Monday, February 2, 2009

Dad Pacific Coast cycle 2007

Thought I'd post some of Dad's other trips .....

Week 1

Just had a phone call from Dad. All going well. Weather has been good. He has been through British Columbia and stopped with a few friends en-route. He is now in Port Angeles in Washington State. Just about to start cycling down Route 101. Around 230 miles to do through Washington State. He has camped the last two nights and hasn't had a shower - err - smelly Dad! He's hoping to find a bed tonight with a shower, I should think so!

Week 2

Dad has just rang. He has cycled through State of Washington and now is the State of Oregan. Still on Route 101 – or as Dad is now calling it “the coast road”. Camped last night at Cannon Beach. In fact he’s camped most nights. He did go four days without shower (I know more information than you needed!). Doing around 50 miles a day. Weather been a bit mixed this last couple of days with some rain. He cycled over the Astoria-Megler Bridge which is over 4 miles long – now that is a long bridge!

Yesterday he even found time to go to the Museum and read up on the Lewis & Clark

Met some people from Sheffield yesterday on the campsite.

He’s going to do a bit of sight-seeing today and tomorrow as the route gets a bit busy over the weekend.

Until next time ....

23/8/07 Update: Just had a message to say Dad still going well. Still in Oregon and had recently passed through somewhere called Florence.
Had three days of rain (that'll save on the showers) but weather has now improved. So far just one puncture!

This is photo of Dad and friend Peter in Vancouver. Dad is on the right in the green top

Week 3

Just had a quick phone call off Dad. Still going well. He's presently at Gold Beach, Oregon Should be in California later today. Then it's over 1,300 miles of cycling to do through California - now that's a lot of pedaling. Weather picked up and it's been good these last few days. He did say it's one of the nicest cycle rides he's done and the scenery is spectacular. Not sure where we are with the shower situation though!

Week 4

Dad has just phoned. Still doing well ... however it is HOT, HOT, HOT – with temperatures in the 90’s. He started off early today, hoping to finish around lunch and find some shade. He’s now just south of Eureka (,_California) with about 200 miles to do before he hits San Francisco,

He passed through Garberville and the giant Redwoods. He cycled through The Avenue of Giants where he literally cycled through one of the Redwoods which apparently are HUGE.

Still camping but he did manage to get a night in a hostel and a proper bed. Fuelling up most mornings on hearty American breakfasts before he sets off for the day. Still averaging around 50 miles a day.

Route 101 has moved slightly inland so he will be taking Route 1 at Leggett -. so he'll be legging it at Leggett!

That’s it for now.

Week 5

Just had weekly phone call off Dad. Nearly didn’t though. He was talking to someone in the hostel saying I usually ring my daughter on a Friday, so I’ll be ringing her tomorrow and the woman said to him “....but it’s Friday today!”. He’s now in San Francisco after cycling over the Golden Gate Bridge. Dad said that it was excellent cycling over the bridge. He had met up with six people doing the same ride (three Germans, two from Seattle and one from New York), but had said their goodbyes prior to the bridge. However they all arrived at the bridge at roughly the same time so cycled over together. I think it was just an excuse to have a beer at the other side!

He’s been staying in a youth hostel in San Francisco for the last three nights. Weather is a bit cooler, which is good. Today he is spending the day in the cells! He is going to Alcatraz – taking the boat not the bike!! I hope they let him back off again!

Tomorrow heading south again towards the Mexican border. 700 miles to go before he reaches it.

Also received in the week a parcel from Dad. It’s not unusual for him to send me back his dirty washing! However this parcel only contained one thermal top (think it was too warm for it!), a disposal camera and maps/guides of Oregan. Got a note as well ... singing the praise of his £29.00 tent from Millets!

Week 6

Had the weekly phone call off Dad last night. They let him out of Alcatraz for good behaviour! He is presently at San Simeon which is roughly half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Hoping to go and visit Hearst Castle which is the home of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst.

Thursday night he had camped on a site overlooking the beach. Costs him $5.00 for the night. During the week he has passed through Monterey and visited the aquarium. One evening he had stayed in a hostel and whilst having dinner a lady came and sat down at his table. Dad was thinking his luck had changed for the better ... and then the lady said to him “you’ve eaten all my bread”. Dad was very apologetic about this and then the lady turned and looked at my Dad, and found she’d sat down on the wrong table! Her husband was sitting on a different table!

Dad has had several encounters with the animal kingdom this week. Whilst cycling along a deer ran out in front of him. Thankfully Dad managed not to hit it but he doesn’t know who jumped more, him or the deer! Another night he was camping. He’d put all the food he’d got in boxes so it wouldn’t attract wildlife. However he’d left his bike bag on the table. When he returned from having a shower in the torch light he could see two eyes staring back ... only a raccoon looking if there was anything interesting in his bike bag!

Well he’s got about 250 miles to LA and then he’s going to the Mexican border.

Week 7

Dad rang last night (Saturday instead of Friday). He is now about 25 miles south of Santa Barbara in a place called Ventura . He didn’t phone on Friday as he had been visiting the Channel Island (and I thought they were in the English Channel not the Pacific Ocean!!). He’d taken a boat to Santa Cruz. He had hoped to camp on the island but they wouldn’t allow him to take the bike on the boat and the camp site was a mile walk from where the boat landed and he couldn’t carry all his camping stuff, so he popped over for the day. On the boat trip he saw a dead Blue Whale with sharks feeding off it – lovely!! Also saw lots of dolphins.

