California Dream Ride

Beautiful tour.
Great people.

Awesome cause.

Planning Your Dream Ride Challenge


Planning Your Dream Ride Challenge

The Dream Ride Challenge, our design-it-yourself edition of the quintessential California bicycling tour, kicks off in about three weeks. Our mission is to ride 300 miles over nine days (October 3rd to the 11th). The day-to-day distance configuration can be anything from 33 miles each day for nine days, to 60 miles every other day, or any other combination. Where we ride, when we ride, and what we ride are uniquely individual, too, making the California Dream Ride an event of countless bicycle tours, each one like no other, though connected in spirit.

Don’t forget that you can earn "miles" for actively engaging in the bicycle community, so you can reach 300 miles without riding your bike the whole way -- or even without riding at all! We encourage you to budget some time for these off-bike activities, too.

Designing your tour can be empowering! To inspire and guide you, this week’s blog points you to some resources to help kindle your navigational imagination and creativity. 

Bicycle Coalitions  

CalBike, local bike coalitions, and other cycling advocacy groups are excellent sources of local ride information. Virtually all of these organizations provide online access to maps that plot regional bicycle infrastructure, including cycleways, bike paths and bike lanes. The safer streets and paths shown on these maps are excellent options for each day’s riding on the Challenge. 

Smartphone map apps 

Google maps has a “bicycling” feature (a menu option, typically on the left side of an area’s map) that will layer bicycle friendly trails, paths and routes onto city streets and country roads. With a little creativity, the options shown on these maps can be connected to make loop or “out-and-back” bike rides.


Strava is a social media platform for recording, tracking, and sharing cycling activities. A basic subscription is free, so we encourage every Challenge rider to join. While you are doing that, join the Strava CalBike Cycling Club, too. Once onboard, there are at least two ways in which Strava can help you design your Challenge. First, you are now part of a cycling community. Don’t hesitate to contact other club members in your area using the “post” feature on the club’s main page. Ask the club a straightforward question: “If I’m looking for a scenic/hilly/flat ride in this area, where would you suggest I go?” Another option is to go to Strava’s “explore” menu and pick the “local” option. As you’ll see, there are several dozen areas within the United States, each mapping multiple ride options. Don’t overlook the possibility of riding part of the longer rides. 

Dream Ride staff 

The California Dream Ride staff has many years of experience planning and producing bicycle tours in northern, central and southern California. Combined, we know these areas well and would be happy to put this experience and knowledge at your disposal. Please contact one of our route planning and navigation experts for advice and consultation: [email protected].

One final note, your health is paramount, so ride shorter distances if you are not feeling 100%. The COVID-19 pandemic remains ever present. Please follow the up-to-date guidance of local public health officials (right now, that means wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and practicing physical distancing of at least 6 feet). If that’s not enough, the historically dreadful wildfire season is creating unparalleled bad air out there, so temper you riding if your local air quality index ratchets upward. AirNow is a useful resource for local air quality.

As always, the Dream Ride staff is here to support you, so don’t hesitate to shoot us a note if you need any help whatsoever.

Happy Trails!

Designing Your California Dream Ride Challenge

Designing your California Dream Ride Challenge


For those of you who are new to California Dream Ride, this year’s fundraising bicycle tour is a nine-day, 300-mile design-it-yourself bike tour, kicking off on October 3rd and ending on October 11th. In the spirit of all our other California Dream Rides, we think that this year’s event can bring together those who love cycling for several days of riding, inspiration and adventure. Our vision is to create a smart and fun “ride together separately” event where we will be pedaling right from our back doors, on our own schedules, achieving our individualized physical challenges. We also hope that some of you will be inspired to corral friends, family and co-workers into small teams for this amazing challenge. Of course, we expect that all our riders organizing these small groups will follow up-to-date guidance of local public health officials (right now, the advice is to wear masks, wash hands frequently, and practice physical distancing of at least 6 feet).

Design-it-yourself (DIY) bicycle tours can be empowering and exciting. Rather than having to follow a route and schedule put together by someone else, your DIY tour will be unique in all its dimensions—you decide when, where and how to ride. It can be exciting in that you are free to explore entirely new places on two wheels. Most of all, it can be satisfying: “I designed it and I rode it!”  

