Saturday, March 31, 2012

Ride Day 14

Yesterday I gassed out on my ride up the mountain. I was weak, had lots of cramping and had no wind or energy. I am not sure what went wrong. Maybe I have just pushed it too hard for an old man like me. I might need more rest to recover from the harder days of riding. I tried to eat well and get the things like protein and potassium that I know I need. I pigged out after I checked into the campground at Viajas Indian Reservation.

After my stop at Starbucks yesterday I rode another ten miles or so before I stopped for the night. The campsite was clean and had all the facilities including good showers and a pool. But I just showered and then laid in my tent eating and drinking. I was still getting cramps even just being in the tent resting. I rested until 5:30 in the morning then I got up.

I broke camp and headed up to the top of the mountain. The scenery was nice with a thick layer of fog in the lower valleys and the peaks standing proud. The first thing I had to do was backtrack to the freeway about 3 miles uphill then 8 miles were also uphill on I-8, just one of the few areas they let bikes on the interstate because there are no other roads. Then I did the next thirty miles on old 80 which mostly ran along the side of I-8. It was a hard ride with a good 3000' of climbing and a few downhill rushes.

I did poorly again today on the hills. My legs are still weak and started cramping while I was on the freeway. I toughed it out to get somewhere to camp but now I am taking it easy for the next day or two up at the top of the mountain. I am the only one camping there. There is a restaurant right next door where I can watch the NCAA games this afternoon and try to rebuild my health a bit. I will try to eat as healthy as I can and hope that I can beat this cramping and weakness problem. The next part of the ride is downhill then mostly flat through the Imperial Valley. I hope I get better so I can enjoy the ride more than I did the last two days of riding which were serious hard work for me.

I tried to add pics but the wifi is not up to it so pics will have to wait till later.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Ride Day 13

I packed up to leave my hotel this morning and I got screwed by the hotel. They charged a $20 key and remote deposit. I told them I was leaving at 6AM and they assured me I would get my deposit back at that hour. Well along with several other people, I waited and waited until 7:30 before I gave up on getting my $20 back. Those assholes knew I had to leave so they just did not come out of their apartment to help me so that they could keep the deposit. They were in there the entire time. The hotel is called The Welcome Inn on Washington street in University Heights San Diego. Please do not use this hotel.

I hit the road pissed off but quickly got over it. When there is nothing to do about something it is best to get over it so I did. I rode down the hill to pick up my route. Then there were hills and more hills all with long slow grades that were easy early but quickly became a problem for me. I wasn't even at the mountain yet and I was extremely tired. I had breakfast when I got to Santee and rested for a bit.

It has been all uphill since I left Santee this morning. I have made it to 2500' so far but still have 2000' to the top. Not sure I will make it today. Those little hills in San Diego took away my energy and they must have added up to a lot of climbing for me. They might have only been 300 or 400 foot climbs but there were a lot of them. It was foggy for most of the day so far but now the sun is out and it is hot. I am sweating like a pig. Texas is looking worse by the day if it is this hard for me to ride already. If I continue today I will try to take some pics, if I have the energy. More later

Ride Day 12

I left Oceanside as usual at the crack of dawn. After riding in the drizzling rain for an hour I stopped at a coffee shop and posted yesterday's blog. Breakfast was a bagel sandwich and coffee. I hit the road and it was still wet but I kept going. My energy level is low today. I almost feel like I am getting sick. It could also be the two century rides took something out of me and I haven't recovered from them yet. Us old men heal a bit slower. I might have to increase my rest days in the future. I pushed on but had to stop several times to rest.

I hit the big hill just before San Diego and could not make it to the top today. I had to stop three times to rest. Not good. I made it to the top just as the rain let up. Took off my rain gear and put it in my bag. Big Mistake. When I got to my hotel in San Diego I found a big puddle of water in my bag from the raingear. Lots of my stuff got wet that I wanted to keep dry. The good thing is, it lightened my load without a choice from me, maybe a good thing. Had to spread all my stuff out in my hotel room to dry and threw a lot away.

