Disneyland or BUST!
so i thought i'd start a thread on my quest to do a long touring ride with my family on our trident periscope from the SF bay area to disneyland this october. i say disneyland or bust and i mean just that, i'm not quite sure my girls are up for this adventure but i'm determined to make it happen and to get them both outside of their comfort zone.
we still have a few training rides to do before i start booking hotels so we may bust just yet but so far they are still in for the whole idea and we're all excited to make it happen. i'm not worried about my ability to make the trip, i'm no killer cyclist but i'm in the best cycling shape i've been in in a long time and although i've spent most of my saddle time on a mtn bike i've always had the wanderlust to do bike touring. i recently did my first solo weekend tour from SF to monterey for the MotoGP races and i really enjoyed it. i plan to allow for a good amount of time for the ride so we can take it slow. hoping to average about 50 miles a day while taking days off roughly every 2-3 days.
so this thread will show my prep for the trip for both us and the bike, and hopefully if we get our sh*t together it will chronicle our ride down the pacific coast bike trail.
i'm open to all suggestions and feedback about setup, route and gear. i've decided i don't want to take a bob trailer so we will be fairly limited on luggage space. we will have the typical ortlieb bags in front and back along with a front handlebar bag for me and large duffel for the top of the rack. my wife is going to attempt to make a large frame bag to fit in the middle of the bike, i'm excited to see that come together.
since i feel most threads without pictures are boring, let me start this off with a few pics of my first steps of prep.
step 1: get a rear rack, seems easy right? well i found one, but the short seat stays on our bike meant that i had to fabricate custom brackets for it. it was easy enough to do and i have access to a nice shop with powdercoating equipment so they came out super nice and the rack is very solid...
step 2: address my wife's first and biggest concern about the trip...our saddles. i had tried out a brooks swift saddle on my cyclocross/road bike and i admit i didn't fall in love. they take a lot of adjustment to get right and the swift model is especially stiff. but i read a lot of people not liking the swift and loving the b17 so i took the gamble and ordered three saddles for us, one sprung b17 "flyer" for me and two b67's for the girls. they both were very skeptical when they felt the saddles out of the box, but thankfully we all loved them after the first ride. the b17 is way nicer than the swift in my ass's opinion
that said, there was one unforeseen problem with them. the sprung models have a cross brace at the bottom of the springs and these hang down fairly low so they were causing interference with my wifes stoker stem. meaning i'd have to move her bars down like 1/2" or more, which would not make her happy. so i went to OSH bought some steel rod and shaped a new cross brace that has an arch in it to clear her stem. it came out great and worked perfectly. i shaped it with nothing more than a table vice and a few misc tools. since i was going to powdercoat it black i decided to mediablast the chrome springs and hardware from the B67's while i was at it so i could powdercoat them black to match my B17. i was bummed that the powder i had was a bit glossier than the brooks rails, but it's hardly noticeable and i'm very happy to have them matching now.
the new cross brace on the bike...
B67 springs and hardware now black...
the seats look great on the red trident. we have named our bike The Hogwarts Express (since it's a big red train of a bike) so the brooks go great with that theme. i've got some faux leather bar tape on order that matches the brooks to further the classic look. the brooks tape looks great, but with 3 bars to wrap i'm not buying $200+ worth of bar tape!
for those who missed the pic in the photo thread here's the whole bike and my stokers on our first training ride. 16 mile loop on 1 and stage rd, 1500 ft of climbing.
anyway, that's it for now. i'll show off the tape when i get it. until then i'll be pouring over my Adventure Cycling maps.
Sounds like you have a neat adventure ahead of you and I look forward to seeing how things shape up for you. As far as the Brooks saddles, their comfort over a long ride is really hard to beat as far as I'm concerned. I especially like the way you dealt with the clearance issue caused by the brace on the rear of the sprung frame. That is a neat solution to the problem and is nicely executed. :thumb:
Quite the adventure. Have you done any long distances on the trident yet?
I admire someone who is handy with their hands and tools. Good job on the mods you've made so far!