When he rang it had been raining – the first rain they have had in Ventura for six months! The Hiker/Biker sites he has been camping on only allow you to stay one night, but he has stayed on the one in Ventura for three nights now – he just uses a different name each night! I wonder what his pseudonym is! He has stayed in Ventura for a few days doing a bit of sight seeing so that he can avoid cycling through LA at the weekend!

Once he has travelled through LA he will then head off for San Diego.

Week 8

Dad rang last night. Now in San Diego staying at the Ocean Beach YH. Got a bit lost of the way down from LA and end up trying to cycle down the Freeway! That’s nothing new he tries that on most of his cycling tours. Anyway he was about 10 miles off course so had a bit more cycling do that day! Met up with a guy and the pair of them ended up cycling through a military base which was open. The guy with him stopped to take some photos but Dad hurried him along saying “we’ll get thrown in jail if you take photos here”!

He’s planning on staying in San Diego for three nights – making the most of having his own room in the Youth Hostel. Purchased a bus pass at $5 and was heading off to visit the zoo and museums.

He is still planning on cycling over the border into Mexico – not sure how safe Tijuana is for tourists. He says he says he’ll see what it’s like and if he isn’t happy come back into the States.

Week 9

Had a phone call off Dad tonight (Sunday). Hadn’t been expecting him to ring as I’d had a message to say that he was in Mexico heading off across the peninsula and down the coast and that his phone card didn’t work in Mexico! Anyway his plans to travel down Mexico hadn’t come off as even though when he booked the coach he was told he could take his bike when he turned up they wouldn’t let him on with it! Anyway after some “discussion” he got a refund. He is now back in the USA in a place called Campo. Today, as his birthday treat, he is off to the Railway Museum and a trip on one of the trains – probably the Golden State excursion as that seems to be running today.

He’s back camping now after 7 nights of either staying in hostels or motels in Mexico. On one of his rides in Mexico he’d got lost and end up on a Toll Road (equivalent to one of our motorways). He thought everyone was being friendly tooting their horns at him. Wasn’t until he got to the toll booth and two policemen came rushing out that he realised he shouldn’t be on that road! They escorted him off the road and through someone’s garden and back into the nearest town!
For the next week he’ll be following the Pacific Crest trail . Bet he’d wished he left the bike at home now!

Til next week.

Week 10

Had the usual phone call off Dad on Friday night. He is still following the Pacific Crest Trail through some of the national parks. He cycled up the into the Laguna Mountains (6,000 ft) region. Took him half a day cycle 24 miles, in Dad’s words “I just kept twiddling”.

Also cycled through Anza-Borrego desert, but as it was really hot, even in the shade he decided to move out of the desert. Presently staying in a place called Hemet and looking for somewhere to get his washing done, seeing he hadn’t washed anything for 10 days!
Starts going dark about 6.30/7.00 p.m., so if there isn’t a pub close by he’s in bed by 7.30!
He has got just over two weeks left, so I assume soon he’ll start heading back towards LA.

Week 11

Dad phoned last night. In a place called Fillmore which is about 20 miles from the pacific coast. He reckoned he’d had the hardest two days cycling he’s had the whole trip this week. Cycling through the desert with temperatures in the 80’s and winds of 30/40 miles an hour . One cycle ride which should have take 4/5 hours took him 9 hours to complete as the wind was so fierce. He had been to a place called Big Bear Lake which was 7,000 ft and when he was descending back down he’d had to peddle all the way! He’d got sand everywhere, in his hair, ears, shoes, all his kit! On one of the windy nights he’d managed to pitch his tent in shelter, the other night he got a Motel to say in.

This week he will start heading back towards LA.

Filled him in with details from home, ie England lost in the football for Euro 2008, but were through to the rugby final. Told him to hunt down a sports bar/pub so he could watch the rugby tonight! Think he’ll be lucky if he finds anywhere showing it!!

Had an email off Meghan(from Seatle) this week who Dad had meet on an earlier part of the trip. She had a couple of photos of Dad.

Week 12
Just had phone call of Dad (Thursday). He is now back in LA and staying at Santa Monica. He caught the train back in from Ventura as lots of roads are closed because of the fires. When he got to the station he was going to bike through LA but found there was a bus he could catch. Apparently they have racks on the front to put bikes on. Dad “cleaned and jerked” his bike onto the rack, got on the bus and asked how much. Bus driver said 45, so Dad said “hang on minute while I go get some extra money”. Got back on the bus with his $45 and the bus driver went 45 cents! Two hour bus ride for 45C. Money well spent, I say!

Anyway bike is all boxed up now ready for return journey home and shuttle bus booked. Dad is going to spend the day doing touristy things around Santa Monica. Dad did manage to meet up with Colin (who he spent a few days with at the start of his trip). Colin joined him to cycle the 10 miles to the train station. Dad left him with his tent – well it had served Dad’s purpose now and owed him nothing!

Lots of place Dad has visited this last few weeks has been affected by the fires.

Dad reckons he has probably clocked over 3,000 miles on his trip – that bike will be due for a service when he gets it home!