The Way to San Jose

To set the mood, we invite you to click here and listen.

Soon after we left Gilroy this morning, Josh passed us.

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Josh is a helicopter pilot.  He does medevacs for a local hospital.

Josh recently began to commute by bicycle. He loves the way it clears his head. Like most of his neighbors, he had no idea that poor asylum applicants are expected to present their cases without a lawyer. He’s a new friend of Human Rights First.

Attracted by this bright display, we stopped north of Morgan Hill.

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Judith, 32, has lived in the U.S. since she was 16.  Her English is comparable to Jeffrey’s Spanish—but they managed to talk.

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Judith’s children are fluent in English and Spanish.  She hasn’t been to a big city, not even to Los Angeles, and was fascinated by the idea of biking from NYC.  Jeffrey bought fresh Fresno cherries from her, and she added some extra, for friendship.

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Smooth flat roads and a gentle tailwind sped us to the well-paved, sunny/shady Coyote Canyon Trail.

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Water, trees, grass, mountains in the clouds . . . perfect.

About 8 miles in, a sign warned that the trail ahead was closed due to flooding.  Nancy and Melinda waved us back as we approached a flooded area.

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L to R:  Nancy, Dog 1, Melinda, Dog 2.  Melinda said her mom, a nurse practitioner who does charity work in the Third World, will be excited to learn about the Ride.

Jeffrey told them about the Ride, and asked about alternative routes.  Then he walked barefoot into the stream, found it slow and shallow enough for the Sprint 26, and pushed the machine across.  Nancy and Melinda stood by in case of trouble.

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Success!  Jeffrey waved goodbye to our new friends, and continued on the Trail, having outsmarted the people who placed a “trail closed” sign.

Half a mile later, Jeffrey didn’t feel so smart.

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Here the trail was covered in deeper water, sticky mud, and heaps of tree parts.

Jeffrey reconnoitered. With some work, he thought he could get our machine through the water and past the woody debris. But there was no telling whether more barriers were around the bend. Jeffrey decided to return the way we had come.

Melinda had told us of an alternative on local roads. We backtracked a mile and found our way off the Trail.  We continued north and west through 18 miles of moderate traffic.

Silicon Valley!

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We entered San Jose proper.

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We pulled up at Julie’s and Nattie’s house.

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Real-time photo courtesy of Julie.

I cavorted in relief.

Thus we ended the main part of our journey, among friends.

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L to R: Nattie, Joey, Julie. Jeffrey and Julie have been pals since grad school at The University of Chicago. Before Julie’s father and our Nancy’s father became refugees, their families knew one another in Germany. Nattie fled persecution himself.  Julie and Nattie know.

To reach San Jose, we pedaled 1,212 miles from Rio Rancho, New Mexico, through mountains and forests and farmland and deserts, on trails and roads of all kinds and conditions.  We would not have made it without your good wishes, kind comments, and moral support.

Before we close the books on the 7th Annual Ride for Human Rights, we will explore this area a little. We’ll take a break from nightly posts, but you will hear from us occasionally until Jeffrey gets the last word after we return home in about 2 weeks.

If you’d like to provide financial support to help Human Rights First protect refugees and promote American values, click here.

And please stay tuned. 😊

9 thoughts on “The Way to San Jose

  1. Congratulations, Jeffrey, Nancy and Joey! What a great journey! So thankful you have made it well and without major incidents. Can’t wait for the next year’s journey.

  2. Well done Joey and Jeffrey another epic ride! Your comments and photos make such interesting reading especially for a foreigner. Your tenacity is an example to younger folk.
    Congratulations, looking forward to your next journey. Michael and Annette

  3. Wonderful, Jeff! Congratulations and thanks for continuing your mission (and providing such wonderful stories along the way).

  4. Congrats! You made me belly laugh with the picture with the caption about not feeling too smart – and then you figured out another way to go…. good for you on all accounts Jeff. Very proud of you and I bet Nancy is a special kind happy now, too. Take good care and hopefully we will see one another this summer.

  5. Congrats, Jeffrey and Joey, on your safe passage from Rio Rancho NM to San Jose. Welcome to California – to you two and Nancy makes three! I’ve so enjoyed following your journey. My mom and I look forward to seeing you next week.

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