Monday, May 24, 2010

Good Times, Bad Times, You Know I've Had My Share...





Leaving Newport Beach, the four of us are all smiles knowing we have one final day. Heading south on the Pacific Coast Highway we admire the most beautiful scenes of our trip. The lanes are marked for cyclists, the pavement is good, the beach towns are unique (unlike the Costco/ Starbucks/ etc. model you see all over here), the ocean views and the affluence all made for this finale to be satisfying. We met up with Edgar & Pat, friends of Ron, in Dana Point and while riding through San Onofre State Park, Ron made a U-turn right in front of a second later, he would have a bumper tattoo or worse. Praying each day before leaving paid off.

Our route took us through Camp Pendleton where you see signs such as 'TANK CROSSING' or 'ARTILLERY RANGE 127'. A large group of soldiers were training as we rolled by. Leaving this area, the ride continues through the beach towns of Oceanside, Carlsbad, Leucadia, Encinitas and more. This is the BEST place to ride, the best. So much so, a cousin of Rich's flew down from Vancouver BC with three friends to ride in and around San Diego for a week. Their trip overlapped with ours and we hung out briefly in Cardiff-By-The-Sea to share stories and refuel. Griffin and I played in the ocean and the water felt great. If I were you, I'd make plans to go to Encinitas...nice size, great shops and restaurants, and excellent beaches.

Well, Ron reminded us we had to get back to work, so we said goodbye to everyone and the four of us rode through Torrey Pines and LaJolla. Just beautiful! It is now afternoon and traffic is picking up. This poor guy in a white Ferrari had to weave around potholes, but we rolled up behind him at a stoplight to admire the V-12 and hear the music when the light turned green...couldn't keep up with him though. Nearing San Diego, my bladder was about to burst and I spotted a guy moving. Yeah, I asked him if I could use his bathroom. He said, "Anything for a fellow cyclist"; boy was I lucky. At Mission Beach, I chatted with Thomas, a homeless guy, and he rides 20 miles a day. Coming into San Diego, our fortunes changed and things got tense...narrow expressways, cyclists and Friday @ 4:00 is not a good combination. We picked our way south and in the barrio, learned we couldn't proceed on our intended route. But, we got great assistance and directions from the locals...I'd like to thank them. The last 15 miles were difficult for me but at one point, I began to realize I was seeing Mexico. With a tear in my eye, I could see the border fence and U.S. Border Patrol vehicles (they see you long before you see them). The four of us rode 107 miles today and finished the journey together. 1577.3 miles total. WOW!!!!!!!!!

I will post more photos and wrap this blog up in the days to come. So check back in the next few days....
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