Posted by: robinson2000 | September 21, 2010

Chasing Shadows

17th September

Not much to say about today really. We did 54 uneventful boring miles through mainly flat & windy farmland. The only funny event of the day was Chris had secured his wet towel to the back of his bike to dry out as we rode. After 20 miles he turned the towel over to let the other side dry out but when we stopped 15 miles down the road it wasn’t there. Not the worst thing that could have happened but it was his favourite towel! At the campsite that evening we met up with a fellow tourer called Karl from New Zealand. We had a really good Mexican meal that night in Oceano but the place was crawling with motor bikers that kept us awake to the wee hours.

18th September

Big day ahead of us so an early start was needed to get a head start on the miles. Up at 7am and breakfast over the road at the Rock & Roll Diner which was packed with motor cycle enthusiasts getting ready for some rally. We had a 76 miler to complete so we hit the road early with Karl at 9am and within an hour and a half we had knocked down 22 miles of it, only stopping briefly for a toilet break next to the 18th hole of a very plush golf course. We had lunch in Lompoc which consisted of 2 donuts, a large cheese and ham roll, a mars bar and 2 banana’s. All fuel for the fire!

After lunch and using Karl’s GPS gadget, we plotted a slightly alternative route which bypassed 27 miles of uphill and took us through a really beautiful valley called Ynuz Valley. The only downside to this route was to get out of the valley and back on the Pacific Coastline we needed to scale a 2225 ft mountain but that can wait till tomorrow. At the 61 mile mark we reached a lovely Danish town called Solvang and decided to have a rest, use the internet and have a meal at the Mavericks Saloon. By the time we left the sun was setting and we still had 10 miles to cover. We finally pulled into a campsite just as it got dark around 7pm doing  just over 76 miles. Karls GPS computer told us that overall we had climbed over 4000 feet that day which is one and a third times the hight of Mt Snowden. After pitching the tents and showering off we relaxed on a picnic bench next to our tents watching a Mexican family party into the night. Chris managed to get himself lost for over 40 minutes on his way back from the shower block and if i hadn’t of found him he was preparing to sleep in the toilet block for the night.

19th September

The Mexicans partied hard into the night giving us little chance of getting a good nights sleep especially when one of them snores like a trumpet and is pitched up right next to our tents. A limited breakfast of a nutri-grain bar, a banana and a fig biscuit set us up nicely for the biggest climb of the trip. Within 5 miles of leaving the campsite we were already climbing pretty steeply & it took a further hour to climb the next 4 miles of steep hillside. Once at the top we were greeted with a stunning view of Santa Barba and Chris almost beat our top speed of the trip reaching 44.6 mph on the downhill. Karl picked up a puncture at the foot of the hill so we bid him farewell and pushed on to the next town Ventura where we treated ourselves to a nice motel next to a beach and had a huge rack of ribs in the evening. Total miles for the day 55. Only 4 more cycling days to the border! Tomorrow brings us to the streets of LA.

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