Having lived overseas for nearly a decade, I’m semi-literate in a handful of languages; converting metric to statute translations is also one my many skills. I can tell you that 100 miles is 160 kilometers. So what’s 160 miles? A really, really, really long way to ride a bike.
Traditionally, The Coast Ride’s Day Two, rolls along Highway One from Monterey to the sleepy coastal hamlet of Morro Bay over a rambunctiously hilly 122 miles, entirely within spitting distance of the ocean. And please don’t let anyone fool you, the California coast is lumpy.
However, last year’s atmospheric river wreaked havoc along the area south of Big Sur and ended up burying an enormous stretch of road. As a result, to complete the journey you need to have A) a boat, B) a helicopter, or C) a bicycle and a lot of ambition. We, at inGamba, haven’t yet sprung for A nor B, but we do have a whole lot of C.
There’s no doubt about it, we lobbed out a big one today to complete the ride. There were (wise) points along the stretch to call the day a satisfactory success — without half the day spent in the saddle. The base of the hallowed Nacimiento-Ferguson mountain road, which shoots straight skyward from the Pacific was one. Twenty miles past the climb at a designated lunch spot, another. Or Paso Robles which comes thirty miles and one final climb away from the whole shebang.
Those stupid brave enough to complete the ride did it just north of eight hours, with ten thousand feet of climbing. With one final day tomorrow, which is far from a parade stage, as we still have 128 miles to go.
Photographs by Stephen Lam