Marina to Big Sur: Hills and Headwinds - SF to SDO 2012 - Coast Route - CycleBlaze

April 22, 2012

Marina to Big Sur: Hills and Headwinds

Note to self: never again stay in a Motel 6 smoking room - any motel smoking room. Even with the window open, it was still like smoking a pack of cigarettes- urgh...

Cycled through the fog to Monterey - the cycle path parallels the freeway. Got a bit lost and did an unplanned early morning Tiki Tour of Monterey. Lots of homeless guys sleeping rough on the beach downtown. The sheeer number of homeless and destitute on the streets of California is hard to comprehend - something is seriously wrong here.

ACA route parallels SR1 - one short steep hill at the start had me off and pushing - oh the shame! Stopped for a coffee and met two Dutch cyclists (Bernadette and Yolanda). They're on a 4 month sabbatical, touring from Monterey to San Luis Obispo and then cycling up the Mississippi. They spent the night at the Vets Memorial site and couldn't understand why it was so rough and rowdy all night long. Until I told them about the homeless situation and then it all clicked into place. They were so tired they slept through it all anyhow.

Once around the corner and past Carmel the ride gets serious again: Big Hill and Big Headwind, no shoulder and lots of traffic. I'm not a strong rider and making progress into the headwind (20 mph more or less) was a chore. Once around the point and heading downhill it should have been a white knuckle ride down the sweeping cliffside bends at great breakneck speed. The wind was so strong I was pedalling hard just to keep from getting blown up the hill backwards.

About six miles from Big Sur the road heads inland and follows the Big Sur River - it levelled off and the wind dropped down considerably. Still plenty of Sunday traffic, but very sedate and well mannered. Andrew Molena State Park has camping sites (no cheap hiker/biker sites), but I pushed on to Big Sur and was the only biker there until Bernadette and Yolanda showed up. I thought it my civic duty to educate them on Poison Oak and Raccoons. No Raccoons that night, but the whole park is chest deep in Poison Oak. It's almost impossible to avoid - I'm doomed. I guess that when your park is about to close down due to lack of funding, the last thing you worry about is weed control. A guy cycling South to North pulled in late; making the best of the tailwind he had done 125 miles. Told me there was a lot of up and down ahead of me.

Dutch girls are off again tomorrow - rest day for me, got business to attend to.

Bixby Bridge and the road up. It was built in the 1930s as one of the Great Depression work schemes. Quite a nice job and only $250,000. The whole coast road from here to Ragged Point is slipping into the sea. You have to keep an eye out for all the dips and cracks in the road - some of those cracks can eat 2" tyres whole in one bite. There are sections under constant repair. Waitress told me the road was closed for three months recently as the result of a big slide.
Heart 0 Comment 0

Today's ride: 44 miles (71 km)
Total: 194 miles (312 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 1
Comment on this entry Comment 0