Day Three- It’s All About the Climb(s)

Plaskett Creek Campground to San Simeon sounded like a breeze. Big Sur was far behind and the flat coastal plains from Ragged Point to San Simeon were yet to come. After two days of riding our legs, well, my legs, were softened up just enough to be Screen shot 2015-04-09 at 1.21.22 PMtired. Having ridden this route 6-7  times before, the hills ahead were familiar. And the bonus was that the weekend was also behind us so Monday morning would bring sparse traffic. To me it all looked positive.

The people in our group seem to have different internal clocks, and the rhythms in the morning are varied. Mine included coffee- lots and strong please. After coffee and breakfast we left camp in dribs and drabs mid-morning. Just a few miles down the road was the hamlet of Gorda. Liz and I joined Daniel there for water, coffee and a view. We met Andrew, a cyclist from Great Britain who is living in Colorado, also heading south.

John

John strokin’ the now.

John joined us and for a bit we enjoyed the sun and the scene before we pedaled to meet the day. At first there were rolling hills and we were in sight of each other for that section. During the down hills we would stretch out, and then come together on the uphills. Climb Number One drew up. The long climbs are a different kind of fun where finding a comfortable rhythm is key. Each section of road wound around a shoulder of mountain, lifted us higher and exposed a new view of the ocean. Eventually the top came into view and then the ride changed from expending effort to exciting downhill fun.

Screen shot 2015-04-10 at 8.30.57 AM

The speck on the road is Liz pedaling south.

Climb Number Two was tough. Having a camera gave lots of chances to stop and snap a picture, which translated meant “take a quick break.” I did just that. The more I stopped, the farther away Liz & John pulled.

Ragged Point Closeup

Ragged Point was a natural stopping point and and had people around to snap the first picture with everyone.

There were several places where the road descended deep into a ravine and climbed out the other side- prime photo spots. The last climb tapped out my legs and brought into sharp focus my lack of fitness, but even that made me smile. It’s just a different kind of fun. Just over the top John had found a place to bathe, a rocked in area and a stream. I pedaled on toward Ragged Point and enjoyed the downhill. Ragged Point was a lunch stop and marked a dramatic shift in terrain. The mountains and climbs were behind us. We gathered together for food and a rest before heading off once again. Next stop San Simeon.

NancySusanSanSimeon

Nancy and Susan. Pay no attention to all those bottles on the table.

Daniel arrived at the campground first to find Nancy waiting. She had pedaled up from Morro Bay. This was her first bike camping trip and she wasn’t comfortable doing the Big Sur section. As we came together in camp we found that there was plenty of bicycle company- Andrew who we met earlier that day at Gorda, Brittany heading north from SLO, four Canadians heading to San Diego and one other guy. Dinner was Pasta Puttanesca and there was lots of snack food and festive beverages.  The camp was a party well into the night.

San Simeon Camp

A soft view of San Simeon Campground and hanging around the fire.

 

At this point, the end of day three, the trip was almost over. It’s hard not to be a little sad at the closing of a good time. Particularly when, like this trip, the group had jelled so well. Still, there was a full day ahead of us to yet enjoy.

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