The hills in San Diego killed my already tired legs. They might only be 300 to 400 feet but there are a lot of them. I felt like I was always going up hill. My body is rebelling from all the hills and tomorrow I have well over 5000' to climb.

Big carnitas burrito for dinner then straight to bed. This tired old man needs some rest. Not much for pics due to the rain today.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ride Day 11

I packed up and headed South. My butt is not so sore today and I only have 30-35 miles to go today so I got a late start for me. I got a bit confused on the road to follow but by asking people along the way I figured it out. My maps could use more detail because my phone too often does not have enough signal to get me maps.

The ride to Camp Pendleton, once I figured out the road, was an easy ride. I got hassled at the gate. I guess they don't like single male bikers. They told me I had to take the bus so I waited for the bus and took the bus. The bus was almost hit head on by a large strange truck pushing what would otherwise be a trailer. We missed the collision but I feel like I would have been safer on my bike.

The bus driver was very talkative and fun to talk to. He gave me lots of history for the camp and told me they frequently don't let bikers ride if they are having things going on and that for the last few days they have been strict even with him. The only thing that irritated me was that there were bikers we passed on the bus that had been allowed through. Such is life.

I made it to Oceanside feeling fresh and strong but I have business here to finish or I would ride on to San Diego. Jeff's mom said I could spend the night here so I am going to take care of stuff, do laundry and rest up my butt so that tomorrow I can ride to San Diego for a day before I turn East for Florida. More later.

I met up with Jean, Jeff's mom and we sat around talking for a few hours. I had a good time with her. She wanted to ride with me to San Diego but I just did not want to commit to any arrangements so I told her I ride alone. I really should have ridden with her and still might call her before I leave for San Diego.

Sorry I did not even think to take a pic today and while on base I was not allowed to take pics. Maybe I will post some pics of Oceanside later on.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ride Day 10

I left Point Mugu early as usual. When I got to Malibu I stopped at a Starbucks and caught up on the internet and ate. Then I hit the road. My goal was San Juan Capistrano. The little hills in Malibu were surprisingly hard for me today. They were just small rolling hills with easy grades but I guess my legs were just still tired from yesterday's century ride of over a hundred miles. It really was not my legs causing the problem but it was my sore butt. The last 8 or 10 miles yesterday were along a road with road expansion caused bumps two inches or so high every 8 to 10 feet. I did not notice yesterday that it was hurting me but today I felt it for sure. The first little bump I hit I groaned and immediately remembered the bumps from the day before. I presume that all the endorphins created on the long ride yesterday were acting to block the pain when it was happening to me. I will watch out for that happening again. Tonight after I completed my ride I was very sore. I hope it is better by morning.

After Malibu it was almost rural until I got to Santa Monica. There was a long slow grade That I had to rest twice on. Then it was city riding the rest of the day. Sometimes very busy city riding. The Santa Monica coast was a bit crazy but when I got to Venice Beach it just got weird. There is a bike trail That starts at the Will Rogers Beach State Park. I took that trail and sort of regret that I did. The path was full of sand which is very difficult to ride on. I was slipping and sliding if not outright just sinking into the irritating sand. The beaches were mostly deserted this early in the morning except for all the street freaks. I enjoy a good freak show but these people were all more clinically insane than they were just freaks. Lots of them seemed angry also. Maybe it is just a reflection of the tough times economically that we are all feeling.

I stopped for a burrito for lunch. I got a double carnitas, brown rice, black beans, cheese, guacamole and lettuce one. With all the meat in it the guy could barely roll it but I gobbled the entire thing. I waited about twenty minutes after eating before I got back on the bike.

