Thursday, January 23, 2014
Today I packed up camp in Brighton Beach State Beach and headed to Monterey. My trip to Santa Cruz yesterday went smoothly. I took BART and a bus for most of the way because that stretch of road going South from SF was the most dangerous part of all my riding so far so I just skipped it. No point in pushing my luck at getting through there safely twice. I had a fun bus ride. I sat next to a Canadian woman that chatted with me the entire ride. She peppered me with questions and I answered them and several other passengers joined in with the conversation. I enjoyed it and I think they did also. We were delayed for a few minutes due to a fire along the road on CA17 right at the top of the hill. I rode around Santa Cruz checking out the boardwalk and all the usual stuff then went over to Seabright Brewery for lunch of fish tacos and a beer. After enjoying lunch I slowly rode along the coast twisting and winding up and down the hills hugging the coast as much as I was able to. I stopped at Brighton State Beach for the hiker/biker $5 camping. It is a beautiful spot and in the off season with mid summer weather of 72 degrees with no fog it was even better. In the morning I tried to hug the coast on the ride to Monterey but it cost me a lot of double backing up steep coastal cliff side hills. It was a hard ride. I turned a short ride into one twice as long as it had to be just due to all my exploring. I talked to some surfers and they were excited that Mavericks Big Wave Event is going to be this Friday. I might watch it on TV but more likely will just look at the highlights after it is over. I watched thousands of acres of strawberries, artichokes, cabbage, broccoli and more roll by as I rode though all the coastal farms. When I got to Monterey, it was kind of busy for this part of the season due to the perfect weather and now Mavericks. I talked to some backpackers at Peets Coffee in downtown and they were going to stay in a cheap hotel. I ended up doing the same because it is a 900 foot climb up to the campground and I am beat after all the hills I did today. The California coast might be the most beautiful part of all the bike riding I have done but you need to pay the price of lots of big hills and mountains to see it. I am willing to pay the price.