This page will provide periodic updates during the actual PCTA ride, written by correspondent Desert Dune, who updated readers during the Death Valley Tricycle Expedition (DVTE) in 2009. David Massey also plans on updates at his website. Updates from Desert Dune below appear in chronological order, with the latest appearing farther down the page. Follow the riders’ progress:

PCTA (521)Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco at sunrise, as viewed from a tricycle on a special cyclist’s path

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August 28, 2013: 

       The Travelers Toast

Travelers  toast to the open road,

Pedal across the land,

Sing the song of the dawn,

Salute the colors of the sunset,

Feel the wind of the earth as you ride,

Along the ocean road, through the forests of ages.

 Poem by Desert Dune

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Tomorrow morning the tricycle expedition begins at 7:00 a.m.  The weather on the Oregon coast has been sunny and humid. This trend is predicted to continue, giving the cycling team great weather for the trip. Typically, September is a warm and sunny month on the Pacific coast with diminished winds and little rain. Whenever the cycling team calls via cell phone, their progress will be updated on this website.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”  Marcel Proust

The “voyage of discovery” commenced today, with clear skies and warm weather, perfect conditions for the beginning of an expedition.  This expedition of  physical and mental challenge will test the team as they ride.

Today Steve and Matt rode 57 miles from Florence, Oregon to Bastendorf County Park in North Bend/Coos Bay area.  The day was one involving a break-in period of adjustment to the physical and mental challenges of the expedition.

Steve and Matt rode for nine hours, crossing the Coos Bay bridge en route.  Both cyclists rode on the sidewalk of the bridge, making it less problematic than riding in the traffic lane.  Steve and Matt met up with David, arriving from southern California.  The three cyclists met at Bastendorf County Park where they will begin the ascent up the “Seven Devils Road” en route to Humbug Mountain State Park.  The ride tomorrow will be steep, requiring physical endurance to complete. 

The cyclists are hoping to stop at “Mothers Natural Foods” in Bandon for a delicious homemade cookie and a helping of wonderful healthy food for lunch.

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September 4, 2013

Steve and David continued riding south today over the “Seven Devils Road” to the Bandon waterfront and on to Humbug Mountain State Park where they camped.   They were able to stop at “Mother’s Natural Foods” for some healthy food to eat en route.   Matt headed back north due to a change in his plans.

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September 5, 2013

Today Steve and David rode from Humbug Mountain to the town of Gold Beach, Oregon.  They  pedaled up the steepest hill on the Oregon Coast, just past Gold Beach.   The day ended at Harris Beach State Park in Brookings, Oregon where they camped.  The skies were clear in Brookings, while elsewhere in Oregon a major  storm blew in with 70 mph winds, heavy rain, and hail.  The riders hit the weather just right!

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September 6, 2013

“Road Angels” as they are called saved the day today for the riders.  After pedaling all day from Brookings, Oregon into northern California, Steve and David found that they were far from any developed campground.  They stopped at the “Trees of Mystery” in the big redwood forests of northern California.  There, the “Road Angels” at the Forest Cafe restaurant gave them permission to camp in a large field next to the restaurant.  They had a great dinner at the restaurant and a nice place to camp, thanks to the  hospitality of the “Road Angels” at the Forest Cafe.

Tomorrow, they plan to ride on to either Elk Prairie State Park or Patrick’s Point State Park, both beautiful California State Parks in the redwood forests.


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September 7, 2013

Today Steve and David left the “Trees of Mystery” in the morning.  Later, they rode on the Pacific Coast bike route bypass from Elk  Prairie State Park to Patrick’s Point through the inspirational and lofty redwood forests.  The bike route bypass was beautiful, similar to the “Avenue of the Giants” farther south.  

They camped at Patrick’s Point State Park in the hiker-biker sites, atop cliffs that tower above the ocean.  The skies were clear, with stars above and ocean waves below – a sights and sounds to behold.  The campsites in the hiker-biker area were the premier sites in the entire campground, on a precipice above the ocean near the monolith of “Lookout Rock.”  Both Steve and David climbed “Lookout Rock” to get a panoramic view of the ocean from above.  Since Patrick’s Point is often enshrouded in fog, the clear view of the ocean was unique for the area.

