Day Three: Bakersfield, California to Glennville, California - "Vibes" - CycleBlaze

From "Vibes"

By Jeff Lee

June 17, 2024

Day Three: Bakersfield, California to Glennville, California

I definitely have a head cold. I woke myself  up coughing several times in the night. I felt somewhat better this  morning, though.

I turned on the television to a local station and listened, while I ate the cold leftover pizza from yesterday, as the weatherman talked about the much cooler than normal temperatures today. The high was only going to be 80F. I really lucked out with the weather. It has been well into the triple digits here recently.

I slowly got everything together, then walked down to the hotel breakfast, where  I found that the potatoes had a strangely unpleasant taste, but the oatmeal was fine.

I left the hotel, wound my way through the streets of the university next door, and got back on the bike path.

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The Kern River Parkway was pleasant . The river was very low, and I couldn't see it at all from the bike path in many places. The marshy areas were nice. Various industrial activities butted up against the Parkway in some places.

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I passed several homeless camps adjacent to the Parkway. Obviously the rules against this were not being enforced.

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Some of the camps were  interesting. Their owners had built elaborate contraptions, often using shopping carts as the base, with a wide variety of stuff attached. I thought about photographing a couple  of these, but decided that would be rude. Also, the one time I stopped to look more closely at one, a dog barked and emerged to within a few feet of where I was standing.

At the street where where I was supposed to exit the bike path, I had the first navigational difficulty of the trip. The exit from the path was roped off with caution tape, and there was glass everywhere. Workers milled around. I wasn't sure what had happened. I was redirected further down the path, but getting back on my route proved difficult, and I rode several zigzagging miles, through extremely ugly heavy industrial activity, before getting back on the route.

At one point I glanced down at my front tire and noticed a worn spot, was overcome with anxiety about getting a flat, and stopped, found my tiny roll of duct tape, and taped over the spot. This probably would not be extremely effective, but I felt better having done something, at least.

I rode on increasingly quiet industrial streets as I slowly escaped Bakersfield.

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I was grateful for the relatively low traffic route out of town (thanks, John Egan!), but the miles of industrial activity I passed was super ugly.

I was climbing through the foothills now, on Granite Road, where I'd spend most of the rest of the day.

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For a while all the  ugly pumps dotting the hillsides disappeared, and I entered pretty ranchland.

Traffic was light, but of course at the time I chose to park my bike against a gate and pee, trucks from both directions appeared and interrupted me. Why does that always seem to happen?

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I rode through another section of ugly industrial activity, but didn't photograph any of it.

I was getting tired now, and coughing again.

My RideWithGps app sounded its "you're off course" alarm. I had missed a turn onto "Woody Road." I rode back a hundred feet to the intersection. Woody Road was dirt, and I could see a gate across it a thousand feet away. I observed a man in a pickup truck open the gate, drive through it, close it, and continue towards me.

I flagged him down, and we had a nice conversation. He confirmed that Woody road was private, and continuing on Granite Road would be fine. He  glanced at me, said "You look pretty fit", but  "I'd stop in Glenville for the day, and get an early start on the real hills in the morning."

I continued on Granite Road. Scenery was nice, but I was very tired now. I was aggravated at each steep climb. The head cold seemed to have zapped my strength.

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I stopped for a while at a shady area alongside road, sat down, leaned against the fence, and dozed off for a while.

Site of my accidental nap.
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I was counting down the hilly miles to Glennville. I was tired of the sun beaming down on me. There were a few light clouds, but they didn't help me.

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Finally, I arrived in Glennville, population 131, elevation 3,176.

I walked into the restaurant and ordered ice water, Diet Pepsi, a basket of salty fries, and a cheese pizza, then walked next door to the store and arranged for a room at the motel behind the restaurant. Back at the restaurant, I spent a pleasant, leisurely hour eating my food and listening to the loquacious young waitress/barkeeper as she told me all about the history and recent events of Glenville. There was only one other patron in the restaurant, a young  utilities worker. It was nice to be inside a quiet, calm place after being out  in the sun all day.

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I cleaned up at the  motel, did the usual post-ride chores, and had a coughing fit. The head cold seemed to have worsened, or maybe it just felt worse in the evening. I took and Advil PM and went to bed at 7:30.

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Today's ride: 48 miles (77 km)
Total: 198 miles (319 km)

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Comment on this entry Comment 4
John EganWell .....
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1 month ago
Karen PoretTo John EganAgreed, John..maybe Bako thwarted his destination before he reached Glenville?
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1 month ago
George HallIt sucks to get sick on tour - been there, it was no fun at all. A day of rest might be helpful. Hope you get well soon.
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1 month ago
Jeff LeeTo George HallThanks George. Somehow I've been lucky enough to never have a cold on a bike tour until now. It seems to be winding down now, hopefully.
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3 weeks ago