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Touroica 2023, April 3-7 - God willing and the creek don't rise

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Touroica 2023, April 3-7 - God willing and the creek don't rise

Old 04-11-23, 12:23 AM
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Wildflowers galore heading out Carmel Valley Road

Lunch stop bike parking area thanks to @rccardr

Who says that we are a disorderly bunch? Riding in formation in California's Central Valley south of King City

Yep, there were a few wildflowers out there

We reached Atascadero and obtained some new riders. Mickye leading out the pack.

Wildflowers and amazing scenery everywhere around Paso Robles

John experiencing reverie as a result of Gugie's cooking

Andy S enjoying the ride



Hugh C (I think) cycling into the scenery, Peachy Canyon Road on the Eroica California route

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Old 04-11-23, 12:44 PM
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A great trip with a great bunch of people. The rest is details.

I don't have a lot to add, picture-wise, but here are three from Day 3 going over Carmel Valley Road heading toward King City. Scenery like this momentarily took my mind off of feeling like I was about to barf up a lung.





Here are Mike and Nongugie Mark having at it at the Palazzo di Atascadero. BasketFoosBall. Look for it at the 2024 Olympics . . . .
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Old 04-11-23, 01:41 PM
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My Tourica experience was a little different from others because due to previous commitments I was unable to start on Monday. Flew into SFO on Tuesday night & stayed with dear friends in San Jose. How dear? Friendly enough that Phil and Andi did a whirlwind shopping trip thru Walmart early Wednesday morning (including folding table, cooler, etc. etc.) so that I'd be able to drive the 80 miles and meet up with the touring guys in Carmel Valley. P&A:

Caught up with the group at Sunny's Cafe in Carmel Village, including the affable, amiable and ever-unflappable Bob Freeman

Had to stop Gugie from telling yet another story so we could get on down the road

While the bikers were a-biking uphill for the next 18 miles, I got to periodically stop and take some shots of the amazing scenery

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Old 04-11-23, 01:43 PM
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Meanwhile, Andy and Bob discovered just about 10 seconds ago that they both went to the same school in New York at about the same time

So I moved on up the hill to set up lunch...



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Old 04-11-23, 01:47 PM
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Gugie Sez: "Stop yer blatherin' and start slatherin'"

Bike park

Amazing wildflower blooms on the hillsides along the way down


Final water stop of the day at the bottom of the hill


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Old 04-11-23, 01:52 PM
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Day 4, leaving King City and heading for Paso Robles. Mostly flat, mostly bumpy, mostly industrial type truck farming but the group made great time



Trying to locate a suitable lunch location was tough, but fortune smiled upon us and I discovered this disused access road along the side of Rt 101, good enough for a more elaborate spread than the day before



It takes a lot of calories to feed this machine...
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Old 04-11-23, 01:56 PM
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Arrived at the venerable Adeliade Inn in Paso Robles in time to shower and head out for a deluxe dinner


Swimmer Mike Arrives!
Day 5: Rich agreed to drive the van and I got to ride down to Atascadero. Just one little detour but the day was gorgeous!



Great house secured by Gugie, plenty of space for relaxing and, um, parking

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Old 04-11-23, 01:57 PM
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On Saturday, a handful of us set out on a loop around the vineyards located north and east of Paso, about 58 miles

The Mighty Thor!



Riding Joyfully



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Old 04-11-23, 02:01 PM
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Saturday post-ride lunch at Jeffery's BBQ in Paso, followed by MORE MEAT back at the house




All in all, a most excellent week of riding, fellowship, good food, amazing scenery, and (thanks to Neal) awesome weather.
And a Special Tip O' The Doctor's Hat to Gugie for organizing the whole shebang.
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Old 04-11-23, 04:31 PM
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The underrated hero of the ride was defiinitely Doc.

As followers of this thread may recall, the original plan was to ride right down the coast through Big Sur, a sure-fire plan that has been proven in the past. Nature voted against that. Heading inland around Monterey all routes included long stretches with no services nor water. When we settled on Carmel Valley Road to cross inland, with a long climb, portions of which exceeded 8% on loaded touring bikes, some riders were very concerned about being able to do it after two days of hard riding. When Doc stepped in to sag, I was reminded of the scene in Pulp Fiction when the
Since Doc is an experienced cyclotourist and well known gourmand, we knew the rest stops would magically appear right where we needed them, and the food spread would rival Cino and Eroica. Some of us lightened our load in his sag van to make the last couple of days easier.

I felt like my job was just to recruit the BF C&V cycling equivalent 1927 NY Yankees, point them in the right direction, and let them do their thing. Everyone rode a smart ride within their abilities. Tops of climbs and major turns were times to regroup, those at the back were happy to rejoin, and the front runners had some time to tell stories and relive the section we had just rided in. We had two medical doctors and a fire batallion chief that teaches first aid, luckily none of these skills wereneeded. Bob Freeman can fix anything on a vintage bicycle with two rocks and a corkscrew. With a lawyer riding along on retainer, any legal shenanigans that might have happened were scoffed at. All of us were experienced cyclotourists.

Evening meals along the way were over the top. I'm generally a burrito/burger/beer kinda guy, but we ate like kings and queens every single night, and were happy for it.

Carmel Valley way exceeded expectations. The timing of the earlier super rains followed by several days of sunshine before we passed thorugh made for an art painting background as if a giant had reached down with a palette of yellow, orange, blue and purple paint to dot make little dots along the green hillside.

