Over the Bars Mountain Bike Club
Over the Bars Mountain Bike Club
Author Archives: Hans

OTB 500 San Francisco to Los Angeles August 2014

OTB 500 San Francisco To L.A. 8/9/14 – 8/15/14


Loaded and ready to roll.

Way back in 2004 we decided to ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. We would do it in five days with no support vehicle. This time we figured we would have support and camp along the way. It’s a good thing we had the support vehicle because we had more then our share of mechanical’s on this trip! On the trip in 2004 we only had one mechanical when Andres broke his rack. Luckily it broke right  by a bike shop.

The plan: to drive to SF and then ride back to LA camping along the way. We rented a van to use for a support vehicle. Natasha drove the first half of the week and Hope for the second half.

8/9/14 Being that it is high tourist season motels and campgrounds were booked up in and near San Francisco so we decided to camp at a private campground in Half Moon Bay. We crammed in between an RV’s and other tent campers for the night.  We were very lucky we managed to get a spot here.


8/10 Day 1 of riding:  The plan was to ride from the Golden Gate Bridge to Manressa State Beach.

With the first peddle stroke things went wrong. Julio broke his derailleur hanger. Since pretty much every bike has a different hanger this was bad news. He loaded his bike back in the van, so glad we had the support vehicle this time around! Julio and Natasha drove around to three bike shops before finding the needed part. He would then bump ahead to Pescadera to meet up with us and start his ride.

Andres, Roobik, Shawn, Mitch and I were around 20 miles into the ride when I slowed down and looked back for Mitch who had fallen slightly behind. When I looked ahead again I did not see the guys who had just been a few hundred feet ahead. Apparently they missed a sign for the bike route and a few other signs about the freeway entrance and they rode right onto the freeway. Since we were not sure where they went and we did not want to ride on the freeway we stayed on the bike route. We must have missed a Coast Bike Route sign sometime after that because we started heading inland.

One thing we realized is the route was much easier to follow 10 years ago. It seems many bike route signs were missing along the way. Believe me after this wrong turn I was looking really hard for them.

Once I realized we were off the coastal route we started to ask other cyclist for directions. We were told oIMG_1477f a better route then the coast bike route. So we decided to check it out. First we rode along a scenic Lake on a backcountry road that was closed to cars for the day, then onto a twisting mountain road through a redwood forest. We found narrow roads and long climbs along this route. It certainly added some distance. Mitch was not liking it because of the climbs but later when we regrouped with the rest of the guys and compared routes we were surprised that they had slightly more elevation gain along the coast. We had long climbs but they had many short ups and downs.

Mitch had three flats today! That is three more than we had on our entire 520 mile ride ten years ago.

The campsite at Manressa SB was nice. The only bummer was we had to hike in a few hundred feet with our gear.

My route for the day: http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/562182041

8/11 Day 2: Manressa SB to Molera Camp Ground, Big Sur

Shorter and flatter day. This was a very scenic ride. We left early to try to beat some of the tourist traffic through the Monterey and Pebble Beach areas. It worked and we had the road to ourselves for a while.


A quick stop at Monterey Pier to close a couple of business deals.

Mitch and Natasha went ahead in the support vehicle to secure two camp sites at Molera. We would regroup at a lunch stop at a deli near Pebble Beach. Molera is a first come first served camp ground and everything else was booked up for miles around so we wanted to be sure to get a couple of sites. There is a limit of four people per site so we needed two sites.

It all worked out and they were there in plenty of time to get a couple of sites.


Hiking in to Molera SB Camp Ground


Molera Camp Ground

We thought we had a long walk in to our campsite at Manressa but it was a short walk compared to this one. It was about 1/3 mile in to the site here. Once we humped all our gear down we quickly realized the hike in was worth it. It was a beautiful spot. The campsites were very spacious with lots of room between sites. Natasha and I took a hike to the beach and then looped around on another trail back to the campsite.






