Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Planning my 4th of July Ride to the Beach

My wife and I want to do something adventurous and different for the 4th of July and it just so happens some friends of our's have invited us to celebrate at their house on the beach.

So we have decided to ride there. No big deal for me, and I'm pretty sure my wife can handle the distance (about 52 miles). Here's the route:

If you click the "Show Elevation" button, a new window will pop up with the elevation profile for this ride. It's a complete breeze- all downhill on the way there, and gradients (if you can call it that) of 2 or 3 percent on the way back. Piece of cake!

I've ridden about half this route before, and it offers some truly wonderful cycling. Once you leave the main highway, 126, you can get on some paved farm roads that butt right up against wonderfully-smelling orchards, long tracks of organic crops, and much more. Here's some photos from my last ride in the area:

This was on Guiberson Road, notice the orange trees to the right.

My only concern about this overnight trip is that it will mark the first time I've done cycle touring. Usually I'm just out and back, never packing more than spare tubes, multi-tool, driver's license, money, bank card, and cell phone.

But this time I need to carry a lot more- a change of clothes, swim wear, toiletries etc.

I asked the helpful folks at the Touring forum on for some advice. They seem to think I'll need a new wheel on my Jamis Quest if I want to pack that much weight on the rear wheel.

I'm going to check out a shop here in town to see what a single Mavic Open Pro wheel with casette would cost me. Otherwise I'm looking at the Nashbar cargo trailer here (towing a trailer wouldn't be as much fun but would take weight off the rear wheel) though that trailer hasn't received very good reviews.

If I decide to risk it, I'll probably just pick up these panniers and try to keep things as light as possible. I don't want my wife to have to carry too much on this ride.

Or I may just give up the road bike idea and bike there on my old Specialized Rockhopper MTB with slick tires. That would suck but it might be my only option.

Whatever the case I can't wait. Any of you ridden this entire route to the beach?

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