My Vague Plan - "Vibes" - CycleBlaze

From "Vibes"

By Jeff Lee

My Vague Plan

I don't do a lot of planning for bicycle tours, so what I have in mind is still pretty vague, and definitely subject to change, but this is what I'm thinking: Start in Morro Bay, California and ride to somewhere on the east coast.

Why Morro Bay? I've never been to that part of California, and in fact have only been to California once before, on my 2013 tour from Iowa to San Francisco. My friend Peter's sister Morri lives in Morro Bay, and has kindly offered to let me start from her home there. 

From Morro Bay I hope to find a low-traffic route heading east, skirting Bakersfield, which, as I look at Google Maps just now, appears to be a large, probably cycling-unfriendly town, and then climbing on forest roads in Sequoia National Forest to a place called Kennedy Meadows. Then down to US-395, which looks like a big, likely busy highway, but with what appears to contain, looking at Google Street View, a wide shoulder.

I'd ride north on 395 to Bishop, and then follow US-6 into Nevada. This section of US-6 is infamously empty, even emptier than the so-called "Loneliest Road", US-50 across Nevada.

After that, Utah, I suppose. I spent a few somewhat-unhappy years living in the Provo area, trying to come to terms with the oppressive Mormon culture there, but enough time has passed that I'm slightly curious how I'd feel if I visited the place after leaving there 12 years ago.

After Utah, Wyoming, one of my favorite places to ride, then Nebraska, another great state for bike touring. Maybe some of South Dakota, too.

That's all I've "planned" so far. The last time I tried to do a coast-to-coast bike tour starting in the west, in 2019, I abandoned the excellent route that John Egan created for me somewhere in South Dakota, and just rode home to Kentucky. John worked out directions for me for that tour all the way to Delaware, so maybe I'll finish that part of the route this time.

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Comment on this entry Comment 5
Adam ZamoraThis sounds like a great plan, Jeff. I'm pulling for you. You don't know me, but you and Joy are some of my cycling heroes! If you need to overnight in the Chicago area and I'm around, my doors are open.
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4 months ago
Jeff LeeThanks, Adam!
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4 months ago
Kathleen JonesSounds like a great route, Jeff. Looking forward to following along.
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4 months ago
Wayne EstesI suppose you are good at dealing with extreme heat. I biked from Ventura to Bishop in July, but wouldn't do it again. You surely know that the San Joaquin and Owens valleys are extremely hot, with no shade. The higher elevation of US 6 in Nevada will be more pleasant.
Hopefully the low elevation sections in California won't be too difficult.
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1 month ago
Jeff Lee"You surely know that..."

Surely you jest! I have barely looked at the map(s), and don't where those two valleys are yet.

If it's unbearably hot I'll try to be done by noon. Or ride most of the hottest sections in the dark.

After doing the New Mexico and Colorado portion of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, I decided that no other bike tour I'd do could ever approach that level of difficulty.

Hopefully I wasn't wrong about that :)
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1 month ago