Our next blog story, to be published around September 10st, will provide some specific route-making advice and some cool ride suggestions.  For now, we want to share with you the following encouragements:  First, we encourage all riders to pedal a total of 300 miles over nine days.  That said, we would never demand that you ride that far if it's outside your comfort zone. We have a tradition on the California Dream Ride of honoring every cyclist, no matter how many miles (or how fast) they ride every day. Our support caravan is equipped to give riders a lift if needed and we have a designated staff person who escorts in the last rider, no matter the pace. The California Dream Ride Challenge continues this spirit. Aim high, but do rides that are right for you.

Second, we encourage you to make your California Dream Ride Challenge all about achieving personal bests. For many of us, riding two days or three days in a row is a big deal. Maybe a particular hill has been out of bounds because it seems too hard. Your challenge could be to ride more days in a row than you’ve ever done before or to spend a week training, capping it off by gloriously throwing your arms in the air as you summit the infamous hill. 

Third, we encourage you to take full advantage of our bonus miles program. Unlike many other bicycle tours, the California Dream Ride Challenge rewards riders when they do things to make bicycling better in their communities and in California. Here are your options:

-  Teaching a kid to ride a bike - 100 miles

-  Picking up trash along a bike path - 10 miles

-  Signing a CalBike petition or taking action to email your policymakers - 10 miles

-  Donating a bike to a community bike shop - 100 miles

-  Donating your time or bike parts to a community bike shop - 50 miles

-  Reserving your CA Bike License Plate - 100 miles 

-  Walking, hopping, jumping, skipping, wheelieing, scooting or running a mile - 20 miles

-  Writing a killer testimonial for your local bike shop - 20 miles

-  Joining your local biking coalition - 100 miles

-  Fixing someone’s flat tire - 20 miles

-  Waving at everyone you see on Wave Wednesday - 20 miles   

-  Writing to your local representative about one of CalBike’s petitions - 50 miles

-  Recruiting a new CalBike member - 50 miles

Finally, we encourage you to ask for assistance from the California Dream Ride staff. We are here to help you put together a great personal Challenge. You can reach our Director of Wayfinding (chief mapmaker, navigator, etc.) at [email protected].



Summer Solstice 2020

This past Saturday, June 20th, marked the longest day of the year. CalBike and the California Dream Ride invited our community to join us on a do-it-yourself, appropriately social-distanced and masked up bicycle ride to celebrate Summer Solstice. With our rides in the books, we thought we’d share a brief recap.

Let’s start with participation. Based on Eventbright registrations and Facebook RSVPs, 48 cyclists signed up for CalBike’s Summer Solstice Cycling Celebration. We know of a couple other riders who joined their registered friends (socially distanced, of course), so we probably can claim that 50 riders hit the road on Friday and Saturday for Solstice rides. That is a good-sized group ride! We are also pleased to note that the CalBike Cycling Club on STRAVA now has 32 members. If you haven’t, we encourage you to join (it’s free), ask your friends to join, and follow along.

Riders went near and far. While most of us pedaled from home on the streets within or near the big metropolitan areas of California (Bay Area, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Diego), some of our Solstice rides were scattered further afield, touching the state’s northern (Arcata area) border and the desert. Two bicycled in faraway locales, taking to the roads in South Dakota and Florida.


In terms of the adventures that Summer Solstice celebrators cycled, they were similarly diverse and interesting, ranging from short to long, errands to mountain bike rides through decommissioned military bases. Some even did multiple rides and some supplemented rides with runs or walks.

Finally, to wrap-up this recap, we would like to thank everyone who participated in the Summer Solstice Cycling Celebration and everyone who contributed to California Bicycle Coalition as part of your involvement in the weekend’s activities. We are planning future virtual bicycle rides and would welcome any ideas, suggestions or comments that you would like to contribute to make these future events better.

