Cycling the Cabrillo Coast

Day 29, Half Moon Bay to New Brighton State Beach, 57 miles

I wake at 11am, surprised at how much I’ve slept. Usually I’m up before dawn. I do remember shivering during the night, too lazy to dig out my tights. I was up blogging the last couple nights too. I strike camp and head over to Cafe Society where Jennifer and I enjoyed a cozy booth three years ago. I reflect on the journey since our early romance, how our friendship has deepened. And how my relationship with my self has grown.

This tour is an awakening, a start again on my road to understanding. Sometimes I feel old, having reached my 56th year with many regrets and missteps. And then, I’ll get on my bicycle and feel young again, the sense of freedom and adventure which awaits at every pedal stroke, just around the next bend in the highway. This youthfulness has been challenged on this tour by my lack of conditioning. Yet this has also bolstered my resolve to make lasting changes upon my return home. I don’t want to go back to sleep.

I follow the Cabrillo Highway rolling over bluffs, plummeting to small beaches, drinking in the sparkling waves and distant vistas. Winds are at my back, temperatures in the 60s a welcome break from the heat of prior rides. I pass Pescadero, the Pigeon Point Light, Bonny Doon, Big Basin. A stop at Davenport for chowder and a salad, sun setting and the chill returning. I see a cyclist out past the cafe and call out, “Tanguy!” He just started from San Francisco today, and we are both headed to New Brighton Beach.

We ride together for a ways in the dark, then he takes the bicycle trail while I opt to stay on the highway. I cycle into Santa Cruz, following a now familiar route to the Staff of Life, then on to Capitola Road and the camp. It’s chilly again as I set up camp, I’m sure to need warm layers tonight as the breeze continues through the night.

I fall asleep to the lull of gentle waves of Monterey Bay, breaking upon the beach below the campground.

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