8/12 Day 3: Big Sur to Morro Bay

We broke camp and packed it out. Lucky for us Julio had noticed the dirt service road cut up to the highway in about half the distance as the trail and it was a lot smoother too. We brought our gear up to the road while Mitch went to the parking to get the van and meet us at the top of the service road. This saved us some time and energy.

This will be our biggest climbing day. We will camp at Morro Bay SP. We have camp ground reservations so one less thing to worry about. Andres and Shawn have a motel room reservation.

Mitch decided to bump ahead in the Van with Natasha. She drove him for 20 miles then he started to his ride. Shawn, Andres, Roobik, Julio and I took off together. The pace was starting off a little fast for me. I need to ease into these things. I told the guys to go ahead. I knew they were going  to stop for coffee and to check email and that would give me a chance to catch up. 20 miles later I would see Natasha and she said the guys were still behind. I must have passed them somewhere. She said that her and Mitch had seen some Whales so I was keeping an eye out for them. It was still early so the road was not very busy. A few miles later I would see a group of Whales so I stopped to watch them. That is when Natasha and Shawn caught up to me in the van. Apparently Shawn did not see Andres, Roobik and Julio either. Should we worry? No, we just kept on riding.


Phone Zombies! No wonder they did not see Shawn and I ride by on the highway below.

A few miles later I heard a piece of metal hit the highway and my foot slid off of my pedal. My cleat on my right shoe had broke off. There are not any bike shops in this area so all I could do was keep riding and try to keep my foot on the pedal. I had to compensate for this with my left leg. I could not stand up and peddle because my foot might slip off.

After another hour we spotted the van ahead. We stopped for a quick peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some fruit. As I was getting ready to take off again. Andres, Roobik and Julio rolled in. They decided to go in the restaurant and eat. Shawn went with them.

I kept riding and figured they would catch up. Once they ate and got ready to roll Andres realized his tire had a bubble on it and there was no way it was going to make it. He had a spare in the van but could not get it to seat. It was a tubeless tire and I am not sure why he just didn’t put a tube in it? Shawn was quick to let him use his wheel off his bike. I guess the multi day riding was wearing him down.

They never caught up to me and I would finish the ride solo to Morro Bay. About 20 miles from Morro Bay I would get a flat tire and I thought for sure they would catch up. Mitch also had a flat or two this day and did most of the ride solo. Riding solo is certainly much more effort then riding in the group but sometimes it’s nice not having to concentrate on the pace line.

Hope had driven up to Morro Bay and we would say goodbye to Natasha. She needed to start work the next day.


Dining in Morro Bay

Highway 1 through Big Sur is one of the most scenic rides and I think it is best seen by bicycle. The catch is you have to do it early in the morning before all the vehicle traffic.





8/13 Day 4: Morro Bay to Refugio SB 115 Miles

In 2004 we did this trip in five days, we planned to do it this time in six so it would be a little easier on us. Well, shortly after we left Morro Bay the conversation turned to our planned stay in Lompoc and the fact that there really wasn’t much there and how it would be nicer to make it back to the coast and stay at Refugio State Beach. Then the next day we could ride from Refugio to Santa Monica and get home a day early. The thing was that Refugio was 115 mile ride! About 15 miles from Refugio you have to ride on Highway 101 and we decided Hope would meet us just before Highway 101 and we could get in the van and avoid riding on the Highway. This would give us 100 miles for the day.


The crew in front of our campsite at Refugio


Andres and Hope at Refugio

When we made it to Highway 101 Andres said lets just finish it! I had enough and opted to stick to the plan and get in the van while the rest of the group rode the rest of the way. Hope and I found the bike in sites which are some of the best sites in the campground. They are right across from the beach. We were able to pull the van up and unload and then drive the van up to the overflow lot. This would be our easiest camp site of the trip.


We weren’t at Refugio long before the guys rolled in. I was surprised they made it so quickly. They said it was mostly flat with some downhill.