After lunch I rode along the beach past LAX and into Manhattan Beach where I met up with another biker and we talked as we rode along. We talked and still rode hard for about ten miles to Redondo Beach where he gave me directions which made it easier for me. I have my Adventure Cycling map but it lacks fine details and I have made a few errors using it so a bit of personal knowledge of the area was nice to have. Plus he was fun to talk to which broke up the monotony of my long hard ride. I tend to ride hard and fast pushing myself basically to the limit all the time. It seems to work for me but when I run out of steam I sputter to a crawl until I catch my breath again.

The ride through Redondo Beach and Long Beach sucked. There was mostly no shoulder or bike lanes to speak of and the cars were skimming past very close to me at high rates of speed on the Pacific Coast Highway. Long Beach is appropriately named because it seemed like forever before I was out of the place. The breaks between the next few cities all had some shoulder but every city like Seal Beach, Sunset Beach, Huntington Beach and Newport beach were all tough dangerous cities to ride a bike in. There was a long break with good shoulder after those cities until I got to Laguna Beach which I think had the worst bike riding roads of them all. I ended up riding on the sidewalk there a lot. A cop stopped me for riding on the sidewalk in Laguna Beach. I told him the bike was my wheel chair and that I needed to be allowed due to the Americans with disabilities act. He let me go when I pointed out that there was no one else using the side walks and that the road was extremely dangerous so this was the safest alternative. He warned me to walk it when there were pedestrians around and I was off again.

My butt was really sore by now and I knew I wasn't going to be able to ride much further but I made Dana Point just before dark. Long hard day again just like yesterday but tomorrow will be a fairly light day of only about thirty miles. I need the rest to heal this sore ass. More later...

Ride Day 9

After a couple of days rest in Bakersfield while the rain blew itself out I again hit the road heading south. My plan was to ride down to Gorman via Bear Creek Road and then down the other side of the Grapevine to Santa Clarita. I rode the 35 miles or so to where I was meant to hook up with Bear Creek and I ran into dirt roads flooded for irrigation purposes. It was totally impassable with a bike. I sat there and tried to come up with a way but the fact is I was screwed. The only other ways were to head over to Tehachapi and then go down to Palmdale and take 14 or to backtrack 170 miles via 166 to where I left the coast to come to Bakersfield. The other option was a 23 mile ride to the junction of 99 and 5 and hitch hike up and over the Grapevine. That is what I did. I had ridden almost 65 miles already and I was only 25 miles from where I started in the morning.

I got a ride in less than an hour with a friendly fellow bike rider going home to Santa Barbara from a ride up in the Bay Area. He did photography work for a bike parts company called Specialized. We talked about his ride and my ride along the way and he told me my best bet now was to go down to Ventura with him and ride the coastal highway 1 the rest of the way to Oceanside and San Diego. I took his advice.

He dropped me off in Ventura and I rode another three hours South to Point Mugu State Park just South of Oxnard. It was a good ride but it put me over the century mark in miles for the day and I can feel it this morning in my legs and joints. I put up my tent and went straight to sleep for a couple of hours. I woke up around sunrise and took a couple of pics and ate some food and drank some water. A bit of music and I was right back to sleep. In the early morning before the sun came up I heard whales blowing just off the shore. It was too dark to see them but they hung out for a while blowing and snorting then disappeared.

I was awake before the crack of dawn and rode my bike down to Malibu for breakfast and to write this. Now I am off again trying to get to Capistrano to camp for the night. It is a long ride through the cities of LA but I hope to make it otherwise I will need to get a hotel and I can't afford that. More later...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Easy Saturday

Today I took the day off from riding my bike to rest up. I did ride about twenty miles first thing this morning to go get coffee at the Padre Hotel but I did that with no weight on my bike so it was a breeze to go that far round trip. It actually felt good for my legs. The rest of the day I have just dried out my stuf and repacked but mostly just rested quietly all day.

I repaired a few things around the house for Peggy and we watched some movies on TV. She made pasta for dinner and now we are going to watch some more TV. I don't mind watching a bit of TV like this but in general I just don't like to sit and do nothing.