Tomorrow, they will ride on to Eureka, California on the Pacific Coast bike route bypass.  They will stop in Eureka to take photos of the famous Victorian mansions there.

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September 8, 2013

David discontinued the tricycle expedition today 13 miles south of Patrick’s Point.  Watch his  goodnewsonly.com website for any updates he may post.

Steve continued riding 59 miles south from Patrick’s Point to the edge of the “Avenue of Giants.”  He is currently planning to ride on Highyway 101 instead of the “Avenue of the Giants” bike route to save on mileage. He found the Stafford RV park 2 miles north of the “Avenue of the Giants” where he will camp tonight in the midst of the giant redwood trees.

Steve is one to two days out from Leggett, California where 101 and Hwy 1 separate.

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September 9, 2013

Steve made slow progress today due to the extreme heat exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The air was still and stifling, hotter than when he rides through the Mojave Desert.  Getting to the coast again sounds great to him!  He stopped at Richardson Grove State Park to camp for the night.

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September 10, 2013

Steve rode a short 15 miles to Standish-Hickey State Park in  107 F heat  today, after stopping at an RV park to do his laundry. Garberville sits in a little valley, and the heat was exaggerated by the air’s stillness and full sun. He met up with  about 17  other cyclists at the campground where a large group gathered at around 2:00 p.m..

He enjoyed meeting other people cycling through the area.  The hiker-biker site seemed like an encampment of gypsies, gathering to have a party with music, conversation, and shared stories of the physical challenges of being on the road.  Knowing the physical challenges ahead just past the town of Leggett, the group of cyclists enjoyed a rest at Stanish-Hickey.  The gypsy camp atmosphere with campfires and music of the ukulele filled the air.

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September 11, 2013

Steve rode 58 miles today, through Fort Bragg, California and on to Van Damme State Park. He stopped to get food supplies in Fort Bragg en route to the state park.

He realizes that the physical demands of this long-distance trek require outstanding physical condition.  The riding can be compared to “The 12 Labors of Hercules.”  The atmosphere at the hiker-biker campsites is one of shared camaraderie, of an endurance test completed for the day, and a sense of having achieved a goal requiring the utmost physical strength and endurance.  Highway #1 along the coast of northern California is one  hill after another. with the steepest part just past Leggett.

Eating 100 grams of protein, drinking  lots of water, and eating fresh fruits and vegetables along the way is a good idea for muscle rebuilding, nutrition, and hydration. Let “Live long and prosper”  can be a motivating motto as you ride, facing the psychological demands that accompany the extreme physical demands for endurance.

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September 12, 2013

At this point, Steve has completed a ride of 480 miles, from Florence, Oregon to Gualala, California.  He camped at Gualala Regional Park along with 8 – 9 other bikers including 2 guys from British Columbia, Canada, a guy from France, and a girl from Germany.  Some of the same cyclists who met up at Stanish-Hickey State Park are continuing on the same Hwy #1 coastal route towards San Francisco, California.  They ride separately during the  day, but seem to end up at the same camp by evening.

Tonight the cyclists at the Gualala Regional Park experienced an evening raccoon attack !  One cyclist who was sleeping on the ground awoke to be face to face, eye to eye with a raccoon.  Others saw their helmets and panniers being dragged off by the animals and their bikes knocked over.

 Steve had set up a warning system on his trike with bear bells attached to alert him if an animal came near.  When he heard the bear bells ring, he got up and scared off the raccoon with a bright light.  Steve also used smell-proof plastic zipper bags to store his food in, which he believes did work.  The bags are called OPSAK, approved by U. S. Navy Diving Unit and used by many governmental and law enforcement agencies worldwide.WEB address for the bags is: http://www.loksak.com  Steve found paw prints on his trike seat, but no real problem due to the bear bell warning system he rigged up and the odor proof plastic food storage bags.

