Riverside

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This morning I was brooding, unhappy. There hadn’t been much in the form of human interaction in LA. I was homesick, and the only prescription I got was more riding. So I did.

I might have left the plain of Los Angeles now, but I’m not completely sure. There was a point on the way where there was no city around me anymore – but I could have gone another way where the urban area is continuous.

I’m on my own now ! There is no map provided by the adventure cyclist association for the stretch LA – Las Vegas – Grand Canyon. I drew my own map, along with some big question marks. I knew I would hit one today, and I did.

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Leaving Long Beach, I went perfectly east until I found the Santa Ana river. As most rivers I’ve encountered up to now, it was completely dry for a large part. There is a great bike path here that goes all the way north until the Chino hills. The question was, could I get through this mountain pass ? I’ve learned to distrust google maps on this kind of situation, but I tried anyway.

33kms/20mi later, the bike path ended abruptly and with no warning on a fence. I back up a mile and went through a very nice residential area – where the kids were playing a football game (the real football, not the one with hands, like rugby). But it was a dead end too. I had to back up another couple miles. The path I saw on google maps was probably the railroad track that I crossed a few times.

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Not a lot of options from here on : either do a 20-30 miles detour, or get on the freeway for 2 miles. Or hike 10 miles on foot through the mountains under 32C/86F, but that wasn’t attractive. I chose the prohibited way and entered the freeway, with a shoulder large enough for two cars. I was mostly dreading a police encounter. But I reached the next exit, started leaving the freeway… and was stopped by the highway patrol :p

– What are doing on the freeway, on a bicycle ?
– I found no other way to reach Riverside.
– Stay off the freeway. How are you going back ?
– I’m not going back. No one should ever go back.
(I might not have said that last bit)

I was allowed to press on, and reached Riverside a bit later. There isn’t much to see here, but as long as there’s a Taco Bell or a Pollo Loco, I’ll be ok !

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