Bike Ride San Clemente California to Ramona California

Well I am off and riding, the day started out good. Left a little later than I had planed, I think by the time I finished packing and saying good by to my Parents, I hit the road about 8:15. I made the ride through San Onofre and hit the guard shack at Camp Pendleton at about 9:15. The ride went well through Camp Pendleton on into Ocean Side. About half way through downtown I turned eastbound to leave the Pacific behind and look to the Atlantic.
About 30 miles into the ride I hit my first hill on the east side of Ocean Side, the hill was not so bad but not being able to power up on the pedals and come out of the saddle made it hard. About 5 miles farther along I had problems with the trailer. The trailer shifted on the axle in turn knocking the rear wheel off the frame. I ended up pulling into a C store and had to remove everything out of the trailer so I could re- hitch the trailer and back wheel to the bike frame. This ended taking about a hour.
For about the next 20 miles the ride was very pleasant, all the roads had either a wide bike lane, and in some areas there was a bike lane with a bike trail that also paralleled the road. At about 50 miles I had made it to San Marcos. From there I started on Hwy 78, this was fine, no bike lane but wide shoulders.  This continued on up to about the San Diego Wild Animal Park. After the Wild Animal Park Hwy 78 became narrow with no shoulder. And boom the hills started big time.
From San Marcos to Ramona the ride was 11 miles, this 11 miles took me almost 3 hours. It was not so much the hills, most of the grades were not much worse than what we have been riding out by Clermont and Cherry Lake. The problem was the hills just kept going up and up. And it was not so much the going up and up, it was the trailer. The hard part is not being able to stand up, and by not being able to stand up puts a lot of pressure on the lower back. This was wearing me out very fast, I think I have a new Max Heart rate of 190 now. With the road being so narrow and the trucks flying by, I ended up stopping at least 100 times. I think I was averaging about 3 to 3 1/2 miles an hour going up the hills.
The trailer says it can carry 70 lbs, I have about 60 lbs on the trailer now. I think the problem is the bike can’t handle that much weight. I think the bike is to light and and the tires are to thin. With this kind of weight I think it would be more stable on a mountain bike or a hybrid with bigger tires.
I finally rolled into Ramona about 5:30, this was going to be a treat night after all those hills. I ended up staying in the only hotel in Ramona.

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Short Bike Trip to Dip Tire in Pacific Ocean

The ride started out as a short ride to the beach to dip the rear tire into the Pacific Ocean. Well on the way I got side tracked and decided to take the route to Camp Pendleton. According to the bike maps, the route between San Clemente and Ocean Side goes through Camp Pendleton. Hours that the route is open through Camp Pendleton is open Weekends from 7 am to 5 pm and Monday through Friday 8:30 am till 3 pm. Outside of these times, or if the base is closed to bike riders you would travel on Interstate 5. So I decided to ride the bike route to see where I would come across the guard shack. The ride takes you through San Onofre State Park, the trail is a nice wide trail with some areas being old 2 lane highway. The guard shack ended up being about 10 miles south of San Clemente. Need government issued ID to enter Camp Pendleton “Drivers License, Passport”. So at the guard shack I decided to start the Garmin to get mileage back to my parents house. This way I could time the ride so tomorrow when I start I will be able to make it to the guard shack by 8:30 and will not have to travel on the Interstate.
I did my rear tire dipping at Trestles Beach which is at the south end of San Clemente and the entrance into San Onofre State park. Next wheel dipping should be in St. Augustine.


Riding Bike , Getting Use to Trailer

Saturday was spent getting use to the bike with the trailer, The bike seems to ride smooth with the trailer, the main difference or time I notice the trailer is going up hills, I found when you stand on the pedals to get more power up the hills, the center of gravity has moved farther back. What I notice is the front wheel becomes light when you stand up and when you put power to the pedals the front wheel shakes from side to side. This was not felt with a empty trailer, only when I added the load to the trailer. Going up the hills around my parents house, other than being steep(some have a grade of almost 15%) the speed dropped about 2 to 3 miles an hour.
I guess the answer is to stay away from the hills , stay on flat terrain or down hills and while we are at it I will only ride where I have a tailwind the whole way. I wish.
I think the trailer will work fine and in the long run I will be happy that I went with the trailer and not with panniers.


