And then I went on a hunt for a bike shop open early enough to help me out and get me out of town to meet GB in time for our planned refueling. Third try was the charm, and I was leaving San Luis Obispo about 9:30, a good 90 minutes later than I'd intended to leave, so GB was on his own a bit longer than planned. Part of the issue with this leg of the trip is that after the first 30 miles or so, he's into a part of PCH (the Pacific Coast Highway) that is uninhabited. This makes for great vistas and lovely scenery, but it means there is nowhere to stop for lunch or more water or places to stay and no cell phone reception in order to stay connected.
Another challenge was lots of fog in the morning from the ocean. I don't really know why people refer to that as pea soup. I've never tried to look at anything trough pea soup, but it would likely be greenish, and this was not greenish. I think it was more like looking at the scenery through wax paper. It was a bit surreal to have the mountains look like they were floating on clouds, and also to be able to hear the ocean, but not to be able to see it. From the biker's point of view, though, it was more about the fact that in the midst of the fog, the temperature was significantly cooler with lots of moisture in the air, making for uncomfortable riding. When leaving the fogged over area, the temperatures would climb under the efficient sun, and that switching back and forth (between 59 and 75 degrees in the fog or in the sun) takes a lot of energy.
More fun was the emergence into the seriously hilly part of PCH. GB would spend 20 minutes climbing a hill to be ecstatic that it was over, just to be at the bottom of it 30 seconds later to start up the next one. The whole day was pretty much like that -- hill after hill after $%&!@ hill. The positive spin for that was there was a lot of solidarity on the riding. There was some sort of bike race going south on PCH while we were headed north, so we passed a lot of riders along the way. It also meant that as the bike lane shrunk to nothing, the passing cars couldn't help but notice that there were bikes on the road and be nice to them. I ended up talking with a couple that were towing a camper behind their Mini, quite successfully, a guy taking a break during a long motorcycle ride, and a couple that was trying to navigate the same trail I was using to make sure the ocean was still there.
The last 20-30 miles were pretty brutal. GB was out of gas, knees were starting to revolt against the experiment, and the hills were trending upward into Big Sur. So Day Two was called completed as soon as we found a motel on the side of the road with space available. It was 2:45 in the afternoon, and he proceeded to eat a half-pound burger and go to bed.
Here was the route that was followed for the day's riding, which actually matched my driving route:
Day Three ran a bit later on getting started this morning. Our goal for today is Santa Cruz, and less knee pain. We're trying to take it a little easier, and there should be a bit more downhill today to help, as well.
- Time on the road: 8 hours
- Time in the saddle: 7 hours, 2 minutes
- Maximum speed: 60 km/hr (37 mi/hr)
- Average speed: 24 km/hr (15 mi/hr)
- Distance ridden: 170.4 km (106 mi)
- Calories burned on the ride: 5743
- Calories consumed: 5685
- Protein consumed: 248.5g
- Unsaturagted fats consumed: 156.5g
- Weight: no change from yesterday
- Number of wrong turns: 0