Solvang and Santa Barbara, CA
September 13, 2018
Distance: 23.4 miles
Elevation: 715 feet
Moving Time: 3 hours 6 minutes
Conditions: Start — Sunny, 65 degrees F. End — Sunny and 75 degrees
Today’s Takeaway: We became tourists today.
I re-introduced myself to my wife, Diane, today.
I’ve been so consumed planning my ride down the central segment of the Pacific Coast Highway the past two months, and then making it happen these past few days, that I’ve almost been an absent partner.
That all changed on this not-a-cloud-in-the-sky Thursday. And it was the best day of the trip— the final chapter of my ride down Highway 1 that began last Saturday in Monterey and ended today in Santa Barbara, California.
We slept in, ate a late breakfast, explored a Denmark-themed village and — what else? — rode our bikes along the beach in beautiful Santa Barbara.
In essence, my wife and I became tourists today, a relaxing difference from the regimented and strenuous life individuals and those who support them must deal with if they choose to ride (and help out with) these tours.
In retrospect, it’s been a beautiful bike tour for me, even better than I had hoped. The awesomeness of the Pacific Ocean, its rocky shoreline through the Big Sur region that gradually became long, sandy beaches the farther south I rode, was absolutely breathtaking.
The memory that will stay with me the longest, though, will be the people I met along the way. Cycling team members, local residents, vacationers and other cyclists who were on tour. So many people who love riding bikes from so many countries making their dreams come true. And I noticed those riding seemed to almost always have a smile on their face.
To those from around the world who have been following my daily blog entries on this RidesLikeThese.com website, it’s been a pleasure having you with me for the ride. Thanks for your many questions and comments. I hope my responses have helped you in planning your upcoming adventures. And to my family and friends, thank you for cheering me on and being part of my life.
Would I consider doing another extended bike tour? Most definitely. As a matter of fact, I’m considering riding with a group through the south of France next September. If you’d like to come along, I’ll be posting photos and blog entries on this RidesLikeThese.com site. Stay tuned.
If you’re considering taking on a similar challenge, it can be done. Do the necessary research, plan your route, prep your bike and put in the mies in preparation. Don’t overthink it, though. This isn’t rocket science. There’s a heading on my menu bar, RESOURCES, that you might find beneficial. I promise you won’t regret the decision you’ve made to tackle this challenge. Best of luck.
Let’s all be safe out there.
— Joe Pickens, Rides Like These