My friends (Ping-ko, Andrew) and I recently finished a trip around the majority of the Bay Area!
I’m incredibly proud of all of us, but especially them for all the planning and hard work that went into this ride. Believe it or not, but Andrew literally bought a bike only 4 weeks prior!
In the beginning, we were joking around about potentially biking on a week-long trip to LA from SF. We’d have a support car to go ahead of us and hang out at the next destination, then meet in time for dinner and drinks. But… what if we did a trip to prepare, perhaps one closer to us? Andrew and I were planning on flying to Hawaii on August 15th, so the date was set. We’d ride on August 8, a mere 4 weeks from that date.
At the time, we’d only gone on one ride with all of us – a 20 mile quick loop with 1k elevation gain around Saratoga, and some of us were exhausted. How would we ever be able to make 140 miles?
From my experience, improvement happens incredibly quick for climbs. My first time up Hawk Hill, I was struggling to stay balanced but the 2nd time, I was able to make it up without overly stressing. We aimed for a combination of increased elevation & one to push for distance.
Week 1: Golden Gate Park, Great Highway, and Land’s End
Week 2: Paradise Loop + Hawk Hill (feat. Mystery Juice)
Week 3: Sunnyvale to Half Moon Bay to SF (Metric Century)
Week 4: (Not quite) Mt. Diablo
Tour de Bay!
The weeks leading up to the trip, I had been stopping by Veloro several times a week to try out different shoes. I have incredibly wide feet, so finding a suitable pair was a remarkable struggle. These trips ended up being a blessing in disguise as Gebhard (the store owner) gave us some absolutely invaluable advice, without which we definitely wouldn’t have made it through. “When you’re riding, you’re burning 400-600 calories an hour. Make sure you eat this much every hour, even if you aren’t hungry. If you don’t, you’ll fall into a caloric deficit and hit the wall around mile 70. Drink a bottle of water every hour.” We ended up bringing entire boxes of RX Bars and miscellaneous snacks and pushed the wall back until mile 120!
I also posted on reddit and received other helpful advice (wind direction, sketchy roads, recommended routing methods).
Two nights before, the 3 of us delegated people responsible for routing each portion and running through it on google street view. We decided on a contingency plan and rides for accidents, prepped our tires and spares, and found suitable rest stops for my diet at the time (whole 30). Did you know sweet greens doesn’t open before 9AM?
The night before, Andrew and I grocery shopped and bought gels while Ping-ko cooked a carb-heavy dinner for us to load up.