A 515 mile trip down the CA coast…

I chose to do my curation article on long distance cycling…next month me and my husband will be cycling down to Southern California to visit our family. We have been getting ready for this 515 mile journey for about five months so I already have done quite a bit of research and since we were given the option to choose anything we wanted I thought to myself “Why not do it on long distance cycling? I can tell you about what I have learned…show you some great sites I have found and I may even find more great info while I do a little more research.”  

So…let me begin…

I started by increasing my endurance training; started working out more, taking longer rides, riding up all the hills I could, increasing the intensity of my pedaling….just all around pushing myself. But, I feel I may not have done enough aerobic conditioning. Well…riding does get my heart rate up so in a sense I somewhat did do aerobic training but I wasn’t running miles, running up flights of stairs, swimming laps, etc.  Great info on aerobic training can be found @  Aerobic Details From Multiple Sources.

So, I feel I may have neglected this….but, its ok. I won’t let that stop me from completing our journey. It may slow it down quite a bit but…it won’t stop it.

One of my major issues is having enough fuel, I’ve read through many forums with suggestions on best vegan foods to eat on a long distance ride, how much water to drink, etc. Bikeforums.net  is where I have found so much information.

I will need to be consuming 250-300 calories per hour!!  When I read that my eyes were wide open in astonishment! 250-300 calories per hour!! I didn’t know how I could do this so instantly I began to research…

For breakfast complex carbohydrates are best, the league of American Bicyclists say carbohydrates are the primary energy source for bicycling. I have read that oats are a great source; my plan is to make a big batch of granola bars the day before we will be leaving. I’ll be putting oats, raisins, cranberries, agave nectar, flax seeds, and since I love coconut I’ll definitely be adding it to the mix…maybe sunflower seeds. Great granola bar recipes can be found at a great VegWeb site.

I will also be borrowing a dehydrator from a friend of mine so a few days before the journey I’ll be sure to stock up on dried bananas, apples, pineapple and peaches. And every once in a while we may stop at a local grocery store to pick up some more supplies or just grab something quick and easy like a sandwich or something…

So…I’m hoping we got the food taken care of. Now water is another thing…on another bike forum I read that you should consume water every 15 minutes! With this I think we’ll be ok…each of us will carry a gallon or so on our bikes and just stop and refill them everywhere we can….

We will also be getting a 2 man Bivy Sack,  

A bivy sack is a thin waterproof shelter designed to slip over a sleeping bag, protecting the bag and the person inside from the elements. You just throw it on the ground, stuff your sleeping bag and mat inside, and you’re ready for a night of sleep. Some bivy sacks come with a single pole to hold the end of the bag away from the sleeper’s face. The simplest versions are little more than nylon bags that provide insulation against wind chill and rain.

This should keep us warm through the nights, dry if it starts to rain and will be much lighter than an actual tent…

We will be bringing extra tubes, patch kit, screwdrivers (Flat head & Phillips), flashlights, a pump and a small emergency kit.

Now for the route…

Day 1: San Francisco to Half Moon bay…60 mi.

Day 2: Half moon to Watsonville…71 mi.

Day 3: Watsonville to Big Sur…88 mi.

          Day 4: Big Sur to Morro Bay…90 mi.

            Day 5: Morro Bay to Lompoc…70 mi.

       Day 6: Lompoc to Ventura…86 mi.

             Day 7: Ventura to Los Angeles…50 mi.

     Total miles: 515

So…Wish me luck 🙂

Any suggestions? Has anyone done this trip or a similar cycling trip? I would love to hear from you.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mike10613
    May 23, 2011 @ 10:59:33

    Good luck with your ride, you seem to be doing everything right, training a diet is very important. You may like to research salt intake; I can’t offer advice vegetarian diets are different. I did cycling racing many moons ago and it’s good to go on a long ride; but you do have to pace yourself! I drove down a road last week where I used to race; I was a lot fitter in those days! I couldn’t walk up that hill now! It does keep you fitter even if you stop riding, cyclists have less heart attacks even after they give it up!

    I’ll look forward to seeing the photographs!


  2. Vanessa Jensen
    May 23, 2011 @ 17:38:16

    Thanks for the advice Mike! Salt intake…I’ll have to look into that a bit more…cycling is great! I love it….I cant wait for our journey! Pacing yourslelf is a key! It’s difficult sometimes to keep a long full breath…I find myself huffin and puffin and it makes me realize I havent been focusing on my breath…I’ll have to focus on that.
    I’ll be posting the photos when I get back….we’re planning on taking 7 days but we may just end up taking longer..we’re in no rush at all…just going to take our time and soak it all in 🙂


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