Sunday, July 22, 2012

Summer Bicycle Touring

In the past, I have mentioned that I would very much like to do a short bicycle tour. While I'm not one to take off for weeks or months at a time to engage in a bicycle trek, I really would love to go for a few days and simply take in scenery and see how a shorter adventure would go. At the moment, I'm trying to work my mental state up to the idea of going on a short tour early next summer, possibly travelling from San Diego to the central coast of California. Why Cali? Well, I'm somewhat familiar with the state having grown up there, but I also know that there's so much I haven't seen. Additionally, the weather tends to stay more moderate, so I wouldn't have to worry as much about extreme heat and cool (at least in the summer). I also have relatives up and down the coast, so if all hell broke loose, I know there would be someone to rescue me. Sam, whether he likes it or not, will likely be suckered into this adventure with me (though I am fairly certain he would want to come along regardless), so that will allow a partner on the roads to help keep me moving along. I have also had the opportunity to take the scenic Hwy 1 route from Oregon down through northern California and it was quite beautiful (though not by bike as it was many years ago), so I thought perhaps trying out a southern route by bicycle could be a great option.
A bicycle tour likely wouldn't include a lot of this... but it might be a great time!
While this is the area that is currently in my head to do a short tour, I am open to other locations, and thought perhaps others might have suggestions on a good route to try out for a 2-5 day bicycle tour.   I'm also concerned about the southern Hwy 1 route in California. From the quick reads I have done online, it looks as though that route goes either back inland significantly (which I would prefer to avoid), or it travels through some rather iffy terrain with few directional signs (it seems more than one individual has become lost on this route).

web survey
Another option to get some experience and not be gone for days would be to try out a quick over night locally - basically traveling as far as I can in a day, camping, and coming home. This option is probably the most sensible in the immediate future, and while I'm open to the idea of starting such a trip before summer ends, I still think I'd like to have a slightly longer one at some point in the future. What do you think? If you were going to do such a trip, would you want to try out a shorter time period close to home first, or would you just go for a longer round first so you don't talk yourself out of it? I think I'm somewhere on the fence with this, so thoughts are certainly welcomed.

5 comments:

  1. I do have slightly-more-than-nebulous plans for a short bike tour that I'd like for Scott and me to try. It'd be an overnighter and we'd start in Harper's Ferry, WV, pedal down the C&O Canal Towpath towards DC, stay in one of the lock houses overnight, pedal back home via the trails in DC to the Custis to the W&OD, and drive back up to Harper's Ferry to retrieve the car. I think the bicycle portion of the trip would be about 150 miles.

    I'm a big fan of baby steps. And backup plans. :)

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    1. Yay for short tours! :O) Hopefully, I'll be able to read about your adventure before I (we) head out... It's always nice to learn from others' experience. I tend not to do things in little steps, but rather just jump in both feet, but this is one of those things that is causing me to pause and think a bit (perhaps that's a good thing).

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    2. I don't know if the tour will happen this year, but there will definitely be a post about it! =)

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  2. My husband and I have an overnight "warm-up" tour we do. We bike to a not-too-distant town (which where I live means 40-60 miles), spend the night, then pedal home. It lets you check out your gear. It gives you a good idea of what to pack and how to schedule your day and evening activities. And, should you have a real problem, you are close to home. I also enjoy putting together local loop trips from my home that put us out for 3-5 days. My husband loves these local trips because he doesn't have to worry about where the car will be left--it stays in our garage! Have fun out there...

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    1. Thanks, Marsha. The logical side of my brain tells me that a short trip to test things out first is probably the way to go, but the free-spirit-go-where-the-wind-takes-me side wants to just go for it. I have a feeling it will go much easier though if I take your (and others) advice and do a short stint before taking off on a longer adventure. A local trip makes sense simply because then we don't have to get to a special spot before starting out.

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