back from spt

hey kids, i'm back from my 24hr bike tour to samuel p. taylor state park. i had the fortunate opportunity to take on this little journey with good weather, beautiful scenic views, and wonderful adventurous friends. now that i'm home sunburned, exhausted, and excited to plan more tours, i have to say that there's something to be said about the inspiration one get's from taking on the open journey on bike. i found that the best journey isn't always the straightest one, finding your way is slow, and the greatest experience isn't always comfortable, but the friends with you on the pedaled path make the ride worth it. i'll be posting more photos and little snippets of our trip, but till then i sit in wonder of our journey with great anticipation to share with you all.

d.i.y. bike tour guide

Planning a bike tour has become one of my favorite hobbies as a result of research and planning my first tour. some things that i've learned from planning a bike tour is that it takes time, research, investment, and careful planning. i was under the impression that i was going to have more time on this trip but obligations have demanded that i cut my time, so this first trip out will only be a 24 hr overnight trip, yet, i started planning another trip in April because honestly... planning a bike tour is easy and fun! at first i was intimidated doing all the research and planning alone but thanks to so many of you who have shared your experiences and knowledge with me, you have been my guides to making this a success! in return i'm doing the same for many of you out there who have bike touring fever, everyone has it now that spring is here! here is a small guide that will help and inspire you to plan your next d.i.y. bike tour.

weekend bicycle bliss and 30 days of biking

finally we got a bit of sun to light our paths on in the bike lane. this weekend i started wrapping up our plans, route, and gear for our upcoming bike tour/camp. unfortunately we have to cut our time by a day as some of us have timed obligations but i figured i'd use this first overnight trip as a way to get myself prepped up for future bike tours. who would have known that planning these are so much fun?! wendy (road bike) got a tune up too. i took her to my favorite neighborhood bike shop, Homespun Bikes, where Jess and Ami prettied her up for the bike tour. gotta love your local bike shop kids, they treat you well.

 in addition of taking on this challenge of bike touring/camping, i signed up for 30 days of biking, here are the deets...
"April 1-30. The only rule for 30 Days of Biking is that you bike every day for 30 days—around the block, 20 miles to work, whatever suits you—then share your adventures online. We believe biking enriches life, builds community, and preserves the Earth. This is the second year, and third round, of 30 Days of Biking!"

by all means, i'm all for challenges and look forward to building community with those who are in the challenge as well. will some of you be joining? i dare you to.

bike tour threads

I figured that on my bike tour I was going to pack as lightly as I can. This being said, I did some research and shopping into the things that would sustain my body temperature and weight pull on my bike. The magic word I kept running across the internet was WOOL, more like light weight or merino wool. While looking into the practices of Merino wool production, I couldn't get myself to purchasing it. the only way i would compromise is only if i buy it used, meaning i go searching for wool sweaters etc in a thrift store. with much luck i found a few items like wool long johns, sweaters, gloves, and a long sleeve jersey. i also found a fleece zip up and a very light rain coat. i don't know if anyone else has used running pants for touring but i thought they might be useful? any thoughts? i don't think i need to carry too much clothing so i'm going to pack light and bring an extra pair of wool socks, a gel liner, and an extra jersey. perhaps there might be some things i could live without?

the boy and i are putting a list together of food items to bring. since he's a raw food magician, he's going to be organizing that list that i would be happy to share too. oh! and it looks like the weather is going to be good next week so horray for good weather with us on this ride!

bike tour prep links

naturally i've been doing intensive research on bike touring, what to pack, how to pack, routes, sights, etc, and i've found some pretty inspiring leaders in the bike tour world to guide me. it's super exciting to see everything placed in perspective from those who have done it multiple times. these sights have come in handy for me and have guided my planning in every way possible. if you're thinking of doing a tour i strongly recommend reading up on a few of these sites i'd like to share with you:

Post Car Press

i must say, planning a tour is exciting. just beware, these sights may inspire you. happy bike tour planning!

bike tour/camp destination

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all has been decided on our destination for our bike tour. we decided on Samuel P. Taylor State Park. as far as i have researched they have a bike trail, camp sites, and facilities to meet our needs. we will be staying for two nights, pitching a tent, sleeping bags, camp fire, and smores for good times.

