Tag Archives: California

Going to Japan?

Hey everyone,

Mike and I are considering going to Japan next year as a way to finalize the Cali Cares journey.  The idea came to us when we heard about this opportunity:

Japan Tourism Agency to give out 10,000 flights to would be tourists

The Japan Tourism Agency plans to ask would-be travellers to submit online applications for the free flights, detailing which areas of the country they would like to visit, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said.

The agency will select the successful entrants and ask them to write a report about their trip which will be published on the internet.

Needless to say, we were going crazy over the idea of actually going to Japan.  After researching this news more I found out that this opportunity is not a for sure thing yet.  In any case, Mike has been editing the video footage from his trip and is making a short video.  We plan on submiting this, with our personal interviews, and crossing our fingers.

I get the goosebumps thinking about Mike being able to ride a stretch of the Japanese coast on the same bike he road down our coast.  I can’t think of a more fitting end for this journey.

For more on the travel opportunity check out this article from the Telegraph.



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Reflections on the Cali Cares Journey.

Hey everyone,

The Cali Cares campaign has nearly reached its end.  Thank you for following Mike’s ride, and if you read his last post, you know there will be one or two more turns left in this journey.

Today I want to share my thoughts on a successful and enlightening project.

A sketch by Mike for a Cali Cares brochure. Circa April 2011.

Cali Cares has become more than just raising support and awareness for survivors of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.  It is a story of one man’s dedication, and a testament, that all of us are capable of doing more.

To my knowledge, before Cali Cares the farthest Mike would ride a bike was down to the beach, about 2 miles, and he certainly wasn’t worried about where he would stay the night.  That’s not to say he didn’t train, he did, but there were a lot more questions than answers when this voyage began.  Now, he can ride 60 or more miles a day, he met some amazing people, was privileged to breathtaking scenery, and he helped raise money for a good cause.

I have to include myself in here as well.  Before Cali Cares I had little knowledge about Japan, experience with blogs, charities, etc.. but I have come away from this project feeling educated.  Both Mike and I have found that by helping others we have ultimately helped ourselves.

For these reasons alone I feel like this project has been a success.  However, I have learned a few other things, and I feel it would be a shame not to share them with you.

A few months ago Mike came to me with this question:

“How can I show these people halfway across the world that I sincerely care about them?”

With all of the footage on the news it certainly made us feel like we live in a glass box.  But, an empowering thing happened as we explored Mike’s question… We found that while technology may have helped to construct a glass box, it also has the potential to break this box, and provide a level of support which is more human than we first realized.

It’s only a matter of time before future disasters in other parts of the world affect us economically, environmentally, emotionally, etc…  But what we learned over the course of this project is that we can use websites, blogs, social media devices, and other neat things (double impact and free rice) to provide support for people outside of our physical range.  And the type of support is becoming more immediate, personalized, and sincere.

I think that Cali Cares has become an example of this.  I don’t know how many survivors have seen this blog, perhaps zero, but it is now documented that we care about you and your struggle, we love you, and we want you to love the ocean and the earth again.

Knowing that we are leaving this legacy has given us a certain satisfaction… We have answered Mike’s question.

And the future is bright with opportunity.

A little girl in Ofunato receiving a pair of socks. Courtesy of Socks for Japan.

“May you always be close to someone who cares.”


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Making the Paper!

While Mike rested over the weekend he met with Tammy Marashlian, a senior writer with the Signal newspaper. They discussed how Cali Cares came about and what it has become….

The Signal Article 

Mike will be getting back on the road today so expect a new post soon as he continues his journey.  That lucky guy is probably enjoying some lovely Santa Barbara weather right now.  It’s a far cry from the damp days he spent in the Redwoods!  Stay tuned over the next week as his bike ride comes to an end.

Fundraising update!  So far we have collected 170.00 dollars for Doctors without Borders.  We thank everyone who has given generously.

Our goal is to raise 840 dollars.  This amount equals one dollar for each mile of California’s coastline.  Mike and I have decided to leave the donation link open until July 11th; four months to the day after the disaster.  Check out the *CARE* page for more information.


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Japan. Three months after the earthquake.

Mike has been out on the road for over two weeks, meeting people on our coast, and talking to them about the devastation that Japan’s coast experienced.  We all probably remember news footage of entire towns being washed away, skyscrapers in Tokyo swaying like leaves of grass, and the Fukushima reactor nearing meltdown.  It has been just over three months since the earthquake and a lot of progress has been made.  However, there remains a lot more work to do, and judging from these pictures, life on Japan’s coast may never be the same.

But, there will be life.

It is amazing to see how much the Japanese people have accomplished in three months.  When entire cities lay in ruins it is truly a stoic act to carry on, to plan for the future, and for the children who will one day inhabit the coastline again.

There are so many organizations and people involved in this recovery process that they all deserve our support.  For this reason, we developed the *CARE* page.  There you will find ways to contribute towards organizations which have supplied the Japanese people with comfort, food, clothes, shelters, mental health counseling, and even temporary hospitals.

If you would like to see more pictures of the recovery process visit this link to Boston.com.


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Hospitality turns 180*

I woke up today in the cold dense fog surrounding Hearst castle, and rode a wobbly bike into Cambria. Had the best breakfast yet @ The Redwood cafe with the best server yet Wendi. She served up the right amount of coffee & sarcasm to get my day going! Then we rode into wonderful San Louis Obispo where I got to visit with my sweet cousin Rachel- & she hooked it up with delicious cornbread that fueled me to beautiful Shell Beach. Once here a lovely couple John & Donna (whom before 7 o’clock today where complete strangers) invited me into their home, cooked me an incredible homemade dinner, a hot shower & a comfy couch to crash on! There are so many great people I’ve encountered that inspire me to pay it forward.

“Together we are what we can’t be alone”.





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Big Sur is sure big!

There is something special about testing yourself – pushing yourself to the limit and finding out what you’re capable of accomplishing. Today it was the breathtaking climb through Big Sur. I meet 2 really cool guys ( John & Dave) from St. Louis, they’re only 20 so these young bucks are keeping me going @ “20 year old energy level.”

Maybe today you can challenge yourself to do something difficult & feel the great feeling of accomplishment. I want to say a quick thanks to Marli, who I only spoke with momentarily but gave me some good positive energy & she seemed to want to support Cali Cares. I’m headed to Pismo Beach tonight after my bike gets a little TLC.

“Life is a journey, not a destination.”





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Big Sur

Hey Everyone,

I just briefly spoke with Mike. He is feeling good and ready to ride.  On the other hand Eleanor (his bike) needs some work… Yesterday he was peddling along and all of a sudden he rode off of an “invisible curb.”  His back tire came down hard, a few spokes broke, and now the back tire has some ‘wobble’ in it.  Luckily, he kept control and remained on his seat!  However, before he can get any repairs done, he has to make it through Big Sur.

He made some friends (no surprise there) and they are hitting the most difficult roads Big Sur has to offer today.  Naturally, I wanted him to post what he is experiencing as he is riding, but he reminded me how dangerous that could be.  So, he will try to post later, when he reaches Hearst Castle!  For now enjoy the pictures of Big Sur from this travel blog so you can get a better idea of what Mike is seeing today.

Wish me luck!

Donation Update: Since we started the *CARE* donation page one week ago we have raised $105 for Doctors without Borders!  Thank you to everyone who has donated, your gift will make a difference in someones life when they need help the most.

  “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” -Leo F. Buscaglia


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