Note: If you had problems joining the happy hour on ZOOM, we sincerely apologize. There were a number of technical problems that were beyond our immediate capacity to control and resolve. We are reviewing other Internet-based solutions and expect to have a better on-line meeting solution next time.


Route History - Part 1

Route History—Part 1

The roads we ride, at first blush, are simply a medium made of pavement (or dirt, gravel), guard rails, signposts, and signals. On another intangible, personal level, roads can be the keepers of memories, reminders of the adventures that we've had on two wheels. We’ve all had them. Maybe it was that day when you and a couple of friends made a seriously wrong turn north of Geyserville, barely surviving a ride to Stewarts Point via Skaggs Springs Road for your first century. Or, maybe it was on Fairfax-Bolinas Road where, under towering redwoods veiled in a chilly mist, you fixed your first puncture unaided.

Whether recorded or not, the collection of past memories can describe a road, becoming its story, its history. This iis true for some of the roads we’ll ride on the 2020 California Dream Ride. Long before Europeans arrived on the West Coast of North America, indigenous peoples, such as the Chumash of the Santa Barbara area, the Tongva in the Los Angeles area, and the Luiseno around Oceanside, used extensive networks of footpaths for trading abalone shells, salt and other natural resources. Then, beginning in the late 1700s, Spanish military and missionaries trudged along many of these same paths as they built a string of pueblos, civic towns such as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles (i.e., Los Angeles); presidios, military installations such as Presidio Real de Santa Barbara; and religious outposts such as Mission San Buenaventura and Mission Santa Barbara. This collection of connections between Spanish outposts scattered between San Diego and Sonoma was the El Camino Real (the King’s Highway). This mission building period lasted barely 50 years, ending with Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1821.


Camino Capistrano 2018 
2018 Dream Riders at Mission San Juan Capistrano


Under Mexico’s rule and then following statehood after 1850, the El Camino faded toward obscurity as the missions were secularized and the surrounding lands handed over to private landowners. The same foot and horse paths that once connected Spanish California gave way to local wagon roads connecting ranchos, haciendas and developing towns, over which agricultural products and people moved between farms, ports and markets. Even the famous Butterfield Overland Stage coaches rolled along some of these same dirt highways, delivering mail and passengers to and from San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other points south and east.

First Mission Bell on El Camino Real (Los Angeles) 

The El Camino Real may well have vanished altogether, like dust in the wind, had it not been for the Good Roads Movement, and the efforts of the California Federation of Women’s Clubs. These advocates, with support from chambers of commerce and the Auto Club, formed the El Camino Real Association in 1904. By 1914, it had succeeded in developing an auto tourist route, connecting innumerable country roads and wagon paths, mimicking the original El Camino Real. Wayfinding was provided by over 400 mission bells hung from metal poles shaped to resemble a shepherd’s staff and spaced about every two miles from San Diego to San Francisco. The State Highways Act of 1910 authorized the construction of a paved road following this nuevo El Camino Real. Construction was completed and by 1925 this road was designated Highway 101.


San Buenaventura 2016

Our esteemed director, Dave Snyder, on the grounds of Mission San Buenaventura.

So, where does the 2020 California Dream Ride intersect with these historic roads?

From the very first miles on Day 1, we ride past Missions Santa Barbara and San Buenaventura in Ventura, so we are right on the original El Camino Real. The Chumash explored the Channel Islands from their villages located along this part of the coast, so we will be riding in their footprints, too. Then, on Day 3 in Downtown Los Angeles, our first rest stop will be at El Pueblo de Los Angeles, the site of the original pueblo of Los Angeles. It was most definitely a waypoint on the Spanish Camino. The first bell installed by the El Camino Real Association in 1906 is across the street in front of Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church. Yaanga, the Tongva people’s largest known village, was nearby. The Butterfield Overland Stage office was a few blocks away on Spring Street. Finally, on Day 5, we rendezvous with the El Camino Real again at our first rest stop at Mission San Juan Capistrano and ride in its tracks all the way to Oceanside.


Happy Dream Riders in Santa Barbara (2016)

As the California Dream Ride rolls south in October, we will be traveling over more than a few snippets of California’s history, and we will have an essential question to answer: how many mission bells will we pass by the time we arrive in Oceanside?



