Sunday, July 18, 2010

Most Miles So Far!

Today was a really long day! I left Leo Carillo and almost immediately entered the city limits of Malibu; even though the map said it was much further. Turns out Malibu is about 27 miles long. Shortly after I entered Malibu a guy caught up to me who was from Malibu. We talked for awhile (nice wide shoulder) and he told me I should ride out to Dume State Beach (right after the infamous Zuma Beach). At the end of the road there is a rocky place where they have filmed several car commercials. Never one to turn down a suggestion from a local (and a cyclist no less), I followed his directions. At the end, there were a bunch of people rappelling off the rock. There was also this tractor on the beach smoothing the sand (or so I thought). I thought that was kind of strange so I stopped and asked a sheriff that was parked at the beach what the machine was really for. Turns out it cleans the beach (kind of like a Zamboni only for sand instead of ice). Apparently, as the sheriff said, people are pigs. The Beach Zamboni sweeps along the sand picking up all the garbage and filtering it out of the sand then returning the sand to the beach!
After that I rode back to the PCH and continued down the road. Saw tons of cyclists again today. Some waved, some didn't.
Pretty soon I was heading into Santa Monica. I could see the pier from quite aways away. I was riding on a beach bike path. It was very interesting because the paved path goes down the middle of the beach as in there is sand on both sides of the path. There were, of course, lots of people out as the weather was nice and it was Sunday. I was pretty good at weaving my way through the people and maintaining a decent speed. It was also perfectly flat. The path ended at Venice Beach. I stopped at Starbuck's to have a smoothie and take a little break. It was most interesting people watching.
After going around a marina, I was back on a beach path going through Redondo Beach. At the pier, the bike path actually went through the parking garage! After the pier, I was supposed to turn onto Torrance Blvd. Well, I continued on the bike path. Turns out it was a good thing because as I was riding along, a helicopter started hovering over the water just off the beach. I looked out and saw several dolphins! If I'd gone the right way, I wouldn't have seen them! As it was, I asked this gal I had talked to earlier where Torrance Blvd. was. She said I had gone past it. She wondered where I was going because she knew the path dead ended just ahead. Anyway, I went back and made the right turn. From there I went through Torrance and Carson. Then I was back on another bike path to go through Long Beach. After the bike path (which I turned off of too early so as not to make my previous mistake again) I went through Seal Beach, Sunset Beach and then into Huntington Beach where I picked up another beach path. By this time I was getting kind of tired of weaving around all the people so I got off the path and rode on the PCH. I finally got to the turn to go to Erikka's house where I am Couchsurfing tonight.
I have done my laundry for the last time. Erikka made me a sandwich when I got here and we had a delicious steak dinner with garlic bread, potatoes and salad. YUM!!
Only 1 more night of camping and 2 more days of riding until the border. I'm sure both days will be shorter than today which turned out to be 85 miles! I will be sleeping in a bed tonight (Erikka's son has given up his bed for me). I am getting pretty sleepy.

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