For quite some time I have been dreaming of doing a long bike tour. By long I mean at least a couple of months and several thousand miles. Before I retired this would not have been possible due to work requirements. But as my retirement plans came to fruition in late 2015, I started planning in earnest my Big Ride.
The Adventure Cycling Association has developed a number of bicycle routes across the country and publish informative maps that are a big help to touring cyclists. I decided to plan my ride utilizing a couple of their routes, the Pacific Coast Route, and the Sierra Cascades Route.
In a nutshell, my plan is to start in Portland, ride to the coast and then south along the Pacific Coast Route to San Diego, then head inland and north along the Sierra Cascades Route back to Portland.
This will be an unsupported, solo ride. By this I mean I will be carrying all the gear I need to camp, cook food, etc., and will be doing it on my own, not part of a group.
I plan to camp out most of the time, but get a motel every week or so to rest and clean up. I’ll eat at cafes/restaurants when I feel like it and they are available. Otherwise, I’ll prepare/cook my own meals.
And this brings me to the “why do this” question. I would like to report how I’m riding for some great cause, or how I hope to discover something profound in myself, or the meaning of life or something like that. But, really, I’m doing this because I like to ride my bike, and I like to eat.
Now, when it comes to eating and riding my bike, here’s what I have discovered about myself:
- I can eat pretty much what I want and ride my bike pretty regularly and I will soon weigh 15-20 lbs more than I like.
- I can eat a low carb, high fat diet (stick to it pretty carefully) and ride pretty regularly and I will weigh close to what I would like.
So what this ride is really about is testing this theory:
- I can eat anything and everything I want, ride my bike a lot, and weigh even less than what I might think is reasonable!
So, I could couch this in a bunch of stuff about being healthy and fit, and enjoying life, and seeing the country, riding at my own pace, being free, etc., etc. But it’s really about eating.
I intend to succeed in this! I’ve done my homework. I’ve spent hours and hours reading journals of other bicycle tourists (see Crazy Guy on a Bike). Most bicycle tourers report that copious amounts of food are consumed on tour, and they still lose weight. So there is no reason this won’t work for me.
I will start the tour in early May. I anticipate that the entire tour will last about 2-1/2 months, so I should finish in mid July.
Finally, I must thank my wonderful wife, Saree, for allowing me to pursue this dream, while she toils away at her job. Thank you. I couldn’t do this without your support!