i've been going through some other cyclists blogs about their journey from SF to SPT SP and found that it is a pretty easy going bike ride for starters. we are starting from SF to SPT which is about 30 miles North of SF. easily accessible by bike, ferry, or bus, we opted for bike for the experience. it seems to be moderately challenging, with only two formidable hills to climb but i really hope to make the most out of it. once we get there, there is a campground that is situated along Sir Francis Drake Blvd. between Fairfax and Pt. Reyes Station tucked into a nice bit of forest. luckily for us, we do not require reservations since it is during a weekday, only at $3 per person. plus they have an entire area designated for bicycle campers surrounded by Redwood trees, complete with fire pits, picnic tables, and boxes to safely store your food from critters.

now knowing of my destination and route, i feel more confident to take this on and rest reassuringly that we got this. can't wait!

touring panniers

i went on a little pre-bike tour shopping spree and got these babies. i wanted to find panniers that were both life style and mini tour friendly and found that these were sufficient enough for a two day ride. i've been considering items to take along my tour and i'm wondering if any of you have any ideas on what is necessary for a two night journey? what can/should i go with and without? 

i still have yet to plan my route. i've been doing a little research and i'm not getting much help on specific routes to go about on bike, but i have been looking at places like Angel Island, Samuel P. Taylor State Park, and China Camp State Park. anyone bike tour/camp to any of these parks before?

the joys of cycling

i don't like spending my days staring at a screen, i prefer to stare at the sun. my break away from the interwebs was a combination of detoxing from the information overload i get on a daily basis, as well as a means to reconnect with the life i have away from it. school, work, raising a puppy, writing this blog, managing my relationships, and being active in my community has given me a full time life. nothing about it is boring, it's just that i'm so BUSY! one of the many reasons why i love riding my bike is to get a breath of fresh air, away from being indoors at school and work, it's healthy, good for the soul, mind, and body. there are so many reasons to get on a bike for outdoor pleasure but the benefits we receive are immense. for example, cycling is one of the easiest ways to exercise, it builds strength and muscle tone, also increases it, builds stamina, improves cardio fitness, it eats up calories, improves coordination, reduces stress, improves digestion, lung function, and joint flexibility, promotes longevity, and weight management. some of the joys of cycling are immense but riding a bike instead of staring at a screen is by far the one of the greatest. one great lesson i learned on this break is awareness. awareness that this is our life, do what we love, do it often, and share it with others.


as much as i like to think that we are all aware of our social responsibility to each other, i can't help but speak up about what i see in how our lives distract us from the realities that exist around us. as we continue to speak up about Japan and it's devastating situation, i only ask that people take part in giving to Japan's cause. the situation is getting worse, people don't have basic needs like food, clothing, water, and shelter to help them survive their lost's. the list goes on but if we can do anything as individuals or communities to offer aid through different means, be creative, and do it out of honest kindness.

i know today is bloggers day of silence, but i have a hard time with silence, especially when i feel like no one is listening and doing anything. and as much as i can donate, i can voice the needs of the Japanese. this situation does not only affect them but it affects every political, social, environmental, and economical aspect of how Japan will recover there and abroad.

so, in any little way, give, for Japan,
with love.

back on the road

after a grueling two weeks of exams and work, i'm back and excited to bring you some recent adventures! with spring break around the corner, a good friend of mine and i are going on a mini bike tour here in cali, preferebly the coast! who knows but we are going with open minds and enthusiastic pedaling legs to get us through a couple of days of more school and work! i'll be posting a couple of routes, preps, and a few tips to encourage interaction on helping us prep for our trip. if you have any experiences and any tips on cycle touring through coastal california, please inform me, this is my first bike tour. i'm doing this in major prep of my summer bike tour in France, so many more bike tours will have to happen here.

i've missed everyone and welcome new followers to pedal along with me. anyone have interesting stories to share? would love to hear!

on work loads and rides

ah! midterms have quickly crept up on me and i'm cramming in school work into my busy schedule like no other! i decided as a safe means to be a successful student i need to take a couple of days off from the blog. don't worry, there are lots of bike rides and events that i'll be joining,  i will just have to update you when i'm stress free! so as a means of taking a small break, i'm hoping to live vicariously through you all! i thought it might be fun to hear your stories (through the comments) so that i can have something to look forward to when i return. i would love to hear your stories for a change too!

as a reward for all my hard work, i'm going on a super long ride this weekend to relieve myself from reading text books for hours. the road and fresh air are going to be my best friends. see you soon!

