a snack and saw fog WAY out in the distance, it crept up quick so we boogied to get to San Simeon and it hit just before we got there!  We stopped to check out the MASSIVE elephant seals that lay on the beaches there that time of year, that is something else haha definitely worth seeing if you are every there! Then hit the road for the last section of our adventure into Morro Bay!

Morning foam rolling!

Morning foam rolling!

  • Routehttps://www.strava.com/activities/491454005
  • Good refueling points:  Gorda is the first place to stop along this route and there is a general store with lots of goodies and a beautiful view.  I love sitting on the porch, eating goodies and starring at the ocean! :)  We stopped again in Cambria at Cambria coffee for a quick caffeine hit to get through the last 18 miles!
  • Campsite: We stayed at the Morro Bay State Park.  This is a nice campsite but if I had it to do over I would stay at the Morro Strand State Beach  campground just up the road because the sites are right on the beach.  This site was beautiful and kind of wooded, but I love waking up to the sound of the ocean :)  
  • Dinner: Taco Temple!!!!  It is delicious and you get GIANT tacos with lots of fresh green piled on!
Calibration! 

Calibration! 

Look at the face, am I lucky or what!? Looking beautiful in the red classic jersey!:)

Look at the face, am I lucky or what!? Looking beautiful in the red classic jersey!:)

So happy!  

So happy!  

Olivia attempting a selfie! ;) 

Olivia attempting a selfie! ;) 

Turkey sammy, feet up, check!  By this point in the trip we were only craving savory stuff!

Turkey sammy, feet up, check!  By this point in the trip we were only craving savory stuff!

And then the fog hit!

And then the fog hit!

Elephant seals are a very interesting thing!

Elephant seals are a very interesting thing!

And then this happened....just as we were entering Morro Bay we hopped on a bike path that I knew from having team camp there a few years ago...but then the bike path was closed in the middle because they had just put fresh tar over the top of it...of course Olivia and I are rebels, or just plane dumb and tried to ride over said new tar....which quickly stuck to our tires and left permanent marks in the path (if you ever ride that path and see those divots, think of us and our stupidity, or stubbornness, or both?) Highway 1 was just on the other side of this fence so I thought I'd channel my inner child and hop that thing like a boss....well its been a long time since I hopped a fence and I've never done it in bike shoes and yep it happened, I got stuck, just like this, chamois down on a sharp chain linked fence!  Of course Olivia snapped this shot before helping me, and reminded me that 2 seconds before I scaled that fence when Olivia questioned my fence climbing ability I said "Olivia, I'm an excellent fence climber!  

And then this happened....just as we were entering Morro Bay we hopped on a bike path that I knew from having team camp there a few years ago...but then the bike path was closed in the middle because they had just put fresh tar over the top of it...of course Olivia and I are rebels, or just plane dumb and tried to ride over said new tar....which quickly stuck to our tires and left permanent marks in the path (if you ever ride that path and see those divots, think of us and our stupidity, or stubbornness, or both?) Highway 1 was just on the other side of this fence so I thought I'd channel my inner child and hop that thing like a boss....well its been a long time since I hopped a fence and I've never done it in bike shoes and yep it happened, I got stuck, just like this, chamois down on a sharp chain linked fence!  Of course Olivia snapped this shot before helping me, and reminded me that 2 seconds before I scaled that fence when Olivia questioned my fence climbing ability I said "Olivia, I'm an excellent fence climber!  

And there it is, the Morro Bay town sign!!  We made it 600 miles over 5 days and a whole lot of smiles!! 

And there it is, the Morro Bay town sign!!  We made it 600 miles over 5 days and a whole lot of smiles!! 

I have to give a huge shout out to my Dad who drives his RV all the way from Utah to Fairfax to pick us up, drive us to Eureka, and then follows our crazy butts all the way down the coast!  You get the best Dad ever and best supporter out there award!  This trip would never be possible without you! :)   And thank you to Equator Coffees and Velocio Apparel for helping us stay caffeinated and stylish from day 1 till the end! 

This was seriously one of the best adventures we've had and I'm already scheming next years version!  Have you been on an epic adventure that we should re-create, or have any ideas for our next big adventure!  Shoot them through in the comments section, we would love to hear from you!  Thanks for reading! :) 

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The Wonderful World of Oz! :)

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The Wonderful World of Oz! :)

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Typing this from the plane home from my second trip to Australia, a trip that pretty much solidified my love of all things down under, and a little piece of me wishes the pilot would “chuck a U-ie” and take us back!  My first trip to Oz was far too short, just 2 quick weeks for team camp this November, riding the beautiful roads around Bright, Victoria, wine/chocolate tasting at Mitchleton (Mitchleton winery is a team sponsor so it was mandatory to test the product ;) and having real Aussie BBQ’s/family dinners with my new teammates.  It was incredible, however I knew this trip would be even more special, #1 because I got to bring Olivia with me and #2 because we would get to explore a few different areas of the country during our 3 weeks down under!

