Monday, March 16, 2009

The Car Free Vacation, Adventure On Two Wheels

Bike Lane, Rail Road, & Highway, A Pacific Coast Transportation Layer Cake

The latest form of cycling that I've become passionate about is touring. This is where you pack your bags, load em on to the bike and go ride, find a suitable place to camp, and keep doing this until obligations reel you back into reality. I mentioned briefly my first adventure of this sort with Meghan from San Luis Obispo to Santa Barbara over 3 days, with Amtrak to get to the start and the last leg home. Well recently Meghan and I set out again, this time from L.A. to San Diego in 2 days, and again Amtrak for the ride home. So far both trips have involved stopping off to a Mission, which was exciting for me because as a California native we learn about them in school, but I never actually saw any of them before.

Mixing train and bike travel is a great and economical way to get out and explore California, especially when your free time is limited and a round trip by bike is impractical. The pace of bike riding gives you a completely different perspective on travel than everything blurring by in an automobile. It's not something for the beginner cyclist, but with a little base training it's pretty easy to go far even with all the gear on the bike. With the right training and maintaining a comfortable pace you can just about ride forever..

When I get some more time I'll write some specific tips about touring and some of my experiences and perspective on it. In the mean time I'll leave you with a link to Russ Roca's touring focused blog, The Epicurean Cyclist, which inspired Meghan to start planning our first trip, and a few photos of our journeys so far below.

San Luis Obispo To Santa Barbara:

Meghan On Amtrak

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

On The Road

Victory Over First Big Climb

Margo Dodd Park Panorama View

Gaviota State Beach

Meghan At Our Gaviota State Park Camp Site

The Fog

Long Beach To San Diego:

Pacific Coast Highway

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Meghan + Lens Flare

Our Camp Site

Stopping For The View

On The Path Less Traveled

Getting Ready For The Last Stretch

Bicycle Public Sculpture, We Made It To San Diego

[Flick Collection Of Bicycle Touring]


jon said...

Wow ! totally inspirational. sincerely, thanks

Gary said...

Glad you found it inspiring. It's a lot of fun, I wish I had more time off to do it for even longer. Saving those vacation days.

RussRoca said...

Nice! Looks like you guys had a blast. Next time you roll through the LBC let me know.

Glad you're getting into touring. I think it's coming back into style and we're just early adopters :)

Lance said...

Great photos! I kinda wanted those red bike packer plus bags too, but my shop only had black :(

Happy to hear you guys are enjoying your touring tour-mate and I did LA to Oceanside a month or so ago, and this weekend we're doing oceanside --> julian and camping in the anza borrego desert for a couple of days. They're essentially just practice trips for the Big Ride, though.

hopefully I'll see you guys soon so we can have a touring-specific bike-nerd sesh...I don't think I've seen either of your new bikes yet!

Char said...

I've been doing bike tours for 10+ years and LOVE it. I go somewhere new every year. It's the BEST way to see a place, meet people, eat the local food, etc. And when you ride self-contained and camp along the way, it's a pretty cheap vacation!