Sunday, July 13, 2008

Summer Break Pt. II / The New Roadtrip

Its not a completely new concept or anything, but to me it seemed like an astonishing discovery.I discovered over the course of about 7 days that the absolute best and most efficient way to travel over short or long distances is by bicycle. And with gas prices the way they are it seems that there really aren't many other options.

It started a few weeks ago at the Kate Wolf Memorial Music festival in Laytonville (North Mendocino county) with a few friends. We spent the weekend camping, swimming in the river, meeting people, jamming, hula hooping, and listening to some great music: Highlights included Greg Brown, Taj Mahal, The Wailin Jennys bringing the crowd to tears with their harmonies, Ani Difranco, Ruthie Foster, and many more.

After the festival was over, my friend Perry and I descended into the depths of hell (the Legget fires) on our bikes. As we got closer to the smoke and the fires it seemed as if someone was trying to tell us that maybe this bike thing wasn't the best idea. But after some greasy burgers and interesting conversation with the local sherriff, we ascended the coastal mountains and were blessed with crystal clear views of the Mendocino forests and coastline.

We made our way down the northern California coast averaging about 50-60 miles a day and had a blast. We camped at bike camps, ate great food, and shared with fellow bikers. We met some wonderful people and some strange people. We watched the sun set on the coast and the fog descend upon us every afternoon and morning. We went swimming in the Navarro river, napped on pacific cliffs and ate dough nuts out of dumpsters (interesting story).

It was an incredible journey and it really got me excited about bike touring. Its so easy, its a great workout, and its inexpensive.

In the past i really enjoyed going on roadtrips as a way to see places and meet interesting people, but I feel that current gas prices don't really make that kind of frivolous gas-burning acceptable (that and global warming). I think that bike tours are the new road trip. They really teach you to appreciate your surroundings and every mile of the road.

Im realizing that its very late and my words are blurring together. I will post a link to my photos from the trip in the next few days. Here are a few pictures:

Some travellin friends Organic coffee in Fort Bragg

view from the coastal town of Elk

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Now playing: Chavela Vargas - La llorona


  1. That looks like an awesome trip Daren, I'm quite jealous

  2. Daren,

    Very impressive route! It looks like so much fun. We are also a bit jealous...

    We have been contemplating what it would take for our family of 4 to convert most of our local errand running to bikes instead of cars. Honestly, it seems do-able if we really wanted to. We'll see...