Sunday, July 16, 2017

2017_07_16 Puyallup/Tacoma to Santa Barbara Trip (Leon Matz & Mike Smith) (Day 16)

Author:  Leon Matz

Day 16 of 16 Lompoc to Santa Barbara!!! We made it!!!

Early last fall I approached Mike Smith about the possibility of him being interested in riding The Pacific Coast Route.  He expressed some sincere interest into the possibility!  Since then, we have been reading, studying and talking to people about the route!  We planned all winter long!  We debated everything from the distance to travel each day to what we needed to bring along!  We talked weekly about all the particulars!  Neither of us have undertaken such an endeavor, so it was novice talking to novice!
Mike had some friends who had done the route and were a big source of information! 
We knew we wanted to not be gone too long from our wives and families, so we kept the number of days to do it down.
By spring, we had put together an itinerary for 15 days of riding 2 days here with Wayne and, then, the train trip back to Tacoma. The plan was for no rest days and 85-95 miles a day. It was hard to do; since in some areas, there were few if any places to stay!  From the beginning, Mike and I agreed that camping was not an option.  If we were going to do it in 15 days, motels wereas the only way to go!
In the spring we found out that there was a bridge washout in the Big Sur area and that the road would be closed for 6 months or more!  Then, major landslides occurred and clearly our route would need to change!  Mike worked with Adventure Cyclists Magazine and The California DOT to come up with a new option!  The new option was going to be much futher and hotter so we needed to add another day! 
In May, we decided that it was critical to make our accommodations reservations, because lots of towns were almost without rooms to stay!  We decided to start July 1 and go 16 straight days!  Some experienced Pacific Coast Route riders told us that we were stupid to not have a rest day or two! 
Today's ride from Lompoc to Santa Barbara was to be one of our easier days!  We wanted a short day so we would have plenty of time to ride and hang out with Wayne DuPont!  Wayne is one of the original Cyclopaths who then moved to SB.
Last night we looked at the maps and were disappointed that it looked like we had a real tough set of climbs shortly after leaving Lompoc.  It was to be a 900 foot climb that looked real steep!  Higher and steeper than any climb we have done in California!  So much for a short and easy ride!  In the description of this part of the route, riders were cautioned to allow plenty of extra time because of the hilly terrain!  We had hoped for a ride similar to the TDF ride into Paris!   We would have loved a ceremonial ride to finish things off!  I woke up a little early and was greeted with this view when I stepped outside!

Sunrise at Lompoc. 
We left at 6:50 and headed down the road.  We had a plan to meet Wayne at the 36 mile mark!  As it was a Sunday morning early, there was very little traffic! We rode next to each other and talked about everything from our tennis days in college to politics !  The time flowed by! 
The pitch on the climbs were not nearly what we expected!  Well, they must be coming up!  We kept talking and wondering when we're finally going to get to the tough climb!  After one of the sections, we saw a steep decent!  Our thoughts were oh no that means the next section is going to be real hard!  Then I saw a sign saying we were merging with hiway 101.  I remember seeing that on the map the joining of 101 was after the final climb!  How can that be the profile and the verbiage described it as a much tougher climb!
We were ahead of our schedule to meet Wayne, so we stopped and took more pictures!  Sadly, some of those pictures are of the fire and smoke that has hit the SB area.
We met up with Wayne, and he took us on a tour of Conor's college UCSB.  We toured part of downtown SB!   We saw hundreds of people out running and biking and enjoying the wonderful weather!  It was great to see so many people out!  We then found a bakery and had lunch.  After that we rode to Wayne's house!  It was great seeing and talking to Wayne!
Below are some pictures of the area!
Tomorrow I plan to write up the data of the trip and share some final thoughts and feelings!
Thanks to all of you who have read the blog, looked the pictures and or watched the relive of the ride!  Many of you have shared thoughts and feelings about what we were seeing and doing!  Great hearing from you!
One section of Wayne's garden!
Mission in SB

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