Saturday we (Greg, I, Sal and Kat are with our bikes at the start) set off from Cambria for Solvang after having spent a night in a great resort in Cambria.
The first approximately 36 miles were down Hwy. 1 to San Louis Obispo and the tail wind made us feel especially strong. It certainly made us fast! After getting directions to Solvang at a bike shop in SLO, Greg and I left Sal and Kat who were visiting Sal’s son who is a student in SLO. Our first stop out of town was a free BBQ. Yes, free. Apparently a doctor was celebrating his 25th anniversary by treating patients and the community to BBQ chicken, Tri-tip, baked beans, salad and cookies. Needless to say, Greg and I took advantage of that.
On the road, our directions led us to an on ramp to Hwy. 101 that said bicycles prohibited. After urging from Greg, and because there didn’t seem to be much of an alternative, I agreed to go ahead and get on. The shoulder was wide and smooth and with the winds blowing at our backs to the south, we were doing 25+ mph on the flats. We were also passed by a Highway Patrol car that paid us no attention. After a few miles, and after passing another Highway Patrol car that had stopped a motorist but seemed to look at us longer than I liked, we got off 101 but were fortunate to have a frontage road that took us along the coast through, among other places, beautiful Pismo Beach. The view was much different, and closer, than if we had been in a car on Hwy. 101. Between the fast wind aided pace and the beautiful views, things were great.
Some 35 or so miles later Kat and Sal rejoined us – they were driven there by our SAG wagon that was expertly operated, once again, by Sandi. That meant they joined us where the blustering winds were hitting us from the side and that made things more adventurous until we turned so that we again had a tail wind and a blistering pace. The ride into Solvang made its way through numerous vineyards and was mostly flat with only a couple of real climbs for a total gain of around 4,400 feet from Cambria. So my day in the saddle had a lot less climb than did those who rode from Carmel to Cambria.
Solvang was a great destination. If you haven’t been there, you should visit. It is a small “Dutch Town” with interesting architecture, lots of shops, restaurants and numerous wine tasting rooms. Kat and Sal enjoyed pedicures Sunday and after a short 25 mile ride Monday morning, we all got vigorous and enjoyable massages before heading off to have wine, cheese and bread, with salamis, pate and olives, at a hill top winery that Greg discovered from asking lots of questions while in town.
After that great lunch, we headed home – by the Suburban, not by bike!
It was a great few days, aside from the mishaps mentioned in my last posting. Outstanding rides, beautiful scenery, nice places to visit, good company – though we missed Nick! – and ideal riding weather. The only downer came when I watched the Warriors lose game 2 to the Thunder when I got home (I had recorded it). However, yesterday’s trouncing by the Warriors helped make up for it and all will again be right with the world if the Warriors win Game 3 this Sunday.
By the way, Nick is feeling great although he discovered on Wednesday’s ride that he is still weak from his blood loss. His doctor told him that it would ordinarily take a couple of months to get his blood back as it should be but that he should be able to speed that along with some additional medical attention. We certainly hope so because we are scheduled to start Laura’s Ride 2016 in less than a month.