Mission Accomplished! 346 miles, San Jose to LA on a Bike!

Author: Sheryl Driskell, Senior Account Manager Filice Insurance

For the record: all of us are alive and well! I had no idea how tired I would be each night after a day of biking, and therefore have not been able to update this blog. We have now finished four days of our trip, and have only three days to go! We have covered a total of 222.5 miles and have run into rain on the second and forth days. But let me backtrack and start from the beginning:

Day One: We all met at Lisa’s house ready to go! There was excitement in the air along with a little reservation as to what we had gotten ourselves into. We loaded up and took off to Hollister. As soon as we arrived, we got on our bikes in front of a coffee shop on 6th Street. The first day was pretty uneventful, apart from the coyote I spotted in the middle of the road as I came around a hill! I must have had my mean, game face on, because as soon as he saw me ran straight off through the herd of cows and into the hills! The rest of the ride was beautiful; we went past the Pinnacles and continued on G13 until we reached King City. The city itself is actually bigger than I expected- there is a lot more to it than what you see from 101! We all survived day one with only a few sore limbs. Needless to say, we were glad to be off of our bikes that night, and headed straight to the showers and dinner. Total miles for the day: 63.2.

Day Two: Ready to leave King City! The weather was looking a little “iffy,” but off we started. We rode about five miles and ran into a downpour! Thank goodness our SAG support was right ahead waiting for us! We hopped immediately off our bikes and straight into the car. We only had to wait about ten minutes until the clouds parted and the sun started to shine, so off we went! It was then that we encountered our first real climb; fortunately it was early in the day (around mile 10) so we all felt pretty good about ourselves and were able to attack it. We had a great picnic lunch at a little church we found along the way and checked out a really old graveyard that was pretty interesting. After we finished our lunch we hopped back on our bikes and things were going pretty “fine and dandy.” Just when we thought we had this ride covered, we hit some major hills that caused some language to come out of me that I have never heard from myself! We climbed and climbed until I reached a point of really wanting to cry. We made it to the top and I had no idea how much fun was to come. Our SAG support blocked the road for us as we came down the mountain and as we descended Lisa hit around 40mph! I am not quite as brave, as my max speed was only 34mph, but it was tons of fun! Other than a little rain and a lot of climbing, it was a good day. Oh! I forgot to mention, we did have one little mishap as we were climbing one of the many hills! As I got to the top and was trying to clip out of my pedal, I did not clip out fast enough, and consequently tipped over! Now I have a nice bruise and a few scrapes on my knee. At least I was able to give the rest of the group a lot of laughs since I seem to be the only one that can’t seem to get out of my clips fast enough! Total miles for the
day: 64.2. Trip total: 127.4.

Day 3: We left Paso Robles and headed off to Pismo Beach. It was only a 51 mile day, so I figured it should be a piece of cake. If we could have skipped the first 18 miles it would have been a piece of cake, as those consisted of a lot of hills with tons of vineyards. There must be 50 or more wineries on Hwy 46!
Once we got past mile 18 we had lots of fun coming down from 1100 feet to sea level. The road had very little traffic so we were able to fly down the mountain with Lisa leading the way! Once we made it down to Morro Bay we found beach access and had lunch on the beach. The rest of the ride was rather uneventful.
We did find a bike shop not too far out of our way and had to do some retailing, which added to our mileage! It was nice not to have much to climb and the bad weather held off until we reached the hotel. Once we got into our rooms down the rain came (as we were sitting in the ocean view Jacuzzi!). This is truly the only way to bike to LA- I don’t think I could camp out as they do on the AIDS ride! I give those who do that a lot of credit! I definitely need the princess-pampering treatment of a hot shower and soft bed every night. Having a Jacuzzi doesn’t hurt either! No new injuries today, but I am keeping my fingers crossed for the rest of the trip! Total for the day: 58.6 miles Trip total:

Day 4: I can’t believe I have ridden for three full days! I never thought I could do this! It definitely makes you realize what you can do if you really put your mind to it. The weather was again not looking good but we decided that if it started raining we would just jump in the car and see how far up the road we would have to go to get out of it. The roads we were on today didn’t have much of a shoulder, so we didn’t feel very confident riding on them in the rain.
Things went pretty well however, and I never realized how much farmland was past Pismo Beach! We rode into Guadalupe, a rather cute little town, and had lunch at King Falafels, which turned out to quite good. We continued on with our trip until we reached Vandenberg Air Force base. The weather turned out not to be in our favor, so as the rain came down we decided to jump into the car and see if we could drive out of the weather. We were able to ride into Solvang, but the total mileage for the day was only 36.5 miles. The short mileage might actually be a good thing, however, as tomorrow we are climbing over San Marco Pass, which has a four-mile climb! Hopefully our short day today will help all of us conquer this intense hill,though I probably should call it a “mountain.” Total for the
day: 36.5. Trip total: 222.5 miles.

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