West Coast Bike Tour

2,212.78 miles ridden; 125,231 feet climbed

Day 35: made it to the border!

73.72

mi

Distance

2,197

ft

Elev Gain

05:54:38

Time Riding

Strava page

Day 34: Escape from LA

72.48

mi

Distance

2,230

ft

Elev Gain

05:45:34

Time Riding

Strava page

Day 33: LA!

91.88

mi

Distance

1,295

ft

Elev Gain

06:21:37

Time Riding

Strava page

Carpenteria to LA Simon arrived unexpectedly to Carpenteria late last night so we rode with him. The bike path along the beach in LA was unreal. Steve and Linda hosted us at their place in Hermosa Beach. They're the coolest! We went down to swim in the ocean, came back and had dinner - cooked by Steve for us. We sat and chatted with them for hours. It's our second to last night of the tour -- I'm pretty sad.

Day 32: climbed another mountain for fun

47.64

mi

Distance

4,909

ft

Elev Gain

04:24:47

Time Riding

Strava page

Lake Cachuma to Carpinteria, via Santa Barbara Up El Camino Ceilo, down Gibraltar Road, into Santa Barbara

Day 31: the meat of the Century, Gibraltar Road sandwich.

30.29

mi

Distance

2,049

ft

Elev Gain

02:23:34

Time Riding

Strava page

Lompoc to Lake Cachuma Quick day, sort of a rest between yesterday's Century ride, and tomorrow which will be the hardest climb of the tour. Spoke to Helen in the morning on our lazy start. She was coming back from a Launch buddy's wedding in NYC. We rode 20 miles to the Danish town of Solvang. We got breakfast at a Danish themed bakery -- Mexican waitresses in Lederhosen (pastry, coffee, nothing super healthy), and stopped by the local bike shop. Finished the last 10 miles with a call w my mom. We're biking thru the drought. It's pretty nuts. We crossed a bridge over the Santa Ynez River, only there wasn't any water -- just dry riverbed. The Lake barely has any water. I found a spot to meditate on what used to be its bank and is now a cliff-like outcropping, maybe 100 feet above the water. The wind up there was strong, whipped my face and shook me, which made meditating more difficult. But it was still good. And I paused Headspace to extend it a few more counts of ten. I'd popped a spoke - my first of the tour - upon arriving at the Lake, and Lucas helped me fix it. We did laundry by hand -- just the chamois and jerseys we plan to use tomorrow. Scotty did laundry in Solvang. He got a saddle sore that he's all bummed out is going to get infected, and he's been using a single chamois the whole trip, and not really washing it. Pretty ill-advised. Lucas and I had showers, and ate gigantic sandwiches and Danish cookies we'd bought in a bucket in Solvang. Then exchanged stories about the first time that each of us jerked off. Then we watched the gradient of fading light across the lake after sunset. Scotty told us that Simon had told him about a night ride he'd done. It shot me back to a memory of riding bikes at night under bright stars in the summer on Martha's Vineyard with Anita. I remember coasting towards the beach, looking up for as long as we dared. She'd later said it was her favorite part of our week out there with my family. I felt lonely for her even though I'm not. I thought about how many memories like that I have with ex-girlfriends. How I wish they'd been with normal friends so that they could still mean something. But maybe even if they had been, they still wouldn't mean anything; they'd still be gone. Some of my best friends, whom I never see: are old times with them any less lost than that night biking under the stars with Anita?

