START TIME: 10:30 A.M. sharp at the Starbucks on 27371 Jefferson Avenue, Temecula.
PARKING: Safest bet is to find a residential neighborhood near the Starbucks. Parking may also be available in one of the shopping center parking lots.
ROUTE: After leaving Starbucks we will head east on the start of a loop through the Temecula Wine Country. We will stop from time to time at Wineries. We camp at Skinner Lake (I have reserved two sites). I suggest everyone pack some bread, cheese, etc. for a Winery pick-nick lunch. On Sunday, we will then complete our loop back to Temecula.
EATING: Bring food for lunch and dinner on Saturday and breakfast Sunday. And...don't forget snacks and wine.
DIFFICULTY: I rate this trip as beginner due to distance (less than 30 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.