ROUTE: We will begin our tour at 9:30 A.M. (depart by 10:00 A.M.) in the parking lot just Southwest of Dana Cove Park in the Dana Point Marina in Dana Point. Look for my car, it is a silver Ford Escape with bike racks. You might not, however, be able to park your car for the weekend in the parking lot – Check out the signs carefully. Instead, you might have to park your car in one of the nearby residential neighborhoods.
Saturday: We will ride south through Camp Pendleton to San Elijo State Park in Encinitas where we with either check into the Hiker/Biker campsite, or if we are very lucky, stay at a regular site overlooking the ocean. Campground fees are probably $10.00 per person for the Hiker/Biker site.
Sunday: From San Elijo State Park we will ride to Old Town San Diego where we will board the Amtrak for our return trip to Dana Point.
EATING: We can either stop at markets along the way to purchase food to prepare at the campsite or go to one of the many fine restaurants along the route. It depends on what people want to do. Last time, we had snacks and drinks at the campground and dinner at a restaurant – same options for breakfast.
DIFFICULTY: I rate this trip as beginner/intermediate due to distance (less than 40 miles per day) and only one large hill. If you consider yourself a beginner who is up for a challenge and in good shape you are welcome to come. You should know that I use the word “beginner” with qualifications. I do not mean a beginning bicycle rider, I mean a beginning long distance loaded bicycle tourist: i.e., you can already ride 30+ miles at 10-12 mph on a bike loaded down with 30-40 lbs of clothes, food, and camping gear. You also know how to fix a flat.
WHAT TO BRING: There is no support (SAG Wagon) vehicle. You have to carry everything you need on your bike. You will need to pack as you would for a backpacking trip (but no backpack) and a multi-gear bike in good repair with very low gears. If your bike has a triple crank set, a compact crank set, or very large cogs, it probably has very low gears. If you have a mountain bike with knobby off-road tires, I suggest you install narrow road tires – you will find your ride much less difficult – it may make the difference between keeping up and slowing down the entire group. If you have a bike purchased in a department store (rather than a bike shop) you may have a very heavy bike, with poor bearings and unreliable hardware. If this is the case, I advise against using that bike. If all you have is a department store bike, but you are nevertheless a strong rider (an unusual combination) and still want to go, I can probably loan you an appropriate bicycle. You should also have spare tube, pump, tire levers, etc. You will need panniers or a trailer to carry your stuff. If you need help with equipment or you would like to borrow a set of panniers, a trailer, or even a bicycle set up for touring, you can email me or call me at: 310-266-8592.
WHY: The ride, the camping, the shared beverages, and the jokes. And… I hope to introduce more people to the joys of bicycle touring and camping.