Chas Eberle
Pacific Coast
Vacation! Arriving in San Fran was an exciting milestone for the trip. Although it was sad to see my buddies depart, it meant that it would be a chance to see finish the tour from a new, solo perspective, and the opportunity to spend a week exploring the city with my girlfriend. We had been planning a visit, and San Fran worked out to be an awesome rendezvous point because it gave us the chance see the city and tour down to Santa Cruz from there.

So after the first night of catching up with a high school buddy, I took a break from the road and hopped onto the Caltrain down to Santa Cruz to pick up an extra bike from the Blackburn headquarters, with the help of a rad little Toyota minitruck named Guillermo.

From there we had the chance to tour around for a couple days, spend a night camping on the coveted Angel Island, and get my fill of people-dodging for a while. Since the trip basically began in Alaska and avoided the high tourism season on the northern two thirds of the coast, I'd gotten used to low crowds and relatively stress-free days on the open road. Riding around in the city was a stark and immediate contrast to those days, but was made easier by utilizing all of the huge bike lanes that connected everything together. For the trip, I had no real themes or planned-out destinations, so it was exciting just traveling around the city and stopping in to places that looked interesting.

Angel Island was absolutely gorgeous, and the sunset over the city was spectacular considering the fog had lifted, and it was a clear view from the upper fire road that encircled the island. Once it came time to leave the next morning, we were happy to get back on the road and see the west side of San Fran, rolling through Golden Gate Park and past the windy beach dunes that protected the residential areas. It was actually pretty surprising how quickly the terrain changed and it felt like we were totally out of town by mid-afternoon. We ended that day in Half Moon Bay and were welcomed back into the State Park system with a gorgeous hiker/biker site right by the beach.

The next day was not so nice, but a good experience all the same. This day was marked by 20mph headwinds and dodging brussel sprouts that had blown off the trucks from nearby farms (yes, we collected enough for dinner). This day ended at the Castenoa KOA, which might be the most luxurious "camping" I've ever seen. Although it seemed kinda silly, I will admit the Wi-Fi and sauna felt pretty good after the mental abuse of those winds that morning.

The next day we arrived in Santa Cruz, which was bittersweet since it would be the last night of our visit together. Luckily, the weather was incredible and we made up for the bitter sweetness by surfing all afternoon and going out for celebratory margaritas in Capitola. Then a touristy visit to the Mystery Spot the next day to boot. I was so stoked my girlfriend wanted to visit and hit the road for a few days. I was glad to share the experience with her.

At this point in the trip, it would have been easy to throw in the towel and bail in San Fran/Santa Cruz, especially since my riding partners were leaving, and the momentum seemed to suggest such actions. From my previous experience in SoCal, I kind of knew what to expect, but was really looking forward to Big Sur, and wanted to finish what I started. I had a third of the ride to finish, and was excited to get going after what felt like a break, if not physically but mentally for sure.


- 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 -