Jon “The Navigator” Riddle, Director of Wayfinding, lives and rides all over Los Angeles County; the 2020 Dream Ride will again travel right through his backyard. He works closely with Ride Director Debbie Brubaker to develop the Dream Ride’s route, directions, and maps and will be on the road as a support rider, too.


Dream Ride Experiences
Due to current circumstances, the first two Dream Ride Experiences for March and April have been postponed until further notice. While the ride in Santa Barbara Experience on May 16th is still on the calendar, we’ll make the decision to postpone this and any following rides as necessary.

We know there’s a long road ahead of us, and we hope that our Dream Ride events can provide something to look forward to as the dust settles. In the meantime, go ride your bike and get some fresh air (safely, of course)—you’ll feel like yourself again! Stay tuned to our blog and social media channels for important updates.

Debbie Brubaker
Ride Director
California Bicycle Coalition

Dream Ride Wayfinding


From October 4th to 9th, 2020, we’ll ride 290 miles along some of California’s most breathtaking routes, exploring quaint towns and culinary oases, while enjoying the community of fun and friendly fellow cyclists.

For only $5, you can register for the 7th Annual California Dream Ride and look forward to one of the most gorgeous and rewarding bike tours you’ll ever experience.

Past California Dream Rides are known for the destinations we traversed and the roads we explored. Southern California rides have included Santa Barbara to San Diego via the Palos Verdes Peninsula (2014), Santa Barbara to San Diego via Downtown LA and Watts Towers (2015), Santa Barbara to San Diego via Ojai and Santa Paula (2018), and San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles via Ojai and Woodland Hills (2016). Each tour has been unique, and at the same time has shared some navigational DNA with those that were ridden before. This year’s tour will be no different—some familiar pavement and some that’s entirely new.

Given the incredible range of highways, byways and bikeways connecting any conceivable start and finish cities, you might wonder exactly how we here at California Dream Ride HQ go about planning the route for our next 5-day ride.


There are two near-universal rules we follow. First, when the goal is to connect destinations along coastal California, always cycle “down” the coast, always toward Mexico.  You may ask: why not ride north? As someone famous sang, “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.” We all have firsthand experience with the unfortunate bicycling fact that headwinds sap legs, turning flat roads into hills and hills into Mt. Everest-sized climbs. Seasons don't matter here in California; the prevailing breezes along the entire length of California’s coastline blow from north to south and from the sea to the mountains. As we map a new Dream Ride, we look for a way south.

The second near-universal rule is to respect the transverse mountain ranges. Most of California’s mountain ranges, including the Klamaths and Cascades near the Oregon border, the Coastal ranges north and south of San Francisco Bay, the Peninsular ranges of San Diego County, and the Sierra Nevada, run roughly north and south. Not so the mountains of Southern California. They run east to west. These transverse mountains are the product of recent (in the past 4 million years) geo-tectonic activity along the San Andreas Fault. Newness means that they are uneroded and generally steep, sometimes rising thousands of feet upward over a few miles of horizontal distance. Dreaming of the next Dream Ride, we aim for where the transverses aren’t.

In keeping with rule one, the 2020 California Dream Ride will roll west and south from Santa Barbara, taking advantage of tailwinds down the coast. Fortunately, Southern California offers several routes south that also avoid the transverse mountains per rule two. From all these choices, we opt for safe, scenic and memorable. Riders can expect to ride for miles along the Pacific Ocean, staying south of the mountains, and then between more mountains as we venture across Los Angeles and Orange counties on more than 100 miles of bike paths and bike lanes, past important landmarks and through historic neighborhoods.


Jon “The Navigator” Riddle, Director of Wayfinding, lives and rides all over Los Angeles County; the 2020 Dream Ride will again travel right through his backyard. He works closely with Ride Director Debbie Brubaker to develop the Dream Ride’s route, directions, and maps and will be on the road as a support rider, too.

