The only downside to staying with the delightful people that host me is that it makes for late nights. While I am quite anti-social when riding the bike, I thoroughly enjoy the time with people on the stops. I do the blog, route planning, weather checks, etc. before I go to bed. The great conversations I have with my hosts pushes back the rest of my nightly routine, but it is worth it.
Prior to starting the ride, I had 26 days of routes and possible places to stay all laid out. Since day 6, when I broke a spoke, I had to throw it all away. A few days ago, things got back in synch by adding an extra day. The only variable was whether or not I could find a good stopping point midway between Monterey, CA and Morro Bay, CA. I had found a warm showers host at a good spot before my first day. He was available and asked that I double check as the time got nearer. When I was 3 days away, I asked about staying on September 24, a day later than my original date. A day went by and I hadn’t received a response. This was unusual because he had been very responsive. Now, I was only 2 days away and needed to know if I needed to change my plans. Late last night, I got an email from him saying he was in the hospital, diagnosed with a heart attack! He was apologetic about not hosting me, and I was shocked that he took the time to respond after such an event. It made me once again appreciate that any problem I have had on this adventure is just an inconvenience, not a real problem!
I would need to change my stopover points for a second time. I once again called Becky for assistance. She helped plot out some alternatives which had enough distance, but not too much climbing to kill me. Today was going to be the shortest day of my original plan, less than fifty miles. The details of the ride summary are here. I could afford to take my time and I’d be able to work on alternatives once I reached my hosts in Monterey.
The ride from Santa Cruz took me through huge farms with brussel sprouts, artichokes, and other vegetables I didn’t recognize. Castroville was a good midpoint to Monterey, so I stopped at a deli to get a sandwich and a beer. A large man ahead of me ordered “2 full sandwiches” with all the toppings available. I wasn’t paying close enough attention to hear the word FULL. I ordered a full sandwich and grabbed a cold beer to go with it. While it was being prepared, I paid and took advantage of the restroom. When I came back out, I couldn’t believe what I had ordered.
I was only able to eat half the sandwich. I put the rest in my bags as a present for my hosts. While I was stopped, I called Becky to go over some of the route alternatives she had sent me. When I got to the Uppmans I was able to finalize some details for the next 2 days.
The ride to Monterey was partly CA 1 and a lot of paved bike path. The final miles took me along the wharf and cannery row. It was a slow, scenic ride. It was what San Francisco might have been, had it not been for the mass of humanity that clogged every open space. I turned near the famous aquarium and the final miles to my hosts.
Some old friends from our days in Indiana had a daughter that now lived in Monterey. I had watched Katie grow up through her teens. I had attended her wedding more than 10 years ago. Katie and her husband Eric Uppman have an amazing 7 year old son. It was one of the highlights of the trip to share time with these very special people. We got to do a little face time between Mark/Sandra Moore (parents) and Katie and Henry (son). When Eric got home, we headed out to dinner. I hadn’t seen either of them since their wedding. It was a chance to see what an amazing couple, accomplished professionals, and loving parents they had become. I had so much fun seeing Katie as a mature, talented adult teacher and parent – having last known her as a teenager. Eric was versed on many topics and I enjoyed his help with route planning, talking about bikes, business, and technology.
I will still need to re-plan the rest of the stops, but I’m finally learning that I might as well do it one day at a time. Just like the prayer, ” .. give us today, our daily bread, …”. If everything went according to plan, this wouldn’t be an adventure. And it’s all part of the adventure!
The Lone Rider