Coastal Ride 2014

I'm sitting next to four pages of notes detailing out my spring/summer bike trip. At this point BOTH husband and I are pretty invested...meaning we just purchased touring bikes yesterday--definitely invested if you know what I mean. I can hardly believe it but my excitement has even managed to capture husband's interest. And while he may just be doing it so that I'm not riding 1,800 miles and sleeping on the side of the road by myself; I'll take it (tomato, tomato you know). And although this is not confirmed, I believe my dad will be joining us as well which is pretty awesome since he and I talked about doing rides like this years ago when we were training for the STP (Seattle to Portland).

Ultimately, I did not end up going with the Novara Safari that I was excited about. I tried a couple sizes and we messed with the angle of the handlebars, but it just wasn't a fit for me. The handlebars seemed so cool and ideal with the wrap around bars that allow for multiple hand placements but I couldn't reach them enough in order to rest my hands without feeling like a hunchback. I've seen other riders contorted like this and they're probably completely comfortable, but it's just not for me. I ended up selecting a different REI touring bike, the same as husband actually, and so now we're going to be that couple that matches. Adorable.

Light training started for us last week. The goal is to complete one ride each weekend for the next couple months since we're currently working through P90x3 also. We did 13 miles today and 15.5 last weekend. I kind of feel like I noticed the additional weight on my touring bike versus my road bike during a couple climbs today, but that could just be in my mind. I would like to get our mileage up to around 30/40 in the next few weeks so that when we finish P90x3 we can jump right into back to back rides getting our rumps ready for the discomfort that comes with getting back on the saddle the next day.

I'm happy that it is only January 19th. We have some serious logistics we need to work out before reserving camp sites and hotel stops. The major piece is the direction. We really want to start in San Diego and go up because we believe weather won't be terribly hot when we start and it will gradually warm up (and dry out hopefully) as we move into the Pacific Northwest. It also seems that we would have a jump on the tourist packed summer while in California since our classes get out a month earlier than most. Plus, there's the added bonus of finishing up in familiar-ish territory. I like the idea of grabbing a Costco cake and celebrating with my parents at their house, after the ride is complete.

However, quite a few blogs as well as the Bicycling the Pacific Coast Guidebook suggest a Canada to Mexico route. They suggest it because of regular and hearty summer headwinds experienced when traveling S to N, headwinds so bad they've made the ride miserable for some. The guidebook also explains how there is more road edge for bicyclists riding N to S and how the view would obviously be that much better as you ride right along the coast. I feel like a downside is the rain that will naturally still be a part of the Northwest if we start there in early June.

We also have to figure out, no matter what direction we choose, how to get us and the bikes and the gear to our starting point as well as back home after. Additionally, figuring out our pup situation must be worked out too. There has only been one time when Leah and I were apart for longer than two weeks and I don't like to think about it. I need to feel confident in their care while we ride. This is a top priority and one that could seriously alter my ability to make this ride happen.


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