WAY BACK in July (haha! like 2 weekends ago...) Spencer, Ella and myself took a biking adventure. We rode from Newport to Carlsbad on our road bikes. We not so promptly left Newps, about 30 minutes late from our original start time. I choked down some oatmeal and enjoyed some coffee before we could leave - the last thing I wanted to do was bonk. Spencer and I shoved street clothes and flip-flops into my camelback so that we were prepared for the afternoon in Carlsbad and the train ride back up.
We headed south on the PCH around 8 am. The traffic was pretty light, which was good for us. It was a little bit of a rough start, I realized that the impact of my chain being thrown into my back wheel the weekend was slightly problematic - a few swift kicks later (by the time we arrived in Laguna) I was able to shift a little bit. As we were climbing up to Dana Point I managed to hit a bump, Ella and I heard this REALLY strange noise and then all the sudden my shifting was back in business! How convenient, right?
I have never ridden passed Dana Point via bike (I have previously endured 70 miles through Camp Pendleton back in February with some crazy in shape roadies) so it was an adventure once we passed through the area I was familiar with and we were just going with our guy instinct just hoping we were not going to end up on the 5. It is safe to say we didn't - there was actually a nice little bike section set up in-between Dana Point and San Clemente. We rolled into SC around 8:50, our original goal was to arrive by 10 am, this way we could take a trip to the Rainbow store and replace our old falling apart flip-flops. After some water and a snake in some po-dunk part of town we decided to keep rolling, just in case we slowed down at all.
It was a pretty easy climb out of SC and we were carrying a pretty solid pace down south. We made it to San Onfre really quickly, then made a wrong turn, but were quickly able to get back on track when we noticed that all of the other cyclists were on the OTHER side of the highway...Ooops. It was pretty neat getting into San Onfre State Park and seeing all the other people out there camping/surfing/cycling/running. We started to slow down a little bit - out of our group (at least at that point in time) I was the only one that had been riding on a daily basis so I was ready to pump out 50+ miles.
We found ourselves slight lost again right before we entered Camp Pendleton, but, thanks to our smartphones and a large group of tandem bikers (yes, there were like 50 million people on tandems) we were able to roll up to the gate. When you approach the gate, you have to give the officer your ID and then roll through - while I was trying to be courteous we created a line and were handing our id's single file so that the guard didn't get over whelmed, a group of huge ego riders camp and pushed their way right in from of Spencer. I thought it was pretty funny, Ohhhh Orange County road riders you never cease to amaze me with your unfriendly attitudes.
We pedaled through Pendleton, which was windy, and brought back the memories of my ride through there earlier in the year and how much pain I was in. ha! Note to self: never go riding with people training for an Ironman unless you are in really good shape and really to pedal your butt off. About a mile before we made it to the main entrance of Camp P, Spencer was stung by a bee that was stuck in-between his helmet and glasses - ouch! Painful! He lived though - we made it through Oceanside and then ventured a little bit further into Carlsbad. At this point I REALLY needed a pick me up - conveniently as soon as we rolled into town It's A Grind was right there - it must have been fate. ha! We joined some black brew and sugary snacks outside. Then headed down to Tamarack Beach where we met Ella's aunt.
While at Tamarack I managed to burn the bottom of my feet because I refused to put my shoes on while walking on the concrete. Lesson learned - especially when the bottom of my feet blistered later on in the day. Gross. We changed into our suits and enjoyed the water - I am happy to say Spencer got in the ocean! Why the excitement? He is scared of open water, thus meaning, he has never been in the ocean down here before. It really wasn't that bad....ha! We headed back into Carlsbad and grabbed some average tasting overly expensive american food to fuel up before we hit the road again - this time in full street clothes looking like total goobers (might I add....it was TOTALLY awesome!). We made a pit stop at a store and grabbed some brewskis for the train ride. Then....we pedaled around Oceanside aimlessly trying to find the train station.
I will give you the short and sweet version of our train adventure - since it was pretty interested. We found the station and learned the buying a weekend pass for $10 (that can be used all weekend) was cheaper than purchasing a one-way ticket. Then, we had to figure out which track we needed to be on, of course NO one knew. Some how we ended up on the correct train - and, yes, I have never been on a train (expect for the metro in europe) so I was slightly nervous. We strapped our bikes in and explored the cabin - finally settling on some awesome seats up top where we were able to be semi-loud, semi-drunk, and see the beautiful scenery.
We rolled back into Irvine station and BLC came to pick us up. Somewhere along the way we decided that doing dinner together after our long day would only be appropriate (we always seem to do dinner when we are all ridiculously tired).
Moral of the story: the ride was awesome. I would really like to ride down to San Diego next, stay there for a night and then take the train back up the next day.
|Spence looking European (because he was at the beach with sports glasses on - matter of fact we all looked this way)|
|Train ride back - ummmmmmmm.|
|'I am half way in Newport and half way in Laguna'|
|Girls will be girls.|
|Spence in the ocean.|
|The result of dinner, drinks and lots of riding. Gus in fast glasses.|
Sending Love from SoCal