Today’s program was simple : cliffside road all the way. But the first real challenge of the trip was the Big Sur. It goes up a thousand feet, and stands in the middle of nowhere. So, lots of climbs and the first camping night.
After leaving Carmel it was the highway 1 and nothing else. The road hugs the coast until Point Sur, goes inland for a while, then back to the coast until Morro Bay. When I made the google map route, I also noticed dangerous spots : narrow passages with the unprotected cliff to the ocean. I was expecting these spots and recognized the views on the screen. I shamelessly took the lane (riding in the middle of the lane), as I read a few days ago. There wasn’t so much traffic, and drivers continue to be patient. I had the first honk of the trip at the end of the day, in one of these spots where it was clear I wouldn’t risk getting closer to the edge.
I walked up the Big Sur as planned, as well as several other slopes. I don’t know how I maintained an average above 16km/h all in all. That was a five hours ride and walk, and my legs start to feel it. When I come back to civilization tomorrow, I’ll probably take a day’s rest or do a micro ride.
So I found a spot at a campground after Lucia, with a view in the ocean (of course), and this is a camp without any water. I read about it but still a shock, especially as I ran out of water just before stopping. Hopefully an English couple tended me a gallon of water. I’ll survive till the next step 🙂
On the way I encountered another Englishman (forgot to ask his name) who has been riding for 8 months ! Europe, Asia, Australia, now the US. He’s doing the same coast to coast, but going north before turning east. I also discussed with a Chinese girl who just graduated law school and was touring with her father, also a lawyer, in Nanjing. Hopefully I knew about the business card handling Chinese protocol 🙂 And my neighbour in the camp is another cyclist, from Germany, with the same trailer, coming from Miami, and also headed for New York after California. All the bike riders are really friendly and it feels like a small community 🙂