Tag Archives: bike touring

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

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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

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

previous post: Pacific Coast Bike tour , Day 18: San Luis Obisbo to Lompoc

Day 19: Lompoc to El Capitan State Beach

We woke up in the Lompoc city park, took care of our usual morning routine of coffee and breakfast. As Tim made the coffee, I wandered over to the camp host’s site and asked if we could charge our electronics in the vacant RV site next to the hiker/biker. He said, no problem. So we plugged in all of the devices and continued breakfast and taking down our camp.

While we were packing up, the park ranger drove into the campground to collect the fee envelopes from the self pay box. To our surprise, he came over to the hiker/biker and gave Henry and Danielle a refund. They had been used to paying per person in CA State Parks. Naturally, they paid $10 for their site, $5 per person. But at the Lompoc city park, the camping fee was $5 per site, not per person! And he graciously explained they paid too much and gave them $5 back.

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Continue reading

Pacific Coast Bike Tour, Day 18: San Luis Obisbo to Lompoc

previous post: San Simeon to San Luis Obisbo

Day 18: San Luis Obisbo to Lompoc

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We woke the next morning rested, clean, smelling good and ready to tackle the day. A little rest, some pool time, leg massages and mega doses of ibuprofen  had done Tim’s knees some good.  He was still reluctant and a bit worried about his knees and wasn’t sure they were going to take him 400 more miles to the border but he was willing to keep plugging along.

A couple of months before we left on the trip Tim changed his saddle on the tandem. The more miles he pedaled, the more Tim deduced that the position change from his saddle swap might be contributing to his sore knees. He considered asking a friend to break into our garage, remove his Selle Atomica saddle from another bike and mail it to a future stop.  He figured that would be too much hassle for all parties involved and decided to just manage the pain instead. Continue reading

We Made it! Updates to Come

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We finished our Pacific Cost Bike Tour on Friday, July 5th, 2013 at Border Field State Park, the Southwesternmost part of the contiguous United States, or the DMZ as Tim likes to call it. More on that later. Continue reading

Pacific Coast Bike Tour Days 15, 16 and 17 San Simeon to San Luis Obisbo

Previous post: Big Sur to San Simeon

Day 15: San Simeon to San Luis Obisbo

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We woke up in the hiker/biker site and most of the riders who had arrived late the evening before had already left. Early risers get the worm and get to ride the Hwy in a dense fog. We learned that one of the riders in the late arriving group had to catch a train in San Luis Obisbo so they had a valid reason for getting up and out of camp so early.

san simeon to san luis obisbo

We enjoyed our usual leisurely morning routine with coffee, hot chocolate and oatmeal for the kids while we waited for the fog to clear. We weren’t interested in riding the highway in dense fog. Good call! The fog cleared and we were on the road by mid-morning. Destination: a hotel in San Luis. I couldn’t wait for a real bed, a shower and some laundry! Continue reading

Pacific Coast Bike Tour Days 14 and 15: Big Sur to San Simeon

Pacific Coast Bike Tour previous post: Santa Cruz to Big Sur

Day 14: Big Sur to Plasket Creek

After a day of R&R at Big Sur campground, everyone was ready to tackle the day. Our daughter was feeling better, Tim thought his knee could handle a short day and we were ready to get back on the road. Our Big Sur hiker/biker campsite campmate, Jay Dancing Bear, gave us the scoop on the next stretch of the coast. Jay reported that the sparsely populated and rugged coastal area would be the best part of our tour. He’d been traveling this area for more than 20 years and had some strong opinions about the set of campgrounds, beaches and services.

big sur to san simeon

Jay Dancing Bear suggested we take the next section of the tour slow and to relish the tranquility of the remaining section of Big Sur. He scouted our Adventure Cycling maps and told us where he would camp if he was us. We appreciated the inside tips and settled on Plasket Creek campground, a forest service campground 33 miles south. Our friends, whom we traveled with last summer on the northern portion of the Pacific Coast stayed at Kirk Creek campground when they passed though Big Sur last year. They reported it was beautiful but had no potable water. They left the campsite thirsty and dehydrated and suggested we aim for Plasket Creek instead.

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A little tip about grocery stores in the Big Sur area: they are scarce and expensive along this stretch of coastline! We stocked up on groceries at the small store three miles from the Big Sur campground, still more expensive than a splurge at Whole Foods, but still cheaper than grocery options further down the road. Continue reading

2013: A drive to Oakland and rest days in Bay Area

previous post: Seattle to Portland

Days 4, 5, 6 and 7: Portland to Oakland in a minivan then a few rest days in the Bay Area

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Not much to report about our drive from Portland to Oakland except that two tandems and four people really do fit in a minivan. And driving is tiring. And the kids complained more on our 11 hour drive than they did riding in the pouring down rain on the highway for an entire day. Continue reading

2013 Pacific Coast Bike Tour: Seattle to Portland

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Read our latest installment of our 2013 Pacific Coast Bike tour. Seattle to Portland

 – Anne

Hungry? 21 Go-To Family Bike Touring Foods

8576477352_fb6da65c19Disclaimer: In general, food is a polarizing subject. Add bike touring, small town grocery options and it can get even more divisive.

I’m an omnivore. And so is my family. For those of you who don’t eat meat or processed food, just know I’m not trying to offend your food sensibilities. Same goes for those of you who can’t imagine bike touring without energy drinks, freeze-dried food and power bars. Sometimes we eat some pretty gross stuff on tours that we wouldn’t consider at home (gas station deviled eggs, 7-11 hot dogs and mystery meat burritos). If the mere idea of any of that makes you ill, you may just want to skip this post!

Kids and food

For all the parents out there: Do you agree that feeding the family is one of the most high maintenance tasks on your daily list? I like to cook but feeding a family day after day quickly turns into a chore.

A few years ago,  I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner one night when I remembered this site a friend had recommended (if you’re swear-averse, don’t click.) They said it was funny and that it would cure my dinner making blues. I ended up procrastinating for quite some time one afternoon clicking links and laughing. F-bombs and dinner resonated with me at that time in my life. It just didn’t get old.

In all seriousness, kids can be such a pain in the ass when it comes to food. They don’t {ahem} like that, or they say they like it but won’t eat it when the time comes. Or they won’t eat vegetables. Or they’ll eat only raw vegetables. Or they’ll only eat white food. The worst is when they tell you that the meal you just slaved over is gross. Ack! Help!

Add bike touring and meal planning gets more difficult

Grocery Store BBQ, YumYou think feeding two adults and two kids is hard at home? Try feeding them on a bike tour! Three times a day, for 22 days. After pedaling 50-60 miles a day, we all get hungry. And since we’re far from our favorite local organic grocery stores, we have to make do with small town stores that sometimes offend our high-brow-gourmet-food sensibilities.  We might even sink so low that we’ll {gasp} scrounge for anything remotely edible in nasty gas stations! But everyone must eat, so we roll with it.

If you’re interested in family bike touring and food, read on! Continue reading

Lies we Tell our Children (or how to get kids to go bike touring)

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When Tim and I recount family bike adventures to friends and strangers, a typical response is, “What do the kids think”? “Do they like bike touring?”

If we were being completely honest, we’d reply, “of course not”. You’ll soon ascertain that we have a slight problem with stretching the truth.

We get kids on board and excited about these trips by over-emphasizing the potential highlights and skipping the parts we know the kids won’t like.

And sometimes we tell all out lies. Continue reading