When we last checked in with Alex and Gregory, they were preparing to head south from San Francisco and continue their worldwide bike tour which at the time had already led them through 22 countries on their Montague bikes. Let’s take a look at their journey through California and the Southwestern United States.
“Leaving San Francisco had been incredibly difficult. One month without cycling, sleeping in a proper bed, a nice city, incredible hosts, a kitchen, beers… We had trouble readjusting to our cycling lifestyle of camping and eating plain white rice daily.
Luckily the views along the California coast were nothing short of amazing.
After our easy living in San Francisco, we decided to challenge ourselves by trying a polyphasic sleep cycle without really knowing how it works. We both had a vague idea of the thing, so why not cycle all day and night with small naps here and there? Sounds like a really stupid idea, so let’s do it!
After nearly two days of periodic naps while riding almost constantly, we laid down for another nap at 8pm on the second day. When we woke up it was 6am and we knew we should put a stop to our sleep cycle experiment.
En route to Las Vegas, you can choose between the Mojave desert or the Death Valley. Both seem very attractive for cyclists don’t they? The Mojave is quite flat and we decided we could cover this route much more quickly. Motivated by our choice we rode about 90 miles a day until we reached Vegas.
It’s an impressive city, Disneyland like with tourists everywhere. Those nuts reproduced famous buildings from all over the world. Mini New York City, small Paris, Venice, Egypt, etc. Inside the casinos and hotels there are even streets with fake buildings and painted ceilings that emulate the sky. You have no clue if it’s day or night outside. The mock Venice even has channels and gondolas.
While the architecture and decorations were impressive, the people were like zombies at the slot machines and we had few meaningful human interactions.
Our next destination is the Grand Canyon. In between we have a look at the Hoover Dam, a 200 meter thick beast of a dam built in 1936.
Unfortunately, we leave Nevada with a poor opinion of the local police. We noticed them yelling at tourists around the dam for seemingly nothing at all, and the day before we were wild camping on an empty field and were kicked out and treated like dangerous criminals.
We have to put that in perspective though. The french cliché about americans couldn’t be more disconnected from reality. The locals we’ve met are way ahead on a professional or personal mindset. A lot take classes after work and speak different languages. You can feel the famous entrepreneur spirit in whatever topic you bring up and their hospitality and positiveness is always refreshing.
Back on the road, we are in the desert and the temperature drops while we get close to the Grand Canyon. We regularly find our water bottles frozen in the morning. 13°F last night ? No wonder my feet were so cold! Luckily we do have have good tents and sleeping bags.
Once we arrived at our destination we discovered one of the greatest places we’ve seen during our whole trip. It’s almost as amazing as China’s Great Wall. A few pictures can’t do justice to the Grand Canyon, you have to go there to experience it.
We keep going on the shortest road to Mexico: Flagstaff-Phoenix-Tucson-Nogales. Goodbye USA!”
Keep an eye out for the next post from Alex and Gregory to see their journey through mexico on their Montague folding bikes.