California Dream Ride

Beautiful tour.
Great people.

Awesome cause.

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].