The boys have arrived and about 30 of their family, friends, coaches and fellow judo students greeted them at the Golden Gate Bridge. NBC and ABC sent out reporters with media vans, so you will be able to see them on Bay Area Local News Channels tonight at 5pm and/or 6pm PST.
More info and pictures are coming tonight…
update: – It was a wonderful-wonderful day, and it was a long day too – Pictures will be coming tomorrow…
Peter and Janos arrived to San Francisco!
But we pretend they have not yet. Their ultimate destination is the Golden Gate Bridge, and they are not there yet. They will formally arrive tomorrow, as friends and family welcome them. (Details in post #75.)
They had one last hill to climb, (not high but steep), and from the top they saw a breathtaking view: The Bay, the ocean, and yes, the Golden Gate. They have been riding for two and a half months to see this.
Riding on, a bit later Janos got surprised: he felt a familiar smell. He recognized the smell of the Bay. Just a few seconds later Peter could feel it too.
The brothers had started their journey in New York City, and they have to arrive to San Francisco, and they have to arrive through the Golden Gate. It would be practical if the ferry from Vallejo would go to the North end of the bridge, but it stops at the South end, in SF. So on Saturday early morning the brothers will “secretly” cross the bridge northbound, just so they are able to cross it again southbound, when we greet them.
They can’t believe they did it. There is only a few miles left for tomorrow.
We talked in the night. “I already miss it.” – said Janos.
States: 14 Total: 3841 miles / 6181 km
Peter and Janos are so close to home, some of us commute this far to work, every day, one way.
Back home the excitement is growing by the day, as the judo community at SJBJC, just as our friends at the Blind Judo Foundation, and of course the family is preparing to welcome them.
Among others they helped us decide on a spot to meet the boys on Saturday, August 18th. Fort Point Historic Site pictured below, seems to be a great choice. It offers a good photo opportunity of the Bridge, plenty of space for friends to gather and socialize, and good parking. We meet in the parking lot, shortly before 11:00AM, as we expect the brothers to be farely punctual.
States: 14 Total: 3815 miles / 6140 km
The boys see a huge difference in their surroundings as they are getting closer to the SF Bay Area. A week ago, in Nevada they were crossing a township of 200-400 people every 50-70 miles (this sometimes meant only one township on a given day). Now cities with 40,000 residents are almost touching each other. They can tell the difference in people’s look and mentality. And they can see (taste!) the difference in the food available.
Back in the Nevada desert the brothers were at the mercy of convenience stores of gas stations, and it took them some time to learn that they needed to check the expiration date on the package they purchased. One time Janos bought a “Lunchables” and as soon as he opened the box he knew something was wrong with the food. The date showed the meal has been expired for 12 months! He returned it, then tried to make a more careful choice from the limited selection. Maybe one of these expired food items had caused Janos’ sickness about a week ago.
The flat terrain makes it easy to make good progress. For most part of the day they followed a bicycle route. The advantages are the lack of cars and traffic lights. The disadvantage is that these roads are too curvy, Peter says.
States: 14 Total: 3770 miles / 6067 km
Peter and Janos has been riding since June 3rd, 2012. They had started out in New York City, close to the Statue of Liberty, and will finish their cross-country journey in San Francisco, at the Golden Gate Bridge. We will meet them on Saturday, August 18th at 11:00 AM at the south (SF) end of the Golden Gate Bridge. Should some of you, Dear Readers, feel like coming out to welcome them – we would be honored.
The brothers rode more than necessary yesterday, so today they took it easy. There is no need to arrive too early. They still have hot weather, temperatures over 100 °F (38 °C). Today there was good Internet connection, and we received several pictures about the past few days.
Two days ago the boys were very excited about entering California, and were making plans in advance about celebrating around to the “Welcome to California” sign. They were a bit disappointed at the border, when all they found was a cheap and simple California sign. They were still extremely happy to finally be so close to home. See the photos below. (You can tell it was raining.)
States: 14 Total: 3705 miles / 5963 km
In the morning the boys were shopping for breakfast in the convenience store of the little township where they had bought dinner the previous night. They were surprised when the town’s police officer approached them, and that he seemed to know all about them. Turns out, the officer was a relative of the store owner, and she had told him about the two bicyclists last night.
We also learned why they had stopped early yesterday: They have had rain all day, they were wet and cold, and in the afternoon they got a hail on top of that. The brothers decided that riding while pieces of ice are hitting your face at 30 mph, is not much fun, so they decided to call it a day. They had gotten permission to put up their tent behind a church. There was no reception, we were not able to talk until tonight.
Today Peter and Janos climbed the mountain which was probably the last steep incline of their journey – they rode through Carson Pass. We could talk today (the line dropped several times), but they were not able to send pictures.
Tonight they sleep in the garden of a school. The caretaker gave them permission, but warned them that they would need to leave early morning before anyone arrives to school.
This picture we had received some time earlier: This is how Peter likes to sleep when they decide not to put up the tent.
States: 14 Total: 3678 miles / 5919 km
Welcome to California!!
We talked to Janos early afternoon and he said they were very close to CA. He told us about how they were planning to celebrate the moment when finally crossing the border. Dad joked that they would need to pass a coolness test to enter California.
We didn’t hear from them since then, and again are thankful to the little Spot device, that tells us that they probably spend the night in a church, and they rode about 29 miles today.
They did great progress in the past several days, so we are not worried about a shorter section accomplished today. Below is a picture received from Janos 2 days ago.
States: 14 Total: 3618 miles / 5823 km
So close to California!
The brothers are tired of sleeping on the wayside, they rather ride more than their quota for the day, to find a bed, or just a room to put down their sleeping bags, or at least an electric outlet to charge their phones and a decent spot to put up their tent. The third option is what they get most nights. Tonight they sleep in an RV park.
Some people who read this blog have known Peter Kabai and Janos Kabai for years. But some might wonder, who are these boys after all? The brothers have lived in California, in the SF Bay Area for 15 years. Peter is 19, he is a student at San Jose State University. Janos turned 16 during their journey, he will be a high school junior this year. They both started judo ten years ago at Cahill’s Judo Academy. Later the family moved to San Jose and the kids (including their third brother and their sister) switched to the San Jose Buddhist Judo Club. Peter is a black belt, and Janos recently received his brown belt.
If you didn’t have a chance yet, please read the FAQ from the menu above.
The pictures are from Peter: 1.: The sign they are always happy to see. 2.: Shoe tree. 3. Bush fire.
States: 13 Total: 3589 miles / 5776 km
The brothers had a good day. The terrain was comfortably flat, and the headwind wasn’t very strong. The temperature was still high though, just above 100 °F (38 °C), and the wind was hot too.
In the evening Peter dropped a few miles behind, while Janos and Ryan arrived to Fallon. As they were standing around waiting, someone asked Janos: Is that your brother one mile from here? – He said yes. The man offered that they spend the night in his home. He has an extra room where they could put down their sleeping bags. Charging their phones is really important as well. Very soon Peter arrived too.
We received a few pictures from Janos. The first two were taken two days ago, the evening when the boys met the curious bull. On the second picture see Ryan (24). The next two pictures he took yesterday.
States: 13 Total: 3523 miles / 5670 km
PS: Just before publishing the post we received a picture from Peter, the last one listed below. This is called Sand Mountain, shown even on US road atlases, as a tourist curiosity. Peter and Janos has been twice here, while on family trips. They still remember the huge “pile” of clear sand, the hour-long climb to get to the top of it, and the burning hot sand that filled our shoes.