Big Basin Mini Bike Tour

I rode out to Big Basin Redwoods State park, camped out for a night, then rode back.

The temps diped into the low 30′s but all was good in my down bag.  The ride was about 50 miles total.  I climbed about 5400 total vertical feet.  I took a little ride up to a summit in the park and watched the sunset over the ocean view.  Pretty stunning.

The climb up Hwy 9 to Skyline took me twice as long as it does when I am not loaded.  But once to the top, it was nice flying downhill with 80 pounds of gear and bike.  I left around 1230 from my house and ended up in camp around 1500.  The parking lot was empty.  My hands were numb despite the thick gloves I had on.  I cruised into the ranger’s office to get registered.  They had a nice fire going in the fire place where I warmed up while the lady ranger went in back to get the paperwork.

That is when I realized, I forgot the lighter!  No way to light my camp stove.  The park store was closed and there were no other campers to bum a light.  I asked the ranger and luckily she went in back and gave me an old book of matches they had.  Crisis mitigated.

Setup camp in one of the two hike and bike spots.  Not a sole was around.  The thing that really hit me was how quiet it really is.  At home I think our neighborhood is quiet. But if you listen, you can still hear the drone of cars in the distance.  Here nothing.  My ears were ringing it was so quiet.

I then rode up to an ocean view summit about 3 miles up a fireroad.  It was steeeeeeep.   I even had to push the bike in some spots because the touring tires wouldn’t hold traction in the forest duff that was on the ground.  Once I got there I was treated to a view of the sun and the ocean.

After sunset I hurried back to camp in the dark.  Luckily it was downhill and I had my light.  Dinner was the best tasting chilli I had ever had.  Maybe it was just that I was super hungry.  The bottle of wine was keeping me nice and warm.  After dinner was done I was visited by a small raccoon.  I made sure to clean up so as not to invite any midnight guests…

The next day, I made some breakfast and broke camp.  The ride back was a little easier since I didn’t have quite the elevaion to climb as the first day.  Once I hit Saratoga, I was back in civilization.  It’s amazing how ‘out there’ you can feel within 25 miles of metropolis.

The trip was a success and I look forward to doing it again.

More about Big Basin

Written by Mike in: Mike | Tags: , , ,


  • Sal Campos

    Mike, your bike trip has to be one of the things you will do in life you may never for get. Good going. I only wish I could do that.

    Comment | February 2, 2009
  • Tim

    Hey, great story! Just saw the link on bikeforums.net. Great story & great pics.

    Comment | February 5, 2009
  • Todd

    Too bad you didn’t have a fire extiguisher to squirt the raccoon.

    Comment | February 15, 2009
  • I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my delicious. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Comment | March 16, 2009
  • Marty

    Image 41. did you forget a cork screw, and is that a titanium spork? i love titanium sporks.

    awesome story, photos and website. thanks for sharing.

    Comment | April 6, 2009
  • Sure did, Pushed the cork in and decided to have the whole bottle!!! Ti-spork yes.

    Comment | April 6, 2009

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