Assembling Bike and Trailer

Today was spent assembling the bike and the trailer. The bike went together with no problems. Once the bike was checked and short test ride I started work on the trailer. The trailer is a TW-BENT trailer . The trailer seemed to be built very well and went together very easy. Only problem I see is the quick release rear axle seems to have bent or bends when I tighten it down so the rear wheel sits right. I had ordered another axle but as luck would have it, the axle did not come with the trailer. I checked a couple of bike stores here in San Clemente, but again no luck. I see my choices of waiting till Monday to get a hold of TW-Bent and have them Fedex me another spare  and delay my trip by 2 days or go ahead and start the trip and hope it will hold up fine. Worse case is that is breaks in route and I will have to have one Fedex to me. Best case is I make it to Florida with no problems.
Let’s go for it.

Assembled Bike and Trailer for Southern Tier Bike Ride 2007
After the bike and trailer where assembled I took a look at my gear, I had 2 duffle bags, same as at Ragbri, the difference this time is no SAG wagon. Trailer is smaller than how it looked in the picture, I checked and it is the same size as the Bob Trailer. So that meant repacking. I got rid of the 2 duffle bags and I am going to use the dry sack that came with the trailer. I dumped the lantern, and will go with just the flashlight. The weight of all my gear is now about 60 to 65 lbs. This is about 25 lbs lighter than the Ragbri trip. I added 2 water bottles with zip ties to the rear of trailer. This should give me about 96 oz of water on the bike.
Shipped the bike case and duffle bags with lantern back to Florida. I guess this means I am kinda of committed to the trip now.


Southern Tier Bike Route 2007

Southern Tier, A ride across America: The goal is to ride from the Pacific to the Atlantic. The route that I have chosen is from San Clemente (This is where my parents live) south to Ocean Side and then head inland all the way across to St Augustine. I will be using Adventure Cycling Association “Southern Tier Maps” I will be updating the route as I go in my Daily Log. The plan is to stay at campsites when possible and motels as a treat or when the weather is looking bad. As I start out I hope to ride in the neighborhood of 75 to 100 miles a day, I will see how the mountains treat me. I hope to have the majority of the riding done by 12 noon. I do plan on taking a day off when needed.

Southern Tier Bike Ride


Bike Adventures

Pete at start of Ragbrai 2007In the spring of 2007 what started out as exercise , soon became a series of bike adventures. I was having some physical problems and had found out that I was a type 2 diabetic . I was told that I could control the diabetes with oral medication(metformin) or with diet and exercise. I was put on the metformin initially. I then took a look at where my body was and where it had been in the past. In 2000 I was doing a lot of running and had run the Disney Marathon, at the time my weight was around 152 lb. When I started having my problems in the spring of 2007 my body weight was in the neighborhood of 210 lb. So not being one that likes taking medication I decided to get back in to a exercise program. I started by running again but to my amazement my knees were not able to handle the the stress. So my next move was toward the bike.
I started biking a couple of miles every day on the roads here in College Park and found that my knees were able to hold up very well. Well the rides started getting longer and soon I was heading out to the West Orange Trail here in the western part of Orange County. Then one day in May I was in Orange Cycle Works here in College Park getting something for the bike when I ran in to Ernie. Ernie proceeded to tell me that he was training for a bike ride across Iowa called Ragbrai. He told me he was riding with a group on weekends and one night during the week. I was invited to ride with them. I started riding on the weekends with Ernie, Dick and Pat and riding by myself during the week.
As the weeks started going by, the mileage started adding up. I was doing 50 to 75 mile rides a day. With the mileage going up the weight was coming down. I lost 20 lbs during the first 7 weeks.
Towards the end of June I was invited by Ernie, Dick and Pat to join them on the Ragbrai trip in late July. Now I was training for the Ragbrai trip, a 500 mile bike ride across Iowa. My rides started getting longer and the weight came down to right around 180 lbs. By the end of June my daily blood sugar numbers were in line and I was able to come off of the Metformin.
Leading up to the Ragbrai ride I started having ideas of riding across the United States. I started doing research on the internet and found Adventure Cycling Association that had bike maps for all parts of the United States. The idea of me riding across the USA was started many years ago when I was younger and saying one day I would like to try that.

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