Tuesday, March 27, 2012
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...
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...