Dream Ride Experiences

Due to current circumstances, the first two Dream Ride Experiences for March and April have been postponed until further notice. While the ride in Santa Barbara Experience on May 16th is still on the calendar, we’ll make the decision to postpone this and any following rides as necessary.

We know there’s a long road ahead of us, and we hope that our Dream Ride events can provide something to look forward to as the dust settles. In the meantime, go ride your bike and get some fresh air (safely, of course)—you’ll feel like yourself again! Stay tuned to our blog and social media channels for important updates.

Debbie Brubaker
Ride Director
California Bicycle Coalition


If you have a chance to ride on your own, here are the “Ride with GPS” route maps:

California Dream Rice Experiences West Los Angeles (
California Dream Rice Experiences Napa (

Dream Riding Coastal Southern California

Dream Riding Coastal Southern California
By Jon Riddle

This story is about a road south, a tale that begins at the Rincon, an area of coastal California midway between Santa Barbara and Ventura. About a hundred years ago, just as the first bicycle craze was, unfortunately, giving way to automobiles, civic leaders in Santa Barbara were eager for a more direct route to and from the Los Angeles area. Back then, stagecoaches, mules and motor vehicles followed the Ventura River upstream and then climbed Casitas Pass into the Carpinteria and Santa Barbara area. A mix of private and State Highway Commission money built the Rincon Sea Level Road roughly parallel to a recently opened ocean-side rail line. In some places, wooden causeways of eucalyptus tree trunks and cross beams were built so that the Rincon could safely carry users around rock outcroppings and over high tides. Opened in 1913, this bit of road was probably the very first segment of what is now California State Route 1, though most of us know it as the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH).

California Dream Ride enters the story about 35 miles into Day 1 at a bluff-top lunch stop on the outskirts of Carpinteria. From there, riders continue south to join the Ralph Fertig Memorial Bike Path, which in all likelihood rests on the fossilized remains of the original Rincon plank roadway. If you’ve never ridden this bike path, you are in for a treat. Riders and walkers are separated from southbound traffic by a fully protected bikeway. Not too many years ago, cyclists were separated from high-speed traffic by not much more than a wish. Cyclists actually have the best views of the seaside landscape. South of Rincon Point, Bottlenose dolphins and surfers frequent the waves, so expect to see that wildlife, as well.


After passing through Ventura, Oxnard and Point Mugu, the PCH becomes a ribbon of asphalt sandwiched between pounding surf on one side, rugged mountains on the other. The Channel Islands to the west and the great arc of Santa Monica Bay to the south complete this panorama. World-class surfing destinations, sandy beaches, wetlands, and roadside eateries such as Neptune’s Net or Paradise Cove contribute to making Pacific Coast Highway one of the most scenic bicycle rides anywhere.


For a taste of cycling along the PCH, join CalBike and the Dream Ride staff on March 21st when we ride the Marvin Braude Bike Path between Marina del Rey and Redondo Beach in West Los Angeles. Not precisely PCH (that thoroughfare is a few blocks away), but the experience is darn close. For more information or to RSVP for the ride on March 21st, click here.



Jon “The Navigator” Riddle lives and rides all over Los Angeles County; the 2020 Dream Ride will again travel right through his backyard. He works closely with Ride Director Debbie Brubaker to develop the Dream Ride’s route, directions, and maps and will be on the road as a support rider, too.

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Gazelles in the Golden State

At the end of September, we had the pleasure of escorting over fifty cyclists from Folsom to San Francisco on the incredibly scenic California Dream Ride. From the warm, wine-ready valleys of Napa and Sonoma to the sweeping, stunning vistas of the Pacific in Marin and San Francisco, this was a ride to remember.


Gazelles in the Golden State

At the end of September, we had the pleasure of escorting over fifty cyclists from Folsom to San Francisco on the incredibly scenic California Dream Ride. From the warm, wine-ready valleys of Napa and Sonoma to the sweeping, stunning vistas of the Pacific in Marin and San Francisco, this was a ride to remember. 

The California Dream Ride raises funds for the California Bike Coalition, an organization dedicated to supporting bike-related programs, legislation, and infrastructure throughout the state. What better way to bolster this mission than a ride across California, experiencing cycling in a range of environments, terrain and temperatures? 