Adventure is an important part of my life. I think it makes life worth living, and it brings families closer together. Balance that with the idea that if your girls aren't smiling at least 2/3 of the time, you're doing something wrong.
this weekend we're planning on doing a longer coastal ride, maybe half moon bay to pacifica and back. the one thing i learned from our first longer test ride is that i'm going to start us out on the coast. we're currently staying in the SF peninsula and getting to the coast means a 2600-3000ft climb to get to the coast. as much as i want to ride from our doorstep i think making the first day the steepest and tallest climb of the trip might be very bad idea. the current plan is to start in San Gregorio at 1 & 84 it's a junction that has some meaning to us since it's where i met, proposed and married my wife (on the beach) :)
so one feature i wanted to add to the bike was some water cages for my wife in the middle stoker position. since we plan on making a frame bag for her section of the bike frame that leaves her with no place cages. i had bought a Profile double cage seatpost mounted setup for my ride to Monterey and it looked like it would fit between us on my seatpost. however when i went to try it i realized my post was too small for the bare Profile mount and too large for the standard adapter bushing that Profile includes with the kit.
so i hit the shop today to make a new bushing that fits my seat post. the aluminum stock i got had the perfect O.D. so i just had to bore out the middle. sadly i got the bunk lathe (someone beat me to the better one) and the inside bore turned out a bit lopsided and i didn't have any extra meat on the outside to just go with it and make it all evened out. no biggie, it still fits and works well.
here's my new bushing and the original bushing, should have gotten larger stock so i could have made a lip, oh well...
mounted on the seatpost, we'll see if it works tomorrow
going for a 30 mile ride tomorrow to see how the crew holds up, i'm praying for some sun on the coast...but i'm not holding my breath :)
I haven't done a ride down the coast, but have read several pre-ride and post-ride reports. It should be quite an adventure. One thing I noted in others' write-ups was the sparsity of motels and such and I noted your mention of "booking hotels" so I'm sure you're already working this part of the problem. Good luck!
well our ride last weekend went great and the girls held up well to the longer ride. adding the seatpost mount bottle cages to my seat worked well for my wife, although we had to get the shorter regular sized bottles...
the trident is a bit of a bike rack hog :)
here's the crew looking happy to be nearly to the end...
sadly this long weekend has hit us all with a cold so no rides this weekend. i did however get some time to add the brown Charge tape to all the bars and i'm really happy with how it came out. wrapped over the existing tape for the stokers but only did a single layer for me....
Congratulations on the ride. And you've outfitted the quad beautifully!
check it out, before i had modded my Brooks saddle so my wife's stoker stem could go up higher i had emailed Brooks to ask if it would be ok to fabricate a different shaped piece. they didn't respond fast enough so i just did it, but they finally got back to me and when i showed them what i did they posted it on their blog...
the writing style is a bit dramatic, but it's amusing :)
as for our dland trip, so far it's still go. we got dragged down with work and being sick so we haven't been riding, but i've been working on the planning. here's what i have planned out so far, we're going to start in La Honda, which is a bit inland, just south of half moon bay (we board our dogs there and used to live there, will keep car at friend's house)
La Honda -> Capitola
sleep @ New Brighton SP
Capitola -> Monterey
sleep @ hotel?
Monterey -> Big Sur
sleep @ Pfeiffer Big Sur SP
* rest day *
Big Sur -> Plaskett Creek
sleep @ Plaskett Creek CG
Plaskett Creek -> Cambria
sleep @ San Simeon SP
Cambria -> Pismo Beach
sleep @ Oceano CG? or Pismo SP?
* rest day *
Pismo Beach -> Lompoc?
sleep @ hotel?
Lompoc -> Santa Barbara
sleep @ hotel?
Santa Barbara -> Malibu
sleep @ Point Mugu SP
Malibu -> Santa Monica/Venice Beach
sleep @ hotel?
Santa Monica/Venice Beach -> Disneyland
i tried to keep the days short on miles, but it's a bit tricky since there isn't always a good place to stop. any tips or advice on these sections? looks like Lompoc -> Santa Barbara is the biggest climb, but just over 1000' doesn't seem horrible. it always looks worse on the adv map's elevation profile. would love any tips on where to camp or stay.
