Trekking the California Coast Solo: San Francisco to San Diego – Part 3

Having completed my first day on the road, San Francisco to Pigeon Point, I was ready for more.  I was now getting into the thick of the ride, ready for more adventure as I made my way south on this 710 mile journey.

Heading into Santa Cruz, I began having bike troubles.  My rear derailleur was having problems.  I could not stay in one gear without slipping into another one… I had to get this fixed…but where?  This is when I discovered the true joy of the local bike shop.  A place that feels familiar because they talk your language, understand your needs and help you get back on the road.  Heading into Santa Cruz, I found Epicenter Cycling.  They were friendly, knowledgeable and very interested in my ride.  It was wonderful to note that they did not hesitate to get me up and going as quickly as they could.  They repaired my bike and got me on the road again.  So, to Epicenter Cycling and all small bike shops out there who get cyclists back on the road (including the one I go to most, A Road Bike 4U), I salute you!!!

Winding my way through and around Santa Cruz I eventually found my way into farm country and something I dreaded… HEADWINDS!  Mile after mile I road through headwinds trying to make it into Monterey.  Lets face it, there is nothing like it to ruin your average pace, speed and motivation.  But… I did make it through and it made getting to my destination that much sweeter.

After a night in Monterey, I began the scenic 17 Mile Drive around the Monterey Peninsula.  It is considered one of the most beautiful drives in the country.  At almost every turn more beauty is found.  It is a time to slow down and enjoy the splendor.  I found myself stopping at every turnout to try and take it all in.

I have often been asked what was the most memorable aspect of the ride.  While there are many, the number one thing that comes to mind are the people that you meet on your journey.  Lets face it, you stick out like a sore thumb; your bike fully loaded with panniers and various travel components on your bike.  So I found, every time I stopped, that people were interested in who I was and where I was going.  I met people from all over the world, from Brazil to Scotland, The Netherlands and all over the United States.  I met so many people… all were friendly, all curious and all wished me luck on my journey.  This was perhaps, to me, the best part of the ride.


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