Monthly Archives: September 2006

Stories and Kudos from Fellow Riders

This morning I received an email from Rob Pagani, who is one of the faithful crew who ride in the mornings with the guys in Powell River. He had a message for his riding partners:

Hi guys, sounds like everything is progressing as planned. I’m sure I will be hearing a lot of stories at coffee when you’re back. Are the daily destinations the same as always, a pub? Wish I were there in my usual spot with you all, pulling up the rear. 

Take care   Rob P.

And we also received a comment from Steve Dull, who set out on the road on the very same day as the guys, following the same course!  Except that Steve’s equipment made his ride a fair bit more leisurely. (More on that below)  Still, even though he was riding a single speed bike, he kept up an incredible pace that makes me sore just thinking about it.  Needless to say, he’s got some experience in the saddle.  Let Steve tell the tale:

I left Powell River with these guys on September 6th, just coincidentally beginning a bicycle ride to San Diego on the same day. My trusty single-speed, coaster-brake  Schwinn Cruiser carried me to Santa Barbara, where I concluded my ride due to time constraints. At the pace I had established, I would have reached the border in three more days, but needed to get back to Powell River. I arrived back home a few days ago via Amtrak and Pacific Coastal Airlines. The last time I saw these guys was in Qualicum Beach, where they had stopped for lunch the first day. As I rode down the Pacific Coast, I thought often of these guys, wondering where they were and how they were doing. When I reached Pacifica (just south  of San Francisco), I called Warren, who informed me that the group had reached Eureka, and were having a great time. Yesterday, Frank Chrinko told me that they had reached San Francisco, then I read in The Peak that they had reached Monterey. Now I know they have pedaled through Santa Barbara to Ventura. Even if it’s true that these guys are spending more time drinking beer than riding, I can readily attest to the fact that they have had a good workout.   Congratulations guys!

My ride? 2486 kilometers from Powell River to Santa Barbara, averaging 130 kilometers a day for 19 days. Longest day? 190 kilometers from Gualala to  San Francisco (riding across the GG Bridge at dusk). Shortest day? 50 kilometers from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay (due to needed bike maintenance in SF and the previous day’s grueling ride). Toughest day? 160 kilometers from Seaside, CA to San Simeon (the guys will know what I’m talking about). Best part of trip? Probably the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway between Klamath and Orick in CA (long downhill after a short climb, remarkably little traffic, and HUGE redwoods). Worst part? Clearcuts and traffic (enough said). Best meal? A bowl of Menudo at La Costa in Davenport, CA. Worst meal? More bad meals than I can count (the guys will probably agree with me that bad meals taste pretty good and are greedily consumed  when on the road). Biggest surprise? No flats (Michelin Town and Country tires). Actually, because of my one gear, I may have put as much wear on the soles of  my shoes as on my bicycle tires.

As I’ve twice bicycled solo across the United States, this Pacific Coast trek wasn’t the ride of a lifetime. It was, however, a ride I won’t soon forget. I’m sure these guys won’t forget their experiences anytime soon, either. Again, my congratulations!

Steve

I’ve asked Steve to forward photos from his trip. If I get some, I’ll add them to this post, and to the flickr site as well.

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Chili in Ventura, California

Laura’s comment from yesterday gives us our latest update:

Hi,

Heard from Allan and they are staying in Ventura, California, weather a bit cooler, absolutely beautiful beaches. The next few days are going to be beach days, not sure what that means, drive through, swim or just play. They think it will take about another 5 days to get to San Diego. Janine is spoiling them, making them great meals. Tonight is a chili night. You go Janine! Allan said the food is really good and Janine is looking after them. Thanks Janine, remember the black mail and the payments for all the stories that only you hear. I asked Allan if they had been on the site and he said they do not have internet in most of the places they stay. Told him to get his butt down to the library and pay for internet and be answering some questions, send some photos etc. He said hopefully within the next few days. Sort of think that won’t be happening, if it hasn’t happened yet. He said he is sore and tired but they are accomplishing what they set out to do and have had wonderful experiences in doing so. All is well with the guys and Janine, We miss you, stay safe and see you next week.

Love Laura

PS The kids give you a big hug and say they miss you and love you. Can hardly wait until you get home.

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Day Off? Give Us Some Answers!

My Mom’s update from yesterday said that the guys will be riding some shorter days, and may even take a day off in the LA area. I think that should give them a chance to respond to some of the questions that have been posted here.

Laura had some in one of the first posts on this site, and then Frank had a few fun ones just a few days ago. This morning, I awoke to another comment, this one from Noni Kerrs, who saw the story in the Peak (awesome!) and had a few more questions for the guys:

Hi, saw the article in the Peak and decided to check out the website. Question: Are you guys now wearing your underwear under your bike shorts? Bike shorts meaning those tighter-fitting ones with the pad sewn in. What with seams and cotton and perspiration, underwear next to skin – that’s what sounds painful!