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September 13, 2013

Today Steve rode 48 miles from Gualala to Bodega Bay State Beach, making his total mileage 525  miles, nearing the half-way point of the trek.  The weather is foggy, but pleasant with ocean breezes and no rain.  He camped on a sandy knoll in the hiker-biker area with about 5 cyclists from the group he met at Stanish-Hickey.  The hot showers are a treat at the end of the day on the coastal route, as   opposed to the inland route he has taken in the past to Death Valley National Park.  He is enjoying the company of the other cyclists, which is a new benefit of the coastal route.

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September 14, 2013

Steve rode from Bodega Bay to the Marin Headlands, Fort Baker Picnic/Day Use area today where he stopped just short of the Golden Gate Bridge. He had difficulty finding the route, getting directions from the California Highway Patrol and a local fire station.  It was a maze to get through  this area. He plans to spend the night at the Fort Baker Day Use Area.  He will  camp on his trike  atop a cliff above the ocean with the lights of ships passing,  the lights of the Golden Gate Bridge ahead and the moon above.  He sees hundreds of cyclists passing by en route to the city.  Weather conditions are cold and windy, but dry.

Steve plans to ride across the Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise tomorrow, heading to Half Moon Bay where he will camp on Sunday.

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September 15, 2013

As of 8:00 a.m. this morning, Steve had crossed the Golden Gate Bridge on his tricycle.  He spent a rather cold night on the cliff above the ocean just north of the bridge.  His emergency foil space blanket kept him marginally warm sleeping on his tricycle.

At sunrise, Steve rode across the Golden Gate Bridge, an experience he said “makes the whole trip worthwhile in itself.”  It was an exhilarating experience to ride across the bridge with the warm sun shining above a fog bank that lay out to sea.  Steve has traveled across the bridge several times in his life, but never on a tricycle.  He said, “You see the Golden Gate Bridge like you never have before.”  He took photos and movies that he will share later.  He was able to stop and touch the pillars of the bridge and enjoy the scenery as he rode across . Hundreds of other riders and joggers were already out at sunrise on the bridge, enjoying the day.

The bike lanes on the Golden Gate Bridge are very safe for cyclists.  The California Highway Patrol rides in the bike lane on bicycles to enforce traffic laws.  The bike lanes have mini stop signs, divided lanes, and radar enforcement of a 15 mph speed limit.  Marin and San Francisco have thousands of cyclists on the road, so both counties are set up well for cycling  safety.

Steve is planning  to go on to Half Moon Bay State Beach to camp for the night. 

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September 15, 2013

Steve has completed 627 miles of riding on his tricycle to date.  After riding across the Golden Gate Bridge, he went through the “Devil’s Slide Tunnel.”  It is a very large, lengthy tunnel made in the side of a mountain on Highway #1 .  The area had continual problems with landslides before the tunnel was constructed.  Steve found the tunnel to have a wide shoulder with plenty of room to ride through.

After making it through the tunnel, Steve went on until he came to Half Moon Bay State Beach.  He arrived at the campground in the early afternoon, after stopping at a nearby Safeway to eat strawberries, bananas, tomatoes along with three Odwalla protein drinks.  (Half Moon Bay is the home of the Odwalla Factory.)

Steve is camping at the hiker-biker site along with several other cyclists including an older couple from Germany, a guy from British Columbia, Canada, and a guy from Phoenix, Arizona.  He set up his tent, took a shower, and then watched the sunset which was exquisite.  A band of fog lay below the layer of orange sunshine and whispy clouds moved like birds.

Steve re-stocked his food supply with 20 Clif bars, when the guy from Phoenix offered to make a run to the nearby Safeway store. He is all set now with Cliff bars for lunch, rice and salmon for dinner, and granola for breakfast.  Steve and Alan from Phoenix, Arizona, will ride together to Sunset Beach State Park tomorrow.  Alan has ridden his bicycle on this route before and knows some shortcuts through Santa Cruz.

Steve is planning to ride to Sunset Beach State Park tomorrow.  On Tuesday, he plans to camp at Big Sur in the redwood forests above the ocean.  On Wednesday, his goal is to be in the area of Hearst Castle.  By Friday, he plans to be in Morro Bay.  

