Chas Eberle
Pacific Coast
Flow The redwoods were epic, and so was the terrain. As the ride had been progressing, we had been hearing many different things about a particular hill ahead. In addition, the elevation maps I had made it look really intimidating, and it gave each preceding day this feeling that we were building up to someone big. We were climbing this mountain, fixated on a goal that only seemed to grow as a legend as we got closer. While we were still enjoying the redwoods, and even taking a short day to do a day hike in the park, we were preparing for the next section or the journey that was triumphantly marked by Leggit hill, which was just past Gaberville.

We woke up early in Richardson Grove State Park to hit the hills and make sure the sun wasn't directly overhead. With temperatures forecasted to rise into the 90s, we refused to take on the biggest hill of the trip thus far anywhere near to the hottest time of day.

Zip, bam, done. The big hill was a breeze, and introduced us to a refreshing taste of the traffic that was to come on highway 1; switchback turns and courteous motorcycle traffic. It was a challenging but manageable grind, but was really the next hill that robbed us of our fortitude. And the next, and the next, until we reached a reasonable campsite that was MacKerricher State Park, just outside Cleone, CA. This particular place had a restaurant that was my first taste of the delicious Mexican food that was to come, as well as the final resting place for one of my water bottles, which was an integral part of my packing regiment.

It was during this section that I thought a lot about the concept of flow and how it plays into regular life. When doing something for the first time, there is no flow. Each movement and decision seems awkwardly calculated and questionable at best, vs. the feeling of having done something long enough to get a sort of routine down, so that simple actions become unconscious and more complex decisions can finally be made and added on. I've learned this concept from skateboarding and snowboarding, and have since set it as a goal for most new undertakings, and have finally begun to realize it with bike touring. After packing, riding, and unpacking for a certain amount of days in a row, I realized that the new challenge was interpreting the maps, managing terrain, and all the while making time to appreciate the time on and off the bike. And with that being realized, we spent the final days before San Francisco socked-in with fog and big mileage.

The flow has begun as life on the road continues.


- IMAGES OF THE ROAD -

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Chas Eberle

Gear List

- My Blackburn Gear -

- MY TRUSTY STEED -

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Chas Eberle
  • What was the genesis moment or inspiration for your upcoming adventure? This trip has been a long time coming. Back in 2008 I began spending a lot of time at my local community bike shop in Bellingham (the Hub). I was beginning to learn a bit about bicycle repair, and did the typical college kid thing and built up a fixie. Eventually, I found a bike in a ditch and it was my goal to rebuild it from used parts and ride it to Portland. My buddy and I chose to ride the Washington Peninsula because we had never seen it, and thought it might make a good story. (It also had an easy bus system if anything catastrophic happened to my makeshift bicycle and trailer). We made our way to Portland over 10 days, and by day 3 I decided that I wanted to do the entire coast. Unfortunately, our short timeframe prevented that from happening. The trip to Portland went flawlessly, and I rode the train back to Bellingham hoping to complete the journey some day.
  • Have you traveled by bike in the past? I have done multiple other 2-3 day trips since the Portland trip, but nothing as substantial. Around town I commute to school/work every day, mountain bike 2-3 days per week, and have the weekly town/interurban rides with the gang (The Wetboyz).
  • What is your goal for the route? I have never seen to Northern California! I want to ride my bike through a tree, do some beach touring, find more small community bike shops, and do some surfing. It is also my goal to find some dirt connectors instead of just doing road the entire time. I want to have a loose plan, but let the trip adapt and change as the journey goes on. I want to share stories with people on the road, and travel to places recommended to me by other people, instead of relying solely on the guidebook.
  • What do you hope to get out of this journey? I hope to see some new places, make some new friends, and connect with myself in ways unknown at this point. I hope I can inspire people with this journey, and show them that it doesn’t take years of planning and thousands of dollars to see some of these beautiful places that are right in our back yard. I believe the biggest barrier for most people is simply getting out there, and I really believe in Blackburn’s mission statement. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao-Tsu Yes, it’s cheesy but that quote has inspired me in many ways. It encourages me to be open-minded and go bold-headed into projects instead of holding back and being overly particular.
  • “What’s in my bag?” 1.) Pink/silver Kershaw Leek knives. I lost and recently refound the pink one for a year, and the silver one was a birthday gift from my girlfriend to replace the pink one.
    2.) Fujifilm Instax 210 Camera + photo of my girlfriend and I from the Portage Glacier (Whittier, AK)
    3.) Lucky Bike Shorts – Had ‘em since high school.
    4.) Ratball. (a drinking game for the rats, developed by the Wetboyz) For making friends on the road.

- Pacific Coast Milestones -