500 Miles Down PCH On A Fastened Gear Bike
That is Esteban at Aventon Bikes. You might not have heard of Tyler Richtman, however if in case you have, you understand he took our Aventon Cordoba on a 500-mile journey from San Francisco to San Clemente. That is fairly an extended journey contemplating he did it on a single gear. We expect everybody ought to go on their very own adventures in life, so we reached out to Tyler and he put collectively a publish about his expertise. Hope you benefit from the learn.
On June thirtieth, 2017 at roughly 12:30 pm I left on a 550-mile bike journey from San Francisco to San Clemente, California that will change my life perpetually. It was a dream journey I had talked about doing since I used to be in highschool. I had simply pushed by means of Large Sur for the primary time immediately falling in love and needed to expertise it on a hard and fast gear.
Whereas all too many appreciated the thought and stated they might be a part of, from my greatest good friend to my brother, when it got here to the day of, I used to be on their lonesome. I had simply misplaced my mother to most cancers and graduated school, so I felt it was one thing I needed to do for myself. I used to be a momma’s boy my entire life and he or she was my greatest good friend, so after shedding her I actually felt just like the shine was taken out of my world. I began to really feel chilly and hated by individuals I didn’t know, anticipating the worst from each scenario. It was one thing I knew my Mother would shake me out of if she had the prospect. She was the perfect elementary college instructor and I spent a lot time along with her speaking about her ardour for serving to others, and the enjoyment she received from seeing children study.
This impressed me to focus the bike journey on discovering the optimistic issues the world needed to provide and to not be egocentric. So, I made a decision to lift cash for a kids’s most cancers basis in Southern California, the ISCC. I needed to assist anybody keep away from the street my household went down, and knew the thought of a child having one other day together with his household would preserve me pushing.
I had by no means finished something like this earlier than. The one “coaching” I did whereas at school and dealing full time was driving across the metropolis. Fortunately, I had spent a very good period of time tenting and researched the suitable gear, which saved me in the long term. However I had no true gauge of my energy and was planning on driving about 80-90 miles a day (which I had by no means finished earlier than) and by no means took a take a look at journey with the brand new racks and weight. On high of that I didn’t make any campsite reservations and even set route, simply ignorantly knew that if I adopted the coast I couldn’t get too misplaced (insert cranium emoji). The one different factor I had deliberate on, was leaving at about 9 am on a regular basis…. so, on day 1 I used to be already 3hrs not on time, and that will occur nearly daily. I set myself up for failure the day I left and didn’t actually have a spare tube or wrench to repair my tires on the street. Nonetheless, someway, I made it to Southern California. Having no route, Google Maps was my chauffeur, main me probably the most fascinating of the way. From driving up mountain bike trails to driving by means of neighborhoods, and even operating right into a Burning Man occasion, I noticed a facet of California I by no means knew existed. My 7-day journey realistically turned a 10-day (9 driving, 1 relaxation) journey overlaying 552.234 (550) miles and a lot greater than I may put into phrases.
All through the entire journey, the extra love I put into it, the extra doorways that opened. Having to ask for instructions at occasions with out cell-phone service launched me to some wonderful individuals, and a few of them might need simply saved my life. I had every part from households’ feeding me dinners, to providing their couches to sleep on. I even had a man who labored at a motorcycle store in Santa Cruz change your entire path of my journey by serving to me get by means of Large Sur, which till then was one thing I used to be instructed was not possible. If it was not for him, my journey may not have been as epic.
He’s answerable for me having your entire coast freeway, south of Large Sur, on the 4th of July, with the climate as stunning as might be, all to myself. He confirmed me the place a number of facet trails had been made by locals and when the development employees went dwelling. Each different rider I attempted to inform about this stated I used to be insane and had gone inland in Monterey at this level. Even the locals in Large Sur stated I used to be the one rider they’d seen attempt to undergo that weekend. It was definitely worth the danger, I rode down the middle level of the coast freeway for about 5 hours straight, taking as many stops as I may to take photos and actually soak in what was occurring. It was an eerie feeling having been on the identical freeway a number of years again, in a automotive going about 10 mph as a result of half of Europe was proper there with me, now having it to myself. It was wonderful, and a day I’ll always remember, it’s a type of cliché moments the place the images don’t do it justice. It was a day I felt really at peace and received the concept that my mother was proper there with me. I ultimately ran right into a freeway patrol automotive who gave me a trespassing ticket, however even he admitted that what I used to be doing was epic and that he thought it was only a rumor somebody had made it by means of. However by the top of that evening, I had made it by means of the street closure in time to set my tent up cliffside and catch the sundown.
