Cambria - Winterlude 2020 - CycleBlaze

December 3, 2020

Cambria

Before we go to today’s ride, let’s pause to admire Bruce’s latest discovery.  Ever since seeing those wierd steampunk creations back in Chico, he’s been scouring garage sales for more of the same.  I expect to see a small steampunk corner back in their garden when we get back, wedged in between the Buddhas and exotic plants.  A steampunk squirrel would be perfect.

The new have-to-have item. Especially great with accompanying mask.
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Jen GrumbyI think there should be a steampunk hat mandate! It really makes the mask look cool .. so would definitely help with mask-wearing compliance.
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1 month ago
Bruce LellmanI've thought of doing a lot of things to squirrels but I've never thought of steampunking one. A steampunk squirrel sculpture in the yard might scare the rest of them away, which would be great.
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1 month ago

Today for the first time here we start biking right from our motel.  We’re on our way north to Cambria, biking the coastal gap between here and our ride to Ragged Point Tuesday.  As it has been every day, weather is perfect - unless you’re hoping for some of the rain that this region so badly needs.  

It’s comfortable already when we start out at about 9:30.  We’re getting an early start partly to get our northbound miles in before the winds pick up, and partly so we’ll get back in time for lunch on the waterfront while the day is still warm enough to enjoy dine outdoors.  

The ride to Cayucos, the next town north, is very nice.  You can get most of the way on side streets and bike paths and are hardly on the highway at all until you’re a third of the way to Cambria.  We’re surprised and concerned when we reach Cayucos though and find that it’s foggy, chilly, and not the ride we were expecting.  The fog dissipates almost as soon as we’re beyond Cayucos though.  Traffic is light, the shoulder is wide, and we enjoy a beautiful, generally flat ride the rest of the way north.

We’re briefly on Highway 1 as we approach Cayucos. From the looks of it here, it’s hard to believe it will be foggy when we get there.
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I wish I’d seen this streamlined recumbent trike coming at us soon enough to get a better shot. He flew by so fast I almost didn’t have time to get him into focus.
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Ben ParkeLooks like a Quest velomobile. Made in Netherlands. One of the older designs and kind of the classic model these days.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Ben ParkeIt might be, or it might be a creation of the engineering students from California Polytechnic State University. Cal Poly, in nearby San Luis Obispo, is an HPV hotbed of innovation. They hold the American collegiate HPV record, with a 63+ mph run in 2019: https://ceng.calpoly.edu/connection/2019/09/record-breaking-run/.
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1 month ago
Bruce LellmanAnd here I was thinking Steampunkmobile.
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1 month ago
Ben ParkeTo Scott AndersonIf it’s from CalPoly, they did a heck of a job copying the Quest velomobile. The shape is identical down to even the orange reflector tape on the very end of the velomobile.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Ben ParkeNo disagreement here. I didn’t get anything like a good look at it, and wasn’t even sure how many wheels it had until looking at the photo. I thought it was interesting though that Cal Poly is a HPV hive and is so close by. For that matter, I thought it was interesting just that Cal Poly was so close by period. I hadn’t known it was in SLO.

And, saying that, I think it’s interesting that they make such fast vehicles in a SLO town.
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1 month ago
We’d love to see Monterey again, but let’s just go as far as Cambria today.
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Looking back at Cayucos. Foggy now, and still foggy when we return. I wonder if it’s often like this, and why. Maybe the effect of the reservoir just inland?
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Twinmills.
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Best buds.
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Bruce LellmanSo witty. Two in a row!
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanThanks for noticing! We appreciate an attentive readership.
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1 month ago

The only climb of note is over the shoulder of Harmony Headlands.  At the top I stop in for a brief exploration of Harmony, population 18.  We took note of this tiny place on our drive to Cambria, and I speculated that based on its name maybe it had its origins as a utopian community.  Quite the opposite though.  It was founded in the late 1800’s by Swiss immigrants who introduced dairy farming and established a creamery here.  Serious feuding broke out between competing families, and once peace was restored they named the town to commemorate the armistice.

There’s not much to Harmony now, but it’s interesting enough to warrant a stop.  And things are picking up - the town was purchased a few years ago by new owners with plans for a revival.