Sydney

    First stop was Sydney for a few days where Olivia and I got to catch up with some of her old friends (Orla and Peter) from college who live in Paddington (an incredibly cool part of Sydney) and hang out with Australia native and all around kick ass person Kristy Scrymo & the wonderful Andre Morton.  We had VIP treatment upon arrival, getting picked up by Kristy/Dre and taken straight to Bronte beach for brunch with stunning ocean views, we were pretty much hooked on Sydney then and there.  That night we did all the fantastic touristy things with the two of them, heading down to “The Rocks” and gawking at the beautiful Sydney Opera house and ….bridge, both of which pictures could never do justice to. 

Me and Dre!!

Me and Dre!!

Taking the train to train in Sydney!

Taking the train to train in Sydney!

Coffee with some of my favorite people at the Grumpy Baker! Best name ever too!

Coffee with some of my favorite people at the Grumpy Baker! Best name ever too!

Orla and Peter! :)

Orla and Peter! :)

Some Equator Coffee goodness to help with the jet lag!:)  click here to try my signature blend!! 

Some Equator Coffee goodness to help with the jet lag!:)  click here to try my signature blend!! 

Being Tourist!

Being Tourist!

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We loved Sydney, and I could rattle on about it for days, but here's a condensed version of the things I loved most and just some funny observations! :)

Sydney observations:

  • It is beautiful!  First and foremost this is an incredibly gorgeous city from the massive beaches right in the city, beautiful bays, interesting architecture, and the different vibes each area has…not to mention all the cafes!  I’m a sucker for good cafes (and GOOD coffee) and they are EVERYWHERE there (and everywhere else in Oz I later found out…it was heaven for a foodie/coffee snob like me).
  • Everyone is ridiculously fit!  Seriously I have never seen so many ripped, tan, beautiful people in one place.  I felt like I was constantly walking around a Golds Gym conveniently located next to a tanning salon.  If you are looking for a partner or just a hot date, go to Sydney and you can’t lose! 
  • People just kind of pretend there are no sharks, or they just tell you that there are none, OR they say that most beaches have shark nets…but upon further investigation, holy crap, yikes, eeeekkkk Jaws is for real people!
  • Bondi Beach is insane, thats all there is to say about that.
  • Albion Bike shop in Sydney has the coolest service ever, wash & lube your bike for $18 and while they do it they send you across the street to this great little cafe with a voucher for a free coffee! SO awesome and the people who worked there were fantastic, super friendly and so helpful…and they have a really cute shop puppy!
  • There are very large cockroaches, VERY large.
  • Wearing shoes is optional…and shirts, and clothes in general…refer back to my beautiful people bullet...
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Adelaide (Aka: Radelaide!)

Next up on the trip we headed to Adelaide for the Tour Down Under and then a week of incredible training in the Adelaide hills!  The race was incredible and my team killed it with two stage wins, the overall GC win, and overall team classification.  It was the earliest I’ve ever started my racing season so that was a shock to the system but I loved it!  As much as we loved Sydney I think we really fell in love with Adelaide.

TDU thinks I'm an Aussie, win!!  

TDU thinks I'm an Aussie, win!!  

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TDU team classification win! We won boomerangs, I loved it as you can see! 

TDU team classification win! We won boomerangs, I loved it as you can see! 

Mid ride snacks are the best!  

Mid ride snacks are the best!  

Adelaide Love/Observations

  • This is HEAVEN for cyclists.  If you are a cycling enthusiast and have never been here, book a trip now!  It is a fantastic little city surrounded by world class riding!  We stayed in the Adelaide hills in a town called Oakbank and it was fantastic for training!  Rolling hills and twisty roads for days, getting bored with training routes would be nearly impossible there with all the options.
  • Again SO many incredible cafes and restaurants, I wanted to stop at them all and my heart would break each time we’d pass by another one, but my little heart can only drink so much caffeine…I mean I can drink a lot but there is still a limit and a stop at all the great cafe’s in Adelaide would stop anyones heart! A few of my favorites were Society Espresso, Cafe Branch, & Redberry Espresso.
  • The community there is awesome and they completely embrace the cyclist that come in droves! Drivers were super friendly, no close calls, middle fingers, or honking while there.  
  • The Tour Down Under is the Tour de France of Australia and the people who come out to watch are amazing!  The crowds were great!
  • Its not only heaven for cyclist but for anyone who enjoys good wine…WOW!  Its surrounded by wine country.  If you ever plan a trip there make sure you enjoy all the incredible wine regions.  And if you are wine tasting in the Barrossa valley and need dinner, there is a GREAT little brewery (Barrossa Valley brewery) and they have YUMMY vegetarian pizza! :) See photo ;)
Crazy eyes for that delicious vegan pizza! 

