A New Journey

Date: April 16th, 2017

From/To: Los Angeles, CA/Ventura, CA

Daily Mileage: 60 miles

Total Mileage: 2655 miles

Conditions: Sunshine and minor headwinds. 75 degrees.

The pressure is off, finally. I feel as though I can breath easy once again. I’m no longer racing from one point to the next, but on the other end of the spectrum I no longer have that feeling of progress I once had. I’ve completed the crossing, I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it again now. The continuation of this trip from LA was something I’d put much thought into back in the early planning stages. My original idea was to go from Bar Harbor, Maine to San Francisco, CA. Obviously the winter weather played a huge factor in that revision. In the past, I’ve taken the Pacific Coast Highway from San Luis Obisbo to San Francisco, it’s unlike anywhere else in the world, even by car. I want to do it not because it would factor in on the scale of crossing the continent, but rather as a time to reflect and enjoy this wondrous line dividing the sea from the mountains. To do it by bike is a dangerous but rewarding feat. The road at certain points is not designed for biking, and drivers out here don’t necessarily have the perfect reputation when it comes to driving safety. Nonetheless people have done it before, many times. I’m out here and I have the time to spend, I’m going to venture on.

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Todays trek from Los Angles, CA to Ventura CA.

I left the Santa Monica Pier around 11:00AM. Jamie did me a huge favor by driving me out there to bypass the LA traffic. Besides, that was where I’d left off so I might as well start there again. I already knew something was different about this ride. To my right were mountains, nothing new there. To my left, the Pacific, still a sight of amazement to my weary eyes as I biked along the shore heading north.

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In case I forgot where I was, these signs were placed generously across the PCH.
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The famous California State Route 1. Built in 1934, this north-south highway runs along most of the Pacific coastline of California. 655.8 miles to be exact.
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Right off the bat this was the view I had biking out of Santa Monica. For about 5 miles this beachside trail ran along the coast. It was a great way to start my first day back on the bike.
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The sight of this view never lost its luster. I continued to stop along the ride to gaze across the vastness of the ocean. I had made it, I kept thinking to myself.
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Views like this weren’t uncommon along the ride today.
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It’s hard to beat this. It’s a place like nowhere else. As you travel along Route 1 you’ll find an endless number of turn-offs for cars to stop. There’s also a countless number of RV parks, set up right along the highway for overnight stays. Then there are campsites for the real trekkers.
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Lunch with a view.
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At one point I came across a vendor on the side of the road and I had to stop for some fresh pineapple. I sat down on a rocky ridge overlooking the Pacific and to my amazement, whales passed by. They were far enough out that I couldn’t get a good picture, but it was an amazing sight especially for my first day on the PCH.
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I reached the county line of Ventura, much farther off from my destination in Ventura than I originally thought. I didn’t mind, I was so distracted by the views that the milage hardly factored in at all, even after a few days off the bike.
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It can’t all be perfect. I was almost to my destination when a flat stopped my progress.
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It didn’t take long to diagnose the problem.

I made it to Ventura around 3:30PM. I stayed at a motel right off the shore and a quick walk away from town where the local bars, shops, and other cool attractions were. From what I saw Ventura was a moderately sized town, but compared to Santa Monica it was a breath of fresh air. The beach was open and people weren’t so crowded. You could find some open space without looking very far, my kind of place. I walked into a restaurant overlooking the beach and enjoyed a tuna melt while watching the Dodgers lose to the Diamondbacks. I was at Dodger Stadium the previous evening when they won, it was quite a different ballgame today. After dinner I walked around town to get a feel for the area and the people that lived here. It was pretty laid back, I enjoyed the easy going vibes after a busy weekend in LA. I returned to the motel and prepared for tomorrows ride to Santa Barbara. I’ve heard great things about that place, I;m excited to finally see it.

Enjoy The Ride,

-Matt

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