Archive for May, 2014

Welcome to San Francisco!

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Statistics:

3584.6 miles completed in 57 riding days at 62.88 miles per day average

Music (top 10):

Smiths – Best of
Boards of Canada – Music has a right to children
Leftfield – Leftism
Aphex Twin – Ambient Works
Nirvana – Nevermind
James – Best of
Dire Straits – Sultans of Swing
Hole – Celebrity Skin
Iggy Pop – Passenger
Placebo – Without you I’m nothing

Many thanks Rita for a restful couple of nights… Glad I got a chance to mow your lawn! Thumbs up to the guys and girls at ‘Bike Church’ for allowing me to use their tools so we could sort out the breaks. I didn’t fancy the hills of San Francisco with no means of stopping.

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Devonport for a liquid refreshment break.

Getting close now – last day cycling. Feels odd to say the least.

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Coastline was looking stunning today.

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Pigeon Point Lighthouse (reminded me of the scene at Gwthian -North Cornwall!)

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Next bay along with beautiful inland lagoon.

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Road into Pacifica, overtook two ‘specialized’ crew kitted out from head to toe on a 1 mile sharp ascent. Felt AMAZINGLY SATISFIED as I passed them fully laden on my mule of a bike!

Easy tiger almost made it to my final destination.. Which is WHERE exactly! Did I just get hideously lost!?

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Felt uncharacteristically ’emotional’ as I cycled over the Golden Gate Bridge – but obviously kept a stiff upper lip being English!

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Expenditure $13.46

Slept from 10pm to 9am!

Leisurely stroll along the board walk, pier and coast! Legs, knees, shoulders and bottom all very sore today – roll on the ibuprofen! Not sourced the free sports massage I need yet 😦

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I wasn’t lusting at any point during the morning, not even when I saw this Dodge Challenger SRT

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Expenditure $10.75

It was rather chilly this morning as I woke up, luckily the piping hot showers sorted me out 🙂

Free coffee at Starbucks thanks to a kind gentleman in the queue.

Mcdonalds gave me an extra burger for breakfast.

Castroville for juice and peanut stop.

Downhill through Watsonville and Aptos heading into the outskirts of Santa Cruz.

Expenditure $7.04

So,

BIG SUR coast – one of the most stunning sections of road anywhere in the world between San Simeon and Carmel. The Cabrillo Highway (highway 1) winds along the side of the cliffs, hanging perilously close to the edge, prone to landslides, subsidence and endless road closure.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Sur

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Mission visit:

San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo – June 3rd 1770 – was the second mission established along the Californian coast. Fell into disrepair with only the ruins remaining, until 1921, when excavations to the old foundation to establish shape and layout before rebuilding began.

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Cycling into Monterey along the beach a homeless guy pushing a shopping trolley asks me,  “How far are you going?” I replied, “I’ve come from Miami.” He replied, “Do you want to smoke a DOOBEE!?”

Goodnight y’all

Expenditure $10.38

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Goodbye Michelle and Garrett – after a wonderful evening of conversation whilst over looking the beach and watching the sun set! I thought the message above my headboard was a lovely touch too 🙂 I wolfed down breakfast and coffee and headed north… With my BRAND NEW tyre (many many thanks)

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Route 1:

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Pit stop in Cambria for water and a snickers bar – small 1920’s village – pretty and catering for locals as well as tourists travelling the coast road.

San Simeon for a spot of Elephant Seal watching. Girls laying on the beach while boys honked and smashed each other up in the shallow tide.

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Ragged point – posh hotel, restaurant and food outlets. A spectacular viewing point for the cliffs and ocean as buildings are nestled on a small ridge jutting out slightly from the side of the mountain. Lots of tourists from China/Korea and about 50 Harley Davidson riders out on a mega ride.

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Just saw the most ridiculous use of a ‘go pro’ camera ever. Were they Mountain Biking? Sky diving? Kite surfing? Speed racing? No, they were driving in their luxury saloon holding it out the window… Extreme sports or what!?

Through Gorda, who’s fresh water Springs have been attracting travellers since 1878! The gold rush saw a boom in local interest and population. A collection of 1920/30’s wooden beachside style buildings clinging on the cliff road –  consisting of a petrol station, small village shop, restaurant and bespoke rooms/cottages if you have the funds. Free coffee and hot dog and advice on camping.

http://www.gordaspringsresort.com

Home for the night – costing $5, however camp hosts have fed me clam chowder, sandwiches, cheese, peanuts, fruit and Pepsi for free 🙂

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Expenditure $12.74

So PEETS coffee shop for my morning cup of good morning America! Downtown San Luis Obispo is very quaint and we’ll groomed – although it’s faux French/Spanish cafe style is too perfect. No cracked paint, faded signs or rusted metal. The period Victorian   buildings have been given a new lease of life, brightly coloured brick work and hand painted signage.

