Although I have only gotten into bicycling the last two years, I have traveled solo for over two decades. Before I dated my partner, I would ride my bike to the grocery or the library or to work occasionally. But with her, I started taking longer rides. Since traveling solo has been my thing for awhile, I thought why not add the bike to the mix? I started reading about bike adventures on blogs, in magazines and talking to people about the idea. I love the zero emissions factor that goes along with traveling via bicycle and the idea of being self-contained and transporting myself. Thus, a seed was planted about traveling with my partner on our bikes.
I joined some bike packing forums and really paid attention in the women's ones, and I started asking questions. Staying in the US was a no-brainer for several reasons: much easier to communicate and get help if anything goes wrong, less travel hassles, no language barriers. I found a book by Bill Thorness in which he not only gives cues for traveling down the Pacific Coast Highway 1, but he makes suggestions on daily mileage, where to spend the night and possible side trips. The route actually starts in Vancouver and ends in Tijuana, but we knew we had to break it up due to time constraints. I hope to travel the northern section next, from Vancouver down to SF.
We researched as much as possible: gear options, gear carrying options, bikes, accommodations, what people do for food... I read blogs on how much stuff to bring... (For example many people say, three sets of cycling clothes- one to wear, a clean/dry set, and one that has been washed and is lashed to the bike, drying as you ride). Food? Do people carry all their food? Buy as they go? In California, the options were many, farmsteads, groceries and plenty of restaurants. Though you could go hours in some areas without seeing a thing, not even a toilet. Hydration is vital. We each had two bike bottles of water, I think 24oz each, which is not enough to sustain the entire day. We depended on being able to refill our bottles at rest stops, restaurants, gas stations, etc.
Hi, I'm Reverend J, a queer+ sober wanderer, activist, writer and ordained minister.