Another question – are any of the guys currently posting comments on this website? I can’t tell if there is any interactivity going on, i.e. responses to Commenters’ questions (I’d be interested in hearing for example their responses to Frank’s questions…).

Lastly, microbrew or MGD? You gotta try a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, yummm…

Good luck to all, Noni Kerrs

I’m with you on this one Noni. I’ve been keeping track, and here’s what we’ve gotten from the road so far: Pics from Doug Peel, after a few days into the ride. We also got a batch of pics from Real just a few days back. My Dad has called in with updates, and that is much appreciated. But so far, Al has been the only one to comment directly on the site, and I haven’t heard a peep from Don, who has to be the most technologically inclined (after all, his hair isn’t even grey!). So Don, or Dad, or Doug, you’re up. Now that you guys are in Hollywood, it’s time to give your fans what they want, and answer some of their questions.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Click the link directly below this article that says ” (#) Comments.” (This is how to read the ones that have been left, too)
  2. Leave a comment with an update, and maybe an anecdote or two.
  3. Hit “Post” at the bottom.
  4. An email will be sent to me automatically, and I can post your response out in the open.

Easy-peasy. That’s why Auntie Kay, Auntie Yvonne, Grandma Dot, Grandpa Behan and Al have all managed to figure it out. Although I suspect that Grandpa Behan had help…

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Hollywood Here They Come!

My mom sent me an email with an updates from the last few days:

I talked to Dad yesterday. They had lunch in Pismo Beach at a restaurant right on the beach. They rode 90 miles yesterday, about 145 km and stayed the night near Lompoc. They are going to do a couple of shorter days now, about 60 miles (95 km). They might take a day off in the L.A. area. Things are going great, but they are very tired at night after doing their laundry.

We’ll just have to wait and see what kinds of stories come from their “day off in the LA area.”

In other news, it was confirmed with me last night by Katrina from the BC Lung Association that a story (by me) about the guys will be published in their newsletter “Your Health,” which has a circulation bigger than the entire population of Powell River! Also, if any Riverites haven’t already seen it, there is a story in this week’s Peak. (Thank you to Luke Brocki, Laura Walz and of course Joyce Carlson!) Please save us the clippings!

Because I know Mrs. Carlson would approve, I offer first a permanent link to www.prpeak.com, and now the entire story by Luke Brocki:

Friends pedal the coast
Six Powell River guys in their 40s and 50s are pedalling their bikes to San Diego.
The Peak caught up with one the riders, PJ Behan, in Monterey, California, after a gruelling days’ ride.

We’re on day 20 tomorrow,” said Behan, 55, via telephone. “It’s going really well. We do about 20 kilometres an hour; five or six hours a day on the seat.”

Behan’s five friends are Al Craigen, Doug Peel, Real Segouin, Don Tataryn and Fred Werner.

When the cycling is done for the day, Behan calls his son Jordan and recounts the day’s events. Jordan acts as the group’s scribe and webmaster and will eventually write a book about the trip.

“We’ve set up a blog to keep everyone, including the riders themselves, up to date on their progress,” Jordan told the Peak in an email. “The stories and anecdotes they gather from life on the road will be compiled into a book: 30 Days with No Underwear.”

For now, Jordan assembles the group’s stories online at thirtydays.wordpress.com.

When the book gets written, 50 per cent of the proceeds from its sales will go the BC Lung Association, Jordan said. “It has been the charity of choice for these six heroes, and considering my dad’s lifelong battle with asthma, it seems very fitting,” he wrote in the blog.

PJ said the no underwear idea has been abandoned after some unpleasant experiences with cornstarch and Vaseline, but still thinks it would make a great title for the book that is to follow.

The crew of six hasn’t taken a day off since the tour kicked off in Powell River. They are accompanied by a support van and are staying in motels for the duration of the trip. The trip is on schedule, said PJ, who expects to roll into San Diego in early October. The riders plan to fly home on Saturday, October 7.


LONG RIDE: Discomfort killed the no underwear idea, but the bike trip is still about 30 days with six friends pedalling from Powell River to San Diego. Commando or not, here are Powell River bikers [left to right] Fred Werner, Al Craigen, Doug Peel, PJ Behan, Don Tataryn and Real Segouin.

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A Hot Shower or a Cold Beer?

We got a comment from Frank Chrinko of Suncoast Cycles, and he has some questions for the guys:

Hi Gang-

Usually I envy a cyclist who has got a day off of work and is riding while I labor away, stuck in the shop. You guys have all carved a chunk of time out of your lives for this trip and given us true reason for envy! Congrats!

I was wondering:

On those big downhills:

a) sitting up and coasting
or
b) head down and hammering in the big gear

For energy:

a) candy bar
or
b) banana

First thing at the end of long day in the saddle:

a) a hot shower
or
b) a cold beverage

Keep the rubber side down.

-Frank Chrinko

Also, in other news, I’m doing a presentation tonight at a marketing conference called CaseCamp, where marketers from all over Vancouver will present different case studies of marketing projects.