Ladies Who Ride Part #5

happy friday, i bring you an incredible inspiring woman, S of Simply Bike, who is by all means an adventurer on the bicycle.  this lovely lady brings in all aspects of daily life and riding into her blog and shares her explorations of how she managed. you can also find S in the archives of academichic, where she has blogged about planning a wedding on a budgetpacking for an academic year abroad (and living out of two suitcases for nine months), exploring Prague by bike, going on a bike date in Munich, and other post on fashion in academia and maternity style.
also, just a quick note, congratulations on being a hot cycling mama. you are helping to pave the way for many other women on bike.
 one of my goals in featuring lady riders and bloggers is to create, connect, and expand a community of voices of those who are a part of this big and small movement of bicycling and blogging. i keep saying community because we are so few and all over the interwebs and world but we come as supporters, mentors, inspirations, where many women who ride are inspired by many of these ladies who live their lives loud and share their stories of why they ride.

hailing all the way from the midwest, i give you S of Simply Bike.

Top Ten Reasons Why I Ride

10. To Be Healthier and fitter without having to take out the extra time out of my day to exercise...

9. To be able to have impromptu picnics without  worrying about having to pull over and  find parking...

8. To share date nights with my husband that involves us, a great meal, a couple of mojitos, and a leisurely bike ride home...

7. To cut down the amount of pollution I add to this world and to reduce my carbon footprint by even just a little...

6. To discover nooks and crannies of my town that aren't accessible by car and to move around those faster than on foot... 

5. To experience the changing seasons on my skin, with my own eyes, and using all my senses...

4. To remind myself that i am strong, independent, and capable...

3. To prove to myself and others that cycling isn't just for those spandex clad-days on the open road, but for daily travel and transportation...

2. To be part of an amazing community...

1. To instill in my (soon-to-be-born) child that the idea that being active, healthy, and environmentally conscious is not only important, but also doable and a lot of fun!

photo courtesy of simply bike

Bay Area Weekend Events

Theme: "Femal Icon"
Meet up at McCovey Point at China Basin Park, SF at 7:30, roll out at 8pm 
who will you dress up as?

Saturday, March 5th, 6-10pm
Bring your clothes and leave with new ones. There will be a changing room, 
live music, delectable sweets by MilkGlass Baking, and Manhattans!
All are welcome, No cover!

i'm certainly busy these days and need some time to take a break and ride for fun. after last nights event at Homespun about bike touring, i'm most definitely inspired to go on a weekend ride. i think one of the greatest joys of cycling is that when you're on bike, it doesn't matter if you get to your destination a little slower, it's the enjoyment along the way. i hope your journey on bike this weekend is pleasant.

east bay events

my new favorite bike shop Homespun Bikes is having a fantastical week! they are organizing to help build knowledge of bicycles and community by presenting A BikeShare Camp tonight at the Leaning Tower of Pizza and a Clothing Swap Saturday evening (details in photo above). i'm really stoked to attend these events as Jesse has been one of the first persons to welcome me with open arms in her and her partners little bike shop. oh yeah, i'm also having her as a guest on the blog soon too. i'll be attending both events if you're interested in them, i'm sure i'll find some interesting stories and knowledge to share with you guys, so stay tuned!

bicycle finds: lovely panniers

okay, i've been fathoming the thought of back rack baskets vs. panniers for a while now and i've come to the conclusion that i need to have a pannier. i'm a little embarrassed that i haven't been all the ball of this because i've learned the hard way. i mean, i try to utilize what i have, thus my favorite Shakespeare and Company tote bag to carry my daily items , i.e. school work and books in my front basket and only use the double panniers for groceries or other shopping because they're huge! now my work and book loads are beginning to get heavier and with the rain lately i need some water proofing. it's only practical that i've been on the lookout and found this pretty lemon delux shopper pannier on the bicycle muse (love this site!). has anyone used these before? i'm placing in an order for them because honestly, i've become that crazy bag lady. can you tell how much i love the color yellow?! it's so happy!
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