Sounds like a great trip Droo... and the bike looks beautiful!
thanks brent! we got over being sick and doing some travelling for a wedding and finally got to do some more riding on the bike today. i sort of threw them into the fire and we did a 50 mile ride. it was maybe 10 more than my wife (Silvia) was ready for, but i think on a touring day she could handle 50 a little easier. we got a bit of a late start so our breaks were relatively short and near the end we were chasing sunset. we went along hwy 1 from pescadaro to davenport and back. it was nice and sunny for most of the ride which was a welcomed change over our last coastal rides.
so this was our last go/no-go ride for the Dland trip and so far i think it's still a go. it's funny our daughter complains about going for the rides but always seems to be having a blast when we're doing it. so i think she's ok to go. Silvia was a bit worn down by this ride which has me a little worried, but i think we're going to look at extending the ride down to include another rest day or maybe two short days back to back. the hard part about the coast is sometimes there just isn't much to stop and see 40-50 miles between two points. today was really fun tho, saw lots of wildlife, including an owl on the ride home. clearly a good omen given our bike's namesake, The Hogwarts Express.
this week Silvia is going to try her hand at making a frame bag (maybe 2) for the bike - i'm very excited to see this come together. we should also be getting our ortlieb bag set via UPS (aka the brown Santa) so i'm excited to get that on the bike and see if all our camping gear will even fit - 3 people's stuff on 1 bike is tight fit! hopefully the frame bags will give us the overflow room we need as i'm not really keen to buy/use a trailer. the bike is already LONG enough!
although we always get comments on the triple today was pretty funny because we had three different people ask to take pictures of us with our bike. one was from a group of brits on a support tour from canada to mexico, which was pretty cool. anyway, here'a pic i took from today at pigeon point lighthouse...
Wow, hope you guys have a great trip!!! I would love to plan something similar for our family on the east coast but haven't had the opportunity yet. Love following your prep & planning!
Epic! There are so many people who won't even DRIVE down PCH because it's just "too long!"
I wonder how many people have those Amazon Camelbak water bottles...
You are a brave man. I am so envious of your family adventurous spirit and your free time.
What a great family adventure! PCH is an awesome ride the last time I was there 20 years ago.
I would love to do that trip again one day, hopefully next time with wife and kid.
Keep us updated on your trip.
Sounds like quite an adventure. Have fun!
ok, so after saturday's ride i've re-planned the trip to shorten some of the days. i'll post our new itinerary when i get a bit more sorted, but the new plan only has one day over 50 miles (54) and that's the first day where the first 8 miles will be a downhill ride to the coast from La Honda and the rest relatively flat. it will mean a bit less time at disneyland than i hoped, but not much. plus i'll take another day off work, which i'll be more than happy to do :) all in all, i think it will be for the best too as it will give us a lot more time hang out and play the tourist.
so this week Silvia is getting started on the frame bags and i'm super excited to see them come together. yesterday i made cardboard templates for her. at this point we're only planning on doing the rear and middle frame sections since i still need a place for water bottles. first step was some cardboard templates...
the cutting and sewing is in progress now...
i also got a few goodies in the mail. first up is this little water bottle holder for my daughter. although the double bottle holder i put on my seatpost is nice for my wife, it was also expensive! because of the frame bags i need to relocate some water bottles so this Top Peak holder is a cheap way to move my daughter's bottle out of the frame area. i also got some cheap zefel side release cages, but the jury is still out on them. they are easy to use, but almost too easy. worried about bottle ejections.
i also got this cheapie rubber flashlight holder. i wanted a better headlight than the sort of commuter one we have been using, but i really didn't want to fork over $200 for a light at this time. i do have a nice and powerful JetBeam that is pretty on par with most of the nicer LED bike lights. not as powerful as the bigger ones, but better than the cheap ones for sure and it has a strobe function which is pretty hard not to notice. since we won't have plugs ever day i didn't want a rechargeable light either which most high end bike lights seems to be. anyway i was going to make something like this but it was like $5 on amazon or something and it looks like it will work just perfectly...
finally, we're going to re-purpose an safety flag from our old trail-a-bike, but the orange flag/ball were a bit boring. so Silvia made a new flag, which i'll show off later, and I transformed the old orange antenna ball into a Golden Snitch to go with our bike's namesake, the Hogwart's Express...
more pics to come soon. the frame bags are in the works right now and the ortliebs are on the way. i even think i can use my crazy long rear rack supports i made to mount more water bottle cages too. i'm just waiting for the ortliebs so i can make sure they won't interfere.
ok, so the UPS guy has been busy and so have i! we finally got our ortlieb set and they look (and work awesome).
since i plan on using the rear panniers on a motorcycle as well i opted for black bags but got a the large tote bag for the top of the rear rack for better vis...
