We tried to start the trip early, but still got caught in some nasty headwind after leaving Cambria. Luckily the weather forecast claiming rain was wrong, and we only had to endure a short sprinkle.
The views started getting quite pretty once we entered the hills of the general Big Sur region. Time for some climbing.
Did I mention climbing? The trip feels like it consists of about 3/4 climbing! Easy gearing on the bike is a must.
Reflector Rock and some distant surf possibilities. Sharky.
One of many roadside breaks. We took a slow pace on the trip and stopped often. At this stop somebody looked down at the ground and found….
…jade? Looked like it, but none of us were sure.
The California poppies were in full force everywhere.
The creek at our campsite had a healthy flow to it.
It was nice to finally be off the bike. Day 1 was tough.
Our kitchen was dialed in. Many oatmeal packets, cans of chili, and ramens were consumed!
Some end-of-day celebratory suds went down as well.
The cycling cap is a classic part of cycling tradition and is quite useful: it keeps the sun, rain, and sweat out of your eyes.
When the sun finally penetrated the forest canopy in the morning, we’d get a chance to dry out all of our damp cycling gear from the night before….
…..not to mention our tent rainflies. They would be soaking wet every morning from condensation built up from the humans breathing inside them all night.
Before setting off, we took a short hike up the creek.
The scenes were breathtaking.
The forest floor was covered with bright green clovers.
Calvin taking the high road.
As we pushed on, the day wasn’t too long, distance wise, but contained quite a lot of climbing. Those hills over there are pretty tall!
Cliché Big Creek bridge photo op.
Even though there was a strong northwest wind out at sea, this particular section of the coast dipped in and was protected, a nice change after getting blown around by headwinds all trip thus far.
A pristine beach surrounded by pristine ocean.
Calvin was frantically signaling for us to pull over; he had spotted a mother whale and her calf hanging out right off the beach…
…and when I say right off the beach, I mean RIGHT off the beach!
Watch out for pigs!
Forest floor dweller
Pressing on, we encountered the strongest headwinds yet. I don’t think the cows cared about that, though.
Finally getting out of the headwind, we got to take it easy on 17 Mile Drive near Carmel. The last 3 days had been a lot of work.
You can probably guess how much distance we covered on 17 Mile Drive.
Arriving at the hostel in Pacific Grove. We got some amazing sushi that night. And sake. And beer. And whiskey. And a hangover.
The next morning, Cal had some important calls to make…
…and Tanner got down on the ebony/ivory.
The southbound journey begins. We stopped in the Asilomar area to check things out.
My bicycle is great. It’s set up nicely at this point.
A closeup of some Golden Poppies…
…it definitely felt like spring.
Can you spot the nonconformist?
The southbound leg of the trip was mostly easy riding. Once we got the to coast the tailwind would assist us greatly.
In the first person.
Some refreshments, perhaps?
The view from Rocky Point. We rode down a driveway and had some much needed amazing food at the Restaurant there.
One of my favorite moments of the trip occurred when I spotted a pair of hawks hovering in the wind looking for prey. They were staying in the same spot for up to a minute at a time, virtually motionless.
The last night of camping was fun. After getting settled in, we headed down to the beach to check out the sunset.
Tanner was getting into the ocean’s vibrations.
The sea put on quite a show. The surf was HUGE, even more so that night. The half moon illuminated the waves just enough to see some giant sets, I’m going to estimate at least 15 feet high.
On the final day of the trip I almost made Calvin crash to get this photo. We were crossing a narrow bridge that went over this creek and I looked to my right and saw this exact scene…I stopped suddenly and whipped out my camera, not realizing Cal was following close behind me along with a lot of backed up vehicular traffic. Sorry everyone! (I’m glad I got the photo, though…)
The cars on Highway 1 all seem to be either motorhomes or rented Ford Mustangs. Here is Tanner pissing a couple of the latter off.
Long way down.
This really is an amazing part of the planet Earth.
Tailwind! It just blew us right down the coast.
The aptly named Ragged Point. After we rounded the point we only had a few more miles of the trip left.
Hard work, beautiful views, saw one Condor, a lot of beers, a couple of hangovers, and no flat tires! Another great tour.
The sun sets on day 1. We would end up riding an hour into the night to reach our first destination, Kirk Creek. Day 1 was grueling. We were rewarded by seeing the crescent Moon, Jupiter, and Venus set over the ocean in a tight cluster.
This is Ken. Ken is a perpetual bike tourist, artist, and self-proclaimed tennis ace. He has developed a method of playing tennis with a racket in each hand; he calls it Tennisance. Ken is a trippy guy.
This is Bob and his dog Happy. Bob is from Alabama. Bob is a former US Army Ranger, sniper scout. He served in Desert Storm. His pinky finger was blown off by shrapnel in combat. Bob became homeless a few years after the war, and has had a hard life. He prefers the term “houseless”, but Tanner came up with the term “home free” and I think Bob liked that the most. Instead of being homeless in one place and becoming stagnant, Bob grabbed a bicycle 18 years ago and started riding across the USA. He has since ridden around/across the country something like 8 times, Canada a few times, and has put in miles in Mexico & Australia as well. Bob does mechanic and construction work for a few months out of each year to earn some loot and then rides the rest of the time. Bob has been living with stomach cancer for 7 years, and is currently in the process of dying from it. Instead of withering away in a hospital or in the street somewhere, Bob has instead chosen to keep riding. When we came across him at the Pfeiffer campground, he was on his way south to Los Angeles to meet some people in the bicycle industry…apparently Bob is somewhat of a legend in the bicycle touring world. He said Trek was sponsoring him with a new touring bike (Bob currently rides an early 90s Trek mountain bike), another company was custom building him a new trailer, and some bicycle magazine is doing an article on his whole deal. Bob is 600 miles short of hitting 100,000 total miles ridden on the bike. After he gets hooked up with his new rig, Bob is going to go on his final tour with Happy dog back home to Alabama to live out his final days with his grandkids. I’m glad we came across Bob.
Ken let us jam out on his guitar for a bit. I picked it up right after I shot this photo of Tanner, went to do a little blues lick and broke one of the strings. Sorry Ken.
Heading north from Pfeiffer to Monterey…more awful headwind. Check out that flag!
Tanner was hanging tough on this trip. Aside from some 30-ish mile long rides around home, this was his first time getting into serious cycling business. He was charging.
8 a.m. piano jam at the hostel.
The sleeping arrangements were funny.
Headed south we finally got to ride with a tailwind! And what a sweet tailwind it was….the section where I took this photo was amongst the most enjoyable cycling I’ve ever done. The wind pushed us along at full speed with hardly any effort necessary.
Big Creek area again, no fog this time.
Calvin was looking pretty Euro.
We stopped in Lucia for refreshments. The restaurant there has really good food, albeit pricey.
Still more tailwind…