Bike Across USA blog

Traveling by Bicycle Across America

Day 9 – Beginning the Second Segment of the Southern Tier

Second Segment Southern Tier

Day 9- March 22, 2016

Today I head out of the Phoenix area, following the second map.

Riding the Southern Tier 2016

I started on this section of the ride on Monday, March 14, 2016. It took eight days to ride to the Phoenix area. So far most of my updates have been on Facebook.

Bicycle Travel on the Southwest Chief – Amtrak

Amtrak bicycle box

This is the box my Bianchi Volpe touring bicycle traveled in from Los Angeles to Chicago. I had to remove the handle bar from the stem. It was then taped to the frame. I also removed the pedals. Because the bracket for the handle bar bag was in the way, I removed it also. Then the bicycle just rolls in to the box. There was not much space left at the end. I was able to leave the saddle in place.

Amtrak charges $15.00 for the box plus a $10.00 check in fee. On my trip to Seattle, I used a box from a local bike shop. I had to remove the front rack and fender, the handle bars, seat post and saddle. It took a long time to dismantle and a long time to reassemble when I arrived. The Amtrak box is much easier to work with.

Rolling the bike out of the box

With the bicycle out of the box in Chicago, I just reassembled the handle bar to the stem and put the bracket for the handle bar bag back in place. Then I put the panniers on and I was ready to take the bike home.

Assemble touring bike

If you are at Union Station in Chicago in the afternoon, you will find that you cannot take a bicycle on a commuter train between 3pm and 7pm. That left me with a long wait for the 7:40pm train.

Traveling with your bicycle on Amtrak works well. It is likely to cost less than taking a bicycle on an airplane.

Day 38 – the Mexican Border

Mexican Border Flag

I am thanking the Lord for an amazing and safe trip touring by bicycle the last 38 days.

Shular Scudamore at the Mexican border

Day 36 – Malibu to Huntington Beach

Morning sky Malibu

This was a long day, starting as day light began to appear, ending about 75 miles later. The beaches along this stretch seem endless. I was glad I was not riding the paths along the beaches on a weekend.

I saw an interesting flower at Will Rogers State Beach.

Flower

I met Dave on the right and his friend from the Netherlands about lunch time near Lax, but on the beach path.

Dave and friend

Day 32 – Leaving Big Sur Country to Morro Bay

View from my tent

This is the view from my tent this morning at Plaskett Creek Campground, looking out at the Pacific. I needed to take the tent down to finish packing, so there is less light than later in the morning. The day started with a climb, a descent with switchbacks and curves then a steep climb. After 15 miles the serious climbing was finished. I rode a little over 60 miles today. Another sunshiny day.

Elephant seals

I stopped a few times to watch elephant seals today. These are large, but not as large as the full grown males.

Near Hearst Castle

I rode past the Hearst Castle this morning, stopping at the Hearst Beach for lunch. The views along the coast were great.

Old Ford

This beautiful old Ford was one of the cars I saw at lunch time. a car club had stopped for lunch creating an impromptu car show.

Mark

At Cayucos, a stopped to check my book for the route into Morro Bay. Mark pulled up on. Carbon fiber road bike, asking if I needed directions. I followed him in to Morrow Bay along some scenic and some nice residential areas. it kept me off of a busy section of Highway 1. He was near the end of a hundred mile ride for the day. Thanks Mark.

Day 31 – Plaskett Creek Campground

Sunset Plaskett Creek

Right after sunset, the sky became much more brilliant. It has been great to see the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean. While there was a lot of climbing in the days cycling, it was another beautifully sunny day along the coast.

People You Meet

Shular and Ken

I met Ken Bettencourt at Bodaga Dunes last week. We have camped in the same campground many times in the last week. He is an experienced bicycle tourist eventually headed to Costa Rica. We had many chances to exchange stories of our bicycle travels. he has been out seven months one.

Big Sur

Replacing rear spoke

Day 30 was a rest day at Big Sur, Pfeiffer State Park. I went to the library, did laundry, cleaned the drive train and discovered a broken spoke. I carry spares. So the wheel is ready to roll.

Day 26 San Francisco to Half Moon Bay

Another sunshiny day in Northern California bicycle touring.

Sunset Half Moon Bay Francis Beach

A beautiful sunset tonight.

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