Not much to report, except that we made it 57 miles over the mountain to Santa Barbara, and had a flat, and saw two other pairs of bicycle tourists, and bought a new tube of toothpaste along with the usual six quarts of Gatorade.
It was good riding, except for 22 miles on Highway 101; it was easy, despite the long but well-graded rolling climb that topped out at over 1000 feet. It was sunny, once we left LOM-poke. There was nothing in the way of services for forty miles, nothing but a water fountain at a rest stop. There was no lunch: Five Guys seemed a distant dream, as we satiated our perpetual hunger with protein bars and energy chews and gluten-free bison jerky. We appreciated how lucky we’ve been to have so much civilization, so many options for real food, so many opportunities to refill our bottles.
The view from the rest stop where 1 joins 101, sandstone mountains meet the chalk and shale of the seaside bluffs, and chaparral gives way to coastal eucalyptus trees and ice plants.
The big question today was, are we in Southern California yet? Probably. Palm trees, giant pastel stoneware pots of flowers, Mission architecture, adobe walls festooned with fragrant vines, freeways, convertible sports cars, wet-suited surfers, tourists in aloha shirts, smooth jazz playing in hotel lobbies, bars packed with raucous hipsters, ostentatious fashionistas — and in the bigger picture, towering chaparral-covered mountains looming on one side, a vast and calm Pacific on the other, the horizon dotted with offshore drilling platforms. None of these features cannot be found elsewhere in the state, but their confluence adds up to more than the sum of its parts.
We are asking a timely question. This November, residents of the Golden State will vote on whether to split California into three states:
Billionaire Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper got 600,000 signatures to qualify “CAL 3” for the November ballot.
According to this plan, we would still be in “California,” which would roughly be equivalent to Central California, extending from Monterey as far south as to include most of greater Los Angeles. But culturally, geologically, botanically, historically, and most important imaginatively, we believe we have crossed the line into SoCal. And in doing so, we have been riding easterly long enough to actually be slightly east of Reno, Nevada. Fun fact, verifiable on the map above.
Like our first flat (see Day 12 of this blog) the second occurred in a place, if not as sweet as an Oregon Coast hotel room, at least more convenient than it might have been, on the wide paved margin of a US 101 exit ramp along the scenic coastline and next to the track on which travels Amtrak’s Coast Starlight, which passed just as David, clipping in after a short pit stop, noticed his rear tire had deflated (again). It was a rather small piece of glass this time, one of the billions we’ve ridden over since Canada.
Making up for lost time: the quintessential 7-11 snack stop, in Goleta.
Our designated exit from 101 took us on a suburban Santa Barbara arterial for miles, via a nicely paved bike lane that skirted the University of California campus and, as early as 3:30, dropped us down through town to the harborside, where we’d reserved a room in a beautiful but relatively inexpensive motel with pool, a grassy courtyard covered in flowering trees and hedges, and a complimentary wine-and-cheese reception (which we eschewed in favor of the customary brewery tour).
End of today’s trail, a block from our lodgings, just on the left.
Only a few short hours later, Third Window Brewing, our 18th brewery on the tour, and the second place (we’re looking at you, Chico) we’ve enjoyed beet-pickled deviled eggs.
Walking back to the room: the original Sambo’s, founded 1957. (It is not a pub. We did not eat here.)
Today by the numbers: 56.8 miles, 2345′, 4:31.