Tour of The California Coast

Day #6
June 11, 2010
Newport Beach - Home
85 miles

The end of the journey.

We woke up to June gloom and a headwind. I took the gloom as mother nature's sadness our trip was coming to an end. I viewed the headwind as a chance to prolong the riding. Emotions were mixed today. I wanted to celebrate the success of our journey but I also did not want the trip to end. I thought this journey would be more of a test of my physical and psychological make up but it wasn't. It was just plain fun. It was amazing, exhilarating, awesome, and liberating I did not want it to end. It was a great reminder of how fun it is to ride a bike. Sometimes expectations of performance, fatigue, and other responsibilities wear on me.  Riding from point A to point B without any other cares is sinfully delicious, like eating nothing but frozen yogurt for dinner :)

I really enjoyed the ride down from Newport beach. Soon we hit Laguna Beach and it was beautiful. I forget how close to home this riding is. Throughout the week when I saw county signs or mileage signs I would cheer. When I saw the Laguna Beach sign I wasn't certain I should celebrate. I didn't really want to face the reality that the trip was soon to be history.

After Laguna Beach was Dana Point. I read Beth's blog a while back and learned of a place named Revo, a bicycle/ espresso shop she and her husband rode their bikes to. I couldn't think of a better business establishment to patronize so we stopped. Unfortunately they weren't open yet. We rolled on. Maybe one of these days I'll talk the gals into Dana Point, via bike.

San Clemente was the last chance for coffee before entering Camp Pendleton. Cappuccino sounded good.
I like the kind of business establishments that have good bike parking.

Makes me smile a bit.
Told you it was windy. Windy. I heard these "old guys" or "blinged up geezers" as we now say, bragging about how thay had been averaging 35 mph. I wanted to say "Don't turn around, just keep riding and take the train home."
I couldn't delay things forever and despite not wanting the trip to end Camp Pendleton is a wonderful place to ride. Lot's of reminiscing. Memories of my first century, first 1/2 Ironman, training from Ironman Arizona in 2008.
Pendleton went by too fast and soon we were in Oceanside Harbor. Tim and I did some extra loops around the harbor for full effect. We were getting to close to home. Next up for debate was lunch. Tim voted for Pannikin in Encinitas. I voted for "Berry Happy" frozen yogurt in Encinitas. Bruce voted for fish tacos in Carlsbad.
Bruce won. It's a family tradition while in town. I think it's where Bruce goes to eat after Oceanside 70.3 while waiting for awards. It's where the rest of us just eat.

I'm sort of sad here. I don't want to the ride to be over and I know there is only 25 miles between me and my home. Bruce suggests we ride to Mexico. Tim says he's glad we thought to put a beer in the fridge to celebrate with post ride. Part of me is immature. I feel the urge to hurl myself on the ground in a "Dennis the Menace" style tantrum. I don't want the trip to end end. "No! No! No!" The part of me I act on is the reasonable rational side that realizes I have had the privilege to do something really, really amazing. If given the chance I would do it again but doing this trip once makes my feel like I have had more than my fair share of fun and opportunity in this life.

We roll home along the coast. We choose the inside of Torrey Pines for the ascent. Tim always takes the inside of Torrey as the views are better and he like bunny hopping the cracks in the "Broken Road" on top. Bruce doesn't know the tricks Tim and I do entering the the park. He gets stuck behind traffic. A large gap form and we soft pedal. I notice Bruce eliminating the gap quickly, very quickly. I hear him breathing and see him riding with enormous speed. At mile 645, he is ready to race. He is throwing down, blinging up,  giving everything he's got  and looking for somebody willing to engage. At first I don't engage. The faster we ride, the sooner we are done (: Tim taps my bike and says "get him". I launch into an all out climb. We race like kids through the park. I keep thinking the game will end but Bruce continues to launch attacks until the La Jolla Shores descent. We take the scenic route through the neighborhood and debate which way to ascent Soledad. Via Capri or not. I don't think a standard 27 is enough gears for me today to tangle with Via Capri and the guys have packs. So we take the longer but less steep route. We ride through the village, drop our packs at home and climb to the top of Mt. Soledad. All too soon the trip has ended and we are looking back on the ground we covered. The journey ended but the memories didn't.

Riding the coast from San Francisco to San Diego in a unsupported fashion was like reading a really, really good book. The best book you've ever read.  The kind were you can't put it down and quickly turn all the pages. As you see the pages left to turn get smaller, you don't really want it to end but it does. I'm sure like a good book there are other great experiences yet to be discovered.
The End.


tim said...

Well, we could do it once a month.

Bruce said...

Epic Epic Epic

Cindy said...

What a grand ride and such a grand account of it. It made for wonderful reading! I could hardly wait for each installment. Could you do another longer ride and then tell us the next adventure?