Tuesday, July 19, 2011

day thirty two

July 11th
Pfiefer Big Sur State Park to Bridge Street Inn, Cambria
74 miles

Alarm set for 5:30, got up and it was still dark!  Waited til 6, made coffee, breakfast and broke camp.

Left around 8AM.  2 other bikers out right before me, everyone else, 9 or 10 of them, still asleep.  Crazy since there aren't a lot of camping options, either 25 miles or 60 something.  I wouldn't want to be stuck on these roads after dark.

Big 1000 foot climb right out of camp.  Very foggy.  The 2 bikers that left before me passed me about halfway up, said they were going to Morro Bay too and to find them.  Kept a very slow pace climbing today since I needed to save my energy.  Almost half my normal speed (3mph instead of 6!) but it worked though.  Made it to the top and barely broke a sweat. 

Kept going, fog starting to burn off.  Traffic getting heavier by the hour. 

Didn't pay attention to my odometer at all today, just kept riding.  Really helped, made time go faster.  I need to stop looking at that damn thing so much.

More jaw dropping views on coast.  Some road construction sites, had to keep stopping for one lane areas.  Lots of landslides this winter here, I'm told.  Stopped at a random spot, looked down the steep cliff and saw what appeared to be a dead whale.  It was about 1000 feet down but I'm sure that's what it was.  Must have been a younger one, I'd guess 15-18 feet long.  Birds all over it.  Felt bad for it, wondered how it died and if I should tell someone.

Finally made it to Ragged Point, where terrain is mostly flat after this!  Met another couple from Germany who were just celebrating their first year on the road together.  They started in Germany, headed south, ended up in India, where they flew to Mexico somewhere and where now riding north to Canada.  Talked for a while, they had camped for free basically every night until they entered the states.  He couldn't believe how much camping was here. 

Wished each other luck, shared some route advice and hit the road again.  Nice tailwind after Ragged Point and all flat.  Haulin!

On the long, flat stretches I noticed the bike felt like it was shimmying a little.  Also, I had noticed a new squeak that started somewhere in the Big Sur area that had been getting louder.  Could not figure out what it was.  Then I happened to look down at the rear wheel while I was riding.  Huge wobble in rear wheel, SHIT!  Pulled over and tried to assess the damage.  Rim bent so far it was hitting the brake arm, which was causing the squeak.  Brake arm rubbing into tire too, which would have rubbed right through if I hadn't have caught it.  Next bike shop in Cambria, 9 miles away.  Called bike shop, no answer.  Called hostel in town too, no answer.  Around 5:00PM.  No choice but to head to Cambria.  Morro Bay still 20 miles away.

Disconnected rear brake and limped it to Cambria.  Long 9 miles.  Pulled into Cambria, nice little town.  Found Cambria Bike, just closing.  Mechanic, Alan, told me to come back in the morning, which was fine.  They don't open until 10AM but he said to come around 830 an he'll be there.  He's sure he can get the bike fixed, which is all I needed to hear.  He directed me toward the hostel and made my way there. 

Checked in, really cool 110 year old house that had been converted into a hostel.  Charged my phone, relaxed for a bit.  Walked to West Side Bar and Grill and had dinner, double cheeseburger and 2 beers.  Planned to walk to "The Saloon" down the street afterwards but it closed at 8PM!  Everything closed!  Oh well, probably better that way.

Hung out for bit then hit the sack.  Hoping bike is fixable tomorrow, would like to ride as far as possible depending on what time I get on the road.

outside the town of Big Sur

luckily not much traffic this early

long way down

fog starting to clear

dead whale, zoomed in as far as my camera could

elephant seals out around San Simeon

1 comment:

  1. So glad you are able to document your journey. It is very exciting to follow you on the road. I can't help but feel the "thrill." In 1983, my best friend, Sally, and I rode the coast from WA to CA and stayed in all of the hiker-biker camp grounds. It was one of our greatest times-we partied way to hard in Brookings!! Keep safe and keep rolling the camera and sharing with us old folks!!