We have wanted to bicycle the west coast of the United States for a long time. The timing was right to embark on this tour. Our friends Sam and Gay, who we met on the Trans America trip in 2016 agreed to join us. Sam would ride with us for 11 days. Gay would join us for the entire tour. After flying to Vancouver B.C., we met up with Gay to begin the trip. Sam met us in Bellingham, Washington. The Fall was a good time to do this tour because the summer crowds would be gone and there would be fewer recreational vehicles on the road. The weather was cooler than we expected. Locals told us that Fall had arrived early. We ended up having 11 days of rain. It did not hamper our riding. In Washington there were climbs that were steep but short. A few climbs were 18% and even 21%. We ended up climbing 82,540 feet for the entire tour. Washington and Oregon were lush with green forests and beautiful coast lines. As we rode through northern California we were treated to the Redwood Forest. That was just one of the highlights of the trip. It was fantastic riding and camping among those enormous trees. Crossing the span of the Golden Gate Bridge was another treat as the weather was outstanding that day. We were blessed with several days of tailwinds as we traversed the California coast. The ride along Big Sur was challenging but picturesque. It was Gay’s 70th birthday the day we rode Big Sur. He celebrated the day by riding 70 miles. With most of the tough climbs behind us we made our way south through San Simeon, Morro Bay, Lompoc, Santa Barbara, and Ventura. We camped in Malibu at a lovely site overlooking the ocean. The following night we were hosted by a family in Long Beach that takes in traveling cyclists. With only 100 miles to go, we spent the night at our house before continuing on to San Diego. Taking the Coronado Ferry across the San Diego harbor left only 18 miles to the US / Mexico border. We finish the tour in 40 riding days, plus 3 days off to rest. The trip was challenging and everything we expected.
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