Distant Rumblings

Day 4

The profile today consisted of little bumps in the road- Burton Drive, Harmony Hill and CMC Hill.

In the week leading up to this trip there was one uncertainty- the weather. “But it’s springtime,” we thought, “and we’re in a drought so the likelihood of rain is next to nothing.”  Official forecasts called for a chance of rain on Sunday and and 60% chance on Tuesday. When Sunday rolled around we were deep into the Big Sur coast and we did experience a few drops of rain. It was just enough to keep us looking at the sky and nothing more. As each day passed the forecast for Tuesday changed, the probability of rain increased until by Monday late it was 100% chance of rain. Still the terrain was the easiest of the trip, almost flat, and, we were drawing close to home.

Early in the morning Tuesday, well before first light we heard the first drops smack the tent fly. We had taken precautions, the tent fly was tight, everything was stowed well and we did have rain gear. And withRain weather, well, there’s really not much to be done about it. The wind and rain was strong and we suffered leakage. There were a couple of wet patches in the tent. Still we could stay mostly warm and dry inside. There came a point when, hearing voices packing up, that we knew the future. We were going to get wet. Not everyone was up. John, Nancy and Daniel were in their tents, Courtney and Matt were beginning to pack.

Liz Rain

Liz doing her best to keep warm and dry.

Ron and Susan were the first to roll out. We followed shortly after. We didn’t have a plan other than stop in Cambria for breakfast and coffee. The two mile ride there was “bracing” to put a positive spin on it. The wind was in our faces, rain was heavy and everything was wet, gray and cold. Pulling into the cafe parking lot we spied Susan and Ron’s bikes. So we joined them at their table for a long and leisurely breakfast. The owner brought out his wet floor sign and put it next to our table on the floor.

GI Joe Bus

G.I. Joe pinned down in the bus bike rack.

As we ate we made a plan. The Regional Transit Authority bus was due at 11:17. We’d take the bus home and forget all this nonsense about riding in a downpour. Still, I kept checking the hourly weather and hoped that things might change up. Squall and lull, and more rain and then it would let up. When it came time to meet the bus we pedaled there under skies that seemed to get lighter. There was talk about riding anyway and hoping for the best. While we were waiting on the bus, Matt and Courtney rolled up. We all laughed at the convergence around this idea of escaping rain. By the time the bus rolled up we could see some blue sky to the north. Matt and I made the decision to cycle home when we saw the bus had space for 4 bikes and there were six of us. SO we loaded our friends’ gear and said “See you later.”

By this time the weather HAD changed. We were directly under the following edge of the clouds. Blue sky was to the north, gray to the south and we were where they met. Matt and I started off and immediately had to shed layers of clothing. By the time we left Cambria the sun was out in full. Bonus- tailwind too. The ride in was nice. Matt Cayucos    The section from Cambria to Cayucos has a little hill at Harmony and is several miles of easy downhill riding. Compared to what we’ve ridden over the road profile was flat. It was a mostly uneventful ride in. We had lots of time to talk and enjoy the last day’s ride. Matt had a wheel issue and so we parted ways in Morro Bay, him to Los Osos and me to San Luis Obispo. During this time I got a text from John saying he was home. Later Liz told me that the bus passed Daniel and John on the road in. That was good. Nancy had arranged to be picked up by a friend in San Simeon. So that meant that we were all accounted for.

It would have been a great close to the trip for all to have ridden into town together, stopped at a coffee shop and had lunch one last time before going heading our separate ways. The joy I felt riding with this group, the wonderful way everyone came together and got along, the fun we h2015-04-07 19.22.42#1ad, was all sublime. I’m hoping that there will be many more opportunities to do this again. So for now, the gear has been dried, cleaned and packed away, and it’s waiting for the next opportunity to stroke the now.


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