California continues to intrigue me. And sometimes make me grumpy.
Week 2 started out with a cruise through Hollywood after thanking some law school friends for putting me up for the night. My lil' buddy seemed sad when I told him this was as close to stardom as he'd ever get. In retrospect I could have been gentler with him.
I tried to make him feel better in Beverly Hills where I assured him that, although the Bugatti Veyron and other vehicles we saw cost more than he did by orders of magnitude, he was "worth more than all of them, to me."
We had a day off in Venice where I stayed with a pal from college. My two-wheeled pal got pumped up at Venice's Muscle Beach and then joined a game of pickup beach volleyball. He did great for not having any arms. Or legs.
From there we cruised through Santa Monica and shot up the famous Pacific Coast Highway, through Malibu and towards Santa Barbara. The going was tough at first, with lots of traffic. Around Ventura, though, things got much nicer. And boy, the beach and rain-soaked wildflowers were beautiful.
Speaking of beautiful...if it weren't heresy, I would say that I fell in love with Santa Barbara.
From that lovely city I rode along the freeway towards Lompoc. It was pretty but nerve-racking.
In Lompoc I shared a campsite with another cyclotourist, had a hearty breakfast, and pedaled across a mountain.
Near the end of a windy ride into San Luis Obispo an oncoming motorist almost flattened me while passing. And all I got was this lousy panoramic view of the Edna Valley (a few minutes later).
The final day of Week 2 almost licked me. It started off nice: my Warm Showers host in San Luis Obispo gave me an early-morning boost up a hill in his wine delivery van, I met some fellow cyclotourists on their way north, and I spoke with a lively group of ladies in San Miguel who said 'if we could walk as fast as we talk we'd burn up the road.' Then I started into the 18mph headwind that never stopped blowing. Ever. I left my lunch spot at 2pm and arrived in King City almost 3.5 hours later. By my math my average cycling speed that afternoon was less than 6 mph (a brisk jog). It was one of those "why am I doing this" days.
Then I remembered--