I'm biking really really far this summer

Monday, July 16, 2007

Day 40 (Big Sur - Pacific Valley 60km)

Boy oh boy did I get a late start and I was doomed to a short day since the next campsite was further away than I cared to ride that day (or could have in daylight).
In the morning professor recumbent started talking off my ear again as soon as I got up, while I packing up and while I was cooking and eating. It got genuinely irritating but I was too polite to tell him to shut up and leave me alone so I ended up leaving at 11:30am, meaning I was basically limited to a 60km day as the next campsite was all the way in San Simeon and I wanted to see Hearst Castle which was on the way there.

Riding was fun and fast and at the top of the first big hill I hooked up with some roadies doing a weekend credit card tour and we rode some very brisk miles until they got bored of me and I got tired. They were very friendly though and if I was unloaded wouldn't have had trouble keeping up.
I was occupied with keeping up with the roadies during the turnoffs to the scenic attractions of the day, namely the Julia Pfeipher State Park waterfall but I was later informed it was a let-down with no actual access to it so it was no loss. Google it if you are curious. I caught a quick glimpse of it and it was quite pretty...
Fog rolled in and out during the ride providing visual drama and air conditioning since the climbs were hot and unshaded.

Eventually I reached Lucia, which the map listed as a town with restaurants and groceries. It turned out that all Lucia was was a fancy restaurant with a tiny store attached to it. I actually had a very vivid visual memory of this place from my childhood car trip of this road. Opting not to eat rack of lamb for lunch I bought some overpriced crap from the store and ate it outside while half a dozen convertible mustangs pulled in and out of the parking lot.

15km later I arrived at the campground at 3:30pm and spent the afternoon doing nothing in particular. Later on Steven from Ohio arrived who had been touring from the top of Washington along the same route as me. He is a 20 year old horse-shoer (at first I thought he said horse shooter and had to hide my surprise! Then we made lots of jokes about killing horses...) going to school for business. He sleeps in a bivy sack and is touring ultra-light with only rear panniers for a total bike weight of less than 30 pounds (less than half of mine!).
We spent the evening talking to various local campers who all had a slightly insane streak running in them. One had crazy eyes and kept saying that he did mountain biking. Another kept telling as about hell's angels and abalones and his tiny magnum handgun but he brought us chicken and amazing plums that grow in his garden. He retired when he was 35 and has millions in property on the coast and travels around in his air stream trailer a lot in dirty flannel shirts.
Steven and I decided to ride to the same destination the next day.


Toni said...

Horse shooter! ROFLOL!

Caroline said...

Well remembered Charlie, we had to spend the night there in a very run down over inflated room, the dining room had closed so we had to make do with expensive snacks from the shop. The fog prevented us going any further that night!
all my love Mum xxxxxxx