Day Nine: Monday, March 9, 2009
Time in Saddle: 5:43
Distance for the Day: 53.8+lost mileage from leg before Lompoc: Orcutt to Goleta
Altitudes: Starting/Ending: ??, Highest: 1100’, Accumulated: 2582’
Speeds: Avg: 9.4 mph, Max: 42.8 mph
Weather: Clear, 43° cool to warm
Got up at 6:41, ate an apple and broke down/packed away gear; ready to roll by 7:15. Hit the downhill grade (after yesterday’s long uphill) and stopped by the Vandenberg Air Force Base to take a picture. Found a Burger King at 10:50 and used one of Yolanda’s Burger King gift cards (thanks, Yolanda!) to get a burger and soda; also used the time to transcribe messages off the voice recorder onto a flattened Burger King paper bag, as it had filled up, and I needed more space for further blog entries; I’ve been using the recorder to keep blog entries since my notebook wouldn’t be usable until I got to my Auntie Elsie’s in L.A. I stopped at Lompoc to buy a footlong Subway sandwich and soda ($6), and to replace my trike’s flag at a local bike shop ($8). I went the wrong way, trying to leave town, and wasted about a half hour figuring it out and coming back. At 12:09 I inadvertently wiped out the day’s stats off my cyclometer, so would have to figure that in when posting the day’s figures. After leaving Lompoc on Hwy 1, I went up into a region of beautifully green and hilly ranchlands on a long, smooth and steady uphill grade until 2:45pm to an altitude of 1100’. I then had the pleasure of dropping a thousand feet within 2 miles down a 7% downhill grade getting to 42.8mph before joining in with Hwy 101, and stopping at a highway rest stop just before Gaviota. I made some more Gatorade (from powder), and chatted with the other rest stop people; then pushed ahead at 3:24pm down the coast to Isla Vista and reached Goleta at 5:02pm, a western suburb of Santa Barbara. Along the way, I missed the sign that said “cyclists must take the next exit,”and so rode down about 6 miles of restricted freeway before the CHP pulled me over and nicely told me to get the hell off the frickin’ freeway. They were actually very polite about it, and didn’t even hint about giving me a ticket, though I should have gotten a clue when I had to cross a two-lane on ramp with cars speeding up to 50 and 60 mph heading towards me. In town, I had to wend my way eastward on surface streets (the coast, at this point, ran east-to-west), and was wondering where I could bed down for the night.
The sun set at 7:09pm, and it was almost dark before I found a likely location that faces the ocean called La Mesa Park. It didn’t have any signs that said “no overnight camping,” or “park open 8am to sunset,” or anything like that, so, if I slept there, maybe I wouldn’t get thrown into jail for vagrancy. I found a big bush that I could hide behind, and set up my gear at about 8pm. I ate my Subway sandwich while chatting with a local who told me all about the local animals (mountain lions, coyotes, owls) and a bit later, went to sleep at 8:47pm. Oh, I developed a sore spot on my inner thigh so I put some bactine lotion on it, and that seemed to fix it. My knees are slowly getting better I think. I’d been going somewhat easy on them the last few days, but today, I thought I’d try putting more pressure on going up today’s grade, and they were fine, though they started to hurt again by mid-afternoon, after getting past Gaviota. Afterwards, I went easy on them again, and though they were now somewhat achey, they lasted fine to the end of the day.