Steve has become well aware that Highway #1 is very old with very steep grades comparable to  going on a roller coaster ride. He finds it much more challenging than riding on the inland route that he has taken in the past. The advantage is that campgrounds are plentiful, stores with food are nearby, and many other cyclists are on the road to share the experience.  

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September 16, 2013

Today Steve rode a total of 67 miles from Half Moon Bay to Sunset Beach State Park south of Santa Cruz.  To date he has ridden 696 miles down the coast from Florence, Oregon.  

Highway #1 becomes a freeway through Santa Cruz, so cyclists must take the alternate bike route on Soquel Street.  The bike route follows country roads that wind through agricultural fields.

Steve and Alan rode along the country roads to Sunset Beach, arriving at about 5:00 p.m.  The hiker-biker campsite is in a lightly forested area on a bluff with the ocean on the other side. The ocean is not visible from the campsite, but the sound of the waves crashing on the beach is very audible.  Sea lions can be heard here as well as other places along the route.

Tonight the moon shines full and the sound of the ocean is forever moving.

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September 17, 2013

Today Steve encountered a mechanical failure of the chain on his tricycle.  He stopped for an hour and a half to fix it on the side of a country road near Monterey. This is first time Steve has experienced a mechanical failure en route.  The chain broke under pressure as he rode up a steep farm road.  He had to get off the trike and pull it up the hill 40 yards to the crest of the hill in order to do the repair.  It was a messy job, the chain being 12 feet long (2.5 times longer than a bike chain.)  He had to take the bags off the trike before he could begin the repair.  It was indeed messy as on the road there is no real way to clean up the grease after such a repair.

It was 12:00 noon when Steve had the chain fixed.  At that time he was 38 miles from Big Sur State Park.  He and Alan had planned to continue on to Big Sur , but changed their plans due to the time consuming mechanical repair.

Unexpectedly,  they enjoyed some chocolate chip cookies given out to cyclists on the road by an 80 year old man this afternoon, a little treat of kindness from a “road angel.”  Paul is a former long distance cyclist who has ridden thousands of miles in his time.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays he stands by the side of the road on the Pacific Coast Bike Route in Monterey with a sign that says,”Trail Angel.”  He gives the passing cyclists water and a ziplock bag with a powerbar and two homemade chocolate chip cookies. Steve and Alan enjoyed talking with Paul for a while and then headed on to the Veterans Memorial Park in Monterey to camp along with a group of about six other cyclists.

To date, Steve has ridden 729 miles to Monterey, California from Florence, Oregon.  Tomorrow he will wake up to a loud speaker that broadcasts military songs in the Veterans Memorial Park.  At sunrise, “Reveille” will be played to wake the campers and cyclists to battle the hills ahead on the road to Big Sur.

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September 18, 2013

At about 9:00 p.m.  last night the sound of “Taps” was heard by all of the campers and cyclists in the Veterans Memorial Park.  It was broadcast over a loud speaker, filling the forest above Monterey Bay with a deep familiar sound.   This morning at sunrise the campers were awakened to the sound of “Reveille.” The campground had a definite military atmosphere.  Steve could imagine that he was in the military for a moment when the songs played loud and clear.

This morning, Steve and Alan rode on to Big Sur, on high  windswept cliffs  towering above the ocean. The landscape is characterized by  steep drop offs with the ocean far below.  They rode only 34 miles today, but went up many long steep climbs.  A common response from cyclists is, “Another day on the roller coaster.”  This response comes from the long enduring rides uphill followed by speedy downhill races.

To date, Steve has ridden 763 miles. Highway #1 along the Big Sur is filled with ocean cliff and roller coaster rides, unlike the road from Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz which is wide and flat in comparison.

Steve plans to camp tonight and tomorrow night at Big Sur along with  8 -10 other cyclists in the hiker-biker site.  The atmosphere in the hiker-biker site is quiet and peaceful in the midst of the giant redwood trees.  Steve will rest an extra day before continuing.  Alan plans to head out on the road again tomorrow.