I am contemplating skipping San Diego entirely now. If I cut across the Mohave Desert I might be able to get through the Texas deserts before it is too hot. Those few extra days going to San Diego just might put me in the hotbox in Texas. I will weight the idea tonight and tomorrow but most likely will not decide until I jump on my bike when this storm blows over. It is predicted to end Monday morning around 6AM But I need to leave around that time to make it to the Antelope Valley in one day. I might need to wait until Tuesday to leave. The time constraints are starting to irritate me.

More later...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ride Day 8

I woke up really stiff this morning. I am sure it is still from the mountain riding I did over the last few days. It took me over half an hour to get loose enough to get out of my tent and go over to the rest room. Once I started moving I loosened up so I packed up camp and left while the rest of the camp was still sleeping. I headed to Bakersfield.

It was almost 140 mile from my camp to the house in Bakersfield so i rode about thirty miles to the main road to Bakersfield route 166 and I decided to hitch hike. I got a ride in less than ten minutes from an oilfield worker going home and towing his trailer. I was very pleased that he stopped as I could have stood there a long time with my bike and stuff. I would not fit in most cars so I pretty much needed a truck to give me a ride.

We had a nice comfortable ride to Bakersfield. We talked about my bike ride and about his family, wife and four kids. He was Laotian and so was his wife. He worked directing drilling directions but was heading home then to Houston for some more training. I enjoyed talking to him.

I rode my bike the last five miles or so to get to the house. I sat down and talked to my friend Peggy and when I tried to get up I was all locked up again. I do need the rest this weekend if I plan on continuing this ride next Monday. Took a shower and soaked in the tub for a bit then put on clean, not sweaty clothes and sat down to update all my computer stuff. Going out for a beer in a few...if I can get up out of this chair again. Again no pics today but I might post some of the road that I took on a drive a few months ago if I have the time. I just added some pics of the road I took earlier. Enjoy life

Ride Day 7

Well much to my own surprise, I did not go to sleep last night until 11pm. A couple of laid back Dutch guys came into the hiker biker camp and we hung out for a few hours. They invited me over for some pasta with sausages in it that they had cooked. The food was good and so was the company. Every year these two take a bike tour somewhere in the world. They have done Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Switzerland, and more that I can’t remember right now. After we ate we made a big fire with collected firewood and sat around talking about stuff. It was entertaining enough to keep me awake even though a few hours earlier I felt like I was going to die.

I left the camp at the crack of dawn again to avoid the hot sun later in the day. I rode from Morro Bay through San Luis Obispo. Then I stopped for coffee and checked my online stuff while I enjoyed my coffee and bagel. A short 15 more miles through rolling farmlands and oilfields and I was in Pismo Beach. I ate a nice crab and clam chowder at Splash Restaurant then headed over to set up camp. I met a few nice people in camp that I chatted with, took a shower and am currently doing my stinky sweaty laundry.

I am going to take it easy now for the rest of the day. Tomorrow I want to figure out how to get to Bakersfield for a couple of days. I tried Greyhound but those jerks won’t put bike racks on their bus so The bike has to be boxed and they charge extra for it. I am going to check Amtrak later. Otherwise I will hitch hike to Bakersfield. Lots of people travel back and forth from Pismo to Bakersfield and many of them drive trucks so I think I could find a ride. I have all day to get there and it is only a two hour drive. I would bike it but that might take me two days and I don’t have that much time available to me if I want to get through Texas before the thermometer there breaks through the top.

