Monday July 11, 2011

During a long ride last December I questioned myself on what’s next. I had been on these long rides for a few years now but never really going anywhere. Could I make it to San Diego which is 200 miles south of my hometown of Oxnard California? I have read many journals here and a cross country trip seemed natural. My neighbor Chris ( has been on many trips has been a true inspiration to me and his stories always informative and entertaining. I decided I want to do that.

My bike is an old Raleigh SC30 or what some might call an ‘old beater bike’. I am always passed by others and don’t consider myself as a ‘real’ biker as I am pretty slow. My initial thought was to buy a new bike but the more I researched and looked the more I just wanted to ride what I had. I took my bike to Matt’s Bicycle Center in Cocoa Beach ( and informed Matt of my plans. He agreed that my bike would work with a small overhaul. So that’s been done and I have added front and rear Tubus racks with attached Ortlieb panniers. My Raleigh has slowly evolved into what I now call ‘the beast’. I have made many long rides while carrying water jugs. I never thought I could get any slower so this could be a long trip.

The Cost Has Doubled

During these last two planning months my daughter asked if she could join me. She has just completed her first two years of college and wanted to take a break to figure out her major. We have always been best friends so I told her if she could get into biking shape I would enjoy her company. For many reasons the trip would be easier with two of us but mainly it would be nice to live this adventure together.

Her bike would not work so I bought the bike I would have purchased for myself – the Surly Long Haul Trucker. This is a beautiful and very functional bike and I rode it brand new. I haven’t been on it since as I don’t want to get spoiled. While climbing she will probably still be riding when I’m walking! She has put many miles on it and I am very proud of her determination. I have ordered the same racks and panniers as mine.

This will now be a father/daughter trip with an expected departure date around mid September. We would like to be at my sister’s house in San Diego for Thanksgiving. We recently purchased MSR’s Hubba Hubba tent and are thinking of adding the gear shed to it for a little more space. Not only will this be biking adventure it will also it also be ‘soul and life’ adventure for a father and his daughter.

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