The amazing ride options in San Francisco are a blessing and a curse. While we are blessed with some of the best rides in the country, those beautiful rides do keep you sucked in with little temptation for exploring something new. Feeling the itch for adventure, Mike and I suited up and headed out for something new. We pointed our bikes south and decided on Santa Barbara. One kit, one bike, and some plastic money - we set out on a little adventure.
The California Coast may be one of the most traveled routes for bikes in the world, yet that in no way takes away from the excitement of the journey. The thrill truly sets in halfway through the first day, when instead of turning the bike towards home, we kept on riding South. The excitement is the unknown. Breaking from the routine, you look at everything with a little bigger eyes, seeing novelty around every corner.
I was pretty confident in our ability to crank out the miles. We were on a schedule and needed to be in Santa Barbara in just a couple days. Mike and I were doing big miles every day, and fast. We thought this was kind of impressive, until we met Peter. While researching at a salmon hatchery up in Alaska, Peter heard stories of cyclists riding the West Coast and got inspired to cook up his own little tour. So despite having never ridden more than twenty miles in his life, he bought an old Peugeot off craigslist in Washington and started south. Peter was kitted out, Ornot. He wore no cycling shorts, no gloves, wore running shoes with toe straps and a backpack. Three weeks into his trip he kept with us no problem. Sitting comfortably in spandex atop our modern carbon road bikes, we were impressed - to say the least.
Touring light doesn’t mean eating light, though it does mean a lot of real food. We left day one with our pockets full of bars, only to never want to eat another fig bar 100 miles in. What’s better is to eat giant meals at every possibility, and of course try every cookie along the coast.
We managed to get by with bar bags and small seat bags. The lighter weight you go, the faster you can ride. Extra minimal however, meant loaded pockets (a great look) and in-hotel kit laundry each night. A few secrets: wash with shampoo not soap (it’ll dry quicker) and after you wrap your kit dry in a towel, use the hair dryer the next morning. You’ll have a dry and toasty kit for the cold morning roll out.
Headed south on a new adventure exactly what the doctor called for. A little sun, a couple beers and 46 cookies along the way. We met some new friends and saw some new sights - as far as garmins and strava goes; there is no “proof ” of my ride but, “who cares?” Three days of the ocean to my right and coastal hills to my left, all with the constant chatter of a great friend - a perfect Santa Barbara Tour.
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