Thursday, July 19, 2018

Where to Live and Ride?

I've always considered the proximity to quality roads that inspire me to ride to be an important factor in choosing a place to live. I've come to realize that it's the most important factor along with family. Who am I kidding, no matter where I live in California I'll always be able to drive or fly to be with family. Riding my trike is what keeps me alive. I ride not to live long but to live strong. After all what good are you to family if you live a long life as a couch potato slowly fading away. Triking comes first. It's better to burn out giving it your all then to fade away.

Carrie and I have been empty nesters for more then three years now. This has given us the opportunity to explore different places to live in California. Our long time home near Los Angeles where we raised our kids had many wide streets with good shoulders and bike lanes. Although not picturesque there were plenty of parks and public open spaces to stop at and take a break. Just over a couple of years ago, being only the two of us, we moved to the Central Coast of California and lived for two years in a beach town along HWY 1. The local routes were limited but my rides along the Pacific coast never grew old. Then we decided to move into a smaller home a bit inland from the coast. 

We stayed in the Central Coast area but this time we moved inland to the wine country. This is where my riding hits a snag. There are few parks and virtually no public open space. In general the roads are not bike friendly around town. So I turn to the wineries for places to explore. The wineries are fun to explore...when open. On weekends it's best to stay off the wine country roads during the tourist season which is most of the year. Even on weekdays it's best to be extra alert to the occasional car or truck. Other than the surrounding wine country overall I am uninspired by the local routes around town. I've started to haul my trike over the hills to ride along coast where the air is cool, the shoulders wide and the scenery is breathtaking. 

My time on the trike has taken a hit. I'm just not inspired to ride. I ride but not nearly as much as I would normally ride and in turn not having as much to blog about. Maybe it's time to move again. I'll give it a year to search out routes and then decide if it's time to find another home. Although moving is a pain it's fun to have the freedom to move around and check out new areas to live. Maybe we'll even look at our old home town in a different light. Regardless of where we end up we'll always stay in California close to family.

The coastline of California's Central Coast

The wine country of the Central Coast


  1. Hey, Mark, I feel your pain. It's such a drag to have nice country but roads/traffic that make riding either dangerous or less than inspiring. I remember on our tours through N. Cali that the country along the Feather River, Lake Almanor, Quincy, etc. was SO beautiful, but the roads were SKETCHY. We made it through, but we won't be going back. And Adventure Cycling put its Sierra-Cascade route along the highway we hated so much. There was even a triker killed on it. Any chance of dirt roads you can ride? Trike out the Expedition like I am and go off pavement? You did have an FS trike for a while didn't you? There is good riding around here with excellent shoulders on the main highway and pretty darn quite side roads, but it's damn hot in the summer! One can always go up to the Mammoth area where there are some good bike paths, too. Anyway, best of luck on your quest. Cali can be tough on road cyclists.

    1. Hi Scott, Most of the land around here is private, vineyards and pastureland. Roads are the only real option right now. I'm exploring more route options for regular rides. I'm also working on getting my legs back in shape so I can spend some time climbing the hills between Hwy 1 and Hwy 101. It's hot here too. 108 forecast for today 109 Wednesday and Thursday then cooling down to a cozy 106 on Friday. Tomorrow I'll load up the car with my trike (and Carrie) and head out to the coast for a ride followed by a long lunch and maybe a couple of beers and then a walk on the beach before we drag ourselves back to the heat.

    2. Just a note. As you welll know Hwy 1 can be a little sketchy too up in the coastal hills but it's now open to through traffic.