the monster loves the bags already...
i also got a set of fenders as well. i got the plastic bike planet ones, so far they look good and think they will work out perfectly. i did have to trim the rear one a tad where the rear rack brackets interfere a little bit. no big deal.
now that i have our Golden Snitch antenna/flag pole ball, i needed a place to mount the flag. so i dumpster dived in the aluminum scrap bin at Techshop and found just enough to make a bracket. i didn't get any action shots of me milling it, but here's a little before and after...
my wife made the new flag and it looks great, we're still undecided about if we're going to put something on the flag...
the other thing i fabricated was some mounts that allow me to mount water cages to the rear rack support. since my daughters feet are so small i have a little more space for mounting things near the pedal path. these to brackets allow me to carry more water which was somewhat dislocated by our frame bag...
the bottles end up a little cramped, but no matter they are just for back up supplies. you can also see i have a small handlebar bag mounted above the bottles, this fits in there a bit weird so it may move, but hopefully it can stay there. i plan on using that as my tool/tube bag.
the next mod i did was a bit funny. after mounting the ortlieb handlebar bag i did not like how it sort of sits right there near the bars killing my only available bar space for mounting lights, etc. i had seen the aftermarket bar extenders or whatever for mounting things but i decided to just make my own from an old stem and some scrap tubing i had left. i wish the tubing was a bit longer, but it works. after doing it the first time i realized i wanted the bag even lower and moved some spacers around to get the desired setup.
the coolest thing we did tho was make a custom frame bag. it was a rocky project as the first attempt was a bit of a blunder as we put the zipper in the wrong place (had the bag upside-down), but thankfully we had lots of extra fabric so my lovely wife kept at it and made a killer bag...
she may make another one, but we'll see how the packing goes first. thankfully the big yellow bag holds a TON of stuff. almost all the camping soft gear fits in there, 3x sleeping bags, 3 person tent, 2x sleeping pads and 3x chair frames for bed pads.
finally the last bit of fab i did was to pimp out my daughter's doll seat since her doll "Peach" is coming with us on the ride. it was fading and pink, and i wasn't down with it's nasty look. so i painted it black and will cut some reflective stickers for it. i also made a bracket for it so that the 2" strap that holds down the yellow bag will also hold down the doll seat...
should work out nicely.
got disneyland days booked, only a few more bits to figure out and we leave like next week...yowza!
Between your efforts and your wife's efforts, you have an amazing bike. Now you just have to get it to Disneyland. Best wishes on a great adventure!
Amazing work! So a question, is that truck (with the lift gate) your workspace?
nope that truck is my house :) about 4 years ago we sold our house and bought an RV and have been full timing ever since. the lift gate goes to the garage in the back where i keep all my toys, a DR350 motorcycle, his and hers mtb bikes, my road bike, the tandem and my daughters bikes. since i built a wall in the garage to create my home office in one part of it, my toy space is only a meager 4x8' space...it's a tight fit...
the workshop i use is a local coop like machine shop/wood shop called Techshop they have a few different locations in CA, detroit, and austin i think. it's a great place. they had one start up in PDX, but i think it closed. it was like their first attempt at franchising and i think it didn't work out, but if i recall correctly i think a PDX one is in the works again.
ok, so a few more touches to the bike. first up i added some more reflector action. first i added a snazzy stripe down the middle of the rear fender. it looks great even without reflecting and works great at night.
i also added some white reflecting tape to our flag pole in a striped pattern. i think it came out really great and will definitely be eye catching. in this pic the red stripe looks a little weak, but that's only because i kept my flashlight sort of off center so the reflecting bits wouldn't get blow out in the picture...
finally, you may have noticed in my previous picture of our snazzy frame bag that one velcro loop wasn't attached because it was right where my seat tube water cage mounts. well i added some bushings to set the cage off the frame a bit so i could run the strap underneath it. it works out great and i did the same for the rear end of the bag where i'm going to add some cages since my wife has run out of time to make another bag (we've got ANOTHER wedding to attend this weekend).
you may also noticed i swapped out those side release Zefel cages for some Lezyne ones i had on my road bike. the Zefels were just too loose for my taste, but i'm happy with the Lezyne cages i feel they work really well with the insulated camelbak bottles.
still need one more trip to REI for a few loose bits, but we're just about ready to hit the road!
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