A Fleet of Gazelle Electric Bikes

Throughout the ride, we had a fleet of Gazelle electric bikes on hand to support riders up big hills, through triple-digit temperatures and over 60+ miles each day. For some participants, using an eBike was the only way they could complete the ride, facing challenges like a recently broken elbow or bad knees. For others, the Gazelles served as a fun introduction to eBikes and a way to enjoy the ride, especially when some stiff offshore headwinds kicked up. 

For riders who preferred more of a traditional, stiff, and stable road bike feel, our Cityzen T10 helped them speed up hills and expertly corner on turns during big descents. For our more pleasure-seeking enthusiasts, eager to drink in the views (and some famous California wines), the comfortable upright positioning and cushy saddle of the Arroyo C8 Elite was just what the rider ordered. Two of our most petite participants enjoyed the ride thanks to the 26” wheels of the Easyflow, the perfect choice for people of smaller stature. 


Charging Through The Heat

Starting out in Folsom, we rode along the American River Bike Trail, which stretches over 30 miles and connects remote rural and nearby suburban areas to the bustling state capital. The flat, tree-lined path with river and wildlife views eased us into the ride as we became acquainted with each other, and our Gazelles. After lunch in the historic old town section of Sacramento, we headed west and finished the day in Winters, a charming agricultural town surrounded by groves of walnut trees. 

Day 2 began early, with our hottest temperatures and biggest hills ahead of us, 3100 feet of elevation gain, to be exact. Team Gazelle made sure all the batteries were fully charged for a day of vigorous use. Heading west on Highway 128, we climbed out of the valley and into the golden rollers surrounding Lake Berryessa. And, as predicted, it was already 95 degrees by 10am! 





Cruising Up Hills With Ease

Our lucky Gazelle riders cruised up the hills with ease, thanks to the powerful Bosch motors on our eBikes. Eco Mode offered light support, neutralizing the weight of the bike; moving through the levels of support up to Turbo Mode, riders obliterated the steepest stretches of the route with a big boost of extra power. Thankfully for our non-eBike riders, our post-lunch path took us on a prolonged descent into Napa Valley and to the hot springs mecca of Calistoga. Ending the day in soothing mineral pools, sipping on local wines provided the perfect finish. 
Facing another warm, cloudless day, we set out from Calistoga at sunrise on Day 3. The Dream route took us from Napa to Sonoma, meandering along country roads past celebrated vineyards laden with harvest-ready grapes. This terrain was ideal for riders to test out the Gazelle eBikes mid-range modes of support: Tour and Sport. Tour Mode was perfect for pedaling in gentle hills, while Sport Mode gave that little extra boost for the occasional steeper summit, as well as relief when warm afternoon headwinds picked up. Our tour of wine country came to close in Santa Rosa, and more than one rider jumped straight into the pool at the ride’s end. 


Cooler Temperatures and Dramatic Vistas

Cycling out of Santa Rosa with cooler temperatures (thankfully) in the forecast, we passed by miles of apple groves in the famed Russian River region. The morning began with some big climbs as we pushed our way further west towards the Pacific. This was our most dramatic day in terms of California’s diversity, both in temperature and topography. 

Trading the heat of the valley for the fog-tinged breezes of the Pacific, we hit scenic Highway 1 and traced the eastern edge of Tomales Bay to Point Reyes. From there, our group headed east along the Cross Marin Trail, traversing through coastal oaks to stately redwoods. One long last climb before arriving in Corte Madera had our Gazelle riders extra grateful for our pedal-assist motors





Join Us Next Year!

The last day of our ride was a showstopper, full of sweeping views of storied Bay Area sites. From Mount Tamalpais and Angel Island, to Sausalito and the Golden Gate, this route was a fitting finale for an epic ride. Our route from Marin to San Francisco took us up out of Sausalito, over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and into Golden Gate Park. At the far western edge of the park, we happened upon the Dutch windmill and our group of Gazellers couldn’t resist stopping for the perfect photo opportunity. 

