Jennifer Schofield
Pacific Coast
Making Lightning Strike After seeing how much syrup a single pancake could absorb (a lot), Carrie, Billy and I continued south from Santa Barbara. It was a warm day, and I was more than ready for my first trip midday swim. Before long, Ventura Beach presented itself, Billy and I were in the water, with Carrie as our official photographer. The surprisingly cold water jolted some endorphins into my bloodstream, enough to get me through the remaining 30 miles to Leo Carrillo.

Back on the highway, we saw the first sign with the distance to San Diego (198 miles). That was pretty exciting … and a solid reminder that the trip would soon end. This made me want to stop and swim, and have an ice cream break, and do a rest day, and generally stall as long as possible.

We all camped at Leo Carrillo State Park, where the hiker-biker site was in an unfortunately marked, but pretty decent spot. Kalyana and Sarah, who I had first met in Leggett, showed up soon after we arrived. According to Facebook updates, they were close by, but I didn't realize how close. Four women to one man at the H-B site; usually that ratio is reversed! After dinner we took a moonlit stroll to the beach where we watched surfers play on the waves under a nearly full moon. Then we returned to camp, Kalyana's ukelele came out and it was just a sweet night under the stars with my friends.

The next morning we returned to the beach to watch some surf in the daylight and I met a family driving up the coast to Ferndale, Washington—a few miles from where I had started my trip! I sent the kids off with some PCH route stickers and encouraged them all to get out there on their bikes.

The LA coast is gorgeous. I can see why so many people live here … and I think we saw most of them in their cars. Carrie pointed out that as we get closer to LA, our speed gets closer to car speed.  

It was fun to ride some more with Carrie and to have it captured by the Blackburn film crew. Near Malibu, we met three other women on a training ride who were very curious about our trip, and super encouraging.  Carrie and I stayed with a friend in Santa Monica—still excited for a real bed, a normal towel and a clean shower. I decided to take a rest day but Carrie needed to keep going and make her flight out of San Diego in a few days. I was so sorry to see her go, but I know we'll be connecting again soon.

Billy lives in LA, is similarly "funemployed" and matches me indulgence for indulgence. He drove me out to pretty Griffith Park on my rest day. We saw a show narrated by an aspiring actor, and then … I made lightning. They have a Tesla Coil and give a demonstration hourly. Midway through the spiel, I spotted the switch used to activate the coil and create a bolt thousands of times stronger than the usual 12 volts that we have in electrical sockets. When the presentation was over I was the first (or at least the most enthusiastic) volunteer to push the button. I promise that all the kids in the audience also got a turn … eventually.

One of the many things I've learned is that sometimes lightning—or other cool things—happen naturally. And sometimes we need to make them happen.


- 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 -