I ended up going into town and watching the Wisconsin Badgers lose in the sweet sixteen NCAA Tournament. The team pissed me off watching them play at the end of the game. They were behind in points and they were eating clock playing slow which just helped them lose the game. I just do not understand that coaching strategy. I went back to camp and went almost straight to sleep. Strange for me that I did not take a single pic on this leg of the ride so I posted some from a couple months ago when I was in Morro Bay and Pismo Beach.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ride Day 6

I left my campsite just as dawn was breaking. Again there was a thick marine layer and it was very cold. I bundled up like yesterday and took off. My first few hours were all uphill to Gorda. I was feeling the pain and burn in my legs. I had to stop for rest more than I did yesterday. When I crested a grade and rode downhill I froze my ass off. I took almost no pics because there was nothing to see due to thick fog. I did catch a wild turkey hen on camera that shot out of the forest right in front of me and was so startled to see me that she just ran around in circles while I got my camera out. I tried to take some of the foggy marine layer once I climbed above it but the pics just do not show the awesome beauty of it all. The marine layer did not burn off for most of the morning.

I made if over both peaks of Gorda one 1000’ the other 900’. Then I had a short respite from uphill until the Salmon creek grade. That one is only about 750’ I think it was. I stopped for lunch at Lucia Lodge and had a cheeseburger and pasta salad. It tasted so great to me and the friendly waitress gave me two pitchers of water while I ate, she was greatly appreciated. I could have eaten three plates of the food. I knew that would take away from my hill climbing energy so I just ate the one. Then I hit the road.

There was a lot of down hill next and the marine layer was starting to thin out. Still could not take a pic though. I stopped at the bottom of the hills and had an ice cream bar and bottle of mixed berry juice at Ragged Point. Then I headed toward San Simeon along the mostly flat valley.

There were lots of elephant seals along the beaches near Piedras Blancas Lighthouse as I rode south. I stopped at a couple of beaches to take some pics of the stinky beasts. I had to laugh, I heard a kid ask his father why all the rocks were white and he said somebody paints them all so boats won’t hit them. I used to say the same thing to people that don’t know that birds have bleached almost every rock in the ocean white. I was waiting for him to say who farted because of the smell from the elephant seals but he never did while I was eavesdropping.

I made it to Cambria and stopped for coffee and was able to use the net for a few minutes. I uploaded all my pics to Picasa web albums and read my Facebook and email. Then I made the stupid decision to try to ride all the way to Morro Bay.
I took off and rode hard. The road was mostly flat with a few small grades that I was able to climb easily after the three mountains I climbed earlier today. It took me about four hours to make it to Morro Bay and find my campground which I did without taking a single pic after the elephant seals. I took a shower right away. Then I went down to the wharf and had some clam chowder and a couple of beers. I felt like falling asleep at the bar so I headed back to my campground and played with my computer writing this and listening to music. There is no web here in camp but there are plenty of coffee shops around where I can post this tomorrow. More later because I am falling asleep right now.

Ride Day 5

I started my ride very early in the morning today. There was a marine layer of misty fog in the air and it was cold. I put on my rain jacket and both sweatshirts and hit the road from the north side of Big Sur heading South. I had to immediately climb 800 feet so I warmed up quickly. Off with the rain coat and one sweatshirt to cool down. I would rest often on the steep grades just because I am an out of shape fat old man. Maybe if I keep riding I will get fitter at some point.

I stopped for breakfast at the Big Sur Bakery and it was a good meal. Then I rode on down the south side of Big Sur. A wild turkey burst out of the forest just in front of me. We caught each other off guard and I had time to get my camera out to get a pic of the hen as she ran around in circles until she got her bearings and took off again. I had to put my second sweatshirt back on for the downhill because the cold wet air was cooling my sweaty body so fast I was almost getting hypothermia. I started to shake and shiver which is never a good thing, but luckily there was plenty of uphill to rewarm my cold stiff body.

After the marine layer burned off the views of the mountains and coast were just gorgeous yet again. I took a lot of pics but they just do not capture the real world views. The mist in the air washed out the pics and the views are so large of a scale that they just do not fit in a single picture unless you blew them up to poster size pics. When I looked over the pics I was a bit disappointed with them. I will try harder in the future.

