Loading... Please wait...

Day 1 San Diego to Laguna Beach - 65 miles


after nearly six hours riding time today I made it to laguna beach.    i rode 65 miels from my house in Solana Beach. Leaving san diego today was so slow, certainly left more like 1:30pm than the planned sunrise departure but it was a delightful morning with coffee and pancakes and sweet goodbyes.  Then I drove my car home, then realized i left my battery pack at jens so I had to go back to mission hills, acquire battery, drove home again, park the car for good, cover it and disconnect the battery.  Got packed and loaded and departed with out having lunch, I rode the familiar routes through north san diego county munching on soaked lentils from the top of the sprouter.  Once i finished those off I scarfed down a big protein bar as I rode. The bottom two tiers of my onboard sprouting set up have started, for which I am most stoked!  The highlight of north county was the parade of low riders cruisin PCH like true Homies, after oceanside, at the harbor, you cut under I-5 and approach the Camp Pendelten entrance where you have to show ID.  Right after you enter you have to take a left,  I didn't, I went 8 miles out of the way in camp Pendleton on roads specifically marked "No Cyclist." I didnt realize it until it was shorter to keep going than to turn back, however, had i known the giant hill i would have to climb on my alternate route I would have turned back.  When I got back on track I called my brother brian who is one of the contacts on my strava beacon/live track app so gets a link he can follow as I ride seeing where I am.  Right away he told me he had just  been telling his wife, Nina, that he thinks i got lost....   You dont have to go very far inland for the weather to change drastically.  That heat and the self disappointment at missing my turn was intense, however, something went wrong, so as Yvonne would say, the adventure has begun!  

"The Old Road", an old stretch of road now used only by the marines and bikers takes you a few miles nort of Camp Pendelton.  I just imagine then drag racing tanks out there, it'd be perfect for it. That and San Onofre, the nuclear power plant, and the camp ground is all pretty monotonous.  Further into Orange county there are bike lanes that are so well protected, Thank you OC for that, I know it's a treat i wont  have again. It ends when you turn into Doheny state beach campgrounds and day lots, which were familiar because I had stayed there on my overnight trial run trip from LA a few weeks back.  It gets hilly after that as you ride throught San Clemente, Dana Point and into Laguna.  

The bike did well, the spokes are audible as they settle in. I hear popping, especially as i stand up and pedal, ill stop one day and have the wheels put on a truing stand and checked. The new chain skips around a little too, nothing to worry about though. 

riding was hard. this is going to be hard. 

(mom dont read these next couple lines)

The only vehicle that came too close to me today was the Dana Point bus trolley. Way to close!  That guy was an asshole and should loose his job!  8 more inches and he would have hit me 

After San Clamente I stopped at 711 and got two gatorades, red and cucumber lime, my favorite, and ate banana, i know getting pieces of fruit in will be crucial. It was another 10 miles to Laguna and just .2 miles from the bottom of the famous Nyes Rd I found a  nostalgic old school diner,  red, silver and white with old classic cars out front. I got a burger and fries to go and headed out hoping to make it to my destination before dark. Then I made the awful mistake of turning up Nyes.  I peddled in the lowest gear for a few yards then realized I could walk faster than that and got off.  After 100 yards like that I realized it was too steep to be walking on my cleats, I was literally slipping down the hill as i tried to take steps, so I switched to my Skinners slip on rubber sock shoe things,  it was also too steep to be walking in a slip on.  No wonder that's a legendary skate hill; it's 20% grade that goes on and on.  I can't believe none of these LBDR (laguna beach danger riders) skater kids have gotten killed on these hills!  

The most discouraged part of my day was after the sun was gone and the new moon was just barely showing, I found a trolley that didn't run on sunday, ugh, so I sat on the bench and ate my super burger from Ruby's diner.  My body was very grateful for that, I needed it, Garmin said i had burnt 3,000 calories by that point.  I was rather frustrated at that moment now that I think about it, but not angry.  I see a real result out of this experience being not allowing circumstances, particularly frustrating ones, to effect my enthusiasm for the task at hand or living in general, not just macro but micro too.  That damn hill was sure a lesson in that. 

i guess that's what the keep calm and carry on slogan roger's dad has hanging over sink is all about.  Like everyone else I have that a million times, as well as the spin offs, bu I'm starting to get it now, for real.

Im so tired. i have to go bed. 

  After the hike from hell I could ride again, and did for a little while until I reached a gate, my heart sank but only for a moment, I recognized it as a fire road instead of the inpenitrable private gate I was afraid of. I went around it and was on the "top of the world"  fire road which I rode up and down like a rollercoaster in the dark, doging bunnies the entire time.  Apparently most of Laguna is protected wildlife preserve.  That road ended up spitting me out at 3 huge do not enter/ private property signs at the back side of a gated community.  I wasn't turning back so I pushed up into it continuing to follow my gps as it put me right up against another gate, this one could not be traversed.  As I approached it thinking about how i was going to disassemble my parts and toss it over the fence then climb myself I got close enough and realized, I was on the inside (!) so the gate was triggered and swung open for me, as if validating or accomodating everything I had just been through, God smiled on me.  What a relief!  Finally I was on Rogers's actual road and it was only another 1/2 mile until I pulled up to his house.  I knocked and His father answered the door, Roger wasn't even home from work, then nwith a surprising english accent welcomed me home.  There is nothing in life more appreciatable than hospitality to a weary traveler.  In a world full of sad and scary news about people in conflict I'm grateful for the reminders of how wonderful people are.  It amazes me how much it doesn't surprise me to meet passionate, kind, and hospitable people!  I love my people, and I meet new ones everyday who look and experience life differently than me.  Surely that is one of the best parts of being alive and why we travel.  If you prefer things to stay the same, your neighbors to look like you, your information not to challenge your beliefs or need your world view to be the right one, then you are not "my people."  But that's bordering political and that is  where I'm going, I'm showered, fed have more than I need and a couch to crash on this first night of the trip, june 25th, a Sunday, and a damn good start to this great adventure.

Sign up to our newsletter

Connect with us: Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram