Halloween is a time to be seen

The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. Some bicyclists prefer to wear dark color clothing. Great for hiding the grease but dark colors blend quite nicely with the longer nights. Unfortunately blending in with the dark nights isn’t a good thing for any bicyclist.

I have lights, lots of flashing lights (one on and one spare incase one run lows on battery power). The minimal rear tail light is 65 lumens that flashes. I prefer the 150 to 200+ lumens rear flashing light with a minimal 600 lumen front light on my bicycle. Of course, always wear your helmet, day or night. I also have a helmet with a built-in flashing rear lights with flashing front lights too. I usually use the helmet lights for evening or night riding.

I find that wearing bright color clothes greatly improves my visibility too. Wearing dark colors might seem cool, but I rather be seen this Halloween than becoming a real ghost. I wear bright colors, turn on my bicycle lights day or night and so far, so good.

This Halloween, and anytime, it’s better to be seen. So turn on your lights and wear bright color clothing (reflective even better for night).


Packing for Tour

I met Doug Wertz in Washington State. We rode for a few days through the Olympic Rain Forest down the Pacific Coast together. Tomorrow Doug will start on another bicycle adventure down the Divide following mountain trails and gravel roads. He will be participating in a supported ride and is packing accordingly. He’s got warm to cold clothing for either wet or dry weather. A small First Aid kit, bug and bear spray, tools and tire repair kit, gorilla tape with wire ties, chain lube, spare spokes, chain tool, Leatherman tool, note book, navigation and odometer, water bottles, solar battery, water, spoon, phone and camera. A few items I had on my Pacific Coast ride that Doug did not list included: tent, sleeping bag, cot (light weight), two day supply of freeze dry food, Jet-Boil, three changes of riding gear/clothing, spare shoes, cup/plate-fork-spoon-knife, cash, extra walking shoes, maps, back-up batteries/charger/cables, convertible pants, two pair of street socks, two street shirts, head light, two tail lights, tire tube, tire pump, rain shoe/boot covers, gloves (two riding, one warm long finger), buff, jacket, rain gear (rain jacket-pants-socks-shoe covers) . . .  Have a safe and enjoyable adventure Doug.

Day to Celebrate

Yesterday we were too tire to celebrate. It was hot, we were sweaty, we had challenges finding the actual border and then packing up the bicycles and gear took some time. Angela (Paula’s daughter) and Rob (Paula’s future son-in-law) met us at the border. They allowed us to stay at their home last night. Great to enjoy a real shower, quite rooms, great conversation . . .  Thank-you Rob and Angela for your hospitality.

Today we started the drive home and took time to celebrate two wonderful events. First was for completing the Pacific Coast Trail bicycle ride yesterday. Second, Francis turned 70 today (UK 7-16 translated to California time 4:00 pm on 7-15). Francis is truly inspiring, not only for riding his bicycle at age 70 across American twice and not for just completing the Pacific Coast Trail yesterday, but for dealing with his Type 1 diabetes. Francis would monitor his blood glucose levels throughout the day with a mechanic device attached to his arm.  When needed he would inject himself with insulin. Paula not only secured campsites while providing more than a dozen other support functions, but she also carried Francis’ insulin. Thank you Francis and Paula for sharing so much with me for the last 41 days (33 riding / 8 days off-travel). 



Day 33 – Mexican Border

We did it. After todays final 50 miles we completed our adventure that started in Port Angeles on June 5th. We rode for 33 day over about 1,700 miles. Took time off for 5 days in Santa Rosa and took off another two days in San Simeon. This adventure was complete with rain, heat, hills, flats, headwinds, tailwinds . . . through some of the most incredible and breath taking landscape from ocean beaches to towering giant redwoods; from rain forest to desert.

I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to ride my bicycle from the Canadian Border to Mexican Border on a good bicycle with appropriate gear including:  a tent, sleeping bag, food, rain gear, riding gear  . . . and incredible SAG.  However, there are many in our community who don’t have the basics essentials to survive in our community. In Sonoma County there are approximately 3,000 homeless people who don’t have many of the things I take for granted. I hope that each of us will be inspired to think about those less fortunate than ourselves and consider volunteering their time or provide other support including donating money or something that they might no longer use from jackets to spare tents. I’m a supporter of Catholic Charities, but there are hundreds of other wonderful organizations that continue to serve our community. Please consider one of these amazing organization and provide your support to improve the lives of people in our community. Thank you and I hope you have a great day.


Day 32 – Del Mar

Left Doheny State Beach hoping that Paula’s luck would continue by landing another campsite near Encinitas at San Elijo State Beach. Not to be on this day, but there were hiker/biker camping available. Unfortunately, check-in wasn’t until 4:00 pm. We were in Encinitas for lunch and decided to ride a bit further to reduce tomorrow’s final day ride to the Mexican Border. Unfortunately, there are no close campsites after leaving Encinitas. Paula secured a room for us at the Hampton Inn in Del Mar/San Diego. We rode 49 miles with a nice tailwind, no major climbs, smooth roads, smooth bicycle paths/trails, nice ride through Camp Pendleton, cooler temperatures . . . just a very enjoyable day.

Day 31 – Dana Point – Doheny State Beach

We rode out of Long Beach for a 55 mile ride to Dana Point – Doheny State Beach. We followed the coast along several wonderful wide paved bicycle paths, then turned inland for a detour along a large lagoon before returning back to the Pacific Coast. Southern California has a robust network of wide paved bicycle paths. Paula did it again, she waited for 2 hours and 17 minutes to try her luck in the campsite lottery and won a campsite right on the beach next to the ocean.

Day Off – Travel Day

Today ended up being a travel day as we got stuck in several traffic jams as we made several efforts to make it back to the Pacific Coast. After taking several detours, we ended our drive in Long Beach, CA. There is a big ship called the Queen Mary that is dock there and she became our campsite. It’s amazing that this 1936 ship still shows her beauty and grace. She has a history and served Britain and the United States very admirably. We stayed in a wonderful room with a large bathroom. This was a very enjoyable experience.

Day 30 – Thousand Oaks

Paula’s sister – Tami offered us a wonderful campsite that was just a few miles inland.  Tami said that all we have to do is ride just a few miles down Highway 1, then turn left on Highway 23 and go over the hill to her home. Tami doesn’t ride a bicycle and her travels have always been by car. I didn’t know that they paved cliffs and called them Highway. It was a very hot humid day as we climbed up the cliffs that had no shade. I ended up walking my bicycle and gear a few times as we climbed. Paula got back on the bicycle and joined us on the last half of today’s ride which she was able to enjoy some climbing with a rewarding steep downhill. Tami and Scott provided us with five star accommodations . . . it was well worth the short hilly ride from the coast. Thank you Scott and Tami.

Day 29 – Point Mugu

Today it was still warm, but we rode only 46 miles along the coast on some very nice bike paths. Paula’s sister came out and joined us. Then she suggested that we should ride over the hill and stay the next night at her home (Thousand Oaks).