The journey didn’t come simple although, the dearth of planning and expertise got here to a T after 3 days in Large Sur with out cellular phone service and never understanding what was open (food-wise) south of me. I didn’t pack sufficient meals and water, assuming my camp wouldn’t be removed from meals – a mistake I can’t afford to make once more. I didn’t notice the camp was no less than 35 miles away from meals and water, and the climate would go from a paradise-like 70-degrees in Large Sur to a sweltering 110-degree dry warmth in Lockwood, California. That day is the place shit hit the fan, and the painful thought of actuality set in.
I left Large Sur pondering I used to be king of the street by having made it this far, solely to journey myself shut sufficient to a warmth stroke that I requested a cop for assist. He was simply exterior the naval base and out of pure pity he gave me a banana and a Gatorade, which is what persons are saying might need saved my life. All I had eaten was a protein bar and had lower than a ¼ bottle of water left. Coincidentally, it was at this level I lastly had service on my cellphone once more and received a flood of cellphone calls from my girlfriend and household wanting to speak to me, whereas it all of the sudden started to rain. It was the primary time I had talked to my dad in 3 days and he was apprehensive sick, so the combination of warmth exhaustion and the slur of curse phrases popping out of my mouth did him no justice and he swore they’d discover me useless on the facet of the street. He insisted that I rode to Lake Nacimiento, the place my aunt and uncle had a spot, and it was about 30 miles south of the place I used to be. I had refused all assist up till this level and was reluctant to go, however there wasn’t a campsite close to. It was 110 levels exterior, I used to be dehydrated, on the solely gasoline station in a 40-mile radius, and all that they had was beef jerky, dusty containers of cereal, and an outdated fan. I felt it was both assist or loss of life, and at this level in my journey, I spotted I may use all the assistance I may get, in any other case, I’d be doing the remainder of my journey at the back of an ambulance.
My dad has all the time been considered one of my greatest pals, he was an enormous supporter of the journey and needed nothing greater than to see me end this – alive. He shocked me by exhibiting up at their home, simply to verify on me and guarantee I made it. I felt blessed as a result of it was my twenty sixth birthday and he didn’t need me to “die alone”. Particularly with what had simply occurred to the household, he was additional delicate to something that would have occurred, and I fully perceive. I actually don’t understand how a lot farther I’d have made it with out him. So, he helped me refuel with a number of meals and keep away from an entire warmth stroke, resetting my mentality on the journey, as he was not going to let me stop or overlook that I needed to end what I began.
The journey south from there was a lot smoother as compared, driving by means of a mixture of the coast and freeway 101, inches away from Semi vehicles. I used to be in a position to common about 65 miles a day, with my excessive being 80, and regardless that it was 90-100 levels inland, after I received to the coast it was as stunning as might be. I rode by means of among the most majestic seashore cities I by no means knew existed and this a part of the journey actually began felt like a trip. I used to be a lot much less anxious about what was going to occur and extra assured that I’d simply be capable to deal with it.
I stored operating into the identical group of European riders who got here down from the Canadian border in hopes of constructing it to Mexico. Along with being wonderful individuals, they assured me that I used to be solely doing a fraction of the coast and wanted to do the total journey. They talked about how in Europe it a ceremony of passage to do it, basically, and the way shocked they had been with the dearth of Individuals on the street. At this level issues actually felt like they had been coming full circle, I used to be driving by means of acquainted territory as I received to Santa Monica and was in a position to cease by LA Brakeless and inform the story of my journey. I may not have had a spot to name dwelling or showered in a number of days, however I felt like I used to be in the suitable place.
The ultimate stretch south of LA felt like I used to be 40 kilos lighter, and that’s as a result of I used to be, I had mailed my baggage dwelling in hopes of discovering a resort in Lengthy Seashore to essentially rejoice the final evening. My ass damage and the individuals in southern California are considerably meaner to cyclists, apparently, if in case you have racks and luggage in your bike since you would possibly look extra like a homeless particular person than a person with a mission. However the feeling of driving by means of Laguna Seashore and into San Clemente was like nothing I can put phrases to. To have labored this dream into actuality and ending it in a city that my mother cherished, meant a lot. I used to be a bit overwhelmed upon ending, however my sister had met up with me as I rode in and completed the ultimate 3 miles. We shared a number of smiles and tears as we had been each shocked I made it alive, a lot much less within the situation I used to be in. I had figured that I’d be barely making it to the end line however if you happen to ask anybody who met me there that day, I used to be able to journey to Mexico.
In the long run, I’d do all of it once more in a heartbeat, with higher planning and a extra logical sense of the world. I actually see it being among the finest methods to journey and address the ache of shedding somebody. It places you accountable for every day and reminds you ways sturdy you actually are. Subsequent, I hope to journey the total west coast of the US, like these loopy Europeans stated I needed to. Then from California to New York. From there I’m open to concepts of what journey I can do subsequent.
This journey has impressed me to begin a charity that may increase cash for most cancers analysis by doing these kind of rides. I additionally wish to write a full ebook about my travels in honor of my mother and in hopes of inspiring you to go on an journey of your personal.