Day Sixteen, Date March 16, 2009, Time ??
Time in Saddle: 4:55
Distance for the Day: 28.47 miles: Edwards Community Church To Cajon Pass crest
Accumulated Trip Distance: 641.94
Altitudes: Starting 4089, Highest: 4228, Accumulated: 3461
Speeds: Avg: 5.7 mph, Max: 30.7 mph
Overall cyclometer mileage: 1020.4 miles
Woke up at 6am, and chatted with the caretaker as he just arrived to do some early morning work. I left at about 7am, and continued on east until getting to a The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf store with free internet (yay!); bought worth of hot chocolate, muffin, and choco chip cookies ($10)– stayed until 3:15pm(!) to finish updating my blog and Google Maps – I doesn’t look like I’ll be making much mileage today! In checking Google Earth and Maps, it looks like there is cycle access transitioning from the L.A.basin to the high desert (Victorville, Barstow, etc.) so I headed up Sierra St. where I met another cyclist, Hector, at 4:55pm who offered to guide me to where the rest of the route through to the cycle access on Hwy 15 began (thanks, Hector!) It was a fair bit of a ride to get to that freeway access, and by the time I got there, it was 7pm, right at sunset. I didn’t think it was too much further, so I went ahead and took it, a long, uphill grade that as I was to discover, was actually quite long. Once I got on, I kept poking along at like 3-5mph, passed a few off-ramps looking very carefully for any signs that said “cyclists must exit,” but didn’t see any. It’s now fully dark, I put my flashers on (fore and aft), and kept on keeping on, with semi-truck and trailers passing me on my left about 15’ away. That uphill grade was so steady, and there weren’t any more exits – just a drop off to some canyon below. I just kept hoping all the drivers were alert and didn’t need to pull over for anything, and kept plodding upward. Along the way, I saw the sign that said, “Victorville, 19 miles” - yikes! It was a lot further than I thought. Lovely. There wasn’t anything to do, just keep on going. About three or four times, I’d come around a corner hoping to reach the Cajon Pass crest, but it was just another several miles of that slow, steady uphill grade, but it was getting easier, and I was able to make faster time (I’m guessing around 5-6mph because it was too dark to read my cyclometer). I finally crested the Cajon Summit at 8:30pm, and there was an exit there with a gas station, so I took it. I didn’t really need anything, so I just went past the station on the road, and found a nice spot below the road’s grade to play “hide and sleep.” I parked, set out my gear, and got to sleep around 9:15pm. Oh, by the way, you’ll notice in this narrative, that I didn’t eat anything all day except the two hot chocos and the muffin and two cookies. Remember, I mentioned the wide latitude I have for bodily needs? Proof positive!