Rinko is a Japanese word for touring by train and bicycle. Completing a tour without a car and utilizing public transit is fun, stress-free, and green.
Peter Saucerman and I designed a tour where we began and ended a tour using the Capitol Corridor Trains for a seven day tour of the California coast between San Francisco and Santa Cruz.
At the front end, we rode our bikes to the Sacramento Valley Station less than two miles from our respective homes and took the train to Oakland's Jack London Square. We transferred to the ferry by riding four blocks to catch the boat to the Ferry Building in SF where we began the bike leg of the tour.
At the back end, we rode from Santa Cruz to San Jose to catch the train back to Sacramento.
The itinerary for the seven day tour included two days in San Francisco staying at the Fort Mason Hostel, single overnights at the lighthouse hostels in Montara and Pigeon Point, and two nights at the Days Inn in Santa Cruz.
This also was a "credit card" tour where we ate all our meals in restaurants and spent nights indoors, thus eliminating the weight of camping, food and cooking gear of a fully loaded tour. We got by using only two panniers and rack pack.
The route we laid out was perfect for such a tour with overnight destinations approximately 30 miles apart. With short distances, we had the flexibility of starting late, linger in interesting locations, and have numerous coffee/snack breaks and long lunches.
The sites and scenery of the entire tour were beyond great. Food was outstanding and we met some interesting people at the hostels and cities. Traveling by bicycles with a couple panniers becomes a natural ice-breaker with curious folks approaching us to ask questions about what we were doing.
Saxon Sigerson joined our tour for a long weekend in SF and accompanied us to Montara. He also did the Rinko Tour by taking the train/ferry between SF and Sacramento.
Both Peter and Saxon are architects so a major emphasis of the tour was visiting interesting design projects. Being a retired urban planner and art nut, it was a fabulous "bus men's holiday" for the three of us.
To view photo album of the tour, click on "Rinko Radonneur - Tour of the California Coast" below the photo:
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