Harmony Headlands. There’s a small state park here providing the only public coastal access along this stretch of the highway. We should bike out here again and take a short hike. Test out my new pair of Altras.
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There’s not much still open in Harmony, but it’s keeping up appearances well. The creamery closed in 1955, and the post office in 2011.
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The glass works is still open though.
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As is the town’s boutique winery. Harmony Cellars has been in operation since 1989. Also, there’s a wedding venue in town - the perfect spot for that special occasion, once folks can congregate again.
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Christmas greetings from Harmony, population 18.
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Bruce LellmanGift giving is sparse in Harmony.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanThat, or they have lax security. It looked like I could have just walked up and snatched my gift, if I had a place to stash it. The truck Ed was probably loaded originally.
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1 month ago
A view inland, in the direction of Paso Robles.
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At the outskirts of Cambria I’m concerned that I haven’t seen Rachael on her way back yet.  Perhaps she cut her ride short, and passed me on her way south while I was dallying in Harmony?  But no, she’s still ahead and on her way back; as I’m relieved to find when I give her a call.  In fact, she’s only a quarter mile up the road and comes into sight almost the minute I stash away the phone.

The ride back is a breeze.  There’s nothing quite like biking south along the coast, where in the right season you can count on a tailwind nearly every day.  I think I first fell in love with the idea of bike touring when I was in Washington one day many years ago - in high school, I think - biking south on a day ride with a tailwind and realizing that I could just keep going.

Busy or not, we really are going to have to fit in one more ride down the coast before we hang up our bikes for the last time.

As ever on an out and back, Rachael’s been off the front end for most of the ride so far. Here she comes, dropping down from Cambria. The traffic looks congested, but it’s mostly because the photo is zoomed in from an eighth of a mile away.
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Just a shack, something to divert my attention while Rachael wanders in the weeds looking for ticks and rattlers.
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Flying south. Even without an aerodynamic fairing, it’s a fast ride. I like this shot too for that line of eucalyptus angling down the slope ahead.
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Nearing Cayucos. I expected the fog to have burned out by the time we returned, but it’s even denser now. And still chilly. We stop to don another layer as we approach town.
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The end of Cayucos Pier disappears into the fog.
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It looks foggy back in Morro Bay too, which is a disappointment. We were looking forward to a late lunch in the sun. Happily though it’s burned off when we arrived, and perfect for an afternoon meal on the bay.
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Video sound track: Fog Dance, by Gianni Savelli

Eucalypts, Morro Bay.
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Wow. The Picture This app identified this as a King Protea, but none of the images look quite like this so I’m skeptical. Other ideas?
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Bill ShaneyfeltI'm skeptical too... Worked on it for a good half hour going through all the Proteas on Wikipedia, but none matched. It does look much like a Protea though.

Came up blank on wildflower search too.

Great photo though! Someone knowledgeable in gardening out there should be able to ID it in an instant.
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1 month ago
What’s the right name for a collection of otters? A cavortion?
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Jen GrumbySeems a more appropriate word than raft.
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1 month ago
Bruce LellmanIt's not a steampunk is it? No, maybe not.
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1 month ago
Ron SuchanekTo Bruce LellmanWell, why not? I say, let's make it so.
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1 month ago
Ahh, the good life. If I come back as a different animal, this would be a fine choice. Or a brown pelican. Please though, not a dung beetle.
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Jen GrumbyA sea otter would be a fine choice for the next life!

I wouldn't mind being a heron either.

I'd rather be a dung beetle than a skunk.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyYou’d rather be a dung beetle? Did you ever read Camus’ essay The Myth of Sisyphus? He imagines Sisyphus happy, so you might be right.

Reminds me of that famous Simon & Garfunkel song, I’d rather be a dung beetle than a skunk.
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1 month ago
Jen GrumbyThat's my favorite Simon and Garfunkel song!

Never read the Myth of Sisyphus .. but our landlord's dog was sprayed by a skunk right outside our window.

I suppose, though, if you're a skunk you don't care much what you smell like.

Let's just be otters or birds next time around.
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1 month ago
Bruce LellmanIf you are a dung beetle you don't care much what you smell like.
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1 month ago
A glass of Albariño! This is the wine I enjoyed so much in Galicia last fall. I didn’t know it was grown here, but apparently it’s a fast growing presence along this part of the coast. This bottle comes from Edna Valley, where we were cycling yesterday.
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California published a new stay at home order today: a regional model based on ICU bed vacancy. Once it falls below 15%, the region goes into shutdown mode. Outdoor dining closes, hotels can be open only for essential workers. Feels like we’re on borrowed time, living one day at a time.
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Jen GrumbyYikes! Covid is nipping at your tires again!

Will the next post reveal how this affects your plans?
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyProbably not. You’ll just have to be patient. We still have three more nights booked in Morro Bay, and we’ll stay here unless the region drops below 15% capacity and they kick us out. Day at a time.
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1 month ago
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Ride stats today: 42 miles, 1,400’; for the tour: 451 miles, 12,700’

Today's ride: 42 miles (68 km)
Total: 493 miles (793 km)

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Bruce LellmanFrom steampunk to dung beetles, a most interesting post!
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1 month ago