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Campfires and Flat Tires: The Warwick Sisters on Keeping Up with Dad

“I’d glance at the calendar and think to myself, I can’t believe we said yes to this…” writes 13-year-old Rebecca Warwick. 

She’s speaking of the agreement she and her sisters made with their father to keep up with him on a bike ride. Not just any bike ride though. Their dad, Jim Warwick, happens to be the coach of the first public high school mountain biking team in Monterey County [and still the only public high school team, as of March 2019], Salinas High School Cowboys Racing Mountain Bike team. And the ride the girls agreed to? A 255-mile trip from Salinas to Solvang.

Rebecca (age 13), Teresa (23), and Justine (11) Warwick, with Dad/Jim Warwick, coach of Salinas Cowboys Racing.

Perhaps you read the Californian‘s feature story about the family’s journey, written by Scott MacDonald. (The feature is no longer available at the Californian’s website, but the cached version remains available online as of 8/14/11.) 

The foursome left home on June 27 and biked for seven days, reaching their destination in time to celebrate the 4th of July.  Mom met them in Solvang so they could do the bike-and-ride–making the return trip home by motor vehicle.

Below you can now read about the experience in the words of 13-year-old Rebecca and 11-year-old Justine.

Coastal Bike Trip

by Rebecca Warwick
Every other couple of nights I’d glance at the calendar and think to myself, I can’t believe we said yes to this, or we’re actually going to ride our bikes 255 miles down the coast of California. But not until the night before, while I was lying in bed, did it really hit me. I could feel my stomach flip, and the anxious thoughts running around in my head. How I even managed to fall asleep that night, I don’t know.
In the morning, the reporter arrived. He took pictures and notes to write a story for the Californian newspaper, after that we had lunch, and finally we were off. Every morning we got up around 7 and hit the road an hour later. As soon as we saw a restaurant, we’d stop for breakfast or sometimes just make do with a couple snacks. Then we’d be right back on the road again, or at least until lunch.
All through the week there were more than a couple bumps in the road, literally. Since we were following Dad, we didn’t really have much of a clue of the kind of hills (and some days, mountains) we would be riding up which often resulted in sore muscles. I stopped blaming him for that a couple weeks ago, but as for my other two sisters, I’m not sure. Although we all had our moments when we wondered why Dad was making us do this, in the end we all felt it was so worthwhile.

The Warwick Family Bike Trip

by Justine Warwick
When I think of our bike trip, I think of ice cream, campfires, scenic routes, laughter, and family time.  We had a great time together, flat tires, lame jokes, and games. That trip was probably the most bonding time I have ever had with my family.

What are Monterey County’s Warwick sisters and their dad are up to next?  For summer 2012, they plan a father-daughter ride with a small group of other cyclists.  They’ll take the train to Eugene, Oregon, then ride the coast back to the redwoods in northern California over eight days before returning to their Salinas home.

A sampling of related info on this site

Bicycling Big Sur

Monterey County Teens Bike

Serious Cyclists

Camping in Monterey County

Bicycle Culture and Youth, including “Beauty and the Bike” video

Children and Teens section


This post was published on 9 August 2011. One or more changes last made to this post on 14 April 2019.

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