March 2, 2015

TOPtoTOP meets Silicon Valley

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What a busy couple of weeks it's been. Once we had arrived back in Pier 39 we then immediately turned around and headed south for a week of meetings, school presentations and talks!

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First up was a long awaited meeting at Google HQ in Mountain View. This was set up thanks to Pascal, a friend we met whilst in Red Rocks which was super - and good to catch up with Pascal again. Without Google maps I have little idea how we would have made it through the cities cycling, so it was a big day for us to meet the minds behind it all!

We all know and use Google a huge amount, but aside from owning half of the internet, they are also paving the way for green working; amazingly having been carbon neutral since 2007! You can read more on their green policies here. (I would...it's pretty impressive!).

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Whilst in the area we stayed with the Barbara and Chris Warnock and their son Yoshi. Barbara's mother Elsbeth also joined us, who is Dario's mother's best friend and so it was lovely to spend time with the closest thing to family out here. Thank you so much for having us to stay - it was very much what we needed and appreciated.

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After Google, we headed over to Stanford to give a presentation to the Alpine club and others who were interested in coming along - Thanks for having us and please do come and join us on the expedition at some point!

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We rounded up our busy week of presentations at the Valencia Elementary school in Aptos - thank you so much to Shanda Towells for helping set this up. Here we were able to present to the 300 4th-6th graders, who then joined us on a very successful clean-up of the school yard - well done and thank you!

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After a huge clean-up effort we headed over to the library to perform the muppet show to the kindergarden classes. Despite being just 5 years old, they each had such super ideas on what we can all do to help the environment which was a super end to what was a very busy week! Thank you for all your great suggestions and entries to the drawing contest.

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Posted by dario at 7:09 AM

February 17, 2015

We've made it back to Pier 39!

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We have completed the cycle tour, from PIER 39 to Pier 39... It's taken us 129 days, cycling 2,485 miles on our Stromer Bikes, climbing a total of 89,590ft in elevation - that's 3 x the height of Mount Everest!!

For more info, or if you would like to run a story on this leg of the journey, please see our en_2015-02-16_press-release-toptotop.pdf

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Thank you so much to the incredible people we have met along the way, who have helped us, opened up their homes, come and cleaned up beaches, mountain tops and deserts with us and of course all the 3000+ students we have visited!

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It's been incredible, and now we focus on visiting more schools, and preparing for our next leg, which will take us from POLE to POLE around the two Americas.

Below are a few photos from our couple of days up from Santa Cruz, staying in Half Moon Bay along the way which was stunning!

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Thank you so much to Tyson, Shanda and their children Ashley and Tanner for having us to stay in Santa Cruz - it was great being with you guys!

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Posted by dario at 12:43 AM

February 14, 2015

Big Sur

Wow... what a couple of days. Apologies for the radio silence - we haven't had internet all week!

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On Sunday we left Santa Barbara and our lovely hosts Jim and Shari - thank you so much for having us. You were wonderful hosts and it was super to spend time with you and your friends Bob and Mindy.

In Santa Barbara we also said goodbye to our teacher Corina who had been with us for a few weeks - thank you so much for teaching our children!

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From Santa Barbara we then cycled some of the most beautiful 475 kilometres I think we will ever cycle. We were also joined by Eric and his son, Sorren, good friends we made whilst in Alaska - Sorren (13) is cycling with us for a couple of weeks which is great.

Our route this week has brought us through Pismo beach, then along the beautiful Highway 1, through San Simeon, Big Sur and now to Santa Cruz; where we are staying with Jim and Shari's Son and Daughter in Law, Tyson and Shanda- Thank you so much for having us also!!

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Just north of San Simeon we went past Piedras Blancas lighthouse and the beach which flanks it; where 17,000 Elephant Seals now call home. It was amazing sight (and sound and smell!), and we were lucky to be passing at the tail end of mating season so the beach was a hive of activity.

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Heading further up the coast, spring very much looked like it had sprung! It was beautiful with rape seed plants lining the streets with yellow flowers, and with the roads quiet and with the occasional migrating grey whale spouting keeping us on our toes it really was a stunning couple of days.

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Just outside ragged point we found a state beach to camp on for the evening, after an incredible sunset and then a blanket of a thousand stars to bid us goodnight it was all set to be a lovely evening.... only to be awoken by the most almighty wind storm at 1am - with all the tents trying their hardest to fly away!

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After a peaceful sunrise and a further 120kms cycling north we hit Big Sur for the evening and then onto Santa Cruz today for a busy week ahead.

Posted by dario at 5:38 AM
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