Monday, July 17, 2017

2017_07_17 Leon's Final Thoughts on the Puyallup/Tacoma to Santa Barbara Ride

Author:  Leon Matz

Reflection on Puyallup to Santa Barbara bike ride

Here Mike and I are sitting on the Amtrak Coast Starlight train headed home! What an adventure it has been!  We have seen such beauty on this 16 day journey!  Many challenges have faced us and many blessings!
Wayne and Susie were great hosts for us over the last 24 hours! We had a chance to ride bikes with Wayne through town, have 3 wonderful meals, grab a good nights rest, watch stage 14 of the TDF, and go on a 2 mi hike around Wayne's house and canyon!
It felt good to not climb back on the bike today, although I think Mike and I could have easily have ridden a couple more days and gone to the Mexican border.
We are excited to get back home and see friends and family and return to more normal life!
Our journey covered 1342 miles, (84 mi a day), climbing a total of 68,243 ft, (4,265 per day, burned while riding 41,354 calories (2,584 per day) and averaged 14.1 mph for the trip.  NO FLATS!!  Yeah Gatorskins!  One minor bike fall.   The climbing is less than some had suggested but was plenty as far as I was concerned. The calories were far less than I thought!  I know I ate 2x that amount. I hope my appetite goes down after this trip or else I am going to gain a bunch of weight.  The mph is satisfying considering we were each carrying an extra 15-17 lbs of extra weight!
A major disappointment was the lack of favorable wind and the fact we did not get to do the Big Sur coast!  We believe we faced much more unfavorable winds than favorable, and we were told to expect the opposite.  The maps from Adventure Cycling were great except for measuring distance and giving an accurate representation of the elevation profiles.  They were both very poor and very inaccurate. Their mapping tool worked well after a lot of the maps were cleared and when you were on the route!  Once you were off the route either by design or accident it was very frustrating.   By and large, the roads were fairly good; but the difference in speed and enjoyment between smooth roads and bumpy roads became very apparent!
Mike was surprised at how much easier the trip was than he had expected, and I was surprised at how much I struggled on some of the climbs!
We both learned how important it was to not walk around a lot after we get to our hotel!  When we had a nap, it helped the next day to be easier!  Trying to get 8 + hours of sleep was critical !  We worked hard at eating well!  Stopped at 5 fruit stands and avoided deserts at most stops.
Day 2 for me and day 16 for Mike were the easiest days, and the hardest days were the hot days for me and the day through SF and the ride to Forrest Knolls.
The best accommodation was in Seaside and of course Wayne's house and the worst our warmshowers stay.  Most beautiful and most unique was probably the Lighthouse Hostel stay. 
Most special thing for both of us was seeing the Roosevelt Elk in the Redwoods and the seals sleeping on rocks on the shore!
I hope you have enjoyed reading the blogs! I have enjoyed writing them even though some days I struggled to get it written!

Take care and God bless you all!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the informative and exciting blog posts Leon. Impressive ride! Congratulations.