Gualala, CA to Santa Cruz, CA
This week has been a much needed break. Gualala to Santa Cruz is about 150 miles: I biked into the bay and back out, but not much else. In the last week I’ve snacked, rested my knee, caught up with old friends, and chilled hard.
The ride coming up to San Francisco is a bit of a killer. The climbs are back-to-back with incredible turns that descend inland before spinning back to the coast. Most people who stop me ask how I can handle all the traffic. Fortunately it's been a non-issue. Drivers along the 1 are courteous and slow (for the most part), and they gave me plenty of room.
I stopped a local for directions to the BART when I got into the city and he rode the half hour with me to the CalTran. We chatted about the new custom bike he was building and local shops. The BART, I learned later, was the wrong train to get out to my friend hosting me in Palo Alto. (Many thanks to Jeff for a friendly welcome to SF!)
Over the week my host David and I drove out to the coast to see a bit of the ACA route that I missed by stopping in the city. It was just enough to get me anxious to be on the road again. We visited Pie Ranch north of Santa Cruz, an educational farm that had hosted all of the Blackburn Rangers earlier this year. I set out the next day from Palo Alto and found myself taking the same aqueduct trail that we had followed this spring. The climb was just as brutal, but the weather’s considerably more manageable.
In the coming weeks I'll be biking through Big Sur and LA, and I've got plans with friends and family along the way. At just over half-way I'm starting to feel the time crunch to finish: I'm forcing myself to slow down and enjoy the stops just a bit longer.
- Pacific Coast Milestones -
- FROM: Brooklyn, New York
- DOB: 2016-01-01
- OCCUPATION: Mechanic and Social Media Communications
What was the genesis moment or inspiration for your upcoming adventure?
I’ve had the fortune of seeing a lot of the world, and it’s taken me time to recognize that there is so much amazing adventure within close reach here in the US. Travelling from one end of the country to the next will give me an incredible lens into the landscape of my home, and I am excited of the people and natural beauty that I will meet along the way. I’ve followed the Blackburn Ranger program for the last few years, and the variety of their backgrounds and approaches were immediate inspiration for me to tackle the same path in my own way.
Have you traveled by bike in the past?
The last time I traveled by bike was a few years ago, but I can always be found around one of my bikes, commuting or exploring on day trips. When I travel, I make sure to rent a bike or bring one with me: there’s no better way to see a place than to get around by bicycle.
What is your goal for the route?
I plan to camp along the entire route, and share all of the natural beauty and cultural quirks along the way. I also plan to hike a number of summits with my bike and friends, and find beautiful views that can only be found far away from cities.
What do you hope to get out of this journey?
I'm excited to shake up my routine, and the routines of my friends (and friends-to-be!) along the way. I want to push my limits to get the most out of the time I have, and to learn more about myself.
- Pacific Coast Milestones -