Jennifer Schofield
Pacific Coast
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Leaving Vets Memorial Park in Monterey I was faced with more climbing, or the option to bomb down the hill we struggled up the night before. There's only one right answer to that question, especially when the descent delivers you to a longer, prettier route. I think the seals striking poses in the harbor approved. I left earlier than James and Pierre, wanting to catch as much scenery as possible, riding along the golf course-infested 17-Mile Drive to Carmel and stopping at Point Lobos Reserve. I altered my schedule a bit so I could ride (camp) with them one more day … and be assured a hot shower that night.

Point Lobos did not disappoint. I'm not sure how to explain it, but when I coasted into the reserve, I immediately relaxed. (Keep in mind I've been on vacation for 4 weeks at this point—things were already pretty chill.) It was a quiet yet powerful beauty. I could have sat for hours taking in the mossy trees, wildflowers, succulents, beaches, birds, seals and waves. It wasn't take-your-breath-away gorgeous but a peaceful place that lulled me into complete calmness.

When it was time, I returned to Highway 1. Before long I stopped to remove a layer of clothing and put on a layer of sunscreen. Two guys—cousins—pulled over to walk a fat dachshund and take a look through their binoculars. The local cousin told me we were on his favorite drive in the world. The cousin from Florida didn't seem to believe I was really riding my bike border to border, and asked me if the car parked next to us was mine. Before I could get too far into my "Seriously?" routine, I heard a familiar voice call out, "Hello, Gorgeous!" James and Pierre had caught up and rescued me once again.

We loved the hiker-biker site at Pfeiffer and had a stroll around that evening. Other than that it was a typical night: pitch tents, eat, talk about nothing in particular yet also manage to solve the world's problems, eat some more. I was to have an early morning the next day, with 70 miles to the next hot shower. Our last night … I don't think I'm capable of realizing I won't see them after tomorrow morning. That is, until I visit them in London. When I woke the next morning, nothing but snores coming from their tent. I blew some kisses toward my sweet friends, and headed out.

Billy, who we met in Monterey, is an early riser. He packed lighter than I did, and laughs more. We indulged in the best French toast I've ever had at the Big Sur Lodge. Then we rode up, up and up some more. I stopped at the Big Sur Bakery to replenish fuel supplies.

A thick blanket of mist covered the hills. I understand that we were on the coast for much of the morning, but we couldn't see the water through the fog. Without thinking, I began singing Over the Rainbow. No rainbows here, except maybe for some small ones tucked in the misty hills. But that's the song I found myself singing, wondering what I'd find when I finally emerged from the mysterious fog.

We stopped for lunch at Rugged Point and the sun came out, and then everything was glorious, dramatic cliffs plunging into the ocean, aqua blue water, birds circling overhead, wildflowers—the works. We stopped to take even more photos. And when the landscape flattened out going into San Simeon, it was gorgeousness all over again—sweeping views of wild grass, happy cows and that coast. And then, just when it seemed our hearts would burst, we came upon Elephant Seal beach. Forty-some huge seals lounged in the sun. This day might have been too much, but the shower was only lukewarm at San Simeon Beach State Park.

The next morning I rode a few foggy miles to Cambria then set up camp in a cafe for second breakfast and an outlet to plug my phone into. An hour and a half later, I'd submitted my latest blog post, spoke with my husband and the fog had burned off. The tailwind ushered in another day with beautiful coastline and happy cows. Turns out the other side of the rainbow is pretty great!




- IMAGES OF THE ROAD -

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Jennifer Schofield

Gear List

- MY BLACKBURN GEAR -

- MY BIKE SPECS -

- PERSONAL ITEMS -

- TECHNOLOGY -

- CAMPING GEAR -

- CLOTHING -

Jennifer Schofield's profile picture
Jennifer Schofield
  • What was the genesis moment or inspiration for your upcoming adventure? Have you traveled by bike in the past? Reading Bruce Weber’s New York Times posts about his 2011 cross-country bicycle trip rekindled my 20-year old dream of doing a long bike ride. Then I talked with several friends who have done long tours – both the PCH and Transamerica…and I started thinking, hey, if these guys can do this, I can too. I’ve done the Seattle-to-Portland Bicycle Classic a couple times – what’s a few more hundred miles?
  • What was the genesis moment or inspiration for your upcoming adventure? Have you traveled by bike in the past? Reading Bruce Weber’s New York Times posts about his 2011 cross-country bicycle trip rekindled my 20-year old dream of doing a long bike ride. Then I talked with several friends who have done long tours – both the PCH and Transamerica…and I started thinking, hey, if these guys can do this, I can too. I’ve done the Seattle-to-Portland Bicycle Classic a couple times – what’s a few more hundred miles?
  • What is your goal for the route? What do you hope to get out of this journey? I intend to ride from Port Angeles, WA to the US-Mexico border. I am hoping for adventure, time on the beautiful Pacific coast, a good tail wind and embracing life outside the cubicle! I’m looking forward to visiting the small towns along the coast and especially meeting new people along the way.

MY MUST HAVES

  • Magic Feather Because believing I can do it is what's going to get me there
  • My Journal Documenting the memories as I go
  • My Phone Staying connected with friends and family
  • Lip Balm A little bit of comfort that I carry with me on every long ride

- MY RIDE -

- Pacific Coast Milestones -