Monday, June 28, 2010

Pacific Coast Ride to LA Day 3 - Cambria to Santa Barbara

Day 3 of the trek sees me up-and-at-em very early in lovely Cambria. I wasn't sure how fast I could go, so with a 150 or so miles in the plan for the day, I needed to start around 7am to make sure I got to Santa Barbara before the sun went down.

Anytime you're near the coast in California in the summer, you get this huge fog bank in the evening, settling in overnight. It's in full effect this morning - I couldn't even wear my glasses, and cars had their windshield wipers on. I refer to these mornings as "good complexion mornings".

I rolled through Cayucos and stopped to look at this curious carving of a fisherman carrying a mermaid (I mean, for a coffee shop? I don't get it - it's not a seafood restaurant). Turns out I made the trip! You always want to find an "est" - "The biggest ___" or "The tallest ___" on a road trip, right? This, ladies and gentleman, is the most unique picture ever taken. Or, a picture of it anyway. You're welcome

Quick breakfast in cute San Luis Obispo, then more rolling along - maybe half of the day was like this. I'm a Hudson River School fan - I love looking mountains, so this works for me.

Exactly halfway through the ride today, I got a nice reminder of where I was. I love maps, so I loved this wall

I had a tail wind pushing me along nicely on 80 miles of flat stuff until I came up to this

Top of the toughest climb of the day, great vista opens up on to Lompoc, which must have been the world capital of people-getting-around-on-rascals. I was amused

This is the world's crappiest photo of dolphins but come on people, I saw dolphins! In the wild! I don't do that every day.

Ok you Santa Barbara people with your "it's warm in the evening so often that we have permanent sand volleyball courts set up" lifestyle. I hate you! And it's not because I'm really jealous, no...

Would you believe with 15 miles to go, I get the first flat of the trip? And it's not just a flat, the whole tire was cut. Luckily I was a boy scout. This was bootable (cycling term, you non-geeks) but I had a whole spare tire. I was able to pick up a new spare just 5 miles later at a bike shop in Santa Barbara too, sweet.

Now, I'm not proud. As a cyclist I travel to small towns a lot and I've stayed in every dumpy hotel there is. I'll stay in a Motel 6. And the one I stayed at in Monterey was predictable - it worked, but it wasn't really appealing. But holy crap, look at the Santa Barbara Motel 6. I was shocked enough I took a photo. Very nice.

For those curious how the tan is coming along, I'd say it's progressed from "unfashionable" in the cycling sense almost all the way to "hot". If cycling tans made people fast...

A bit more nerdy chatter about how I'm getting through the ride. 150 miles was long, but honestly it felt okay. In fact, I rode steadily enough for the first 140 miles that by the time I got to that point and I was sure I could make it no matter what I started going full throttle just to see what my body could do after 8+ hours of riding. Surprisingly, quite a bit. Not sure what is actually doing it, but here's today:

2x small non-fat latte (gotta watch the girlish figure)
3x 24oz water
2x 20z gatorade
2x 20oz Dr.Pepper
3x clif bar
1x ham-n-cheese croissant (I have a mean addiction to these)
1x old fashioned salt-n-pepper potato chips
2x electrolyte cocktail (tums for calcium, magnesium pill, potassium pill)

2270 calories in all. My power meter says I burnt 4000. My basal metabolism is 1800. So I'm happily not guilty about polishing a whole pizza post-ride.

That's it. So it's a lot of stuff but not outrageous. Whatever worked, I was happy it worked.

One other note for people interested in something like this, here's the nitty-gritty of the routine:

- 7am wake up, snarf something, kit out, sunscreen, roll out
- surprise, you bike all day
- ok, you stop 3-4 times at convenience stores to buy fluids and snacks
- ride into town 6ish, check in
- immediately eat something
- plug in almost completely drained phone
- order food
- get out rest of chargers and laptop etc
- download power meter data, photos
- get food, start eating
- shower, wash kit, use towel trick (roll kit in towel, wring it) to speed dry, hang it
- eat more
- work remotely, believe it or not, livin' the life...
- organize photos and post em
- use google earth and google maps to write down turn-by-turns on post-it for next day
- fill bottles, tape post it with turns on stem, pack
- 11:30pm (it takes that long), zzzz

I thought there would be time to watch some movies I brought on my laptop or read or something, but not at all. Maybe if there were 80 miles or less a day, but not at 120-150/day.


teresa said...

OMG dolphins!!

Great job today, esp. on finding the "uniquest" photo.

Sweet dreams. (And yeah, I only stayed up this late to read your post. I admit, I kinda like you.)

Mike Hardy said...

I almost forgot the full mammal report:

- dolphins (two pods, feeding)
- rabbits (*big* warren)
- ground squirrels (one den)
- herds and herds o cattle
- horses
- llamas (why are llamas always surprising?)

The dolphins were definitely the highlight

I should also mention that the big hill before Lompoc had heat waves coming off it, buzzards wheeling in the air on the thermal, and a Tuvan song came on just as I hit it. If you love climbing and heat, that's zen. If you don't it's a Tibetan aerial burial, but I like climbing and heat. Was wonderful.

teresa said...

And I'm loving the inadvertent (or perhaps it was advertent) self-portrait in the mirror of the hotel interior shot. Loving the diner booth seating, so cute - that's a Motel 6? - but mostly, loving the familiar sight in the reflection.

Unknown said...

Good luck today, Son. I'll keep your tracker up on my screen and watch your progress. How do you get your bike back home?

Mike Hardy said...

I UPSed my bike box, with clothes for the days I'll be at Stu's house and a soft-sided bag, ahead of me a couple days ago. I'll fly home on Southwest with that.

Irony - UPS charged me $74 total to ship it ($50+ by weight, $15 "unboxed fee" plus tax etc). Southwest flies bikes for $50.

Just doing the "snarf / kit out / sunscreen" thing for the morning right now, going to roll out soon. Malibu and Santa Monica, here I come - then inland to Altadena