Day 30: SoCal, let's call it a century

97.29

mi

Distance

3,938

ft

Elev Gain

07:19:29

Time Riding

Strava page

San Simeon to Lompoc Longest ride of the tour! We had a relatively flat day, which took us from central, firmly into Southern California. Leaving San Simeon along the coast. Beautiful rolling meadows on Trulli St into San Louis Obispo. Super hotties at the Whole Foods. Tunes w the UE Boom. Headwinds ("face winds" if you're French) starting around Guadalupe. More farmlands, fields you could tell were strawberry by the sweet strong smell. Eucalyptus trees lining the 1. Dropped Scotty and lost him while filling up on water and doughnuts at a super Spanish gas station. We're in the drought here, so much more than SF. Water is scarce. The road turned and the wind was at our 16-17:00. We were going 26 mph on flats with the effort of 18 mph or so. We listened to First Aid Kit, HAIM, Hall and Oates, Sylvan Esso, and Taylor Swift. The 135 highway was beautiful. Then we turned onto a side road and started our ascent of the first proper climb of the day. Quite windy, but easy to measure out. I was feeling good, found my rhythm pretty quickly, but was pacing because I thought we had another after this. I hadn't noticed the first climb (on the 135) due to the tailwind. Anyway the climb was great! Saw an oil drill from the summit. A stolen car had been driven off the side, halfway up, and we chatted w the attending cop while a tow truck / crane lifted it out. The descent was like bicycle ballet. These beautiful switchbacks that let you dance around them in beautiful arcs. I got it on video.

Day 29: Relishing these climbs on the coast

69.16

mi

Distance

7,552

ft

Elev Gain

05:33:23

Time Riding

Strava page

Yesterday I realized how much I've come to love the climbs. They've always been the hardest part of cycling for me. At the start of this tour I dreaded these spikes in our routes' elevation maps. There's this sense that they're supposed to be dreaded: a necessary evil to justify the descent, a rite of passage, or something. But on these long climbs, a few miles long and >500', you can find an almost meditative rhythm and flow. Spinning on my lowest gear up a 7% grade, with ocean hundreds of feet below -- there's nothing like it. Now I'm trying to relish the last of them. I love this highway, and will be back to spin up these beautiful climbs again one day.

Afternoon hiking in Big Sur

46.21

mi

Distance

2,924

ft

Elev Gain

03:44:23

Time Riding

Strava page

Monterey sans caffeine, to 17 Mile Drive. Coffee, pastry, and burritos in Carmel. Then beautiful rollers. Quads on fire. Stung by a bee in my jersey! Rolled into Big Sur early enough to hike Buzzard's Roost. Met another touring couple from Flagstaff. Simon's staying on to hike here, and came over to our tent to say bye. We first met him with the slow bike touring couple w the dog trailer back at the 7 Devils.

Day 27: Whale City Bakery; Popping a spoke; Climbing a tree in Santa Cruz; Strawberry fields and migrant workers; Farm stands; Vicious headwinds and bonk sandwiches en route to Monterey

82.19

mi

Distance

3,983

ft

Elev Gain

06:31:09

Time Riding

Strava page

Day 26: Back on Highway 1! Emo jams for Scotty: The Smiths and Death Cab

55.68

mi

Distance

3,600

ft

Elev Gain

04:41:14

Time Riding

Strava page

Day 25: riding into SF!

83.1

mi

Distance

4,866

ft

Elev Gain

07:00:04

Time Riding

Strava page

And promptly eating two super burritos each

Day 24: unbelievable views & steep hairpin turns in Sonoma County

32.49

mi

Distance

2,611

ft

Elev Gain

02:39:18

Time Riding

Strava page

Perhaps the most beautiful riding of the whole trip to date. Short, but so sweet. Meeting Meg and Joe at Bodega Dunes tonight!

Day 23: in which Scott pushes the peloton 20 miles ahead of schedule

72.46

mi

Distance

6,252

ft

Elev Gain

05:32:52

Time Riding

Strava page

Day 22: Climbing Leggett Hill, the highest point on 101

56.19

mi

Distance

4,845

ft

Elev Gain

04:46:09

Time Riding

Strava page

Day 21: in which we sizzle under Cali sun, and spin up rollers

48.55

mi

Distance

4,702

ft

Elev Gain

04:00:22

Time Riding

Strava page

Day 20

79.07

mi

Distance

2,967

ft

Elev Gain

05:49:56

Time Riding

Strava page

Day 19: California Climbs & run-ins with the local weirdos

66.57

mi

Distance

4,976

ft

Elev Gain

05:43:46

Time Riding

Strava page

Day 18: Hopping the border / spinning to the Redwoods

27.2

mi

Distance

916

ft

Elev Gain

02:14:56

Time Riding

Strava page

So long, Oregon Coast Bike Route!

