Jennifer Schofield
Pacific Coast
Not a Newbie Anymore After negotiating the busy San Francisco streets and hills, I think it's safe to say the newness has worn off. I've spent enough consecutive hours on my bike to feel more comfortable on it than off. Riding no longer requires conscious thought. I can swerve through traffic. I can snap photos from the saddle while I'm riding. I can power through brutal headwinds like the ones we met between Moss Landing and Marina. I can ride fast. I can ride slow and teeter at a near standstill before a stoplight. Ride a bike 1,000 miles? Yep, I can.

Maybe it's all the “I cans” that pave the way for “I want…” I've grown a little selfish on this trip. Or maybe I'm just better at asking for what I want—which is usually food, or hanging out with my friends, a swim, or all three!

Maybe I'm just making what I want to happen, happen.   

And here's what happened in San Francisco: hanging out with my brother and his girlfriend, reuniting with friends and visiting my favorite SF spots: Taqueria Cancun, the bison in Golden Gate Park, House of Nanking and City Lights Books (can't seem to walk out of there empty-handed, even when I know I'll be carrying that book for another 800 miles). And some rest days! Napping, visiting with more friends and enjoying a sweet visit with my husband who flew down for the weekend. And yes, it was all what I wanted to have happen.

Then I rode Old La Honda road south from SF, a single-lane winding shady road with giant tree roots snaking along the roadside. More than three miles climbing about 1,400 feet just on this segment. Did I mention I can ride up huge hills with loaded panniers? Yeah, I can do that too. And the funny thing is, about two miles into it, I actually started enjoying the hill. It was pretty, peaceful, and it felt good to power up it. I did this ride on a Sunday with lots of other cyclists out training or just going for a ride. I got some serious props for hauling those panniers to the top of the hill, which didn't hurt!    

The trip has been eye-opening, not just in terms of my own ability and newfound strength, but also seeing the world around me. Cycling past migrant workers in farm fields is a different experience than driving by, boxed in behind a car's windows. I now realize what it takes to get myself to the Bay Area under my own power. I'm not sure I quite realize what it takes to get that avocado off the tree and onto my plate. But now that I've ridden past workers picking fruit from trees and vines, I appreciate why produce seems so expensive in the store.

It takes sweat, effort and time to get it there.


- IMAGES OF THE ROAD -

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Jennifer Schofield

Gear List

- MY BLACKBURN GEAR -

- MY BIKE SPECS -

- PERSONAL ITEMS -

- TECHNOLOGY -

- CAMPING GEAR -

- CLOTHING -

Jennifer Schofield's profile picture
Jennifer Schofield
  • What was the genesis moment or inspiration for your upcoming adventure? Have you traveled by bike in the past? Reading Bruce Weber’s New York Times posts about his 2011 cross-country bicycle trip rekindled my 20-year old dream of doing a long bike ride. Then I talked with several friends who have done long tours – both the PCH and Transamerica…and I started thinking, hey, if these guys can do this, I can too. I’ve done the Seattle-to-Portland Bicycle Classic a couple times – what’s a few more hundred miles?
  • What was the genesis moment or inspiration for your upcoming adventure? Have you traveled by bike in the past? Reading Bruce Weber’s New York Times posts about his 2011 cross-country bicycle trip rekindled my 20-year old dream of doing a long bike ride. Then I talked with several friends who have done long tours – both the PCH and Transamerica…and I started thinking, hey, if these guys can do this, I can too. I’ve done the Seattle-to-Portland Bicycle Classic a couple times – what’s a few more hundred miles?
  • What is your goal for the route? What do you hope to get out of this journey? I intend to ride from Port Angeles, WA to the US-Mexico border. I am hoping for adventure, time on the beautiful Pacific coast, a good tail wind and embracing life outside the cubicle! I’m looking forward to visiting the small towns along the coast and especially meeting new people along the way.

MY MUST HAVES

  • Magic Feather Because believing I can do it is what's going to get me there
  • My Journal Documenting the memories as I go
  • My Phone Staying connected with friends and family
  • Lip Balm A little bit of comfort that I carry with me on every long ride

- MY RIDE -

- Pacific Coast Milestones -