Crazy eyes for that delicious vegan pizza! 

Great Ocean Road Trip/Geelong 

Lunch stop in Robe! 

Lunch stop in Robe! 

After Adelaide Olivia and I had a little road trip to Geelong along the great ocean road.  We stopped for two nights in Port Fairy and if you are ever in the area we highly recommend it.  It reminded us so much of Mendocino, a town in Northern California that we LOVE!  If you are ever there check out the great little AirBnb on ocean road (90 ocean road, port fairy I believe was the address).  Its a single room and bathroom with its own entrance and is right on the ocean!  There is an amazing cafe called The Farmers Wife, we had delicious breakfast and coffee there both days!  For dinner I recommend Coffin Sally, its a cool and kooky little pizza place with delicious wood fired pizzas with outdoor and indoor seating.

The great ocean road was beautiful, the 12 apostles were stunning, and all the vista points we had time to stop at were breathtaking.

Hot tip: DO NOT SPEED in Australia….long story short I’ve been banned from driving in Australia.  They take their speed limits very seriously…even in the “bush” haha ;) 

Point Fairy lighthouse  

Point Fairy lighthouse  

Love this place!  

Love this place!  

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Rock scrambling on the beach!  

Rock scrambling on the beach!  

Windy? 

Windy? 

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Olivia the rock scrambling queen!  

Olivia the rock scrambling queen!  

The farmers wife cafe! SO GOOD!  

The farmers wife cafe! SO GOOD!  

The blue lake!  

The blue lake!  

The 12 apostles, but only 7 are left!  

The 12 apostles, but only 7 are left!  

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Now to the good stuff!

Now that I've gotten through the boring where we went and what we did stuff, its time to share the things I found both hilarious, strange, and downright terrifying about Australia! 

Things about Oz that give me the willies ;)

  • The giant, and I mean GIANT spiders!  To all aussies natives these terrifying creatures are quite common place, pets to be named even!  Ok story time….On my second night staying in this beautiful house out in Oakbank (in the Adelaide hills) on a farm, Olivia and I woke up in the middle of the night because we were both being eaten by mozzies (aussie term for mosquitos ;) so we got up and turned the light on to try to get rid of them.  Olivia flipped on the light, turned around and immediately let out a tiny shreek of terror.  I jumped out of bed because she was starring at the wall behind me.  I turned to see the source of her terror, a spider as big as my face on the wall behind our bed.  Ok maybe it wasn’t really as big as my face but this was definitely the biggest spider I had ever seen outside of an African Shamba (that was another nightmarish experience that still haunts my dreams).  Neither of us could get within 20 feet of it so we decided to sleep downstairs on the couches, but I didn’t get much sleep as visions of giant spiders danced in my head.  The next day we told the girl we were staying with about it, she said “Oh you met Legs!!”  My first thought was “holy hell you named that beast!!!!”  She came upstairs to check it out and said “oh that isn’t Legs, this is a female huntsman, Legs is a male!” My second thought “Dear god there is another one in this house!!”  She's an aussie native, musician, and all around badass individual.  She went straight up to the spider and basically picked it up, it proceeded to jump on her, she didn’t flinch just bent down and coaxed the giant spider to crawl out the window.  I was about 50 feet away and still crapping my pants in fear.  Apparently these huge spiders called Huntsmans are good because they eat the small spiders that will actually kill you or infect you with some horrible flesh eating bacteria….Australian insects are dangerous people!!
  • Sharks…surfers are very brave people!  I did swim at the incredible beaches but I was definitely on the lookout for jaws!  This is likely a very irrational fear because millions of people swim in Aussie waters everyday and are fine, but there are shark attacks here and there so I will still list this as a thing that gives me the willies!
  • The birds.  Ever since I was little and attacked by birds at the local zoo I’ve had a fear of birds and the birds in Australia are twice the size, twice and loud, and there are about ten times as many!!  They are harmless I’m sure (except the magpies in swooping season, that is a time of year I will not be visiting Oz ;) but I still keep my distance.
  • The very very short shorts that a lot of the men who are called “tradies” (men who work trades, plumers, landscapers, road workers, etc) wear.  They wear what us yanks would call daisy dukes, plus long wooly socks in their work boots.  An odd look to say the least, you just don’t look too close incase the family jewels make an appearance! 
There are so many random wildlife signs! What the heck is this?? 

