Santa Cruz to Just Past Carmel

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August 9 – 79.5 miles, 4,467 feet, 3,919 calories

I had been dreading the Carmel to Cambria ride even though I have done it 3 or 4 times in the past as part of the Pacific Coast Century. It is just under 100 miles with more than 7,000 feet of climb. I wasn’t at all sure how I would handle it now.

I started dealing with that issue today by turning the planned 55 mile ride to Carmel into a 79.5 mile ride that ate up about 24 miles of the Carmel to Cambria ride and a couple thousand feet. I was pleased about that the next day.

Leaving Santa Cruz involved a number of back roads, including one that reached 16%. Thankfully that was for only a short distance both so I could make it to the top and so that it wouldn’t fry my legs for the rest of the day’s ride.

On the way, I met John in Monterey who was riding from Los Angeles to San Francisco. He was self supported. That isn’t my choice but I respect those who can do it.

(John)

The traffic on Highway 1 to the turnoff to Carmel Valley was atrocious and there was little or no shoulder.  Though it improved significantly, traffic on Hwy. 1 was a reason I wonder if I’ll do the ride to Cambria again. 

As I say, I knocked some miles off of the next day’s ride by getting within 3 miles of Big Sur. Along the way, I met Gabriel, who was on the coast route for the first time. There was enough traffic that I hoped it would thin out as we got farther south, a wish that was denied. We ate on Cannery Row in Monterey (Ale booked an overpriced room in Monterey because the rooms in Carmel were way more expensive) and dinner was delicious.  We both had sword fish and loved it. We shared a piece of carrot cake which was good but not nearly as good as what we will have at the Completion Of The Journey get together on September 14.

(Gabriel)

Rick

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