Check out the cycle touring classes at Swift Industries in Seattle!

Check out the cycle touring classes at Swift Industries in Seattle!

Boggs Mountain Demonstration State Forest
Some of the best mountain biking, hiking and trail running around. Get on out there! There is camping as well.

Boggs Mountain Demonstration State Forest

Some of the best mountain biking, hiking and trail running around. Get on out there! There is camping as well.

Harbin to Wilbur

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The Trip:

3 day hot spring trip with many different route/transit options!

Whenever I can, I try and scheme up loop routes, rather than out and back. I’ve ridden to Wilbur via Davis Amtrak a few times, and this time I thought to start from the Vallejo Ferry Terminal, spend the night at Harbin, bike up to Wilbur and then down to Davis. 

Full route: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2200000

The Transit:

Day 1: Leaving from the Ferry building, you can hop on the Ferry Saturday morning (schedule here: http://www.baylinkferry.com/schedule/index.php) and start your ride from there. We were coming from the East Bay and wanted to get an earlier start, so took the BART to El Cerrito Norte, and from there took a Sol Trans bus to Vallejo (schedule here: http://www.soltransride.com/routes/multizone-mapschedule/route-80/). Hopefully soon the Vine 29 bus will start running on Saturdays and catapult you all the way up to Napa. We got off in Vallejo and then hopped on another bus (#11 http://www.ridethevine.com/routes-schedules) to Napa. Hopefully soon the Vinetrail, a multi-use trail from Vallejo all the way to Calistoga will open and then you can just ride! As long as the wind is not at your face, and you have time to take your time, the Silverado Trail is a nice albeit a bit trafficky. Near St. Helena climb up Howell Mt. Rd, descend Ink Grade and follow the valley to Harbin.

Day 2: Boggs Mountain Demonstration Forest looked enticing, so we thought we’d continue up the very steep Harbin Springs Road to Boggs Mountain Spring Road. It is here that we had to climb over barricades, evade private property, drag our bikes up hill and climb around precarious wash-outs. We wouldn’t suggest you do this, although it was an adventure. There is probably a better way and you can research some routes through Boggs here: http://boggsmountain.net/ Instead, I’d take Big Canyon Road up through Clear Lake to 20 and ten to Wilbur. It’s a long day!

Day3: Follow the Route to the Cache Creek Casino, board a bus (http://schedule-bus.com/bus-sacramento/202/215) there to Clear Lake and then bike the 12 miles to Davis. Eat some good vegan food at Delta of Venus Cafe and Pub and hop on the Amtrak back to Oakland.

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Double hot springs [Harbin to Wilbur] trip preview, trip profile to follow. 
…we really need some 29ers!

Double hot springs [Harbin to Wilbur] trip preview, trip profile to follow.

…we really need some 29ers!

This is a great opportunity for those of you who want to take a camping trip but don’t have the equipment. Visit the Ranger Station where you can rent equipment by San Francisco’s very own Alite Designs!
http://alitedesigns.com/ranger-station

This is a great opportunity for those of you who want to take a camping trip but don’t have the equipment. Visit the Ranger Station where you can rent equipment by San Francisco’s very own Alite Designs!

http://alitedesigns.com/ranger-station

Favorite camp cooking cookbook by the folks at Swift Industries (http://builtbyswift.com/)

Favorite camp cooking cookbook by the folks at Swift Industries (http://builtbyswift.com/)

itinerary 1: xmas in death valley

An amazing albeit intense one week Post Car Adventure!


route:
http://goo.gl/maps/4QsbW

nitty gritty transit details:
712 San Joaquin Amtrak train (OAK—>Bakersfield)
+ timed transfer Amtrak bus to Mojave, CA
+ Intercity bus to Ridgecrest (http://www.californiacity.com/073007intercityshuttlebusservice.pdf)

Depart Oakland Jack London Amtrak station at 7:30 am, arrive into Mojave Carl’s Jr at 3pm (Why must all Amtak buses stop at fast food restaurants?!?!?).  Hop on the intercity bus to Ridgecrest. The better option is to bike the 14 miles to California City and camp somewhere in the desert (or an abandoned cul-de-sac :) and pick up the same intercity bus the following day.

sidenote: Califonia City is the 3rd largest (land mass) city in califonia with only a population of somewhere around 10,000. BLDGBLOG has a great write up: “In the desert 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles is a suburb abandoned in advance of itself—the unfinished extension of a place called California City. Visible from above now are a series of badly paved streets carved into the dust and gravel, like some peculiarly American response to the Nazca Lines (or even the labyrinth at Chartrescathedral). The uninhabited street plan has become an abstract geoglyph—unintentional land art visible from airplanes—not a thriving community at all.”  - http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2009/11/california-city.html
It is worth an exploration and camping in abandoned cul-de-scas in the middle of the desert makes one ponder the obsession of suburbanism and ownership of land.

From Ridgecrest you start your ride…
Day 1: 50 miles  - Ridgecrest to Ballarat (Ghost Town)

There was an intensely apparent impending storm on the edge when we arrive in Ballart on xmas day and we were luckily enough to be able to set up our camp inside the 10’x10’ jail/courthouse. There is one man that currently lives in the town and he’ll sell you a coke and tell you a few good stories.

Day 2: 27ish miles to top of Gohler Wash (Big climb, rocks and sand) and into Butte Valley

Continue South on Wingate Road (changes from hard pack to deep sand, expect to drag a bike for a while). It’s really desolate out here, it is the spot where Charles Manson escaped to and set up his creepy ranch. It has since burned down, but you can still sense the solitude and vastness of the space. You climb up to about 4,300’ and at night all of our stuff froze. There are some springs up there, but double check to make sure you have plenty of water. There are 3 cabins you can stay at if no one is there: Warm Springs cabin, Anvil Springs Cabin (just SW of Striped Butte), Russell Cabin (just south of Anvil Springs Cabin). This Valley before you reach actual Death Valley is amazing and I would suggest spending a day here at least.

Day 3: Hang out with the striped Butte
Day 4: 15ish miles to the edge of Death Valley
(This is a wash, and for some reason it didn’t occur to us that being a wash it would be all sand. While it was really tough, it is really amazing and you don’t see people for two full days, which is really great. Slap on some fat tires and you’ll be fine)
Day 5: 80 miles to StovePipe Wells

Big day through the Valley, or split it into two. Lots of people driving around the park because there is no public transportation in the park (there should be!)

Day 6: 80 miles to Lone Pine

You have to climb up and over a big range here and in the winter it is freezing. We ended up hitch-hiking in a small little van, myself shoved between two large, burly mountain men with the stick shift between my legs and Justin shoved in the back with two bikes and an old mattress. They were incredibly nice and saved us from completely freezing. With warm clothes and breaking it up into two days, it would actually be very enjoyable. Lone Pine is an amazing little town, the gateway to Mt. Whitney. There is a nice, clean hostel you can stay at and a couple of cozy bars to drink at.

Day 7: Hop on the Eastern Sierra bus to Mojave and transfer to Amtrak back to the Bay.

Others travels: http://deathvalley2007.drycyclist.com/main.php

Hostel in Lone Pine: http://www.whitneyportalstore.com/   

A travel agency planning door-to-door bicycle and transit adventures originating in the San Francisco Bay Area. We provide all the functions of a travel agency: planning, booking, giving advice on outfitting and routes. Contact us!

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