This past summer I decided to embark upon a nearly 1,700 mile self-supported bike tour from San Francisco, north to Spokane, Washington. I stopped in Sacramento, Arcata, Portland and Seattle along the way, staying with friends when I was able to, and camping the rest of the way. I was lucky enough to be supported by Cinelli as an ambassador and chose the Zydeco as my trusty steed, as it is perfectly designed for being able to carry touring weight while still having the heart of a cyclecross racing machine. This was key, as I needed to be able to trust its ability when it came to climbing and descending mountain passes, and handling more technical riding in cities as well. It proved to be the right choice and performed far beyond my expectations, taking my riding to new heights that I never knew were possible.
I left the Bay area July 9th after two solid weeks of training and immediately encountered stifling one hundred degree heat the entire first week, leading up to the Shasta-Trinity National Forest and mountain range. I learned very quickly that touring solo has many challenges and that I was in over my head. I began to adapt to the uncomfortable, push past my previous pain thresholds and access something deeper, that I didn’t know I possessed. The first leg of the tour was tough, but was merely a warm up for the challenges I was about to face on my trip. After a week of riding through the sweltering heat of the Chico valley and conquering California State Route 299 through the mountains from Redding, I made it to the Pacific Ocean.