Day 5 Refugio to Santa Monica 115 Miles

Approximately 10 miles into the ride the cleat on my left shoe broke! Now both cleats are broken and peddling is very difficult. We were close to Santa Barbara and many bike shops so at our planned stop at Starbucks we would meet up with Hope. I jumped in the van and my quest began for replacement cleats. After a few phone calls and stops at three bike shops I found the right cleats.


We met one of Andres past coworkers in Gaviota at Starbucks.

We caught up with the rest of the crew at Faria Beach between Santa Barbara and Ventura. Otto had taken the train up to Santa Barbara and was now in the Peloton along with a few bike tourist they had met along the way.







Last group shot in Santa Monica

Otto rode with us to just south of Ventura then peeled off to head home to Simi. Shawn and I bailed early and jumped in the van. Julio, Andres and Roobik kept on riding determined to finish it!


Julio’s message to Shawn after seeing the photo of Shawn’s breakfast spread at the motel in Morro Bay compared to his bowl of Oatmeal at the camp site!



The only ones to complete the entire route were Andres and Roobik. These are their stats: 500 miles and 26786′ elevation gain.

My Stats for the trip: 381 miles and 21,867′ elevation gain.



More photos of the trip can be seen here: Photos












OTB 500 Oregon 8/2013

This year our annual OTB 500 trip took us to Oregon. We rode 455 miles in 6 days. We climbed 26,875 feet in that 455 miles. Natasha was our support driver.

The following report was written by Julio on our drive home.

Day 1 – August 10, 2013

Riders: Hans Keifer, Roobik Asadorian, Julio Jaramillo

Driver: Natasha Keifer


We met at Hans’ house @ 6:45am, loaded and departed by 7:20 am.  Surprisingly, Julio packed lighter than Hans.  Our first stop was for lunch at Carl’s Jr, chicken salads and chicken sandwiches.  We arrived in Redding at about 4pm to a warm welcome from Hans’ sister Mina and her husband Pat.  Mina made an amazing dinner for us, homemade enchiladas and brownies with ice cream.  It was a nice Saturday afternoon gathering with Hans’ nephew Sean, wife Tosha, and daughter Marlie joining us for dinner.  We hit the sack early and watched a bit of the Persius meteor shower.

Day 2 – August 11, 2013     

62.8 miles,  5364 feet elevation

Ride stats part 1

Ride stats part 2

Medford to Crater Lake National Park

IMG_0300We started the morning with another great meal from Mina, French Toast, then loaded and headed to Medford, Oregon.  We unloaded our bikes and realized that Hans’ pump is older than he is.  Roobik’s state of the art rims would not take air from the pump, so we had to locate a bike shop that was open on Sunday.  Luckily, a shop was open nearby and Roobik was able to purchase a pump that worked.  Hans and Julio had started riding, it was 11am, while Natasha’s MVP performance was already in gear, taking Roobik to the bike shop and dropping him back off with the group 15 miles up the road.  We stopped for lunch at Mac’s Diner, IMG_0301then continued our climb to Crater Lake.  The climb was steady amongst the beautiful Oregon forest, and the weather was perfect, although we just missed a storm the day before as parts of the road had standing water and debris. The final road up to Mazama Campground was a steep 6 mile climb.  Roobik picked up the pace and took the KOM, Julio followed while Hans’ knee began to give him trouble.  We were pleasantly surprised that the campground had showers, and Natasha had picked a perfect campsite.  For dinner we had veggie burgers, salad, and beans, and enjoyed true stories at 7200 feet elevation, our coldest night of the trip. That evening we attended the forest ranger’s amphitheater slide show on the history of Crater Lake, but walked out early to get to bed.

Day 3 – August 12, 2013

 95 miles, 5286 feet elevation

Ride stats

 Crater Lake to Susan Creek State Park

 Wake up call was at 6 am, with our standard alarm from Hans, a shaking of your tent followed by “..are we here to ride or sleep?”  We had apple pancakes for breakfast, tore down camp, and we were on the road by 8am.  We started with a 7 mile climb to the Crater Lake Rim road, followed by 25 miles of undulating, scenic road around the crater.


