Tag Archives: bike tour

Day 26: Last Day! Downtown San Diego to Border Field State Park (and back)

previous post: Day 26 in a San Diego Hotel (Neuroses of a Bike Touring Mom)

Day 26: Downtown San Diego to Border Field State Park (and back)

san diego to border field

Since I already shared my early morning neuroses, you know that I did not wake up feeling relaxed on the final day of the trip. Who has time to relax at the end of a long adventure?

Still so much to do:

  1. Ride 17 miles to the border to “finish” our tour
  2. Get a bike box
  3. Pick up a rental car
  4. Take apart a couple of large bikes
  5. Wrestle two large bikes into a box and pack/protect them for a long journey
  6. Load the rental car with bike parts that are not going in the box along with all of our panniers etc
  7. Drop huge bike box at the shipper
  8. Do laundry
  9. Take the kids to the San Diego Zoo
  10. Take the girl shopping for some normal (non-bike-touring) clothes

The largest and most daunting task: all of the steps involving prepping and shipping two large tandems to Seattle. Continue reading

Pacific Coast Bike Tour Day 25: San Elijo State Beach to San Diego

Previous post: Pacific Coast Bike Tour Day 24: Doheny State Beach to San Elijo

Day 25: San Elijo State Beach to San Diego

San Elijo to San DiegoFourth of July, what better day to finish our tour? We certainly didn’t plan to arrive in San Diego on the quintessential American summer holiday, it just worked out that way.

Fourth of July meant a festive mood in the campground. The beach (just beyond the chain-link fence separating our campsite from the ocean) was hopping by 6:30 AM. Early morning surfers, campers staking out their Fourth of July beach spots and passing trains made it difficult to catch morning shut-eye. No snoozing for us! It was time to get up and finish this tour. Continue reading

Pacific Coast Bike Tour Day 24: Doheny State Beach to San Elijo (Part 2)

Previous post: Pacific Coast Bike Tour Day 24, Part 1

[continued, Part 2]

Our mood light, we left Carlsbad and started pedaling toward Whole Foods in Encinitas where we planned to buy dinner groceries. We spent most of the ride from Carlsbad to Encinitas talking about food and what we all wanted for dinner on our last night of camping. We settled on some kind of BBQ, thinking we’d cook on the fire. We pulled up to Whole Foods and leaned the heavy gear laden bikes just outside the store entrance. The boys went in the store to shop while the girls stayed outside with the bikes. Tim had been talking about Cocchi all day and was looking forward to some cocktails at the campground that evening. Unfortunately, unlike our local Whole Foods in Seattle, this one didn’t carry it. So he settled for a nice dry rose instead.IMG_1943

Tim sent a series of texts while he shopped. Carne Asada? I replied, Yes! Grilled peppers? Yum! Baguette and chevre? This is getting better. Cherry Pie? Why not? Even though Tim doesn’t eat pie or bread, he’s always thinking about the bread and sweet eaters in the family. He finally emerged from the store almost an hour later, carrying multiple bags for our celebratory feast. Continue reading

Pacific Coast Bike Tour Day 22: Leo Carrillo State Beach to Palos Verdes

previous post: Pacific Coast Bike Tour Day 21: Carpinteria to Leo Carillo State Beach

Day 22: Leo Carrillo State Beach to Palos Verdes

leo carrillo to palos verdes 2

This was the final week of the tour: the home stretch, the final stage, the last 200 miles! We figured if nothing else went wrong, it would take us four more days of pedaling to reach San Diego.

We’d already ridden 650 miles this summer (and 900+ in the summer of 2012). Since we set out from our house in Seattle on June 10th, we’d endured so many setbacks: riding in torrential rain, days of pedaling with sore knees, and a heat wave. And even though we felt some apprehension about riding through LA, Orange County and San Diego, with its heavy traffic and drivers who have irreverence for bicyclists, we knew this section of the route was part of the coastal adventure. I fantasized about renting a car and driving the rest of the way, but we knew we couldn’t just skip this section. If you want to ride the Pacific Coast from Canada to the Mexican border, you must ride through LA and Orange County.

So let’s do it!

We woke under the trees in the Leo Carrillo campgroud, took care of our usual breakfast and camp dis-assembly routine and eventually set off toward Malibu. Once again, Danielle and Henry were on the road before we even started packing.

Our destination: our friend’s house in Palos Verdes. But this time, our tardiness had a purpose. We’d been warned about impatient and fast-driving Malibu commuters and planned to avoid riding Hwy 1 during commute hours. That knowledge gave us license to take the morning at a slower pace and roll out after traffic died down. Continue reading

Pacific Coast Bike Tour Day 20: El Capitan State Beach to Carpinteria

previous post: Pacific Coast Bike Tour Day 19: Lompoc to El Capitan State Beach

Day 20: El Capitan State Beach to Carpinteria

el capitan to carpinteria

We met another friendly bike tourist in the El Capitan State Beach hiker/biker site. The five of us shared the giant hiker/biker site with its beautiful ocean view. As we’ve noted in a previous post about last year’s Pacific Coast tour, bike tourists who meet on the road often have little pet names for their fellow two-wheeled travelers. We named the friendly guy we met in El Capitan,  “Mr. California”. When we inquired about his hometown, he replied “California”. He went on to list the real estate he owned up and down the California coast including houses in Ventura, Del Mar, San Francisco, Sonoma County and a couple other places. Continue reading

Winter: A time for Planning Summer Family Bike Tours

What sort of winter hibernation do you enjoy? The Car Free Days family tried to escape the cold and dark by hunkering down at home; reading, drinking gallons of hot tea, cuddling up around the fire, and occasionally getting out-of-town to ski in the Cascade range.

But a few winters ago we started doing something even better with the short, sucky days: dreaming about and planning epic summer bike tours.

Coping with Winter Blahs

With just over 8 hours of daylight during the winter months, Pacific Northwesterners (and Scandinavians, and Russians, and ….) must come up with some way to preserve our sanity day after dark sodden day from November through March. Residents of these northen climes rely on many different methods for coping with winter dreariness. Some use light therapy, others make regular pilgrimages to day spas; soaking in hot pools and sweating away sorrows in saunas. Still others escape altogether with vacations to warm sunny climates. For some reason the historic, go-to strategy of heavy drinking has fallen out of favor. At least in our circles.

A new twist on beating dreary days came from family biking media darling Emily Finch this past December. I spent a good part of my early Christmas vacation living vicariously through her highly entertaining winter indoor-painting-therapy-program:  Continue reading