Yesterday, I made it a point to put on sunscreen, but never needed it. I repeated the process today and I’m glad I did. I stepped out the door to a bright, sunny morning. Today was going to be a short day of less than 50 miles. I wasn’t anticipating any big climbs. On most days I had conquered 2,500 feet or more of elevation gain. Today I did about a thousand. The details of the ride summary are here.
There were lots of turns to navigate my way out of Goleta, into Santa Barbara, and onto the beach. I had to pay close attention to the GPS, but still had to pull out my phone for Google maps to see the big picture and insure I was on course. Downtown Santa Barbara reminded me of old Pasadena, CA. I had spent 2 summers there in the late 70s. There were lots of upscale shops on either side of me as I headed south towards the beach. Maybe it was because it was a Saturday, but I saw several packs of bikers on what seemed to be recreational rides. I also encountered a few touring cyclists, but most were going in the opposite direction. One replied to my shouted query and said they were headed to El Capitan. I don’t think they knew the march as well as me.
At Stearns Wharf, I picked up the first of the dedicated bike trails that went along the beach. This first one was like a wide sidewalk and I had to be careful of the pedestrians. After about a half mile it led out to a street, but before it ended, I was behind 2 women with panniers on their bikes. As is customary, I asked them where they were headed. They told me that they were going to LA, having started in San Francisco. Although I suspected the answer, since I didn’t see an obvious tent or sleeping bag, I asked, “Do you camp?” One yelled out, “Hell, no!” I let them know that I was in that club, too. I told them about my target and journey. I was doing almost twice their daily mileage. I told them my next stop tomorrow was Long Beach, because Malibu was too expensive. They were going to be staying in Malibu tomorrow because they had friends there. Oddly enough, they were also from Washington, near Seattle.
As I parted ways with my fellow riders (After all, I’m the Lone Rider) I went along streets and crossed under Highay 101. For the next 8 miles I was far from the beach. I finally crossed over Highway 101 into Carpinteria. It was almost noon, a good time for a toilet and ice cream break. Output before input.
After my break, I rode closer to the coast until I reached a dedicated path near Rincon Point. There I saw some paragliders taking advantage of the ocean breeze. This dedicated path was paved. On one side were the mountains and Highway 101. On the other was the water.
The dedicated bike trail went on almost 4 miles past Rincon beach and Mussel Shoals. Then it crossed over and back along Highway 101 as it turned into Highway 1, the Pacific Coast Highway. It had a wide, dedicated bike lane, not trail. This lasted another 6 miles as a bike lane, when it turned right off the road and became a dedicated trail again. This final trail went about 5 miles. It was rough pavement at first, but became wide concrete, shared with pedestrians near the end in Ventura.
As the trail ended, I turned east and inland toward my hotel. I had a tailwind on flat roads. If it weren’t for the stoplights I could have been to the hotel even sooner. As it was, I was cruising between 15 and 20 mph. I was able to finish the day sooner than most. I’ll need the rest. The next 2 days will be back to back 85 milers. There won’t be as much climbing, but I still want to get an early start. I’m starting to get a little homesick, but I would still like to see what adventure awaits me tomorrow.
The Lone Rider