West Coast Cycle – 2013
April 3, 2013 – San Diego
Tomorrow morning, all going well, I will head out to begin my coast ride with a ride out of San Diego.
Initially I had hoped to do this ride with Rich King, and another friend Louie. They have been trying to do the coast ride for a few years, and it looks like they will make it this year, but they will be starting later than I was able to fit into my schedule. When it became apparent that I would not be able to ride with them, a few options opened for me:
My Bike Friday had needed some factory repairs for a few years, and so I sent it to Eugene Or., and arranged for it to be forwarded to San Diego. So I will do the ride in reverse order. Most do it north to south, taking advantage of the prevailing winds. Hopefully I will not spend too many days regretting this decision. I did enjoy the simplicity of flying down without my bike.
I have also modified the cycle route somewhat. I will ride north along the coast through California and Oregon. Then, rather than continuing on to Vancouver, I will head east up the Columbia river to the east side of Washington State, then north, through a bit of Idaho, into BC, through the Crowsnest Pass and onto Calgary. I had been interested in doing the Columbia River Gorge for a while and I also like the idea of finishing a long bike trip by riding up to my house in Calgary.
So … that’s the tentative plan. It will be 3600-4000 km, and I have a bit less that six weeks to get it done. Not enough time to linger much, and if I have troubles there may be some train or bus lifts, but hopefully not. The simplicity of a “long
ride home” really appeals to me. I plan on camping a bit, using hostels periodically and motels where needed.
This will be my third tour starting in San Diego. The Baja Peninsula in about 2000, and the Southern Tier ride to Florida in 2005. Both of those were with Rich.
I flew in today, arriving at 11:00 am, got a taxi to my hotel, where my Bike Friday was waiting for me. It went together well and all the repairs are great, as I expected. Everything Bike Friday has done for me has been excellent.
I had about a 15 km ride to find and buy a gas cartridge for my stove and to look around the harbour a bit. The bike seems to be good to go.
I had dinner and another long visit with Uris Torods, a friend through George Kinnear, with whom I stayed each of my previous cycle trips. On each visit the conversation has been great, this one no exception. The temperature seems to be about 65F and the forecast is for the same for the next week, with no rain. Hopefully this will hold as I head north. The wind seems to swirl, but then I have myself ready for almost anything in the way of wind. i will attempt to post when I dan on this trip. Til then..