Day 2 Checkpoint: Lucia, CA
Thursday, January 28, 2009. Day two of my TEDride: Monterey to Lucia
Greetings from a place called Lucia – a remote little outpost on the Central Coast between Big Sur and San Simeon – 67.6 miles south of Monterey. I arrived at 6:00, just as it was getting too dark to follow the narrow shoulder of Highway 1, and as my legs and spirits were saying “enough already”. I say “place”, because, despite the fact that Lucia is featured on no fewer than 4 big green mileage billboards, along with cities such as San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles, Lucia is nothing more than a main building housing a restaurant, general store and gift shop, and a small complex of 10 rooms and cabins. Don’t get me wrong, I say “place” only in reference to its size, not its significance, rustic charm or natural beauty, as Lucia is currently my favorite place on earth – with a hot shower and a bed. My room has no phone, TV or internet, and I have no cell phone service, so this posting will just have to wait until Friday, a little further down the road. Where’s Starbucks when you really need one? This is the stuff of adventure cycling.
Today I began my ride along the famous 17 Mile Drive in Carmel, and then spent the rest of the day on Highway 1, which literally hugs the steep rocky central coastline. The road is narrow and winding, and contantly under reconstruction, where sections need to be fortified against slipping into the ocean below, or cleared of rockslides from above. The views from this precarious passage are some of the most spectacular in the world, and even more so at the speed of a bicycle rather than a car.
I got off to a late start today, departing the Monterey Marriott at 11:40. I logged 67.6 miles in 6 hours and 20 minutes (4:50 in the saddle), at an average speed of 13.9 mph. The “slight” difference from yesterday’s average speed of 15.0 mph is quite significant in the human powered mode, as it’s the result of long stretches of uphill grade which slow me and my mechanical pack mule to 6 miles per hour. Grinding out miles at this slow pace for stretches of 3 to 6 miles is as much a mental challenge as it is physical. But, the payoff is well worth it. I discovered a beautiful place I would have never known existed, watched the sun set on the Pacific, and saw the stars in the black of night that no longer exists in the city I live in.
I’ve logged 206 miles in two days – with 300 more to reach Los Angeles. For tomorrow, an earlier start, and 100 mile stretch to Pismo Beach.
I made a number of video postcards throughout the day — #9 thru #16. You can view my video postcards on my YouTube page (www.youtube.com/mmdwight).