The Great Pacific Coast Escape

Day 24: I see cracks!!
(Oceana SP to El Capitan SP near Goleta)

date: Wednesday August 28, 2002
daily miles: 93 miles (150 km)
total miles: 1,838 miles (2,958 km)

The sailboats look like fun -- but I'll stay with my bike

I woke up this morning and got out the wheel spoke tool to check the tension and straighten a bit of wobbliness in my rear wheel from all the miles and bumps and curbs so far. It wasn’t running too true anymore. Started looking closer though and realized a couple of spoke eyelets in the rim itself have moved -- as in they are pulling out!! Then I saw all the stress cracks around the spoke eyelets on the rim.

Nine cracks so far ranging from minor to big time scary.

So I packed quickly and headed out of the campsite back into Oceana to find another wheel rim and new spokes to build a “rideable” wheel. No luck. Try Pismo. Found a shop but the owner was surfing and the kid who was in charge wouldn't let me calculate the new spoke length required for the oddball rim that they had. So I just got on my bike and started riding -- and hoped that I didn't have some major and complete total failure on the wheel in the middle of nowhere today.

The hills today were fun!!! Long and steep and it was nice and warm -- I really liked the hills around the Vandenburg military base -- amazing because I for one don't really like hills!! Didn't dab my foot until I hit Lompoc for a late lunch. Rolled out of there stuffed and onward toward Santa Barbara. I was cruising along at a pretty good rate and almost caught up with another touring cyclist – but my rear tire went flat! My first puncture of the entire trip. Oh well.... maybe I'll catch him at camp or tomorrow on the road.

Looking at the rear wheel rim with the tire off and the tube and rimstrip removed. It definitely is BIG TIME cracked – as in LOTS of CRACKS. I need to decide if I will build a new wheel in Goleta/Santa Barbara or if I can keep it together long enough to get to SuperGo in Santa Monica and just buy a whole new rear wheel there. Hopefully it doesn’t blow apart before then.

If anyone ever rides through here, I highly recommend staying at the Refugio State Park instead of the El Capitan State Park. Hiker/biker place at Refugio is on the beach and you can't hear the freeway or the trains. I would have stayed there, but no food around meant I had to keep going until I found something to get -- else I would have starved!!! (Remember to stop early for food or bring a stove and some dry food)

Really got a good look at myself tonight in the mirror. I don't exactly look the same. Lots of sun-baked skin, my butt has disappeared and can't hold my Mountainsmith waist bag up anymore, my legs are buff and any bicyclists would kill for this amount of muscle tone. My upper body and musculature has radically slimmed down -- I'm starting to get the look of the professionals in the Tour de France itself who have no upper body mass at all! Maybe when I get home, I should write a book to compete with Dr. Atkins Diet book -- "Bicycle that fat away in thirty days".

Time to get some sleep-


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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?