In San Francisco, at the journey's end, the fog rolled in, glasses were generously filled and refilled, and we all reflected on our shared experience, newfound friendships and renewed love of cycling. 

Sorry to have missed this year's fun? Join us next year! 


*Photos courtesy of Allan Crawford 


This article is reposted from Gazelle Bikes. Gazelle joined the 2019 Dream Ride from Folsom to San Francisco.





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No Drop--Cycling and Community Acupuncture

I just finished riding 280 miles on my bicycle with over 40 other people. It was an amazing experience and one of the most physically challenging things I have ever done. I loved it! One of the reasons I enjoy cycling, aside from the physical benefits and being outside, is how quickly it creates community.

When you ride with people, there is an ethos of looking out for one another’s safety--pointing out hazards in the roads or cars, sharing snacks if someone needs one, and even assisting in fixing flats or other minor repairs. In really good group rides, they are “no drop”--meaning everyone will wait for you at a point down the road--so it’s easy for new people get involved and ride along. It’s nice to know people will be there if you get behind. It both highlights and honors the differences between people. Biologically, I believe people do like being together in groups. It feels much safer than being on your own.

I wasn’t the youngest person on the ride or the oldest but was inspired by all the other riders. One who is living with active cancer--a recurrence after 22 years. Another, had multiple autoimmune issues and was able to do a lot of the riding despite intense chronic pain. I rode with 75 and 80 year olds who held their own well. And there were, of course, exceptional riders--fast and fit--who were still kind and supportive to everyone else. To say we had created our own community pretty quickly and certainly by the end of five days of riding together is an understatement.

A core/foundational structure of LBCA has always been to create community--to invite people into our healing space and see how they fit. Sometimes, it’s not a good one and people move on but more often than not, there is a great sense of belonging that animates what we do every day. In my mind, it is “no drop,” we are here waiting for you in whatever state you show up. We are here to assist and help.

Last month we celebrated our sixth year anniversary, as we move into our seventh year of practice. I am grateful for this inspiring community that gathers and disperses every day, hour by hour.

Many thanks to you who donated to support my ride for the California Bicycle Coalition. I raised $1,265.00 from your contributions!  They will be doing it again next year and this time the route will be from Santa Barbara to Oceanside. Perhaps, some of you will join us? If you’d like to see pictures of the full ride, you can click here.


This article originally appeared on


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2018 Dream Ride Recap

The 2018 Dream Ride has come and gone, but we’re still enjoying the post ride buzz. Didn’t snag a spot this year? Don’t fret: Registration today for the next Dream Ride!! We hope you can join us for another year of unforgettable bicycling.

Here's a recap of 2018:

Beautiful Tour

This year, we were blessed with the best weather imaginable. Palm trees lined the horizon and the coastline followed us the entire route. We overnighted in six beautiful and unique cities: Santa Barbara, Santa Paula, Marina del Rey, Long Beach, San Clemente and San Diego. There were views you could never see from inside a car!


Great people

Going into our fifth Dream Ride, we were excited to have a great group of new and repeat riders. Our riders were full of energy and enthusiasm. Some chose to form challenge groups – taking on higher altitudes and more distances. Others took their time enjoying the delicious snacks and breathtaking views at a leisurely pace. No matter the speed, we all felt like a family.


Awesome Cause

Breathtaking views, semi-luxurious accommodations, and a truly worthwhile cause—this year we raised over $130,000 to support better bicycling and thriving communities across the Golden State. One of our Dream Riders, Lee Larsen, chronicled her journey on social media every day and raised an additional $1900 during the ride!


A Little Extra Zip from Gazelle Bikes

Special thanks to our generous sponsor, Gazelle Bikes, for supplying e-bikes for riders to try out or to use for the entire ride. We had the company of Gabe and Paul from Gazelle to charge batteries, adjust seats, and change pedals. They had an assortment of bikes, from speedy commuters to stylish cruisers. We were truly spoiled!

Want more Dream Ride photos? Photographer Allan Crawford captured some great moments here.

We hope you enjoyed this recap!

Happy riding!

Debbie Brubaker
Ride Director