Have you ever wondered what lies around the next corner or over the next hill? Being a seeker, I am constantly on the hunt for new roads to ride and new adventures.
But having a curious mind can lead to unintended consequences.
Remember, it was curiosity that killed the cat.
With the release of ACA's Cascade-Sierra Route, I was intrigued by the southern 800 miles never having ventured into the mountains of Southern California. I was familiar with most of the route's other sections from previous bike tours over many years of touring.
I and three other touring buddies completed the Southern California section over 25 days in April and May and have three words to describe the tour - Audacious, Arduous, and Epic!
We went south to north on this route starting in Tecate, Mexico and ending in Sequoia National Park.
The mountain ranges of Southern California - Laguna, San Jacinto, San Bernardino, San Gabriel, Southern and Central Sierra are big, bodacious, long and steep. In the US, this route could be one of the most difficult there is. If there's another, I don't want to know about it.
We started the tour fully loaded and rode for 10 days through the Laguna and San Jacinto Mountains.
By the time we got to Idyllwild, we were whipped. After 327 miles and 25,000' of vertical, we cried "uncle!"
By a strange but fortuitous set of circumstance (too long to explain), we arranged to have a sag wagon support us for the remainder of the tour. Riding through these rugged mountains unloaded and with support, allowed us to finish the tour in one piece with our lives and dignities intact.
We come away from this tour with the utmost respect for the Southern California mountains. Although extremely challenging, my compliments to ACA for stitching together a route connecting some of the most spectacular "Rim on the World" roads following ridge tops just a stone's throw away from about 20 million people. It would be an understatement to say that his was an unbelievable tour.
Final tour stats:
63,875' of climbing
25 days including rest days
To see photos of the tour, click on "Tecate to Sequoia Tour on the ACA Cascade-Sierra Route" below this photo:
|From Tecate to Sequoia Tour on the ACA Cascade-Sierra Route|