The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


Al Thompson left Northwest Ohio on August 17 on a bicycle ride around the perimeter of the United States in an effort to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity and Save the Children.

Here is an excerpt from his blog, which you can follow by going to and clicking the icon in the upper right corner.

Greetings All -
I’m going the wrong way. Ask any cyclist from these parts, and they will tell you that you should be heading south --not north--along the California coastline. This is something I knew, having bicycled from San Francisco down to Los Angeles 35 years ago in 1981…going in the right direction. But I pushed it to the back of my mind with the thought of dealing with it when I got here. Well I’m here, and the winds were formidable yesterday. I made the almost 50 mile ride from to San Luis Obispo to San Simeon battling 30 to 40 mph gusts that jockeyed me from one side of the road berm to the other. I actually feel a bit trapped here in San Simeon--Monterey is over a hundred miles to the north with the rugged and spectacular Big Sur coastline in between…but not much in the way of services along the way, and more wind advisories for today. And then there are the temps hovering in the low 60s and upper 50s--the wind makes it feel like the 40s. I’m taking a rest day here in San Simeon to contemplate my next move, or whether to move at all.

This is a group of young cyclists from Santa Barbara Middle School I came across on the Pacific
Coast Higheay who are on a three or four day bicycle ride down the coast. Notice they are all
pulling trailers like mine. Great to see young people doing this.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed about this journey is being able to reconnect with people along the way that I haven’t seen in years. I was able to do that with fraternity brother Rod in Granada Hills who I hadn’t seen in 40 or so years. We were pledge brothers in our Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity back in 1968, so we did a bit of reminiscing about those long ago days.

In spite of the wind, it’s nice to be cycling along the coast once again. I think my ride down the eastern seaboard from Maine to Florida has been one of the best parts of my journey…with the Atlantic Ocean and its myriad bays, coves, and inlets quite often in view - and mostly favorable winds it seemed. I was hoping to recapture that feeling with my ride along the Pacific Coast, but the wind and now cooler temperatures are making it hard to appreciate the natural scenic splendor surrounding me. Although…camping at Carpenteria and El Capitan Beach State Parks provided some wonderful ocean vistas blessed by some photo op sunsets. And I’ve so enjoyed the green of coastal California compared to the browns of the desert lands. The hills and mountains that seem to always be my companions remind me of soft, undulating pillows with pillow cases of varying shades of green.

In San Luis Obispo (SLO), I took a day to volunteer with SLO Habitat For Humanity at their Restore where I met a great group of as always dedicated staff and volunteers. Close by were Warm Showers hosts Greg and Christine who provided a comfortable haven for the night. Yesterday morning Brook Martell of KSBY TV--the NBC affiliate in SLO --came out to do a very nice interview with me which aired last evening on their 6 p.m. newscast. Brooke is just getting started in newscasting, and did a fine job on the piece.

Trying to Proceed On, if it weren’t for the wind,
Al Thompson




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