A Roam Venture takes more work than other organized group rides. They're inspired by some of the craziest ideas we've ever had; by the scribbled lines on old topo maps; by getting deep in over our heads again and again. You can't just do these rides without first doing some work.
Here are your verbs, and what they entail:
It's the one thing we can't control. But we can respond to it. Most of our trips are planned for times when the conditions are expected to be favorable, and safe for our excursion. But sometimes, weather happens. When it does, here's how we respond.
Showers, generally speaking are totally acceptable and won't be cause for alarm or cancellation. Storm systems are usually predictable enough within a few days that we can help you plan accordingly to have a comfortable trip with us. We adapt our approach as well to make sure that comfort is prioritized and that we can dry off and warm up as soon as possible after we're done riding.
Major storms are typically forecast further in advance than smaller systems because they brew longer and harder in the Pacific, giving us warning. When something like that is on-tap, we generally postpone the trip and offer a refund if you cannot make the future date work within your schedule. Safety and comfort are priorities. If we cannot guarantee them, the trip's off. We're not out to make you miserable. If you want misery, you can sign up for Fish Rock.
Heat waves are more manageable than rain, and generally don't change our plans. We just take better care to keep you hydrated and avoid heat exhaustion.
Red flag weather is... a red flag. If severe fire weather is forecast, we may cancel the trip if it is in an area of risk.
If the air quality is unhealthy, the last thing we want you to be doing is riding your bike hard and potentially putting your short and long term health at risk. We will postpone a trip if the air quality is, or is expected to be unhealthy.
Ice / Snow
Dunno what the heck we would be doing trying to ride on two wheels in ice and snow. Forget about it.
Our ventures can consist of a mix of traditional lodging, off-grid lodging and outdoor camping, the emphasis is on the latter. That being said, you need to come prepared with that experience in mind. Camping outdoors abandons certain comforts in exchange for a closeness with nature.
A tent, mattress and pillow are all standard issue with your participation.
If you insist on your own tent, however we can't guarantee we can pitch it for you... You may need to do that yourself.
Our rides are generally best suited for gravel bikes or road bikes with 28c or larger tires. We travel roads that don't get regular maintenance. Sometimes we foray onto rugged trails.
You probably don't want to wear your best pair of road shoes. You'll get off sometimes, and want to walk around. Gravel or MTB shoes are going to suit you better. But we do leave this up to you. You've been informed.
How fit am I?
Our rides are hard in ways no other rides are. You need fitness. But above all else, you need confidence, and an ability to dig deep if you need to. The whole point of all of this is to put you through something you'll remember. We can't do that without pushing you.
Professional Bike Service:
We cannot stress enough the importance of having your bike professionally services by a professional bike mechanic prior to your trip. You'll want to make sure to let them know what you're about to embark upon, and ask them to check the life of your tires. While you're there, grab a few spare tubes to make sure we have the right ones for your particular bike on our trip.
See our packlist for what you need to bring for riding. Don't forget the sunscreen! Of course we bring plenty, but you might have special needs.
Thankfully, we brought the shower. While water is at an all-time low, we found some. And we're gonna bring it with us. After a rugged day of riding, nothing feels better than fresh and clean. But what doesn't wash off easily stays with you forever. You're welcome.
This is probably the least talked about subject of all outdoor excursions. Pooping is unpleasant. It leaves you vulnerable in a way that can't really be described. The moment you start, you're a sitting duck. Take that business outdoors where there's wind, sticks, wild animals and bugs... Listen, we don't have to talk about it. But if you're gonna do it, you're gonna do it outdoors. Please give this short video tutorial a gander, and let's get on with the pleasantries.
The best end to a long day on the bike after you've washed and changed is lounging around. We provide for that activity, but you need to be prepared by having brought your onion suit... That is: layers.
In reality, you should plan to wear certain items more than once per day on our trip. There's really no need to bring more than a single pair of some items like shorts, and not more than 1 or 2 pairs of longer pants. Often times, 2 jerseys is sufficient for 3-4 days of riding. But a new pair of bib shorts / chammy each day is highly recommended, as are underwear.
Really, all we're talking about here are boots and dry socks. Not sandals. But you should probably bring sandals too. Why? In case you want to wear sandals. Duh.
See the pack list, because after a long day of riding there's always the opportunity to go for a nice hike and explore our surroundings beyond the confines of our camp site. Having a good pair of shoes to change into is as comfortable as it is safe.
Often times, there's a body of water. You probably want to get in it. If you didn't bring a swimsuit you've got three choices:
Our advice? Pack a swimsuit, and a towel.
THE. BEST. PART. Other than the other best part -- we bring our own chef who's equipped with a lot of BTUs, and he knows how to use them. We'll provide hearty breakfasts, lunch stops and dinner. Snacks too. People get hungry on these trips.
Breakfast is not included before the start of the trip unless you opt into our preferment.
Dinner is not included at the end of the trip unless as advertised. So for a traditional 3 day excursion there are 2 dinners, 2 breakfasts and 3 lunches. Typically the last day's lunch takes place at the end of the ride and serves as our end cap.
Don't pack chairs. We handle that part. But we wanted to make sure you knew that was a verb in our vocabulary. We'll provide shade too. Kind of important.
Sleeping after a hard day in the saddle is important, especially if it's followed by another day in the saddle. Sleeping outdoors can be one of the most comfortable experiences you've ever had so long as you've got the right gear. We provide one tent, and a hand-made buckwheat pillow that's yours to keep when the trip is over. We also provide one self-expanding air mattress.
You must bring your own sleeping bag because that's a highly personalized item, but we have some recommendations.
Imagine a really warm day with lots of sunshine and lots and lots of riding. Now imagine that makes you thirsty. You drink a lot of water, and eventually you run out. You think to yourself "Man, what have I done? I'll surely be dead within the hour," and then Nick rolls up in his whoopty and saves your life.
Actually he just swaps your empty water bottle out for a new one, and that was totally expected, but you get the point. Your day just got a whole lot better. You're gonna live. Nick is our SAG driver. SAG means "Support And Gear", and it's all part of the package.
Also, sometimes Nick is called John, or Larry, or maybe not.
After a solid night's sleep, we take time to wake up and get comfortably ready. This isn't a race, and we're in no hurry to be standing around at our destination site twiddling our thumbs. So instead of rolling at 8:00am sharp, most days will begin casually around 10:00am after having a fine breakfast and some morning business. Besides, it takes a little while to pack it all back up.
Yeah, no. We do not do certain things that some people might expect of us, so we want to be clear about what we don't offer on our trips.
We don't wash clothes. You need to place your dirty clothes in your dirty clothes bag and plan on washing them when you get home. We simply cannot carry enough water to do laundry, and detergent is bad for the environs. This is a camping trip. The kind with bugs.
We don't provide a soigneur. At least, not by default. If you're booking a custom trip, it can be arranged.
We don't make campfires. Due to the extreme risk of wildfire in all of California, we generally don't make or allow you to make campfires unless there's absolutely no fire risk, and we have been legally permitted to do so. Besides, campfires make your clothes smell like soot, and the spew carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Just dress warm.