Monday, April 9, 2012

A tire is a fence

Fence, field outside Castroville

On a bike tour, all great days have more than one thing going for them. Weather. Scenery. Company. Food. A reliable place to land.

Today had pretty much all of those. After a rocky late start, a racer named Sheri pulled up alongside on Foothill Expressway. She asked all the right questions, so 5 minutes later she knew it was the first day of my trip to Route 66, I was soloing down to Santa Monica, I was prepared for rain. I was headed to tape a video before launching toward Los Gatos.

She coaches triathletes and this morning was on her way to meet her sister, also on a bike, somewhere in Cupertino. Her phone kept ringing and there was the chance that they were going to miss each other in mid-flight. At DeAnza Boulevard she wished me an upbeat farewell.

Then there was Allan in Los Gatos, shepherding me (slowly) up Old Santa Cruz Highway, south on Summit to Highland, and all the way through Watsonville to Elkhorn Slough before turning back. We lunched happily at the Summit Store (which now has sushi). A banner announced a one-day Meat Bonanza (not making this up) Thursday April 26. It was great to have company...

The forests and hillsides of Eureka Canyon yielded the kind of special ride experience that can only be had on intimate, rural roads. A narrow, rough surface, low traffic and gorgeous views of the Forest of Nisene Marks, to the west.

Tiller, outside Castroville.
Love riding these roads. It never gets old. I keep seeing new things, too. Today the Route 66 glasses are on. Lots of Americana here. A single block in Campbell had both these little houses. Oranges on the lawn. An old Ford in search of a new life.

Candy bin at the Elkhorn Superette.

Vegetable pickers near Monterey.
And the weather elves are hemming and hawing. Today we rode under high clouds and haze, reminders of that system lurking offshore. It will come but the timing is unknown. I'm still going with the thought of a wet tomorrow. Which makes a dry today even more wonderful.

Almost there!
The Monterey hostel left the light on for me. Towel, hot shower, room full of new friends. Two blocks away, a fabulous French dinner at Bistro Moulin.

My new friends in the dorm wonder how anyone could bike 100 miles in a day, carrying their life along with them. And I wonder, how could I not?

Headed for points south.


  1. Wow! Great day! Here's hoping for no rain on you! :)

  2. It occurs to me to ask if you read the Path Less Pedaled website - they stayed years on the road, just traveling. :)
    I love the tire photo. (The haze beyond it... I try not to see.) The last two photos are great as well. Hey, another question - how did you pick the route to get to Santa Monica? The second last photo looks like you're on a frontage/access road, so it occurred to me to ask. You're probably not going to get to answering things until you get back, but still.