Barry and Janice Branham
California Coast Tour 2014
My wife Jan & I will start a 12-day tour from Windsor, CA, to Carpinteria (a little past Santa Barbara) on Sunday May 11. I have a friend with a house in Windsor (Sonoma Co.) and just shipped the bikes there by FedEx yesterday. We live in Manchester, MO, which is just west of St. Louis. We’ll be flying to SF to meet my friend Saturday May 10. Then we’ll put the bikes together and hope everything arrived in good shape!
We’ve been planning this tour for a while. Back in March I spent a lot of time planning each day’s route. I used the Adventure Cycling maps (I’m a member) and a great book called “Bicycling the Pacific Coast” for the route planning. We wanted to be sure to have a place to camp each night so our schedule is fixed. The total distance is only 520 miles and we decided to take 12 days because we wanted to have plenty of time for site-seeing along the way. I have a Garmin Edge 810 bike computer which has maps and can do routing. I tried MapMyRide but settled on the Garmin ‘Basecamp’ app on my computer to create the routes, it had better editing capablilty. I can load the kml format route files on the Garmin Edge and also into Google Earth which is nice because you can check the route and even use ‘streetview’ to drive into campsites. I called each camp site to check on hiker/biker availability and in two cases made reservations since there was no first-come first-serve.
Jan and I are doing this on recumbents. I have a Lightning R-84 and Jan a Lightning P-38. Each bike will have only 2 panniers on the back so we have limited volume for carrying gear. And we don’t want to be too heavy anyway so we have parred our packing list to the minimum. I will be carrying 30 lbs in my panniers and Jan 25. In addition each bike has a seat bag with will have 3-6 lbs of stuff. We are experienced campers and already had almost all the light weight gear we needed.
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