Southern California - Taring Down the Coast - CycleBlaze

Southern California

Civilization, big party thrown not in our honor, 15 seconds of fame.

When we reached Santa Monica we knew we were rejoining the civilized world. The first McDonalds with their 15¢ burgers greeted us. After savoring three or four burgers and what ever it is they call a milkshake we headed to my house. Feeling a little goofy with the end nearing we drafted a "meter maid" in her three wheel what ever you call those things. She was not happy and let us know in no uncertain terms. We broke away and drafted a delivery truck through the tunnel under the LA International Airport. 

Only a million not trillions served. I don't think the photo is of the Santa Monic McDonalds but that's just what it look like. - public domain
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I phoned my town's newspaper to let them know we were coming and a reporter met us at the town center, took our pictures and wrote a short article.  My parents were out of town (My mother must have calmed down.), we were met by my older brothers, with their college friends, when we rode triumphantly up my driveway.  There was something less than a ticker-tape-parade in the way of a welcome home for the soon to be famous heroes.  There were a few snide comments thrown out about our riding attire as we rode in, but also some respect if not complete understanding of our feat.  My brothers were planning a “the parents are away” party, not in our honor but suited us just fine.  We found enough food in the fridge to make dinner, called Ed's parents in San Diego.  I sleep deeply in my own bed.  

(Another omission, Ed said I left out was him getting totally blotto on my brothers’ rum and Coke concoction. I didn’t drink a drop of that foul brew.)

Photo take a few mile from my home.
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In the morning we made breakfast and took off down the road to San Diego.  What is 130 miles of mostly flat beach highway after what we had ridden.  The once daunting Torrey Pines grade, which we had been told would be a heartbreaker, was barely a bump in the road.  We didn't even get out of the saddle to tame it.  San Diego was Jack-in-the-Box country and we gorged ourselves to the point of nausea on greasy hamburgers.  But we still found room for the wonderful pot roast and potatoes with fresh vegetables that Ed's mom made us. 

In the morning we rode to the San Diego Union newspaper building, were interviewed and got our picture taken shaking hands.  (Today it is the Union-Tribune. The accompanying photograph was lost years later in Hawai`i.). Then it was on to San Ysidro and the end, Tijuana, Baja California.  Being minors we legally couldn't cross the border without filling out some paperwork and getting a nod from the Mexican authorities.  The United States border guards told us to ignore the Mexican border guards' hand waving and just cross the line and come back.  They would handle the official complaint.  (Those pre Homeland Security days are hard believe in the present age.) The TV crew filmed us completing our historic journey as we rode into our third country.  We had ridden border-to-border, rode US Route 101 from its northernmost point to its southern terminus.  Our fifteen minutes of fame were condensed into fifteen seconds on the six o'clock news. (36 km)

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A day later my father drove down to the town of Oceanside and Ed's mom drove Ed and I north for the pick up.  My father congratulated me, but I don't remember the conversation going home.  Life had changed.  My relationship with my parents, brothers, and friends were different after that ride.  To this day I am still learning from it and seeing it anew.

A final hand shake on completing our quest.
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Today's ride: 2,755 km (1,711 miles)
Total: 2,755 km (1,711 miles)

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