Tuesday, July 11, 2017

2017_07_10 Puyallup/Tacoma to Santa Barbara Trip (Leon Matz & Mike Smith) (Day 10)... continued...

Author:  Leon Matz

Day 10 Point Arena to Forest Hills 108 miles and almost 7,800 ft of gain.

The inn we were staying at didn't have breakfast until 8, so we went and ate at a local shop and were on the road by 7:30. We decided to take a slower pace today to make it a little easier. The first 20 miles were glorious with a 15-20 wind pushing us along! Mike even said "we can do this all day long, this is easy peasy"! I cautioned him at the time to not get so confident, because things could change and they did!
The first change was the terrain of the road.  For almost endless miles, the road would descend to the left away from the sea and then almost immediately take a sharp right turn severely up hill!  Many of these hills had a gradient of 10% plus with some sections above 18%.  This continued for mile upon mile. The climbing was very difficult since the sharp turn limited haw fast and how far you could make it up the hill . Most of the time it meant standing even though I have a 34x 36 combination for gearing!  Mike had a 34x 32 so he had to do even more standing to make it up the climbs!

Another change that came was the wind direction. Instead of the northerly that everyone talks about, a wind from the west or southwest became the norm which made things even harder! The beauty as you can see continued!
Giant rocks blocking the surf became commonplace
Sun hitting one of the rock out croppings.
Field of grass slipping towards. The sea.
One of the mini bays
Wild flowers everywhere! The clearly enjoyed the extra winter rains!
Areas of fog but mostly sun and 60 degrees!
Nice kite shop in Morro Bay a beautiful little town! 
We all have strengths and weaknesses as a cyclist. My weakness has always been the flats and my climbing and endurance climbing my strength.  Mike had also been a strong climber but typically not as strong or fast as me. That appears to have changed. All day long day after day we are like a yo yo . Typically, on the flats I lead or we ride next to each other and talk. On the down hills I go faster and a little more aggressive on the turns, so I pull away; but at the next hill, Mike typically catches me and then passes me. This action continues mile after mile.  Mike is riding incredibly well especially his climbing and his endurance. The most difficult section of the day were the climbs before and after Fort ROSS . Construction was periodic and we were fortunate not to have long waits! As the day wore on Mike and I became more and more tired especially about 30 miles from our destination where the roads became rougher and we started hitting a head wind!  When we arrived at the Reyes Inlet oyster factory's started cropping up! At about 95 miles in we came to Reyes Station! Yeah! Since our hosts were not going to be home until after 6, we had dinner in town! We were so hungry. I ate 6 slices of thick crust pizza, and Mike had 6 soft chicken tacos! We sat and relaxed in the nice town, visited the bike shop (closed) and hit the grocery store for bars, fruit and liquids for the next day. We then headed to our hosts home about 13 miles away. Thank goodness the climbing was not steep since most of our bodies blood was trying to digest all the food we ate! The last couple miles were pretty steep! We rode up the road our hosts live on but fearing we had gone to far we started down only to be greeted by our hosts who were both biking up the hill to their house! Both were very fit! She works as a case worker, and he as an architect. Neither own a car and have traveled recently from Canada to the tip of South America! They had an outdoor shower that was wonderful! We had a wonderful night of conversation on a wide variety of topics! They are incredible people! Everyone is still asleep, but it gives me a chance to do my blog! We are about 25 miles from San Francisco! Amazing to think we have made it this far on our bikes!  Excited to go across the Golden Gate Bridge and ride through Golden Gate Park! About 8 years ago, I ran part of my daughter Kim's Boston Qualifying Marathon with her on the road we will bike on . It will be special! I still need a new set of cleats and some repairs to my bike! Hopefully that will happen today!

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