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Riding the Circuit

By | June 19, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012
Plaskett Creek Campground to Cambria
39.8 miles

We had a quick first breakfast as we left our campsite, getting on the road at 8:58. That’s before 9:00! We stopped for second breakfast in Gorda, where you could pay over six dollars a gallon for gas. While we were eating, a couple from France touring on a tandem, half upright and half recumbent, pulled in. They had stayed at Big Sur the same night as us. Later, Donna and Carl, a couple on singles who had also stayed with us at Big Sur, showed up. It seems they are on about the same pace as us.

Donna and Carl are carrying the most amazing amount of stuff. They both have front and rear panniers, as well a lot of stuff strapped to their racks. I can’t even imagine what they’ve got in there, because I feel like we have a lot of stuff. Today it occurred to me, maybe they just aren’t as good at packing their bags densely.

After Gorda, we started climbing.

Once again, not too steep, but long. Then we coasted down about half the distance we climbed up, then started climbing again. There was so little traffic today, and what cars there were came in spurts from a one lane closure about 15 miles to the north. So much of the time it was just quiet. Foggy, cold and quiet. We could hear the water and sometimes the seals barking from the coast.

After another 10 miles or so, we stopped at Ragged Point and had coffee and pastries. We finally had a bit of sun. It didn’t seem like the fog cleared so much as we just got below it.

See the fog still up there?

A man named Brandon asked us to help him make a small video, as he has been trying to convince his friends to ride the coast with him, and there we were, doing it. We smiled and said how much fun we were having. Sadie finally had cell service, so she left a message for the hostel in Cambria. We were counting on them having space, because there isn’t any nearby camping. Donna and Carl pulled in as we were getting ready to leave.

The next 15 miles flew by. We passed an elephant seal refuge.

They seem to nap most of the time, but they can move really fast if they want to. It’s cool to watch. They fling sand everywhere.

We pulled over in San Simeon for lunch. There was a small deli, but it was closed, so we just sat at their tables. Another rider we hadn’t met yet arrived. He was traveling with a backpack on his back and a dry sack on his rack. He had done 137 miles yesterday and was aiming for 110 today. So what had taken us six days, he rode in one, minus a small bit. He started south of San Francisco, in Palo Alto. He flies out of San Diego on the 25th.

We left San Simeon before he did, but he passed us not long after. We won’t see him again.

There he goes!

We also got passed by three men, two with bike trailers and one with no gear. Do they switch off? They didn’t slow down long enough to say where they were heading, but we saw them ahead of us again at our evening stop in Cambria. Perhaps we’ll get a chance to talk to them tomorrow.

Out on the road, Sadie got a callback from the hostel.


When she explained that we were two women coming in by bicycle, the person on the phone said, “You’re the one I just took a video of!” Turns out, our new friend Brandon runs the hostel. When we arrived, I gave him our blog addresses, in case his friends still aren’t convinced.

As we rode into Cambria, Sadie spotted the French couple at the laundromat. Touring cyclists are pretty predictable. We did laundry there later ourselves. There seem to be more of us on the road than on other trips I’ve taken, but it’s still a pretty small world.

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