The Great Pacific Coast Escape

Day 20: There actually is sunshine in California
(Half Moon Bay to Sunset Beach in Watsonville)

date: Saturday August 24, 2002
daily miles: 103 miles (166 km)
total miles: 1,524 miles (2,453 km)

Today started damp yet again. Mornings near the ocean are like that. I forgot but am very aware of it again. I tried to make an early start this morning. Honestly I did try. I was doing ok until a guy I saw yesterday on the road showed up in the hiker/biker campsite. It seems he had broken five spokes on his rear wheel and it took him all night to walk to the campground. So I grabbed my Shimano cassette puller and went to work. Forty-five minutes later and his wheel is perfectly true and good for more touring down the road -- my extra spokes fit his wheel perfectly. The Boy Scout in me is responsible for being the good samaritan here!!

Eventually the sunshine broke through today!! I have caught glimpses of it the last few days, but it really hasn't broke through for more than a few minutes at a time.

I somehow ended up in a Saturday ride for some women from Santa Cruz. One joked as she passed me that she had finally caught the "tourist" -- I was still in cruise mode at this point. I guess the women all had made a bet as I passed them where they were all staging for something -- whomever didn't catch me would have to buy lunch at the end of their ride for the morning. Tourist pride (or maybe my ego??) decided that wasn't playing fair and I decided to fix this problem. Although I had a good 30 miles warm-up in my legs – it was time to start into time trail mode!! I eventually caught and passed everyone back – I was cruising at over 31mph for almost an hour. I made the comment after catching the last one of their group that it wasn't fun to pick on touring cyclists pulling BOB trailers. It just wasn’t a nice thing to do. Then I pedaled off into the distance in front of her – she couldn’t even suck me wheel by drafting along.

One of the many lightshouses on the route
As for Santa Cruz -- definitely a cool town. I loved the architecture around the town and with the sunshine beaming down, everyone was out at the beach. Anyone have any high paying computer jobs in the area -- give me a whistle ok??? Can I admit to even stopping and looking at two apartments there were for rent – it really is that tempting of a place to live.

Somehow today I got lost in a big way. I ended up on some really gorgeous private beach area. Kicked back and relaxed for a while there and just enjoyed the sun and sand. Unfortunately that is when I realized I had no clue as to where I was and had to either backtrack about ten miles or head up the 15%+ grade out of the community. So I chose the 15%+ grade of course!! A homeowner yelled at me as I'm cranking my up the hill in an incredible sweat -- "you’re not going to make it to the top -- nobody ever does!!”. Sorry to disappoint him -- I made it to the top with BOB attached without dabbing. Super granny gear to the rescue!!!

Finally found Sunset Beach State Park where I was staying for the night. Only problem was that I didn't have any food and the trip to Watsonville was an additional eleven miles above today’s total distance. But I now have two super burritos, a Gatorade, Diet Coke and a big box of Poptarts for desert -- not great but lots of carbohydrates eh???
The marina at Santa Cruz

Goals I wanted today happened -- sunshine appeared and I got my laundry done at this wild laundromat in Santa Cruz. I was riding along and there was this great music coming out of there – so I just had to stop!

I had a lot of fun today -- just wish I had someone around because it would be even more fun to hangout in Santa Cruz or Capitola for a couple of days. One day perhaps?? Any takers?

Sleep time for this kiddo-


Click here to continue
Click here to continue

The Great Pacific Coast Escape
Introduction time
Two weeks before - Welcome to "BOB"
One week before - Panic time!
The trip begins! (Bellevue, WA to Sequim)
Awesome sights to be seen (Sequim to Sapho)
The longest day (Sapho to Ocean Shores)
Casual cruise to pavement pain (Ocean Shores to Raymond)
I survived the bridge!! (Raymond to Ft. Stevens, Oregon)
I talked with a real bicycle tourist! (Ft. Stevens to Cape Lookout)
Hills, hills and more hills (Cape Overlook to Newport)
It was slow going today (Newport to Florence)
Kickback, relax and just surf (at Honeyman Camp in Florence)
Time to escape the convention (Florence to Bandon)
Sputter, misfire, detour... and a new direction (Bandon to Brookings)
Please turn off the fog machine!! (Brookings to Prairie Creek Redwoods, California)
Keeping it simple (Prairie Creek Redwoods to KOA in Arcata)
Enter the 'Avenue of the Giants' (KOA in Arcata to Weott)
Running on empty (Weott to Leggett)
Back to the Pacific Ocean (Leggett to Van Damme SP at Mendocino)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Van Damme SP to Stillwater SP)
Just another simple day (Stillwater SP to Samuel Taylor SP in Bodega Bay)
What were you expecting -- Baywatch??? (Samuel Taylor SP to Half Moon Bay SP)
There actually is sunshine in California (Half Moon Bay to Sunset Beach in Watsonville)
Sleeping in late means a late start huh? (Sunset Beach SP to Pfeiffer-Big Sur SP)
Riding above the clouds (Pfeiffer-Big Sur SP to San Simeon SP
The ranger told me that I probably wouldn't want to camp here (San Simeon SP to Oceana SP)
I see cracks!! (Oceana SP to El Capitan SP near Goleta)
Are we there yet? (El Capitan SP to Leo Carillo SP near Malibu)
The “City of Angels” in one day (Leo Carillo SP to Doheny SP at Dana Point)
The end has arrived (Dana Point to San Diego)
Equipment Reflections
Personal Gear Review
Review -- Planning and Maps
Would I do it all again?