This is a ride that years from now I'll still dream about.
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Old 04-11-23, 06:37 PM
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Looks like a fantastic time was had by all. Thanks for taking us along for the ride through this thread!
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Old 04-11-23, 10:12 PM
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Super jealous. It's not the first time and won't be the last time that I wished I still lived in the area. And it would have been even more fun to ride it with other bike geeks.
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Old 04-12-23, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by mhespenheide
Super jealous. It's not the first time and won't be the last time that I wished I still lived in the area. And it would have been even more fun to ride it with other bike geeks.
I used to live in Redwood City, our starting point for this ride. You can always go back and visit!
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Old 04-16-23, 11:03 PM
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I had a great time joining up with the group on day 5 from Paso to Atascadero via parts of the old Paso Robles Eroica California short route. We passed Cass Winery (without the steep hill climb) and turned south near Olea Farms (home of the olive oil fries). Iím not much of a climber so really appreciated the regroup at the top of the climbs, which I remembered all too well. The Atascadero Palazzo had its own driveway climb too!

But tremendous fun to ride with all these intrepid Touroicistas and the Palazzo was amazing. Hereís some more pics to commemorate the occasion.



The lineup from Paso Robles for Day 5.

The steel steeds at rest in the Palzzo playroom.




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Old 04-16-23, 11:07 PM
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Old 04-16-23, 11:23 PM
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The VERY spacious Palazzo pool and seating area.

Cool place to relax post ride

Original 64 Mustang convertible at the Auto Museum inside the Warbird Museum near the Paso Robles Airport. Both the Warbird and Auto Museums are well worth the trip and visit. Sorry, didnít snap any airplane photos.


The Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle.

The upstairs library at Hearst Castle.

The Gothic Room, upstairs. Mr. Heartís private work and meeting area.
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Old 04-16-23, 11:35 PM
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And a few others from my trip:


Wildflower super bloom off Highway 58 southeast of Atascadero, on the way to Carrizo Plains National Monument and Soda Lake.



The Touroica crowd napping. Oooops, massive elephant seals at the rookery just south of Piedras Blancas Lighthouse. Very windy and cold!


The desert case at Linnís Restaurant, always a good stop!


The California Coast on 17 Mile Drive in Carmel.

The Carmel Valley at dusk looking southeast.

Looking south.
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Old 04-17-23, 06:24 AM
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thanks for sharing. This is great. I would like to do something similar.
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Old 04-17-23, 07:53 AM
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It was particularly enjoyable to see the mounts being used by such a regal and distinquished group and the owners of those bikes. Thanks for documenting the trip. I'm sure it will stimulate many other trips as spinoffs.
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Old 04-17-23, 09:19 AM
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Merz in the house.

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Old 04-17-23, 09:29 AM
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Thanks for posting all the photos and stories I enjoyed them all even though they made me deeply envious. What a great tour.
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Old 04-17-23, 09:54 AM
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@mech986 Thanks for all those great pics! I might be the only person who can name all of the people in the picture, below:

from L to R, @Spaghetti Legs, @nlerner, @rccardr, me (gugie), Bob Minsky, @davester, Andy Spier, @mgopack42, @SwimmerMike, Ben Ngan (Bart's brother in law), @VRJAKE, @mech986, Bob Freeman, James Rozelle. @bikingshearer took the picture.

That's 15 people, 12 did the whole shebangabang, 3 came down for the weekend. We had at least 3 other people who did some harbor pilot duties along the way.

You can see how we handled luggage. Almost everyone doing the tour down to Atascadero had a handlebar bag, some small, some humongous. Second most popular bag was a saddle bag, typically something akin to an old english Carradice saddle bag. A few had panniers on rear racks. One went French constructeur and used a small set of front panniers with a handlebar bag (not shown, at this point extra baggage was in the sag wagon). We all got there.

Mechanicals were practically non-existant. One of the springs on Andy's 50 year old Campy Rally rear derailleur decided to give up the ghost somewhere on Day 3 or 4, but past any of the major climbing. He just set the derailleur in a middle cog and turned the bike into a 3 speed (triple crankset). @davester had a flat tire about 3/4 of a mile from our hotel in Paso Robles, so he just walked from there. This was a group of people who knew how to properly prepare their bike for 3-400 miles of riding for the week. We probably had enough tools between us to strip a bike down to frame, spoke nipples and ball bearings, which had the effect of keeping the Bike Gods happy.
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Old 04-17-23, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Peruano
Thanks for documenting the trip. I'm sure it will stimulate many other trips as spinoffs.
There's a few reasons I post these touring threads. One is to do just that - proselytizing bike touring, and showing that even old farts can still do it. I also like to go back and relive these tours and the thread associated with it. Lastly, I typically get a rider or two to joint from BF that I've either never met or never spent much time with. There's always a good stretch of road somewhere on a tour that side by side riding is easily done, many great conversations get shared. It's not an easy thing to do. Having to ride 70 miles in a day on a loaded touring bike and climbing some steep roads, then waking up and doing it again and again creates deep bonds with the people you're touring with. Tour a week with somebody and you'll have a friend for life.
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Old 04-17-23, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie
Mechanicals were practically non-existant. One of the springs on Andy's 50 year old Campy Rally rear derailleur decided to give up the ghost somewhere on Day 3 or 4, but past any of the major climbing. He just set the derailleur in a middle cog and turned the bike into a 3 speed (triple crankset). @davester had a flat tire about 3/4 of a mile from our hotel in Paso Robles, so he just walked from there. This was a group of people who knew how to properly prepare their bike for 3-400 miles of riding for the week. We probably had enough tools between us to strip a bike down to frame, spoke nipples and ball bearings, which had the effect of keeping the Bike Gods happy.
you forgot to mention Bob Minskyís tire replacement, which took a committee of five to complete.

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Old 04-17-23, 03:01 PM
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you forgot to mention Bob Minsky’s tire replacement, which took a committee of five to complete.
Well, technically it wasn't a repair, more like preventative maintenance.

It's a well known fact that the time it takes to replace a tube grows exponentially with the number of observers.
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