Sunday, February 20, 2022

Scuba Diving in Bonaire - January 2022

For the seventh or eighth time, we went scuba diving in Bonaire. It's kind of our go-to getaway. Not much to do other than scuba and relax. We don't bring an underwater camera anymore as we would prefer to live the moment rather than record it. As such, you will have to just enjoy the standard Caribbean photos of blue water and stunning sunsets. 

We stayed in a 1-bedroom oceanfront condo (Den Laman apartments) which has a dock and a dive locker. You can see the dock on the right in the photo below. Generally, we do a few dives from the local dock but mostly dive via pickup truck along the shoreline of Bonaire. Night dives are easiest from the dock because docks are easy to find in the dark at the end of the dive.

Bonaire is becoming a big kite surfing destination. You can see all of the wings in the photo. A few years ago, this particular beach had one or two kite surfers. Now, there is a whole community. Looks like fun, but where else would I do this? I don't want to spend a week learning a skill that I can only use on rare occasion. 

Kite surfers prepping their kites and untangling the lines. 

Mexico City and Valle de Bravo - December 2021

Casey and Doroty were down in Mexico for 6 weeks or so, rock climbing and paragliding, so we decided to go down for a week to visit. The plan was to meet in Mexico City for the week, then we would head home and they would go back to Valle de Bravo to paraglide more. However, after spending three days or so in Mexico City, we were all a bit burned out so we all hopped the bus to Valle for a few days.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

September 2021 - San Francisco to San Diego by bicycle

This blog post has photos in an essentially random order and not much text. All four participants sent photos and I don't know exactly where or when they were taken. You'll just have to let them flow over you.  

First, here is the planning document, all highlighted in yellow:

San Francisco to San Diego 2021

Aloft Hotel in San Francisco:


Got a room for Mike and me with two beds at the Aloft SFO (reservation for Francis White)

Conf# 95058360 for Aloft San Francisco Airport, +1-650-443-5500, evening of Sep 5, departing the 6th.


Approximate Notional Schedule:

Subject to many changes. 






5 Sep

SFO Airport - Aloft Hotel




Costanoa KOA Campsite

Lunch in Half Moon Bay

Stop in at just before the KOA.

KOA has a general store and restaurant. 




Moss Landing




Big Sur Campground




San Simeon Creek Campground




Pismo beach




Gaviota state park




McGrath state park




Somewhere in LA (Santa Monica , Venice Beach, Torrence, ?) Tom departs. 




Rest Day?



Doheny State Beach




San Diego (hotel)





Here is the climate for Santa Barbara, the nominal halfway point.

Route Overview:

We will be riding from San Francisco to San Diego beginning on or around 7 September. The interactive map  shows the Pacific Coast route. Overall mileage will be somewhere around 630 miles.   Here is the approximate route on Google Maps just for ease of viewing. 

We will be doing sections 4 and 5 of the Pacific Coast route: 

The basic route statistics are below. The first half (section 4)  is about as hilly as our last week riding into San Francisco. The last section looks pretty flat. Once we hit Santa Barbara, it all flattens out. 

We also rode the Lost Coast Alternative on our previous ride and it was pretty stupidly hilly. 

If we are ahead of schedule or are feeling energetic, we can split off of the coastal route in Los Angeles, and follow the Route 66 trail to pick up the Sierra Cascades route and go back into San Diego via the Southern Tier. This would probably add two days of riding and we don’t need to make this decision until we reach Los Angeles. The route would also take us past Tom Hardenburger’s house so maybe we could crash there. 

Changes to map 4

Changes to map 5

Getting to San Francisco

I vote for leaving from SFO airport rather than San Jose. 

It is a short ride from SFO to Pacifica with one 700’ hill where we can intercept the route. 

It is a much longer and hillier route from San Jose airport to the coast. 45 miles and 2000 feet of climbing vs 12 miles and 700 feet. Also, we would miss out on about 25 miles of coastline riding. 

There are a number of hotels right next to the SFO airport. I am partial to Aloft hotels, but am open to suggestions. If we can’t ship the bikes directly to the hotel, there is a Fedex facility 1.1 miles away from the Aloft and there is a Fairfield Inn just around the corner if we want to stay there instead of a mile away.  


Here is a map that shows the state parks with dedicated hiker/biker camping. This is a real treasure. Linked from this page

Getting our stuff home from San Diego

I have a friend in San Diego that I can lean on a little bit. I’ll try to have him pick up three bike boxes from local bike shops and we can box and ship the bikes using BikeFlights. Otherwise, we can drop them off at a local bike shop and just have them boxed and shipped. 

Here is an example of dropping the bike at a bike shop and paying them to box and ship:

Here is our actual daily ride schedule, which was pretty close to the planned route

September 5th - fly to San Francisco and check into the Aloft hotel near the airport. Pull the bikes out of the boxes and start putting them together. 

I realized that the bearings in my rear wheel had worked themselves loose, so I had to find a bike shop and go get it fixed. There are some tools that are just not in my travel toolkit, and cone wrenches are one of them. 

September 6 - San Francisco to Salina

Assemble in the courtyard and get rolling. Steve, in yellow, has never been bike touring before. 

Highway 1 Brewing Company and Costanoa campground. 

September 7 - Costanoa to Marina State Beach near Salina
September 8 - Onward to Big Sur
September 9 - Big Sur to San Simeon
September 10 - San Simeon to Pismo Beach
September 11 - Pismo Beach to Gaviota
September 12 - Gaviota to Ventura
September 13 - Ventura to Venice Beach
September 14 - Rest day in Venice Beach
September 15 - Venice Beach to Newport Beach
September 16 - Newport Beach to Encinitas
September 17 - Encinitas to San Diego
September 18 & 19th - Road trip to Boulder