Apologies to my clients, but I’m using this site in my presentation, as an example of effective PR with a blog. The volume and variety of comments, and the obvious word of mouth aspect are what spurred me on to use it. So thanks very much again for your comments, and for those of you who have sent emails thanking and encouraging me, thank you very much for that too. It makes it all worth it.

Cheers! I’m going to have a hot shower and a banana.

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A Call from PJ, Pics from Real

Sorry for the delay with this update, but the technical difficulties have been dealt with, and I can finally publish the photos I received from Real, also see below for more updates from the road:


(l to r: PJ Behan, Doug Peel, Don Tataryn, Fred Werner and Al Craigen.  In the foreground in the arm of Real Segouin)


(The guys take a breather at the roadside)


(A tiny cake for Al’s birthday)

I spoke to my Dad twice in the last couple of days, and get brought up to date on their trip the last few days. I’ll give a quick update here.

Yesterday they went from Santa Cruz, to Moneterey, through to Carmel, and then back to Monterey. There was “no room at the inn” for our weary travels in Clint Eastwood’s town of Carmel, so they had to double-back to Monterey to find a Howard Johnson. A total of 122 clicks on a day when they were supposed to do only 60-70 and get some much needed rest.

The theme song for the last few days has been “Strawberry Fields Forever” by the Beatles, as they have pedalled through miles of brussels sprouts, avacado and especially strawberry farms. They even stopped to “borrow” a few strawberries.

The Golden Gate was a highlight from two days ago, Dad says that hundreds of people are pedalling over it at any given time. I guess renting bikes and riding over the bridge is a popluar tourist activity. Yesterday they rolled through a place called Sand City, and along the beach on a bike path in Monterey. He said it was “what you dream about on a bike trip to Southern California,” along the shore. Families on their bikes, girls on rollerblades, tons of activity and sunshine.

They’ve had their share of adversity though; they got lost yesterday, the day before my dad had to get parts replaced on his bike, Fred is blowing spokes on one of his wheels everyday, and Real has the record with seven flats! Also, Fred ran right over a dead deer on the side of the road. Roadkill is common, and they have seen many a dead raccoon, deer and other unidentifiable species that gave their lives at the side of the freeways. Some live creatures have been spotted too, the most surprising being a herd of elk crossing the street.

When things aren’t 100%, there is a mantra that Real repeats to set them at ease: “Things will work out. They always do.”

My dad agrees: “You know what? He’s right. They have, so far.”

Lastly, my Auntie Donna wanted me to post this comment out in the open; it’s froma big fan of this blog who reads everyday:

Hi P.J. and the rest of you guys! I was wondering how much longer you are going to be away cause my hair is getting pretty long…..Hahahahah

Just want you to know I`m thinking of you and am proud to call you son.

Love Dad xox

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Al: Tomorrow the Golden Gate!

Al left a comment on the site today, bringing everyone right up date, and with wishes to his family:

Hi everybody,

Day 17 is over, we are in Mill Bay, 1 mile North of San Fransisco. Tomorrow is big City Day, Golden Gate Bridge here we come. Aches and pains are getting better.

Michelle & Danielle I love you and do miss you, Danielle happy 24 th birthday tomorrow!!!, I will send you a prayer for many more happy years from the midlle of the Golden Gate.

Ewen “the tires are great and only one flat” (so far)

Cindy; it’s better! (corn starch)

Shelly (the angel really works) (I owe you)

Mark, Brent, Ted, Clayton keep up the good work “Pun intended”

Everybody this is a trip of a lifetime, a dream come true!

Laura, a new twist to the song, I’d ride 500 miles, just to ride 500 more, to ride a 1,000 miles, just to knock upon your door! Love you

Love me!!! Al

Later, Laura responds:

Okay Allan,

I hope you are not singing that song cause you ain’t no Elvis, but you are another Lance.  (Tour de San Diego)

Damn, you made me cry again when I read your story.

I am so glad it is your trip of a  lifetime and your dream come true.

Take care of yourself and that goes out to each and every one of you. Ride safe, Powell River is proud of you guys and you are an inpiration to all of us.

Love you

Laura


(From Flickr user bagini)

There you have it, tomorrow they ride across the Golden Gate Bridge through the big city. My mom emailed an update earlier this evening. My dad was having bike trouble:

Hi, Dad phoned me, he and Janine were in the truck. He had a broken de-railer on his bike, so they drove into a town to get it fixed. They had lunch there, and they were heading back to the highway to find the guys. He thought they might stay in Sausalito tonight. It sounds like they had a great time where they stayed last night, the caretaker was very friendly and had dinner with them. Janine was a bit freaked out about the winding highway. They will go across the Golden Gate tomorrow. They haven’t had cell phone reception or internet the last couple of nights, but should have tonight.

Hopefully we can get some new photos emailed to us in the next couple of days, too.

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