Steve has been riding with care due to the mechanical failure of his chain yesterday.  He is hoping that his 12.5 foot long chain holds up.  He can repair it one more time if necessary since he has one more master link replacement.

When Steve heads out on Friday morning he will be riding solo again.  Since Big Sur is such a beautiful campground it is a great place to take an extra day to rest before continuing.  After 763 miles of riding it is nice to stop in the peace  of the giant redwoods for a day.

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September 19, 2013

Steve spent the day enjoying the shade of giant redwoods at Big Sur State Park.  Even in the shade, it was hot!  He did some hiking through the forest, washed his clothes, and took it easy.  Big Sur is a great place to spend an extra night en route.  It is a premier camping area in the redwood forests on cliffs above the ocean.

He commented that he loves his NEMO OBI one person tent.  It is small, light weight, and easy to set up.  He turned in early with plans for a long distance ride on Friday.

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September 20,  2013

Today, Steve, called by some “the lean green riding machine,” woke up at 5:00 a.m. and began riding at 7:00 a.m.  He rode for 10 hours from Big Sur to San Simeon State Park, completing a total  of 70 miles.  The morning hours were characterized by foggy conditions, followed by a more sunny afternoon that is typical of  coastal weather conditions. He rode above the ocean cliffs that form the coastline south of Big Sur through  fog that gradually dissipated as the afternoon approached.  

At Ragged Point, Steve ascended a big hill, which did put stress on the  trike chain. The chain on Steve’s trike continued to have problems with derailing and rear gear shifting throughout the ride. The new chain link he installed a few days ago is still holding up.  He realizes that he needs a new chain and rear cassette.  He is just hopeful that he will get to Morro Bay and Atascadero tomorrow without a breakdown.

Steve camped at San Simeon State Park tonight after his camp dinner of tuna and rice.  As evening approached, the fog began rolling in again. He will head south to Morro Bay tomorrow.  Today marks the 18th day of the expedition, just short of three weeks for the long distance coastal trek.

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September 21, 2013

Steve’s camping experience last night  at San Simeon State Park included a raccoon invasion.   After getting into his tent, he soon realized that he had pitched his tent near a raccoon den.  No sooner was he ready to doze off for the night than he heard his bear bell raccoon alarm begin to ring.  A good sized raccoon carefully lifted the rain flap of his Radical Design seat pannier and unzipped it 7 inches to take his Ziplock bag of 3 Cliff bars.  The raccoon did not damage anything, but was very precise in its efforts to secure the food.  These particular bars were not stored in the special odorless bags, but in a common Ziplock bag.  Steve heard the raccoon munching away on the bars in its den.  

A few minutes later, the bear bells began to ring again, signaling that the raccoon was back for more!  Steve got out of his tent, walked the perimeter with a flashlight, and craftily established the area as a human territory not to be crossed.  He had no more raccoon problems! Territorial marking works well.

Needless to say, this camping experience was one of the most unpleasant on the trip.  Besides the raccoon invasion, the campground was crowded and noisy, and the heavy fog dampened everything.  Perhaps the reason being that the campground is near the Hearst Castle, which is a large tourist attraction plus is was a Friday night.

Such is the life of a cyclist!  On the road, one never knows what lies ahead, be it the sublime or the more challenging of experiences.

September 21, 2013  Pacific Coast Tricycle Adventure completed to the Southern Terminus of Atascadero, California

Saturday morning, September 21, 2013,  Steve rode 23 miles from San Simeon State Park to Morro Bay, arriving in Morro Bay at 11:00 a.m. He then rode up and over the coastal mountains on Highway 41 to Atascadero.  The Pacific Coast Tricycle Adventure was completed from its origin in Florence, Oregon  to its destination point of Atascadero, east of Morro Bay, California. The total mileage ridden from Florence, Oregon to Morro Bay, California was 855 miles, plus another 20 to Rancho Relaxo, for a grand total of 875 on the PCTA.

PCTA (905)Steve at the very end of the Pacific Coast Tricycle Adventure. Now things get a little easier.