West Coast of USA to Indio, California
The Route, at a Glance...
Sidney, BC, Whidbey Island, Olympic Peninsula,
Oregon Coast, California Coast.
September/October 2014 - Approximately 2400 Kms
Although I’ve been touring around fairly local venues, this will be my first major tour for a long while. I’m sure that it will test my mettle, especially leaving mid-September to ride 2,400 km down the west coast of the USA to Ventura, CA and then possibly east through the high desert areas of California. Hopefully the weather will be kind, but raingear will definitely be packed and ready!
The Google map below shows my approximate route – I will be about five or six weeks on the road and having rest and tourist days at places that may interest me.
So why to Indio? My wife and I have been (and still are) Canadian Snowbirds visiting that area in the Coachella Valley for quite a few years now. We’ve driven and flown to that destination many times leaving me with a hankering for another mode of transport to the destination. Train? Maybe another time, but for now I guess that a bicycle trip like this ended up on my bucket list together with wanting to ride across the Golden Gate Bridge, and to ride further south on the West Coast than the signpost declaring “Welcome to California” at the Oregon border – I’ve been that far before and even etched my name on the wooden post at the rear – Shhh! don’t tell the department of highways, defacing public property and all that – well it was only small writing! I wonder if it’s still there?
Leaving in late summer and into early fall has prompted me to add more money to my wallet and splash out for motels, yurts, cabins, hostels etc. instead of pitching my tent and suffering through uncomfortable nights – I don’t seem to sleep well in the tent anymore, I suppose that my body is protesting after innumerable nights at bivouac in the many years that I have bike toured. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy camping, but not night after night and not when I need a good night’s rest before riding some long distances daily. Having said that, the tent and sleeping bag etc. are coming along (and adding to my load) as I’m sure that lodging will not always be available or affordable!
I’m taking my Cannondale T2000 touring bike on this trip. Tried, tested and true! I’ve had this bike for over 17 years and it is still as comfortable for me as when I first toured on it. I prefer riding this bike on long tours as it doesn’t flinch when loaded heavily and always feels very stable in all conditions.
Total weight of my bike (including all the bits and bobs attached to it) and gear is about 85 lbs. The weight obviously varies as I add and subtract water and food. So what kind of load do I carry? No matter how I try to pare it down, I seem to be packing along somewhere in the region of 45 lbs of gear. I know, it seems like a lot and I do invest in lightweight gear, but it does add up! That weight will increase in the warmer weather as I travel south and more water will need to be carried. Not just because it will be warmer, but also due to the lack of opportunities to obtain water when facilities become farther apart. I’m not going into detail of what I might carry here on this page, but I’ll be picking from the list that I have on another page of this website at AdamK’s Cycling Site – Bike Camping. I will have my 7" Nexus tablet with me and will post periodic progress updates and photos to a blog and then later at home, transcribe to this site. The pages that folow are a compilation of those blog posts.
Now what else? Oh, of course, my trusty companion Basil is going to ride along with me as usual!
By the Way... This was supposed to be a solo tour, but things did not work out that way! Read on...