Day 28: Santa Monica to Carpinteria, 76 miles
I spend a long time in the coffeeshop this morning. It’s cold out, and I need to get caught up on my writing. It’s a busy spot, right on Santa Monica Boulevard, full of hipsters and professionals and the odd homeless guy, who is mining the trash can saying “Thank you Jesus” over and over. Another man rants about the health care law, enraged at the government hand out. The woman he’s arguing with responds meekly, no match for his anger.
Out on the PCH again, I make good time. Is that a tailwind? Would I be so lucky, heading north? Miles are easy, easier than the actual Malibu marathon being run today. A man on the side of the road warns be to be careful today. Always careful, I am. What a gorgeous day, blue skies reflected in turquoise waters. Sandy cliffs topped with villas and mansions. Surfers out in the sparkling ocean. A perfect day for a ride.
As Highway 1 turns around the last headland, so does the wind. Now in my face as I cycle North towards Oxnard. A strong headwind slows me down. Many miles ahead, my legs begin to complain. Not wanting to shut up, not this time. Why am I sore in the saddle again? Taking that time off in San Diego, have I gone soft already? I stop for coffee and groceries, still 30 miles to go. This is a going to be a long one.
Between Ventura and my destination, the bike route is forced onto 101, the Camino Real, which here is the shoulder of a busy freeway. The ride is harrowing, and I feel the danger and violence which looms with every passing car or truck. Only a few miles, and I am so glad to exit onto Carpinteria Lane. I roll into town, just in time for an amazing sunset. Are they aways so amazing in Southern California? I grab a bacon guacamole burger for dinner, the best thing I’ve ever eaten! Cleaning up, setting up the tent are a solace for a hard ride. The waves lull me to sleep.