Day 17: Thanks, Oregon! We <3 You

86.54

mi

Distance

5,041

ft

Elev Gain

06:22:11

Time Riding

Strava page

Day 16: water is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of Oregon *~*~

73.25

mi

Distance

3,323

ft

Elev Gain

05:31:14

Time Riding

Strava page

Day 15: nice easy rollers

65.88

mi

Distance

3,167

ft

Elev Gain

04:48:18

Time Riding

Strava page

Day 14: three gorgeous climbs

63.09

mi

Distance

3,364

ft

Elev Gain

04:50:09

Time Riding

Strava page

Day 13: Tillamook Cheese Factory!!!

52.05

mi

Distance

2,598

ft

Elev Gain

04:05:03

Time Riding

Strava page

"This is the lighthouse?? This blows!"

Day 12: First day in Oregon / adding Scotty to the posse

63.22

mi

Distance

3,047

ft

Elev Gain

05:13:54

Time Riding

Strava page

Day 11: So long, Washington!

84.09

mi

Distance

1,900

ft

Elev Gain

06:12:58

Time Riding

Strava page

Day 10: Lake Quinnault -> Twin Harbors State Park

65.74

mi

Distance

1,474

ft

Elev Gain

05:11:27

Time Riding

Strava page

Day 9: kissing the Pacific on 101

75.88

mi

Distance

2,388

ft

Elev Gain

05:57:18

Time Riding

Strava page

Day 8: Port Angeles to the Hoh Rainforest

90.21

mi

Distance

3,799

ft

Elev Gain

07:44:41

Time Riding

Strava page

Day 7: hurricane ridge climb

42.3

mi

Distance

6,954

ft

Elev Gain

04:15:12

Time Riding

Strava page

Day 6 / Rest Day 1: in Victoria, BC

29.43

mi

Distance

1,302

ft

Elev Gain

02:43:22

Time Riding

Strava page

Butter chicken poutine, new tires & sunglasses from MEC. Amazing hospitality & burgers chez Tristan & James. GoPro-ing everything.

Day fucking 5: San Juan Island stroll, flats on flats

46.87

mi

Distance

3,120

ft

Elev Gain

04:36:22

Time Riding

Strava page

Day 4: rain patrol & island hopping

66.42

mi

Distance

3,712

ft

Elev Gain

05:21:34

Time Riding

Strava page

Day 3: Dawn Patrol!

75.95

mi

Distance

4,411

ft

Elev Gain

05:53:39

Time Riding

Strava page

Saltery bay -> Powell River ferry -> Comox -> Rathtrevor. Up at 5 to catch the 8am ferry, 19 miles and 1800' away. After the ferry ride, the rest of the day was long, but flat. Rain showers made the riding interesting. Hilarious conversations at Tim Hortons. Awful French cafe. Used the solar panels for the first time. Saw a stupidly beautiful sunset at Rathtrevor park. Worked on a riddle Tobie gave me. Made ready for a day of riding through thunderstorms tomorrow, down Vancouver island, past Nanaimo, to Sydney. Then San Juan islands!

Day Two

41.74

mi

Distance

4,541

ft

Elev Gain

03:30:46

Time Riding

Strava page

Day One

57.93

mi

Distance

4,278

ft

Elev Gain

05:16:34

Time Riding

Strava page

Lucas w/ the before/after shots. Had a pretty gritty climb after the ferry, followed by a fantastic rolling descent to the Sechelt Inlet.