...and the beginning of a new map.
So, I have not added up all the miles, but over the last 11 days it must be between 500 and 600. I finished Map 5 of the Sierra Cascades Route and started Map 4. This map will take me from Lake Isabella, where I am tonight, to Truckee. I'm sure there will be loads more climbing involved in the days ahead.
I left Brite Lake at 7:30 this morning. At first there was a bunch of downhill, but I knew I had one really long climb, then two shorter ones. The long climb started out pretty good. There was lots of shady spots for me to stop and rest. After about the 5th mile (of 8 miles), it got pretty steep with some nasty switchbacks. I would rest about every third of a mile. When I would reach a mile, I would stop, have a drink of water and a few jelly beans. The road was very narrow with a surprising amount of traffic, particularly motorcycles which, except for the noise, are not too bad as they go around me pretty easily. This was one of those roads where I question if it is really the route.
Another question about the route came earlier this morning when the map said to get on Hwy 58. At the on ramp the sign said bicycles prohibited. I looked again at the map and even looked on my phone. I could see no other possibility so onto the freeway I went. I was on 58 for about 6 miles. I guess it was okay as I didn't get caught.
The second climb today was shorter, but by then, it seemed longer (funny how that seems to happen as the day goes on). I could tell by my map that there was supposed to be a grocery store at the top. I was really hoping it was true because I was running low on water considering I still had another climb to go. As I came around the last bend at the top of the hill, there it was! It almost appeared to have a halo of light around it as I was so happy to see that it really existed. I stopped and bought a 32oz bottle of Gatorade, a Snickers and a bag of Coconut M&Ms. Then I went back in and bought two bottles of water to fill my water bottles and a package of cookies!
From there it was downhill until the climb up Ball Mt. I was back to Super Granny and my butt was tired BUT, I wasn't thirsty or hungry! The ride down into Lake Isabella was another one of those steep curvy descents where I have to stop to rest my hands from braking. I had great views of the lake though.
I stopped at a Von's (Safeway) and restocked groceries. Then it was just anothe 4 miles or so to Pioneer Point campground where the showers are scalding hot, but last long enough on .50 to wash shorts, a jersey and a pair of unders.
I'm now in Sequoia National Forest. Perhaps I will try for more free camping tomorrow.
Total miles: 64.4
Time spent actually pedaling (not counting resting): 7:13!