Iconic N. County Camp P Bike route & a chance encounter with the “Starving Cyclist”

A great iconic North County ride and one of my favs is through Camp Pendleton, a US Marine Corps base, to San Clemente State Beach. Bring your driver’s license as they check IDs at the gates both entering and leaving the base.

It can be a little tricky merging with traffic to get onto the base from the South in Oceanside, but once you’re through that – it smooth cycling with minimal traffic and very few lights or stops signs. The roads are generally in good shape, but the rain storms have beat them up a bit so be alert to debris and bumps. Just one hill and the rest is flat with a couple rollers. (I’ll have to film it for you.)

Once you exit the northern gate of Camp Pendleton, / Las Pulgas exit off Interstate 5, you’ll be in the blissful no car zone along the old airstrip and out to the San Onofre bike trail and the beach. Cruise along enjoying fantastic vistas of bluffs, beaches, and the Pacific. In the summer, you do need to be on the watch for campers, kids and surfers running amok. There’s camping, picnic and restrooms available throughout the park.

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Yay, getting back in the road bike saddle. This was my 5th and longest ride post kidney stone surgery (see my Honoring the gift of health post). (Yes, I drank my H2o on the ride.) I cut it about 10 miles short for a total of 46 miles with 2,015 elevation gain/loss. 20170205_122412

Speaking of camping and biking, I ran into the “starving cyclist” , AKA Greg Valenzuela, on my ride. He’s been on the road for nearly 5 years biking around the world on his Cannondale. Greg didn’t want his picture taken so here’s his rig instead.

I asked Greg some questions about his adventures .

How many miles do you ride a day?

Between 40 and 100 depending where I am and where the next stop is.

Where’s the best place to ride in the States?

Washington and Oregon as there are so many cyclists who live there and the scenery is great.

Where have you felt the least safe?

Mexico and Nicaragua are sketchy (understatement).

Did you get any tickets?

4 tickets in New Zealand for not wearing a helmet.

How much does your rig weigh?

Got it down to about 121lbs…

Have you been in any accidents?

Yeah, a couple, but nothing serious.

Any tips?

If you’re riding in hot climates like Thailand, take saunas in the morning if you can. It will help you acclimate to the heat.

Where to next?

Dana Point on my way to Redondo Beach and then off to Morocco.

Who inspires you?

Check out the inspiration page on my blog.

And who inspires your inspirator? (Some really great sites & videos here!)

http://www.bikewanderer.com/inspiration-1/

Happy adventuring!

Raleigh, NC: Bucolic biking on the Neuse River Greenway Trail

Borrowed my sister’s sweet Orbea tri bike for an out and back cruise on the Neuse River Greenway Trail. Bucolic beauty, tame riding (flat), and deer sightings along the river and over 7 bridges (2 suspension bridges) through wetlands and countryside. (I coaxed the little guy out of the brush so he could join his peeps on the other side of the path.) It’s an easy, paved, multi-use, 27.5 mile trail. I turned around at the 25 mile marker as I had to get back. This trail is part of Raleigh’s Capital Area Greenway System, and notably, also a portion of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail,  a 1,150 mile hiking trail that crosses North Carolina through the Great Smoky Mountains and concludes in the Outer Banks. (Perhaps something to add to my “to do” list though from the little I’ve seen, my preference would be to bike it over hiking it…)

 

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The downside

Posted trail speed limit is 10 mph, which is ridiculous for road bikers. I went on a weekday afternoon when there weren’t many walkers or casual bikers so I broke the rule. If I lived there, it would drive me nuts not to be able to ride the trail at realistic road bike speeds. Of course, safety is of the utmost importance, but how can you have a decent mileage path that allows bikes and expect people not to exceed 10 mph? (Heck, I ride 14 mph on my mt. bike on the road.)  It’s a big deterrent to this cyclist. Perhaps the sentiment is if you’re  a real cyclist, you’ll ride on the road. I don’t know about you, but I get more than my fill of riding on the road in California so anytime I have a chance to ride and not worry about cars, I’m all over it. I’d be working with city council and bike advocates to change the rule or adopt some measure to establish designated times or days when road cyclists can ride at speed. All that being said, once you get the 25 mile marker, the roads look very rideable with minimal car traffic. You could probably make your own century ride out of it.

Boise River Greenbelt: A shining example of riverbank restoration

Alas, every trip must come to its end. Enjoyed Sun Valley so much, I opted for another day there, which left me with only an hour or so to explore Boise before catching my flight. I opted for a leisurely ride along the Boise River Greenbelt.  For a trip that started in Spokane with a bike ride, it seemed fitting to conclude with one in Boise. Read more

Spokane Quickie

First impressions: Fantastic fall foliage, clean, bike-friendly city, easy to navigate, nice parks, incredible vistas, great centennial trail, rainy.

Arrived at the small airport at noon, rented a car, and headed directly to Spoke ‘N Sport. Pete set us up on a couple hybrids for our quick tour of Spokane. Just a half hour after landing, we’re pedaling through Riverfront Park, meandering by Gonzaga University where the fall’s display was in its full glory.

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Despite the brisk, wet weather, there were many runners (one stud without a shirt), bikers, and skateboarders about. In addition to nature’s displays, the city also features many outdoor art sculptures.

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Monroe Street Bridge, built in 1911

A little history:

Built in 1911, the 896 foot Monroe Street Bridge spans the Spokane River, which flows at 7,946 cubic feet per second here. The Spokane River is a tributary of the Columbia River, approximately 111 miles long, in northern Idaho and eastern Washington. At one time, Spokane was internationally known for its fishing, including Chinook, steelhead and coho salmon and, above the falls, a huge population of cutthroat trout. Sadly, those days are long gone.The Little Falls Dam, built in 1911 had only had a rudimentary fish ladder and the Long Lake Dam built in 1915 didn’t have one at all. In 1939, the Grand Coulee Dam blocked the Columbia, which sealed the salmon off from the entire Spokane River and thus destroyed a dietary staple and way of life of the Spokane Indians and many other tribe’s.

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Another lovely view of the Spokane River from the Riverfront Park bike trail

We managed to get in some great views of Spokane Falls, Riverfront Park and cruise an upscale neighborhood on Summit Road before the rain became more insistent.

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Moose sighting along Spokane’s Riverfront Park Bike Trail

Very enjoyable afternoon spent in Spokane. Would like to return and explore some more and do the Centennial bike trail to Coeur d’alene and back.

Coeur d’alene was next on the agenda, but the overly-manicured waterfront park, upscale shops and restaurants didn’t appeal in the pouring rain. We kept driving and happened upon the charming gem of Sandpoint, Idaho, where we spent the night.