I had lunch on the go of just some power bars and some salami and cheese with a trail mix. I drank all four bottles of water that I was carrying. I need to work on my water use. Smaller sips to wet the mouth and then swallow just enough to keep me hydrated. I did not need to pee all day long so I know it was not too much water. Around two thirty I came to a campground just short of Gorda near Pacific Valley and I was tired so I stopped and made camp. I wanted to go further but there is not much of anything along this stretch of road and I did not want to get caught out overnight without a campsite.

I had some pain problems so I took some narcotics and went straight to sleep. A long hard day on the road but I loved it. Despite the pain I slept hard.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ride Day 4

Today was a spectacular bike ride. My plan was to take Bart to Fremont and then a bus to where I stopped my ride last time. I thought the bus went all the way to Carmel but it was not running today so I had to climb Carmel grade yet again to start my day off. From the top of the grade I jumped on 1 and it was downhill for bit. I have learned that everything that goes down always comes back up when you are riding a bike. I had quite a bit of grade going up today to get from Monterey to Big Sur but every burn of the muscle was worth it.
The ride had so much gorgeous scenery that I burned out on all the magnificent views. Still managed to take 80 pics on a 45 mile ride though. All the pics will be on my Picasa web album later when I get some wifi. The Carmel area with its rocky shoreline and cliffs along the ocean just made one postcard view after another. My photography was kind of lazy because getting back on the road with all the hills today kind of wore me out a bit. I think I still got a few good pics out of the bunch. The bridge at Bixby Creek has been photographed millions of times but I stil had to take a few of it just to pass the time so I did not look like a tired old man dieing of a heart attack while trying to get his breath back after riding up the hills all day. But while riding today, I did look at some beautifull views without taking a pic.
Normally I like to get off the track and visit things like the Point Sur lighthouse but today I rode past all that type of stuff, Just too tired. I will get better after a few days on the road again.
I am camping at Big Sur and the only other person in camp is a 24 year old girl. She has been fun to talk to. She is riding her bike to San DIego also but then on to Colorado after that. So she is ambicious for her first ever bike touring. We talked for about an hour about her traveling and school and stuff. She had hippy parents and was raised on a sailboat. She shows it in her fierce independence and confidence. She was not throttled in your typical American educational setting.
There was snow on the hilltops as I rode down the coast. It will be cold tonight. I will be so tired I doubt if I will notice but if I get too cold at least there is another body in camp to warm up with. Yesterday it was hailing here along with rain and cold wind. Today has been sunny and warm all day so far. Fantastic restart as far as I'm concerned. Pics later when I get a good Wifi, this connection is too slow. More later....

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Restarting my Ride Tomorrow.

I have all my IDs replaced now so I am ready to hit the road again. I am all packed up already. In the morning I will take the bus back down to where I turned around and my ride will continue. One asshole taking my wallet will not stop my ride or change my goals. That was just one jerk. I have met many many more nice honest friendly people than the one worthless worm who calls themself the "wallet guy."

I am looking forward to the ride for the next few days through the mountains near Big Sur and Gorda. Then it is fairly easy riding until just North of Santa Barbara at Purisma Hills and just South of Lompoc which is the highest point along the coast. The scenery should be tough to look at all day long. I will try to take pics but I am already passing a lot of beautiful views because there are just too many of them.

My health still sucks. My pain level has been consistently high. My ability to walk is very limited from all the nerve damage so I hope I don't break down or something out in the middle of nowhere. I would have to just wait to be rescued by some good samaritan coming along. I do trust in the basic goodness of humanity. It is just that the jerks like the wallet guy get more press than the good people in the world.

C'est la vie, shit happens sometimes, especially when on the road in new situations with unknown people around. A lot less shit happens to people that sit on a safe sofa watching tv for their life thrills. At least I try to live my life myself not vicariously through tv.

My next post will be from somewhere along the road, where ever I find a hotspot to post from.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Almost Ready to Hit the Road Again.

I am over and past with the lost wallet issues. I am moving on with my life again.

My bags are repacked and I am almost ready to go back to finish my ride. There is a small window of good weather coming up before another rain system is forecast to hit the central coast. I would like to get through before the system hits because riding a bike in wet weather is just too dangerous.