We learned that Crater Lake is the deepest and cleanest lake in the world, and the clear blue water was amazing.  We met many tourists at the rest stops, and most drivers were very bike friendly. After many pictures and amazing vistas we were rewarded with nearly 40 miles of downhill.  Oregon’s beauty surprised

IMG_1684us, as it was one incredible lake and volcano after another.  We rode by Diamond Lake and Mount Thielsen, and stopped for a hike to Tokatee Waterfall with Natasha.  We later camped at Susan Creek State Park and enjoyed chicken, corn and salad for dinner.  The weather was perfect again for what would be our most scenic stage of the trip.


Day 4 – August 13, 2013

 104 miles, 3548 feet elevation

Ride stats

 Susan Creek to Tugman State Park

Breakfast was French Toast and eggs,and we were on the road by 8:15am.  Today’s stage was a long trek to the Oregon Coast.  The roads were mostly flat, and Hans’ talk about using tubeless road tires went silent today.  The only mechanical of the trip, 1 flat, was Hans’ tubeless tire, after a wire had punctured his tire and the sealant had dried out.  A new tube and we were on our way.  The last few miles to the coast were extremely windy, but we were treated to an Elk viewing area that gave us a break at the right time.  We arrived in Reedsport and Natasha had already secured another great campsite at Tugman State Park, where we would stay for 2 nights.  After doing laundry in Reedsport, we treated ourselves to a seafood dinner at a local restaurant.  That night around  the campfire the OTB 500 council passed several new doctrines: future trips will require up front deposits to secure transportation, and goofy participants will be deleted from the invite list.

 Day 5 – August 14, 2013

42 miles, 2509 feet elevation

Ride stats

We woke up to light rain from the coast, but we didn’t have to tear down camp. This was our rest & hike day so we slept in until 7am.  Breakfast was Oatmeal and fruit, and we headed up the coast for a short 42 mile ride.  Natasha picked us up and we headed for our best lunch of the trip; fish tacos, clam chowder and shrimp, followed by Huckleberry ice cream.  Huckleberry grows wild all over Oregon. We then drove to Cape Perpetua and hiked along the coastal trails, viewing lighthouses, sea rocks, and tidal pools.  After a great day of sight seeing, we had Veggie Burgers and salad and discussed plans for future OTB 500’s.

IMG_0373Day 6 – August 15, 2013

 90 miles, 5550 feet elevation

Ride stats

After another drizzly morning, Natasha cooked us Pato Eggs and we broke camp.  We rode through a great section of roadway called the Seven Devils Climbs, along a quiet mountain rode with nice climbs and descents before returning to the 101.  We ended with an amazing view of the ocean and camped at Honey Bear Campground on the beach.  After a chilling dip in the sea, we had spaghetti dinner and stories of our ancestral past.  We learned that Hans is the only Irish descendant that doesn’t drink, and Roobik lived in Canada and New York.  Natasha learned she was going to Hawaii when we return, so everyone was happy.  Then we remembered that our hardest day of climbing was the next day, we called it a night.

 Day 7 – August 17, 2013

62 miles, 4638 feet elevation

Ride stats

We woke up in our secluded campsite and broke down camp for the last time.  Breakfast was pancakes and fruit, and our queen stage began.  We rode along another beautiful, secluded road with good climbing and descents on Highway 33 that paralleled the Rogue River.  Roobik was ready to put the hurt on us for the 5000 foot climb up Bear Creek Mountain, but after 35 miles of riding unbeknownst to us Hans had called out the National Guard to shut down the mountain due to a fire.  They told us we could not proceed, unless we wanted to get shot. IMG_0422Our only option was to head back to the coast.  We connected with Natasha at Gold Beach and had lunch, secretly cheering inside that we missed a 5000 foot climb.  We then began our journey back home through Redding, CA.  The road closure added 2-3 hours to our drive time back to Redding. We stopped for some pizza in Weaversville and arrived at Mina’s at 9:30pm for a shower and bedtime.

Click here to view more photos of this trip 

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