Santa Barbara to Dana Point Family Bicycle Tour

Z, Maxine and I just rode or bikes from Santa Barbara to Dana point and we loved it! We camped a couple nights, stayed in a couple hotels and visited at least 10 playgrounds along the way. Please enjoy our montage video which is mostly Maxine enjoying herself during our stops. ^_^

SWIMMING!

It was four years ago today that I was swimming in a pool in Littleton, CO with my favorite kids!

Four years ago Z and I had the opportunity to live with my brother Matt, his wife Crystal and their super awesome kids. It was a blast! We spent almost every evening at the pool!

If it wasn’t for this beautiful summer, I may not have had the chance to spend nearly every evening at the pool with Maxine now! She’s hardly 2 but loves hanging out in the pool just as much as my nieces and nephew did four years ago!

Jogging in Scottsdale

I definitely consider myself as a jogger. I’ve logged a few jogs on MapMyFitness from everywhere I’ve lived and many places I’ve visited since 2012. I’ve lived in Scottsdale since late 2017 so I’ve logged quite a few jogs here. The ridiculous heat aside, I really enjoy it. Scottsdale is an urban environment so I can’t compare it to running mountain trails in Colorado or wooded rail trails in Minnesota and Missouri but it’s really nice. It’s especially awesome in the winter when the rest of the world is frozen. ^_^

Summer is HOT!

This is painfully obvious if you live here. It’s darn hot in the summer time so if you’re going to run during the day you learn a bunch of things.

  • Cover up as much as possible.
  • Jog shorter distances.
  • Run slower.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Monitor your heart rate.

If you’re going to run under the hot sun, be sure to cover up. There is some sweet clothing tech out there that actually helps. I really like the ArmCoolers by RecoFit. They work pretty darn well to cover your arms AND keep them cooler then if they were bare. With the UV index so darn high, I even wear a visor to cover my face. Fortunately my sister-in-law got me an awesome monogrammed sweat visor! hehehe.

Up to 105 degrees, I’ll still jog. If it’s nearing 100 then I’ll intentionally keep my pace really slow so I can keep my heart rate down. For me, if it’s near or over 100 degrees then I have a hard time getting my heart rate to drop after i pick it up too high so my goal is to keep it down as low as possible by waddling along with a slow jog. I can casually cruise along doing 8:30min miles if it’s 88 degrees or below so if it’s 95 and above I’ll slog along around 10:15min/mile. The hotter it is, the slower I go.

Staying hydrated can be annoying especially when you’re used to running an hour or an hour and a half with no hydration. During the winter it’s easy to put down a liter of water 30 minutes before a run and leave the hydration at home but if I’m going to run for more than 30 minutes in the heat of the day then I bring water. I can easily consume 1.5 litres and hour. I prefer to bring an iced beverage (mostly ice + some water at first) and let it melt en route. On occasion I’ll mix in some powdered Gatorade but I don’t do that often because the sweat from ridiculous heat lets go more water then anything, for me

Become a Morning Runner

Most of us tend to start jogging in the wee hours of the morning even if we aren’t built for it. Despite the fact that I don’t appreciate getting out of bed before the sun does, one of the best parts of jogging in the morning are the sunrises. It’s definitely something to appreciate when you have to be up before the sun comes up to enjoy the jog.

Sunrise in Chaparral Park, Scottsdale
Sunrise at Chaparral Park in Scottsdale

Another awesome perk of running in the morning is that the morning crowd in Scottsdale is just super nice. Everyone waves, everyone says hi. There’s a few folks out there that are dead to the world but the vast majority of the morning walkers, joggers and bikers are really polite.

The Infrastructure is great

For being an urban environment I feel like the running and biking infrastructure in Scottsdale is amazing. I live in a pretty ideal location next to Chaparral park but I only have to cross two small streets before I’m on a nearly endless network of multi-use paths. It’s especially awesome for biking but that’s another post.

The parks and recreation maintenance staff in Scottsdale really take care of everything they offer. The parks and trails are clean, the water fountains always work, the grass is nice and everything is pretty well lit when its supposed to be.

Biking in Sedona is awesome

Since we are working on building our bicycle touring legs we figured it would be awesome to drive to Sedona, camp out for a night and then hit the road on our bikes!

We headed up on Friday toward a location we found where we could camp for the night. We found a free camping site near Sedona and setup camp just in time for it to get dark. The moon and stars don’t get any more clear then when you’re in the desert on a cloudless night. It was beautiful.

We’ve visited Sedona a few times to wander around town and hike some of the beautiful trails. Most recently we hiked the Brins Mesa trail just north of town so we are quite familiar with the amazing landscape Sedona has to offer for hikers and bikers. Although we haven’t ridden the mountain bike trails yet, once Maxine gets a little older we will surely tackle them!

This time we decided to park in town, ready our bikes and just ride around. Before we covered our first mile we managed to find breakfast at SaltRock Kitchen. Getting there was fun as it felt like we were biking down a 15% grade for a block. We paid for it after breakfast though!

