Entries Tagged as Routes & Rides
Chris from Topanga Creek Bicycles has been doing overnight and longer bike trips since last year. When he invited me to join him on his next trip to Ojai late last April -- it would consist of a train ride into Ventura and then riding up to Ojai -- I jumped at the opportunity to travel with a group of like-minded individuals. The details were actually very sketchy until a few days before the trip; I suppose Chris had been too busy running his business to get the information out. But he got it out with enough time for me to figure out what I was going to bring.
The purpose of this trip, besides having fun, was to prove out my method, packing, and fitness for longer trips later this summer. We decided to drive and park at a friend’s house so we could keep the distance down to about 50 miles for this first trip.
The Northern Neck of Virginia is a region with many options for bike overnights, from camping to cabins to inns and bed and breakfasts. Great bicycling can be complemented by hiking, kayaking, wine tasting, and other activities. The following is based on my 15 years or so of occasional visits.
Here was the idea: A getaway weekend. Not too far, but far enough. How to get there, and how to get back? The plan was hatched to take the Amtrak train to San Luis Obispo and return by bicycle. It was about 150-160 miles, as near as we could estimate, so that would be a two-day return trip.
Winter had stayed too long; although I had been active -- walking, hiking, cross-country skiing, and cycling for transportation -- I had not been bike touring. I felt the need to do something that would pare the fat off the soul, and maybe even scare the **** out of me. Even though the adventure was going to be only about 90 miles round trip and close to home, the bike with gear weighed 60-plus pounds and we were taking a route I had never been on. So, my imagination wandered, but I was ready for the new adventure.
My youngest two boys Ben (4) and Brandon (3) seemed to be in no hurry to make the transition from diapers to underwear; that is, until the promise of a special adventure just with Dad became the perfect motivation! Last year's maiden voyage with Ben was a huge success, so I could hardly wait for the moment when Brandon was ready. Finally, last weekend I completed my second Bike Overnight, a 7-mile climb from our house to the nearest regional park campground, with Brandon in tow, his 12-inch-wheeled bike strapped on top of the trailer packed with most of our gear.
I'm just back from a fine mountain bike overnight micro-adventure in Queensland, Australia: Boonah to Mount Joyce base camp, and back again (a slightly different way). I’m doing these overnighters both because I like doing them and to gain experience for The Big Expedition later in the year.