California Coast Trip: Stockton to Long Beach

Author Devan Dunn racing at Brentwood Grand Prix. Photo Credit: Danny MunsonAuthor Devan Dunn racing at Brentwood Grand Prix. Photo Credit: Danny Munson

The CashCall Mortgage Cycling Team completed the the last big stage race of the season, Cascade Cycling Classic in late July. Since the race was located in Oregon, it made for a straight forward drive home to Southern California. However, four of our athletes got the brilliant idea to ride their bicycles home. From Stockton to Long Beach, Devan Dunn, Chris Barton, Fabrizio Von Nacher and Michael Weicht tackled the self-supported adventure to get home.

Devan Dunn recounted this experience of a lifetime by answering a few questions from us.

What possessed you guys to ride from Stockton to Orange County, just over 650 miles? 

It kind of started as a joke before Cascade and sounded like it would be a blast.

How did you feel getting on the bike that first day in Stockton after just finishing the 6 stages of Cascade?

That first day was actually hilarious because once the van left us on the side of the road, it really hit us how far away from home we were! As a “joke” Fabi and Michi attacked Chris and I almost immediately and we didn’t see them for about 20 minutes!….But then they needed to know where to go :-) .

Was the trip planned out? 

Chris Barton did a great job finding housing for us all the way down the coast and mapping out our routes for each day. If you’ve met Chris Barton, it’s no surprise he has plenty of friends who are always willing to help him out. We are all so thankful to the people who let us stay in there homes and took the time to take us out to dinner nightly! I would say logistically, the trip could not have gone any better.

What was your favorite food stop? I know you guys had lattes and pie every day, so this could be tough! 

Oh man…we did have tons of good treats everyday but my favorite would have to be a deli we ate at in downtown Santa Cruz. We were all extremely hungry and the sandwiches were as good as they get. A close second would be a dolce de leche moon-pie kind of thing we had at a bakery in Ocean Beach though!

Was one particular day really rough or difficult? 

I would say our hardest day was from San Francisco to Monterey. It was just shy of 150 miles but we were um…overly motivated for the first 80. We crawled into Monterey an hour behind schedule in the thick fog all pretending we weren’t the most tired one. In the back of my mind I was thinking about the following day through Big Sur also…it turned out to be a great day too. Chris and I did lots of waiting on top of the climbs for Michi and Fabi though : )

What was your favorite day and why? 

My favorite day is for sure the day we rode into San Luis Obispo. We decided to only ride about 50 miles that day and enjoy the rest of the day in SLO. We played some golf, got frozen yogurt, and went to the cities famous farmers market that they have on Thursday nights. We slept great that night after a bon fire with our hosts and from all the other food and festivities.

Did you guys get a lot of funny looks, people riding along with you or fans along the way? 

It’s actually very impressive how many people you meet on the road who are also on some kind of a tour. We enjoyed sharing stories and explaining how we race our bikes all over the U.S. most of the year to other cyclists almost daily. People outside enjoying a bicycle ride are very supportive and positive and it reminded me how happy I was to be riding with my friends and teammates care-free for the week.

You guys had super small backpacks, what did you put in it and how did you decide what you should include? 

We all took the same stuff for the most part. I took shorts and a shirt for off the bike, a rain jacket, arm warmers, sun glasses, 1 bib, 1 jersey, 5 tubes, my phone and garmin charger and my vans for off the bike. We tried to pack as light as possible and it worked out great!

I heard rumors of you guys attacking each other 90 miles into a ride – what’s up with that? I also heard about multiple 100+ mile days, 145 to be exact. Have you ever ridden that far before?

I can tell you that every single day there was at least and hour of our ride which felt like we were racing each other…no mercy. It was good because it kept the complaining to a minimum…it seemed if you complained, then someone attacked. The trip was just over 650 miles for us in 6 days. the only day under 100 miles was the day into San Luis Obispo. I’ve personally never ridden three 140 mile days in a row before and now I know I can! The trip was great and we are all very thankful to our sponsors for supporting us and making it possible for us to enjoy times like these!

Dunn, Von Nacher and Barton riding towards the Golden Gate Bridge.
Barton, Weicht, Von Nacher and Dunn in Big Sur, CA.
Barton, Dunn, and Von Nacher getting closer to home.