I finally mustered up the courage to conquer the big hills and narrow roads of Big Sur and beyond! And, it was more of a door than a tour as this will be the first of many California coastal crusades!
Day 1. 31.08 miles 3084 elevation gain: (http://www.mapmyride.com/view_workout?w=1036806573) Once I packed my saddle bags, I jumped on my bike and off I went! I bypassed the extra miles of the Pebble Beach/17 mile drive as I bike this frequently and wanted to save my energy for whatever may lie ahead. I remember feeling tired after the first mini hill to get into Carmel and was wondering what it the world made me think I could do this. But, I peddled on and quickly found my groove at Garrapata! I was glad that my biker buddy, Omar, turned me on to having music as it wasn’t long before I was singing to my favorite tunes thinking that no one could hear me. (Except for that one hiker near Point Lobos). 🙂 I found that sharing the road wasn’t as scary as I had originally imagined and was feeling fairly confident in the whole idea until a heavy side-wind started to challenge my stability and stamina! So, I slowed it down a notch on the downthill and couldn’t be happier when I started to catch my breath at almost every breathtaking view!
Once I hit Bixby bridge, it was just a little stretch longer till I came to the Big Sur River to cool my feet and fill my tummy!
Day 2: 70.46 miles 7726 Elevation Gain (http://www.mapmyride.com/view_workout?w=1037713215) On Day 2 is when I realized that I should have planned my sleeping arrangements backwards instead of forwards. Because of the high tourist season, it was much harder for me to find a reasonably priced hotel or cabin, so I ended up having to stretch my Day 2 to San Simeon where they actually have money-saving motels! But, because I had already booked the Riverside Cabin in Big Sur, I set myself up for the longest and most difficult ride of my amateur cycling hobby thus far! So, with a 7:15 departure, I thought I might even have to pass up on Big Sur bakery, but when I pulled up and saw that they opened at 8, I decided that it was worth the wait! I saved half of my bacon bow tie croissant for later down the road and highly recommend that every cyclist finds a way to indulge in the baked goods of this scrumptious spot!
With a couple of shots of espresso under my belt, I shot off for only a few miles before having to capture this:
I was definitely on a roll and luckily there were few cars and no winds! And, I can’t find the words or the right camera angle to express the striking views of these cliffs!! This was my best attempt:
The best thing about biking is that you can stop at any time to absorb a moment or to meet an artist. I had to pull off when I saw this incredible piece of artwork by Jayson Fann (Spirit Nest Creations)! Jayson was about to haul this Nest off to Aspen and shared with me some incredible stories about his work and travels! This is the type or turnout tale that turns my wheels!
This creative inspiration fueled me to my next stop in Lucia! Here I met a father and daughter tandem biking from Canada to Mecico! My “tour” just became a “trip”! 😉 They wanted to wait to eat until Gorda, but were hesitant because of their tour book not having too much to say about the town. I assured them that Gorda is not necessarily “gorda”, but it does have food to make you Gorda. So we followed each other until we reached the overweight town with one gas station and one restaurant. Just right!
However, I wasn’t even the slightest bit hungry, so I decided to wait until Ragged Point to eat! Ragged is a understatement! This was the hardest 2 hill climbs of the entire trip! After one massive hill you were teased into thinking that you had completed your life goal and all of a sudden you turned a corner and saw another monstrous mountain to climb! One cyclist told me that these hills after Gorda brought her to tears! I completely understand.
After pushing myself to a new found limit, I couldn’t be happier to see this:
And to top it off, I finally saw the famous Zebras that continue to graze on the Hearst ranch….
Day 3: 24.89 miles 951 elevation gain (http://www.mapmyride.com/view_workout?w=1037915939)
My Day 2 made day 3 feel like a breeze! It was a bit anticlimactic as I quickly arrived in Morro Bay after just a couple of hours and almost no hills! I was actually wishing that I had booked a place in Avila or SLO to peddle on!However, it was a sweet ending having my significant other meet me there to enjoy a wonderful evening of Sycamore hot springs, whale/dolphin watching on the pier of Avila, and experiencing a drive-in movie for my first time! We also stayed in a funky AirBnB cabana that I highly recommend if you are ever in Morro Bay!
I can’t wait to extend this trip into a tour to Long Beach and beyond!
Thanks for reading!!!! Sarah