A pain in the ass

Day 25: Kirk Creek to Morro Bay State Park

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Take the title literally. A pain in the ass, all 66 miles of it today. This is the hard way to break in a new saddle. I’m not actually breaking in the saddle, but my ass. The process involves a fair amount of internal bruising after which internal callous is built around the sits bones.

There’s no easy way to do it, it just requires time in the saddle, and tolerance for pain. I saw drizzle forecast for tomorrow and thought it better to ride further today, since it was only cloudy, not raining. So I rode right past the campground at 40 miles and on to Morro Bay, 26 miles further.

More thrilling vistas and a 1000 foot hill to climb getting off the Big Sur coastline, into San Luis Obispo County. There the road levels out, passes miles of beaches with elephant seals just lolling about.

Connected with two South Korean cyclists and another cyclist from Fort Lauderdale, making the long loop across the southern states after he reaches San Diego.

San Diego, still about 300 miles to go. What then? When will I return north? Many questions rising in my mind, like how will the finances of the restaurant and house turn out? How will the separation proceed? What exactly is my place in the Corvallis community? Do I belong there? Is it still my home?

The bicycle tour is a temporary home, a mobile existence, supported by external resources. Not sustainable, unless I really make enough through residual and profit to make it work. I’m not looking to be truly homeless. As I set up my tent in the eucalyptus grove, I remembered the last time I camped at Morro Bay.

The summer of 1987, I was touring from San Francisco to Los Angeles, my first time in Southern California. Other cyclists around the fire asked if I’d met Ernie yet. He’d lost his job driving trucks, cashing in his SS payments for bike parts and scrounged food from dumpsters. This was before “homelessness” was a term in common usage. Ernie was living off his bike, like so many homeless are now surviving.

Breaking in my saddle is a physical pain in the ass, but nothing compared to being lost and homeless with no support, with no future. I am grateful for my situation, my family, even as it now changes into a new form. And I am grateful for my friends and extended family. May we all have the love and support we need.

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