A First of Many Bike Touring Milestones

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A First of Many Bike Touring Milestones


Welcome to USA Sign

Photo taken in 2007 on a week long road trip to Vancouver and back

When I started this blog, picking the name with the word “milestone” was something I thought about deeply and intentionally.  At that point in time, we had not toured very much.  Heck! Even up to this point, we really have not toured as much as some other people out there.  That is why calling this blog Milestone Rides is appropriate, since each ride that we DO do, will hit a particular milestone one way or another.  Whether it’d be my first or Sang Hyun’s first, we pick our rides with the intention of experiencing something grand and memorable.  For our Vancouver to San Francisco bike tour, which will commence in 1 day, we are looking to fulfill several milestones.

First Multi-Week Tour

For both Sang Hyun and myself, we have never ridden a tour that was longer than 8 days.  This Vancouver trip will put us on the road for 32 or more days.  We have never taken that much time off to do anything like this in our professional careers, so this will be a big milestone for the both of us.  I am curious to see how my attitude will be after the first week.  On the last tour to Joshua Tree, I couldn’t wait to get home and sleep in a bed.  I hope this was the case because I knew I was going to be home in 5 days, and therefore I felt restless.  Hopefully, taking riding breaks after 5 consecutive days of riding will help ease our bodies and spirits.

Niagra Falls - July 2010

First International Travel

This will be the first time we’re starting our trip on international soil.  All of our travels before this have started and ended in the good ‘ole U-S of A.  I have to admit, we are a bit anxious about basic things we’ve taken for granted, such as getting our currency converted when we are in Vancouver and dealing without cellphone coverage. It will be challenging because we are avoiding the cost of an international calling plan.  Therefore, we are relying strictly on free wi-fi that is promised to us at our hostels in Vancouver and Victoria.  That means we’ll be offline for 5 days.  Speaking of hostels…

First Hostel Experience

This will be the first time Sang Hyun is staying in a hostel.  This will be my second time as I stayed in one in New York City a few years ago.I had a pleasant experience meeting travelers from all over the world.  I actually never met any of my dorm mates as a result of our opposite schedules. I went to bed early because I had to leave early, and they came back to the dorm really late/early at night.  From what we gathered, the hostels are an affordable alternative to paying for a motel or hotel.

First Time Flying with Our Bikes

That’s right.  We have never flown with our bikes, not even in the US.  The idea of traveling with the bike in a box with our luggage is definitely keeping us on edge.  What if the bikes or our luggage don’t make it with us?  We hope that we minimized that risk by flying non-stop.  I’m sure after we’ve gone through this milestone, things should be easier when we travel elsewhere in the future.

First Cross-State Tour

Once we make it into the state of Washington, it will be the first time we will be touring through another state besides California.  We have big plans of riding across the country West to East, but this is the first time we will be riding North to South.

Rain in Emerald Hills, Buellton, CA.

Rain in Emerald Hills, Buellton, CA.

First Time Riding in Weather That is Not Sunny & Warm (We Hope)

For Sang Hyun, this will be the first time he’ll ride in wet weather, as we’ve read that we will definitely run into rainy days in the Pacific Northwest.  I am hoping we get to use the rain gear that we have packed for this trip.  It will be a waste, if we don’t see rain.

Sunset in Canada

Photo taken while traveling on a ferry back from Victoria, BC to Vancouver, BC in 2007.

First Bike-Ferry Experience

We will be using the ferry a lot on this trip as we travel up north in British Columbia and traveling through the San Juan Islands.  I believe we’ll probably have more miles on the ferry than on the bike for the first week or so.

CCC Ride at GG Bridge

2011 California Coast Classic. Left to Right: Jennifer, Mario, Johnny, Sang Hyun, and Gary

First Completion of the Pacific West Coast Route

Lastly, we will complete the entire Pacific West Coast by bike when this adventure is over.  This has been the goal for this year as we planned this trip out.  I’ve ridden down from San Francisco a couple of times and Sang Hyun has done it once.  Both of us have also ridden down to the Mexican border earlier last year, so this was the last thing we had to do.

No Comments
  • Sasha
    Posted at 20:45h, 26 June

    Excited for the updates on your adventures. Sounds amazing! I lived on Vancouver Island when I was little. It was stunning. I’m sure you’ll love the Pacific Northwest.

    • Johnny Lam
      Posted at 18:24h, 30 June

      Hi Sasha,

      We just left Vancouver Island yesterday after spending the longest day riding there. It is beautiful! People are so friendly there and every turn or down hill was a beautiful vista. We’re thinking about going back again. Thanks for your comment!