Let’s be honest, The Coast Ride isn’t entirely accurate unless your bicycle shares characteristics with that of a hovercraft. We discussed yesterday that the freshly felled section of California coast makes it impossible to complete the Monterey to Morro Bay route entirely within a seven iron’s distance of the Pacific, so we took a short detour upward and inland. Today’s final section is anything but a ultimate day’s parade stage — rather, 128 miles of California heartland was on the docket.
In only three days, The Coast Ride really does an exquisite job at showcasing the Golden State. Admittedly, California is enormous so we didn’t see El Capitan nor get anywhere close to Mount Shasta, but truth be told we’ve been subject to a tremendously wide spectrum of what California has to offer. From city living in San Francisco to the laid back beach vibe of Santa Cruz, we rode through gargantuan red woods surrounding Big Sur and overlooked huge waves crashing along the coast. It’s easy to say that this nation’s third biggest state is the breadbasket of the country, but it’s another thing to ride through it. Skirting inland from the coast today, it’s a truly fascinating to see where our lettuce, garlic, blueberries, and artichokes come from. And then to descend upon the Californian Riviera of beautiful Santa Barbara.
The Coast Ride itself caters to a cornucopia of cyclists, and that’s one of it’s biggest, beneficial assets. I’ve just completed three days, 22 hours, and more than 400 miles of riding. In that time, I never rode with fewer than a dozen other cyclists, and of the three hundred riders who started TCR (my historically sound estimation), the biggest group was probably seventy five. There’s a constant ebb and flow of meeting others, exchanging hellos, helping each other out, and sharing the camaraderie of the simple bicycle. It’s been a blessing to get to know other inGamba guests and a real treat to be riding next to folks that, in all likelihood, I’ll never pedal nor speak with again.
The Coast Ride, I’m beginning to fall in love with you. See you in about 362 days.