“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.”
Our sincere thanks to the following individuals for their generosity:
Todd Sbarro, Margaret & Joseph Poettgen, Hans & Suzy Forlie, Daniel Blankenship & David Viau, Stu Lindsay & Susan Hayward, Logan Smith & Tammy Strobel, Tom Pellegrino, Nita Hanson & David Martin, Dawn Heim, Jalair Box, Allen Thoma, Sichem Rizo, Chad and Toni Olsen
Special thanks to Warmshowers.org hosts: Charlie Crary (& Barb), Tod Smith (& Linda), Yvette Dicarlo, Bill Korn, Leanna Levine, Carl Barry & Karen Krebs, Diane & Dennis Baker, Ann & Brad Moyer, Cris Garrido & Fred Howard
Thanks to all our friends and family, including our blog followers, for your support and love. To all strangers who have offered us a kind word or gesture, shelter, food, or simply a smile – you renew our hope in the world!
Our sincere thanks to the following companies for generously donating service, equipment or gear:
Not a day goes by that we’re not wearing at least one item of Ibex Outdoor Clothing. We consider wool clothing essential for long-distance cycle touring but the main reason we support Ibex is because they are a socially responsible business. Ibex boasts a goal of 100% domestic production by year 2014. We also love their Field to Factory program and their participation in the CVPS Cow Power(TM) program (the nation’s only manure-based renewable energy program).
Clothing must be reliable & durable and because of our extremely limited space, it must also be functional and lightweight. Sheila is in love with the classic styling of the Made-in-USA Nuu-Muu and thinks it is the perfect piece of clothing for a global and active traveler. Since receiving her RuuMuu (a NuuMuu with a handy5” deep and 4” wide pocket on the back) Sheila wears it almost daily on the bicycle, off the bicycle and even as an impromptu swimsuit or nighttime cover-up. We love the story behind how NuuMuu was started and we’re inspired by their admirable business philosophy.
Our Klean Kanteen bottles are extremely exposed and heavily used – quite frankly, we put them through hell and high water. There were many reasons why we chose the Klean Kanteen Bottles in the first place: stainless steel is a safe, healthy alternative to plastic, BPA-free & leak-proof caps, the steel doesn’t retain flavors & is easy to clean, functional & large mouth openings, and they can take a beating.
SWISSFLEX eye glasses, made in Switzerland, are very lightweight and flexible, resulting in unrivaled wearing comfort and ensuring no skin-irritation or pressure marks. Several people from around the world helped to secure a donated pair of CHAMP sport activity eyewear for Kai to use during our travels. A sincere and special thanks to Mr. Caviezel, founder & CEO of Swissflex; to Annika Aebli, of SWISSFLEX world headquarters; to Raul Paredes, SWISSFLEX distributor based out of Cuernavaca, Mexico; and to Benjamin Garcia Ocampo, of Optica Scientifica, of Mazatlan, Mexico.
Italee Optics, based in Los Angelos, California, distributes high-quality eyewear, including the revolutionary 2.5 Eyephorics brand. Kai purchased a pair in 2010, as part of his cycling kit, specifically for their lightness (2.5 grams!), their hardiness (they’re flexible!) and their comfort (no slippage, no pressure points!). They seemed ideal for long-distance bicycle touring and Kai hasn’t been disappointed – he loves them! Thanks to Steve Han, Senior Vice President of Italee Optics, Kai is now the proud owner of a generously donated backup pair of 2.5 Eyephorics.
Master wheel builder John Jones has built wheels for touring, road racing, track racing, commuting, mountain biking, recumbents, unicycles, wheelchairs and even carnival floats and motorcycle wheels. He’s worked with Team Garmin-Cervelo during the Tour de California but his real love is building wheels from his workshop in Santa Barbara. Our experience with him (rebuilding Sheila’s rear wheel with Rohloff hub) only confirmed our belief that he is one of those rare individuals, someone who truly loves his craft, and is committed both to the skillful, creative process of wheel building as well as to the person riding the bicycle.
The Click-Stand is a must have tool for any cycle tourist. Handmade from expedition/aircraft grade 7000 series aluminum tubing & custom cut to fit your bike, the Click-Stand supports all types of bikes – from loaded tandems to racing. As a bonus, Tom, the owner and inventor, offers extra-ordinary customer service – WAY above & beyond all other companies we’ve dealt with.
Lab-Gear (now Eleven Velo) has been designing and manufacturing superfine merino wool kit that is customized for you. They give you the base but you decide what it looks like, the cut, colors and threads. Each and every order is cut by and sewn by their expert (and highly valued) local tailors and seamstresses in Sydney, Australia . (Read Kai’s review of their BiPosto cycling boxer.)
Quality Goods for all your cycling needs, made in Cottage Grove, Oregon, USA. Randi Jo hand sews each and every apron, cap, jersey, saddle cover herself. She’s been whipping out the good stuff since 2004 and operating the sewing machine since she was nine. We use Randi’s Waterproof Saddle covers to protect our saddles.
Sheila is super picky when it comes to underwear, and since she’s most comfortable riding in normal clothing without padded undies or shorts her underwear has to be breathable, durable and – for the love of all things sacred – comfortable. Designed and manufactured in our home state of Vermont, USA, Commando is cutting edge not-your-normal underwear. With invisible edges and a nylon-spandex stretch fabric, commando feels and looks like nothing, but it is better than nothing.
Designed and manufactured in Boulder, Colorado, USA since 1996. Stonewear Designs provides quality women’s clothing for yoga, fitness, hiking and travel, much of it made with organic cotton and recycled polyester. They also support The HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation founded by Sean Patrick, an ovarian cancer survivor and climber.
Krista, of Kristas Cups, has been promoting liberating products, like the pStyle, for years and believes in the power that the pStyle has to change people’s lives for the better. The pStyle allows women and trans men the freedom to pee while standing up, without taking off any clothing! Recycable and available in an array of colors, why continue squatting when you don’t have to?
Since using as little water and cooking fuel as possible is a high priority for us, we looked high & low for a pressure cooker (yes, you read correctly!) that was the right size and without long handles (so that we could fit it in our panniers). B/R/K generously donated the perfect sized unit for our travels.
Twin Six, created and managed by two designers who love to ride, is creating the graphic revolution in cycling apparel. As they state in their manifesto, “The gear we pull on is a statement of our style, identity and self.” Kai owns and wears a pair of their Canadian made Three Quarters riding knickers, which are made from a DWR coated fabric created from post-consumer recycled plastics.