Friday, January 31, 2014

Ride Day 154 Cambria to SLO

Last night I stayed in a hostel in Cambria and I got a bed in a dorm. Big Mistake. There was a very loud snorer in the room that made it impossible to sleep so for the second night in a row I was awake all night. I prefer sleeping in my tent. The worst part was when his sleep apnea made him go silent for a couple of minutes then he would erupt with a very loud gasp and snore that rattled the windows. I woke him up and asked him to roll over and he denied snoring but rolled over and went to sleep quietly but just as I was going to sleep he rolled over on his back again and went back to sawing logs with his chainsaw. I gave up and played games on my computer all night. In the morning I left for San Luis Obispo aka SLO with two other riders. I have done the ride before so I took very few pics. We rode to Morro Bay and had a bowl of clam chowder for lunch. After cruising the waterfront for a while we took the back roads to SLO. I was going to take 101 but changed my mind for some reason to the longer back roads route. The ride was fairly easy all day. There were a few hills to grind up but the scenery was good if you like dry brown drought conditions. The irrigated farms along the way with their bright green colors really stood out in contrast to the monotone color scheme of the scenery. My companion half my age complained that I ride too hard cause he could not keep up. I had to laugh at that. I can ride a long ways because I pace myself. I have ridden with many younger riders that all dash off early in the morning and go like hell up the early hills and stuff while I fall behind them. The funny thing is then at around thirty miles into a ride they all suddenly lose it and I glide past them and I can easily ride for another 70 miles while they are huffing and puffing and almost dead by 40 miles. Live and learn. I was the one jumping out hard not that long ago you know like thirty years ago. I am resting up and going over my packed things to make sure I want everything I am carrying. My weight is too high in my opinion. I should be able to get rid of half my stuff but I find it very difficult to do that. Later today I am going to read a couple of books and relax. My riding companion Emmanuel from Belgium is leaving today to continue his ride to San Diego.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ride Days 151, 152 153

After a few days in Monterey enjoying the town and all the nature with Karen, I finally headed south again. I rode to Big Sur State Park and camped in the Hiker/Biker camp there. The ride was a lot of climbing but a very beautiful ride. I started at Veterans Memorial Park and rode down to the bay then around along the bay past the lighthouse and seventeen mile drive then through Carmel and finally rode down CA-1 the rest of the way. I saw sea lions, whales, raptors, deer, turkeys and more as well as the spectacular rugged coastline. There were huge breakers rolling in making thunderous noises as I rode along. The seals were barking but sometimes the surf drowned out even their raucous bark. Traffic was light and no other bikers in sight. I had expected phone and wifi in Big Sur but due to a recent fire there was neither available so I was out of touch. I ate a great cheese burger in Big Sur then set up my camp. Two other bikers joined me later in the day. One was from somewhere around LA and the other was from Belgium. The next morning, I ended up riding south with my Belgium friend, Emmanuel. We rode to a National Forest camp just north of Gorda called Plaskett Creek I think. The ride to there was over the top of Big Sur so it was again lots of climbing. Tons of turkeys around and a few deer checking us out as we rode past. I think the bird soaring overhead was a California Condor but I could not get a pic to verify but its size was a good clue. Along the coast there were whales almost every time I looked out on the horizon. Sometimes I could hear them blowing and a couple of times I could smell them when they were closer to shore. A few times they were breaching and rolling on the surface. It looked like they were playing to me. There were a lot of them and a few dolphins mixed in too. I still have not gotten a good pic of otters. When I have seen them they are always too far away to get a pic. The campground was very quiet but I made the mistake of making a cup of coffee around 5pm so I ended up not getting the sleep I needed. Such is life. The coffee was worth it. The ride the next day was over Gorda grade and Salmon Creek grade. Both were a workout but not that difficult. Again all day long I had to tolerate beautiful scenery and lots of whales and stuff. Made the ride a bit distracting. We stopped for a long look at the elephant seals near Piedras Blancas Lighthouse. The beaches were packed with the stinky beasts. It was fun watching the males fight all the time. It is a real up close slice of nature and smells like it too. Last time I was here the wind was blowing and it wasn’t so bad as it was today. Worth it though. Ended our ride today in Cambria with a super burrito from Medusas Mexican restaurant. It was very good and a filling way to end three days of camping food. We will check into the hostel here at 5pm and hopefully the wifi will be good enough to post this with pics. Where I am right now I can’t even post text the wifi is so slow. Tomorrow, off to SLO, aka San Luis Obispo.