Pack & Ride: a Bike Packing Trip up the California Coast

Video by Jordan Lovelis & Jeremy Searle. Photos by Andrew Peters

Pack. And ride. Sounds simple ’til you realize it’s 2020 and nothing’s that simple these days…

Between rampant COVID-19 travel restrictions and ravenous wildfires that have decimated hundreds of square miles of forests along the west coast, the word ‘vacation’ looks to be going the way of the dodo in California for a while. That’s one way of looking at it, or you could open your eyes a little wider and see that the thermos is half-full and there’s travel and adventure to be had a little closer to home.

In late October we met some friends from Giro for an adventure-filled bike packing trip, featuring a cast of likeminded rabble-rousers including pro snowboarder Tim Eddy and his wife, artist Hannah Eddy, Serena Rio, Ian Stowe, and Campbell Steers. But turns out it ain’t so simple once the rubber hits the road. Unpredictable weather, trails closed due to wildfire, and less than perfect conditions led to one hell of a weekend cycling and camping up the Sonoma Coast—nearly 100 miles to be exact.

Moral of the story: shit happens, no matter how close to home you might be. What was meant to be a weekend of fun, camping, and adventure on our bicycles turned into… well, fun, camping, and adventure on our bicycles. But only once we crossed the finish line and had a chance to look through the rearview mirror.

While the road ahead might appear uncertain—as was often the case with this trip—our personal health and environmental wellbeing are undoubtedly fragile and interconnected, a sentiment that’s become increasingly obvious in 2020. Riding past the massive burn areas and witnessing the crippling effects of climate change coupled with the impending dread, illness, and isolation caused by COVID-19 was a feeling we’ll never forget.

This year, more than any other has proven we’re in this fight together. And just like a fucked up bike packing trip, we’ve gotta keep pressing on to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Pack. Ride. Make it happen. And keep making it happen for future generations.

More info on Giro here.

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