After breakfast we decided to head out 179 south and go as far as we could comfortably make it. Riding around town Sedona doesn’t have bike lanes but the drivers there didn’t seem overly rushed in to running bikes over. After leaving town and getting on 179 you’re graced with a massive bike lane for miles. Alas, this is where I recognized that I’m not a Tour de France candidate. Towing Maxine’s iGo Weehoo Venture with her in it adds 60+ pounds to my ride. After going up a couple hills on 179 I now know how it feels to be a really large person attempting to exercise. We didn’t even make it 6 miles down 179 before I punked out and wanted to turn back. Despite how difficult the ride is, it sure was beautiful though! Here’s our whole route on MapMyFitness. All together we only rode 13.6 miles.

Maxine loved stopping at the scenic views and trail heads.
She’s a climber!

After writing this post I realized we didn’t take any pictures of the amazing scenery that is the reason most folks even visit Sedona so let me Google that for ya! It is extremely beautiful out there! Whether you want to sit around and eat, hike, or do any kind of biking, Sedona should be on your list of places to visit. It’s got our stamp of approval.

Tweaking my brakes at a one of the bike repair stands along 179


Quit Smoking

After 24 years of smoking and attempting to quit many many many times, I feel like I’ve finally quit for the last time! I don’t even remember when I quit but it had to have been more than a couple months ago and I no longer feel extremely compelled to find nicotine! I get an occasional light desire to smoke but it’s no longer hard to deal with.

#WINNING!

We love our bikes!

Biking is one of those activities that’s just hard not to like. It’s zero impact, takes very little effort and is quite inexpensive to get in to. We’re loving it and will surely consider ourselves “cyclists” in the years to come. That’s why I’m writing this post, to showcase our current bikes and the costs we encountered to get started.

My Trek 8000

I ride a Trek 8000 that was given to me by an awesome family friend back in 2016 and I’ve been riding it regularly ever since. I’ve commuted to work on it, taken it down nearly every rating of mountain bike trail there is and careened over the handlebars many times. I’m convinced that as long as I’m able to recover from whatever crash I get in to, this bike will too.

When Steve gave me the Trek 8000 it was ready to go sans pedals. At the suggestion of my brother-in-law, I purchased a set of Time ATAC clipless pedals from craigslist since that’s what he used so I would also be able to ride his arsenal of bikes. Lewis (My brother-in-law) gave me some shoes for the cleats to bolt in to. A couple years later I replaced the grips. All together I’ve got less than $100 in my bike.

Z’s REFLEX

Z has been riding a few different bikes to try and get a feel for what she likes. She started out riding a Schwinn cruiser that was given to us by another awesome friend and has since upgraded to a mountain bike. She’s convinced that mountain bikes are the best – we just need to get her a slightly smaller frame.

We’re scheduling a bike fitting for Z so we can setup her current bike as best as it can be setup for her and learn exactly what size bike would serve her best. Once we get all the other numbers sorted out, Z is really interested in acquiring a Trek 920.

We bought Z’s first mountain bike on Craigslist for $50 and put a $20 seat cover on it so we currently have $70 in her ride.

Maxine’s CoPilot & WeeHoo

CoPilot Model-A

Maxine has a few options when it comes to riding. Right when she turned one year old we purchased a Copilot Model-A on Craigslist for $100. It was brand new and definitely served the purpose. After a couple rides we fitted a car seat carrier in which was significantly more comfortable and potentially even safer.

WeeHoo Venture


As Maxine approached two years old we wanted a tow-able device that engaged her more. After researching a few options we decided that we wanted a WeeHoo Venture so we saved up and watched for a sale. After we saved up the funds to purchase one Z emailed Weehoo asking for a bundle sale on the Venture and sure enough a bundle sale popped up on their website. After purchasing the WeeHoo Venture, Maxine hasn’t ridden in the CoPilot. Unfortunately her legs are too short to actually pedal but she enjoys our morning rides none the less.The bundle cost us $500 which included the WeeHoo venture, kick stand, all weather shell and mounting gear for two bikes!

Ride what you have

So far, we are loving our foray in to riding as a family and I expect our collection of bikes to grow in both volume and quality. We’ve been riding about 40 miles a week with our short morning rides and already have our first bicycle touring adventure scheduled for October and are super excited for it! I think my last post was a couple years ago but hopefully my next post follows our awesome trip in October. ^_^


2018 in review

Wow, I can hardly believe it, we’ve lived in Scottsdale Arizona for a year now, Maxine is over a year and a half and I haven’t posted once. Life happens fast. My blog missed 2018 entirely.

As my last post shows, Maxine was born July 15 2017. Not long after that, in October 2017, Z and I bought a Town home in Scottsdale, a Trolly ride from all the awesome stuff. We got moved in to our new home as 2017 came to a close.

Maxine is here!

Maxine Houghtelin

Born 6lbs 15oz on July 15

Newborn exam w/ midwife Tiffany

California!

Z and I have moved to Castaic, California! We were presented with an opportunity to check out sweet new digs in California so during the last week of April 2017 we packed up our apartment in Greeley and made the trek to California!  

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I’m Josh Houghtelin, Lead Developer at Gueststream, Inc. and This is How I Work.

Location: Greeley, CO
Current Gig: Lead Developer at Gueststream, Inc.
One word that best describes how you work: Intensely
Current mobile device: Droid Turbo 2
Current computer: Macbook Pro 15 Read more