Late last night I had been working to finish the day’s blog. When I tried to save the draft, the browser seemed to hang. I tried getting access to the site through my phone, in case the problem was on my tablet. That didn’t work either. I gave up after 10 minutes of reboot and retry, then went to bed. I happened to wake up extra early and tried again, without any luck. Finally, I called the front desk about the problem. They told me their internet connection had gone down late last night around the time I was having problems and didn’t have an estimated repair time. I decided to get packed early and have breakfast down the street where I knew there was a good WiFi connection. I finished last night’s blog while eating breakfast.
Before I got on the road, I received a text message about a fraud alert on my credit card. I think it was in Phillipsville along the Avenue Of The Giants that the chip on my credit card had popped out while making a transaction. I saved the chip in my wallet, but now the card could not be used in many readers. My guess is that at one of the places where the card number was entered manually, an untrustworthy person had compromised the data. I spent 15 minutes getting the card disabled and making arrangements for new cards to be sent home to Becky and to me at a place near the end of my ride. Fortunately, I still had my debit card and some cash.
I had a 76 mile day ahead and it was getting late. When I finally got on the road, it was easy going and mostly downhill. I was making the best time I had in a long time. About 3 miles down the road, I again ran into Henry, the fast and experienced Canadian. As we waited at a stoplight, I told him about my woes with the credit card and how I had to get a new one. He told me he had once lost his wallet while doing a ride in British Columbia. Apparently, it had fallen out of his handle bar bag and onto the road. He told me he eventually got it back. All his credit cards were intact, but the $400 in cash he had in it was gone. It was recovered at a border crossing to the US with his police badge still in the wallet. I guess they didn’t hold the guy as he claimed there was no cash in it when he found it. Henry went so far as to call the guy and ask for the cash. Without hard evidence, there wasn’t much more he could do, but he did stick him with some kind of suspicious activity report that will stick with the man. As they used to say when I was growing up, “it will be part of your permanent record!”
After the stop light, I pulled ahead on the downhill. It seems like we had been going downhill for quite a while and I started to pull out even farther. I knew he would catch me eventually on an uphill. Near Cayucos, I stopped to take a picture and he passed me. I didn’t see him again.
Two tourists from Florida, Al and Lil took my picture overlooking the bay and we had a nice conversation. They were looking for whales, but hadn’t seen any. I thought I had seen movement of something in the water earlier, but without binoculars it could have been a buoy.
Even though I had a good breakfast, I chose to stop at a McDonald’s while in Morro Bay. I’d made good time on these first 27 miles and it gave me the trifecta of reasons to stop – WiFi, toilet, food/water. Because cell service had been so unavailable the last 2 days, WiFi became more valuable when I could get it. The sun broke through as I was leaving and the landscape was filled with the green and gold mountains on either side of Highway 1. San Luis Obispo was a neat town, but I didn’t take any pictures. My attention was given to the GPS to make sure I didn’t miss any turns as I navigated my way through.
As I made my way through Edna and on to Pismo beach, I passed by a vinyard. It was the first time all day I had to deal with any PUDs. Once at Pismo Beach, I was once again going along the coast for the last time today as I passed through Oceano, then turned inland.
Today had been an easy day from a climbing perspective. I knew I’d have some today, though. The worst was a 195 foot climb in .9 miles. It was short, but hard. If you look closely in the picture you can see where the road goes straight horizontally, before turning skyward where I took the shot. You can also see the ride summary here.
When I reached Guadalupe, I was only 10 miles from the hotel. I still stopped to get a milk to go with a Cliff bar I had. When I came out of the convenience store, Randy and Jim, who were about my age, started asking me questions about my trip, where I was going, etc. As we were wrapping up, I said that it was just a big joy ride, but I was also trying to promote youth mentoring through organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters. Randy said that he had been a “Little” years ago and that he still stays in touch with his Big! This was probably the coolest thing that happened today! I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring.
The Lone Rider