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Mission San Luis Obispo De Tolosa, the fifth mission in California founded in 1777 is the third travelling up from San Diego!

http://www.missionsanluisobispo.org

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California Highway 1, the road I’ll be on all the way to San Francisco!

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Morro Bay reminds me of Falmouth – sights, smells and sounds!

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Down to my last $37 dollars to last remaining 9 days – I’m fed up of rice crackers and bread rolls 😦 Sat in cafe using wifi and drinking a free coffee (thanks to waitress), when couple on another table buy me lunch and another lady gives me $20 warning me about the trafficked. I now feel well feed AND slightly better off… Budget now $57!

Expenditure $9.17

Time to wake up and pack up!

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Southside Coffee Company, located in a reclaimed 1950’s cinema house, providing my caffeine intake for the morning. Great flavour and aroma 🙂

La Purisma Mission, founded in 1787, my second I’ve visited along the Californian coast, didn’t open until 10am so I managed a FREE wander around before staff arrived for work.

http://www.lapurisimamission.org

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One mountain pass, not much left in legs, serious aches. SLOW ascent but lovely long fast decent – no wind! To find fields of strawberries I think?

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Wind has arrived 15-17 mph 😦

Santa Maria for lunch (donated by a couple of fellow campers last night)  and a wifi stop at Starbucks. The manager and barista could of benefitted from some customer service training. I only wanted a cup of water and she made me queue. On returning for a refill 30 minutes later I waited in the correct line. As I got to the kiosk she then gestured to the barista to take her break, who obliged, poured herself s drink and sat down. The manager then proceeded to do some cleaning while I waited. I asked if I could have another glass and motioned towards my empty cup. She took it and went to wash her hands, then she took to other customers but failed to serve me my water. I waited and the barista, who had gone for a break, came back and delivered h2o…

Second mountain pass out of Arroyo Grande,  legs useless now, stood and selected EASIEST gear. Snails pace up and another rapid descent!

Another pretty demoralising day… Climbs and gusting headwinds have beaten me up. My two lowest points of the day:

1. Facing downhill and being blown backwards back up a hill!

2. Arduosly labouring away on a 4 mile flat section with no energy left into headwind and watching a guy going the other way free wheeling at 10+ mph

Last 10 miles… Come on!

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Expenditure $7.74

Thank you Crystal and Adam for great conversation and a lovely BBQ! I forgot to get a photo so here are two of their bikes, they were out riding the others!

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Rather tired today, knees, shoulders and lower back. Eaten my cereal and ibuprofen, Starbucks here I come.

Quad espresso, slice of pizza, hotdog and a 52 fluid ounce lemonade… Good to go.

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Look what’s in the signposts now! 314 miles to go 🙂

Progress today: 1.23 hours 21 miles averaging 15 mph… Not bad with a headwind and inclines.

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Last 4/5 mile 1000 foot 7% gradient climb through my only mountain pass today was extremely tough, cycling into15/20 mph headwinds – made it to the peak though!

Up into the mountain pass:

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Was hoping for a fast decent but decided not to pedal, why should I, it’s DOWNHILL? So I let gravity fight the wind only averaging less than 3 mph… Walking pace!

Host in Lompoc has unfortunately not got back to me or given me an address so a bit of rough camping tonight.

Cutting down to two meals a day now as I’m down to my last $50 which probably isn’t enough calories but almost at final destination!!

Progress:

Week San Diego to Lompoc = 299.8 miles in 5 days

Expenditure $15.65

Looking forward to a stunning 90 miles along Pacific Highway 1 today from Venice Beach, via Malibu onto Santa Barbara. I’m entering some of the most famed coastline in America over the coming days.

The infamous Venice Beach itself is flamboyant but rather under-whelming
My preconceptions were based mainly on highly glamorised Hollywood films, expectations having been greatly exaggerated due to this subconscious saturation of popular culture and media where EVERYTHING is ‘beautiful.’

It’s a strange mix of bikini clad/large breasted leggy girls on roller skates, gay men strutting up and down the sand with brightly coloured thongs and wealthy city folk out for a Saturday morning jog, shouting down their iPhones as they they run by crowds of sun burnt homeless folk; their possessions stuffed into shopping trolleys.

Pedalling through Malibu – million dollar beach homes scattered along the side of the road. Not ideal location in the event of a tsunami I’d wager!

Malibu pier:

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Mugu beach:

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Oxnard was hosting the annual ‘strawberry festival’ in the centre, the smell of fruit hung in the air! Salivating somewhat I bypassed the crowds and found my own mini version!

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Super yummy…

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Arrived safe after 107 miles as I was loosing the sun. Ready for planned BBQ and live music at hosts friend leaving do!

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Expenditure $13.04