My health is still terrible but since it does not appear to improve with rest or treatment I am just going to go ahead and take off despite my high pain issues. While I ride the bike the pain is not such a big issue. It is when I get off the bike and try to walk that the pain starts to skyrocket and take away my mobility.

I am very broke for the next three weeks but will try to survive on what little cash I have remaining. There is not much to spend money on once past Carmel until you get down around San Simeon. It is mostly just riding and then camping at night. I will carry some food but will have to buy quite a bit of food as I go since I can't carry enough. Food will be my highest expense.

I will take pics as I go and try to post when I am able to. There is certainly some beautiful coastline along that stretch of California. The last time I was down in this area was about 40 years ago. People tell me not a lot has changed in that time.

Thanks for all the moral support I have received from everyone. I do appreciate it as it helps me keep pushing day to day in my fight with this pain...

More when I am able to post again which might be a while.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Some Bad People and Some Nice Ones

My ride from the Golden Gate Bridge to as far as Carmel was wonderful. I was extremely happy to be wandering the roads of the world again. The three day ride tired me out so I decided to take a couple of days off to rest before heading to Big Sur which is a long tough grade but worth every pump of the pedal.

I camped in Veteran's Memorial Park. My first day of rest I made the mistake of walking further than I am capable of walking. I really can not walk very far at all. Just walking to the bathroom a few times a day uses up all my walking abilities. When I exceed my walking limit, my pain starts to skyrocket upward very quickly. The more I walk the higher the pain ends up going. It is crazy because riding my bike does not harm me the same way as walking does. Normally when I have just barely gone past my max walking distance I will get the pain but a good night's sleep will relieve it for the most part. This time I went too far and the next morning my pain was still so high I could barely waddle to the bathroom from my tent. I took some narcotics and rode down the hill to the Peet's Coffee to do my internet and try to get past the pain. Instead the pain continued to climb to a very high and dangerous level. I took 60 milligrams more of morphine and waited an hour. The pain was still climbing so I took another 60 milligrams of morphine. This might sound like a lot to the medical pros out there but remember I have been taking morphine for about twenty years now and my tolerance is high. My pain leveled off in the next hour so I rode my bike back up the 700' hill to my camp. I was tired from the climb and heavily medicated when I entered the camp. I checked in and paid my 6 bucks for the campsite then went to my tent to rest. I had to use the rest room and got up with great difficulty and struggled to walk over to the bathroom. I wanted to charge my phone a bit since it was almost dead and there was electricity in the bathroom. I hung out in the front of the bathroom trying to ease my pain with some simple stretching and the like. I felt better and wanted to eat something so I carefully and gingerly walked to my tent. That is when I discovered my wallet was missing. I tried to retrace my steps but did not find it. There were only about six other campers around. I then tore my tent apart bit by bit to make sure it was not lost in the tent. I had either dropped it when I used the toilet or maybe when I put it in my pocket I did not push it all the way in because I was a bit clumsy from the drugs, or maybe it was in my tent and someone went in while I was obviously going to be in the bathroom for a while. Whichever thing happened I don't really know and never will. I did know that everything I had for ID and my credit and debit cards were all gone along with a few hundred dollars in cash. One of the six people in camp had my wallet but I did not know which one. In retrospect I think it was the overly helpful one that helped me look for my missing wallet. I will never know. I was disabled and broke in agonizing pain with no ID two hundred plus miles away from anywhere I could replace my ID or cards etc.

I went to bed that night in agony from the pain but also disappointed that I would have to take a break from my trip to recover from this loss. I had to return to the Bay Area and restore my ID and money access. To get there I first of all was given my six bucks back by the camp director. Then I packed my bike up and rode to Monterey. I sold some of my Cliff Bars and a few other small items to some other bikers I met. I took that money and bought a bus ticket to San Jose and then got a free ticket to Fremont Bart Station from the driver of that bus. I then spent five bucks taking BART to Oakland and rode my bike the rest of the way to Karen's where I will be staying for a few days.

