Day 26 2021 -Beach Trails and Polo

If you can believe it, the skies were gray and cloudy and there were clouds hanging over the mountains when we started today on the west side of Santa Barbara.

I had a route available from 2 years ago that would get us very close to our destination. Ron also had a route that we thought was nearly identical. I missed the first turn because we were starting from a different place than my route had mapped. So, we decided to take Ron’s version for a while. As we went, we found the 2 routes might differ by a block or 2 here and there and turn at slightly different points. I was glad Ron was leading when we heard the sound of a trumpet.

We never figured out what was the occasion, but we enjoyed the entertainment.

After the party, we zig zagged our way through residential streets until we got on the main street of old Santa Barbara. From there we headed straight to the ocean and Stearns Wharf.

We followed the bike path along the shore to the southeast. It was crowded at first, but then the Saturday crowd thinned out the farther we went. They were setting up for a “Taste of Santa Barbara” and there was an organized exercise class and volleyball going along the trail and beach.

We were almost tempted to join them, but our bikes would feel left out.

When this trail ended, we rode on the streets briefly, then were on another garden lined bike trail, that went along the shore.

We headed north enough to cross over Highway 101 and followed bike lanes and trails that ran parallel to the road. A few miles down the road Hidalgo was acting a little anxious, like he wanted to do more than just ride. That’s when we came to the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet club.

Right after this score, Ron and I mounted our steeds and tied the game for the other team. Then they threw us out.

After that excitement were were down the road through Carpinteria. We passed what I thought was a golf course that was lacking grass. But I was just looking at the practice range. At least I think that was what it was.

We criss crossed Highway 101 again then headed south to Rincon State Beach Park. For more than 8 miles we were on dedicated bike trails and frontage roads that hugged the coastline. We saw lots of surfers and the occasional fishermen trying their luck from the beach.

We could see the pier off Mussel Shoars. Along the frontage road RVs were lined up for more than half a mile. Some were filled with surfers, others were just looking for a place to relax near the sound of the waves.

From here, we criss crossed over Highway 101 again to drop us back onto another paved trail that led us to Ventura beach and the pier. There we took our first real break and nourishment. A cold pint with whatever we could dig out of our bags. As I told Ron, I wanted to save my valuable stomach real estate for dinner.

Looking out over Ventura Beach from the pier.

We had less than a 10 mile ride to get to the VRBO we had secured for the night in Oxnard. We had a dedicated room in a 4 bedroom house. As it was, we had the place to ourselves except for the manager.

We showered, rode our bikes a mile down the road for beer, burgers, and blizzards. Glad I had saved that valuable stomach real estate for all that. We also made a quick stop at a grocery for tomorrow’s supplies. Then it was a little television, blog and laundry. You can see the route and stats of today’s ride here.

We’re ready for rest and tomorrow’s gorgeous ride through the coast off Malibu.

The Not So Lone Rider

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