There are so many random wildlife signs! What the heck is this?? 

Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!! 

Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!! 

A typical "tradie" outfit hehe

A typical "tradie" outfit hehe

Favorite Aussie Slang:

  • Mens speedos = Budgie smugglers
  • Ranga = nickname for red heads.  Their explanation for this Orangutangs are orange, then Aussies abbreviate pretty much every single word in the english language longer than 4 letters so Orangutang becomes ranga ;)  Don’t worry everyone this is PI in Oz and my teammate Chloe (a beautiful red head) answers primarily to “Ranga”
  • Like I mentioned in the previous bullet, Australians abbreviate EVERYTHING, its hilarious.  A few examples:
    • Reservation: Rezy
    • Presentation: Prezy
    • Afternoon: Arvo
    • Breakfast: Brekkie (and most menus actually say brekky, they rarely say breakfast)
    • Avocado: Avo
    • Ambulance: Ambo

Now onto more funny slang!

  • Eskie: Cooler
  • Mozzies: mosquitos
  • Bogan: redneck 
  • Bush: pretty much everywhere that isn’t a city…and the people that live there are bogans…even if they really aren’t. ;) 
  • Chook: chicken 
  • Chuck a sickie: take a sick day
  • Chuck a U’ie: make a U turn
  • Chuck a tanktie: throw a tantrum
  • Esky: Cooler
  • Grog Bog…you might not want to know ;) 
  • Heaps: a lot…which is fitting because they use this word A LOT!! 
  • Joey: baby kangaroo
  • Mate: friend, to be thrown on the end of just about every sentence ;) 
  • No drama: no worries. 
  • Pash: a big kiss.  Pash rash can occur when you kiss a man with a beard haha
  • Postie: post man
  • Reckon: they use this word almost as much as heaps! 
  • Relo or rellie: family member
  • Root: a more polite way to say the F word haha
  • Sanger: sandwich, this confused me on menus for about two weeks
  • Sheila: a women….not sure how I feel about this one!
  • Strewth: I love this word for some reason cuz it sounds like something terrible but its actually an exclamation of sorts.
  • Togs: swimsuit 
  • Vejjo: vegetarian 
  • Whinge: complain, love this one and my team uses it frequently ;) 
  • Roo bar: most of the trucks there have these big bars on the front because hitting Kangaroos is a common occurrence :( Poor little guys!  Or big guys I should say, Kangaroos are huge!
  • She’ll be apples: It’ll be alright 
  • They say “Beaty” all the time which for them is like saying “great!” always made me smile

This is only a very SMALL sample...I think you could write a book on aussie slang!  These are just my favs! 

Some more miscellaneous pics of Aussie amazingness!!

The 12 Apostles!

The 12 Apostles!

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Loren starting a new one leg warmer trend!;)  

Loren starting a new one leg warmer trend!;)  

Neck of the woods cafe in Geelong!  Ranga's hometown spot!

Neck of the woods cafe in Geelong!  Ranga's hometown spot!

More trends!  Only someone that cool could pull off something like that! ;)

More trends!  Only someone that cool could pull off something like that! ;)

Pre Cadels race chats!  

Pre Cadels race chats!  

Cheerleading practice!  

Cheerleading practice!  

Awesome mini Orica fans! :) 

Awesome mini Orica fans! :) 

Marvs payment for our win!  

Marvs payment for our win!  

Gene got a bit if hat time too!  

Gene got a bit if hat time too!  

Post Cadels Race happiness! Spratty and Rach went 1-2! 

Post Cadels Race happiness! Spratty and Rach went 1-2! 

The gorge!  

The gorge!  

Steps to the gorge! 

Steps to the gorge! 

Couldn't get enough of this lighthouse  

Couldn't get enough of this lighthouse  

Not hard to find a private beach in Oz!  

Not hard to find a private beach in Oz!  

Our happy place at the Farmers wife!  

Our happy place at the Farmers wife!  

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Heaven!

Heaven!

Glenelg  

Glenelg  

Sunsets in Adelaide were beautiful!  

Sunsets in Adelaide were beautiful!  

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Post TDU beach day!  

Post TDU beach day!  

Port Elliot!  

Port Elliot!  

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Last stage of TDU! Happy mates!:)  

Last stage of TDU! Happy mates!:)  

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Signing a hood (bonnet they say)! That was a first!  

Signing a hood (bonnet they say)! That was a first!  

The pain face is back!!  

The pain face is back!!  

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Stay tuned to the site for our next adventure!!! T & O coast adventures 2016 powered by Velocio Apparel & Equator Coffees starts TOMORROW!!!!:) Follow us as we ride down the coast from Eureka to Morro Bay!  

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