So some bad people took my stuff and some good people helped me out. I just wish I could catch the bad one or bad ones. I like to get even not angry. But such is life good and bad. I will be back on the road soon enough.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ride day 4 & 5

Title is misleading since I did not ride today other than around town. It is raining and blowing out so I took the day off from riding south.

I rode down the hill to the pier and hung out watching all the people for a while. The crowd was enjoying the sunny weekend before the rain hit. I ate a bowl of clam chowder in a loaf of hollowed out sourdough bread. I always like that combo. Then I went over to the aquarium. I had a hard time at the aquarium because it was a lot of walking and I really can not walk. It is a bitch losing mobility. I can ride the bike without problems but the minute I start walking my pain shoots up. I particularly liked the big tanks at the aquarium. I miss diving now when I see these sorts of things again. It is hard to dive when you are subject to having seizures. I ended up just sitting and watching the people walk by so I missed a lot of the aquarium but I enjoyed what I did see.

I went to the art museum next and it was small so not much walking was involved. I needed to pack in some calories so I had dinner at a sandwich shop in Monterey. I ate a big pastrami and swiss with grilled onions and a side of fries with a malted milkshake to wash it all down. I also stocked up on food for my ride down the coast since there are very few services on the road.

Last night it rained hard and was blowing and sprinkling this morning. I don't like the wind or the freezing cold rain. It seems the wind is always in your face when you are riding a bike and rain this cold can end up as hypothermia very quickly out exposed to the elements. Tonight it is supposed to blow hard then get down to 32 degrees. So in the morning I will get a late start waiting for the frost to go away. I don't want to have a slip from ice on the road. Coons were fighting outside my tent last night. They woke me up with all their loud growls and hissing during their fight or whatever they were doing...

I had a bad night with pain from my walking yesterday. I resorted to narcotics which I do not like to do. This morning my leg and my back still hurts but I am hoping it is better by tomorrow morning when I plan on riding to Big Sur. If the pain is not down then I may have to stay here another night. I will find out in the morning. Meanwhile I will rest up and enjoy Monterey but with no walking today...

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ride day three

I left Santa Cruz early this morning. After a ride for an hour along Soquel Drive I stopped for a big breakfast at a little cafe. Good food. I bought some cookies to take along on the ride.

I jumped on a bike route shortly after breakfast and followed that path all day. In some spots it was unused old roads but in other spots it was made for a bike route and ran along highway 1. For most of the morning I was riding though cities with tree lined paths and not much for views. Then the trail dipped down to the beach. I have learned that on my bike, what goes down always comes up.

I had a short grade leaving the beach wit lots of strawberry fields and artichokes. A few other items were growing here and there but not much else. The trail flattened out after a small grade and for a couple of hours I just had the fields for company. I helped a guy that had bike trouble on the road and got him running again. Maybe the karma will pay off for me somewhere along the road.

When I arrived at Marina I was going to spend the night there but changed my mind and continued on to Monterey. It was all dedicated bike paths. In Monterey I found my campgrounds at the Veterans Memorial Park and set up my tent for the next couple of nights. The campground is almost at the top of Carmel grade so everytime I go to town I need to climb back up to the campgrounds. Yesterday that ride was the worst part of the entire day. I was so tired I had to stop very often and even walked the bike in a few of the steeper sections. I am able to walk the bike but I always pay a price in pain later on and last night was no exception. I had high pain all night but by morning it was better. I am just very tired and sore now. So one more night of rest here in Monterey will not bother me at all since rain is also predicted for tomorrow. I do not want to ride the big grades in the rain because it is just too dangerous.

So today I am off to the Aquarium here in Monterey and I also need to stock up on food. I also sent a box of things forward that I won't need for the big grades coming up of Carmel, Big Sur and Gorda. I want to be as light as possible. More later...