Dec '19 20
category: Big trips

 

Pacific Coast Highway, or 1,500 kilometers of California's coast

 

I've got bad news: there is almost nothing in this post, which has never appeared on this blog before.

 

About a great round-the-road trip in the western US (and Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Death Valley, parks of Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands, Great Canyon, Sequoia, Arches, Monument Valley, Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, Yosemite, Pacific Coast Highway & #8230;) was on the Amazon occasion Re: Invent 2018: American trip: Western USA in 18 days

About Las Vegas (and Death Valley) was on the Amazon Re: Invent 2017 entry: Las Vegas: women, drugs, money and ... desert

About San Francisco (and Yosemite) was on the Dreamforce 2017 entry: San Francisco: what to see, where to go, how to live?

 

I will say more, in this post there are not most of the things that were supposed to be in it: the sun, great views, the perfect route and in general most of the points that I planned. Panda is not in him. It doesn't even contain what the title says, because:

 

 

analyzing the trail, it turns out that I have driven virtually the entire El Camino Real trail

& #8230; but you know & #8211; Pacific Coast Highway sounds better.

 

 

& #8222; Along the entire California coast runs a trail connecting 21 Catholic missions founded here in the eighteenth century by the Spanish Franciscans. The road leading from San Diego to Sonoma was named El Camino Real - Royal Road. For wine lovers, convents established along the route had additional significance - it was on the monastery grounds that the first vineyards appeared. The monks did wine from the variety brought from Spain país, which in time changed its name to mission grape. & #8221;

~https://czaswina.pl/artykul/uroki-prowincji/

 

 


How was it supposed to be?

 

The plan was: I'm going to Vegas for one of the biggest IT events in the world for a few days and I will go a little bit around the area I already know:

 

a brilliant loop of bike paths through the desert over Hoover Dam
& #8211; loop through Valley of Fire
& #8211; loop through Red rock canyon
& #8211; I will go on Mount charleston take a picture with a snow-covered sign Welcome to Fabolous Las Vegasbecause yes & #8230; about 60km from Vegas there is a hill with a ski slope. From a warm city located at 500m above sea level, the asphalt road enters the snow-covered area of 2600m above sea level
& #8211; if there is time, I can add it Death Valley, including the beautiful Artist's Drive and Dante & #8217; s View

 

Note, the following pictures were taken mid-December, but a year earlier:

it was supposed to be like that on Big Sur

it was supposed to be like that on Big Sur

It was supposed to be like this on Hawk Hill in San Francisco

It was supposed to be like that in Los Angeles

It was supposed to be like that in Malibu

I was supposed to go after such a desert.

 

 

I'm packing in podsiodłówkę and through the Mojave desert and Joshua Tree Park I drive off-road to Los Angeles. There, for one day, I relax, sit together with the homeless and drug addicts on the Venice beach, drive through Hollywood pathology, look at the night panorama of the city from Griffith Observatory and the coast, through Big Sur I go to San Francisco. Another day of relaxation to pass the most important places of one of the most beautiful cities in the world and & #8222; somehow & #8221; return to Vegas.

Only it didn't work out well, and there were several reasons.

 

 


Maciek, Maciek, what happened?

 

After arriving in Vegas, it turned out that when the temperature in the city rises to 10 degrees, it can already be said that it is warm. There is a snow storm on Mount Charleston and -17 ° C. As if that was not enough, I can talk about exceptional happiness, because it is rare to find a situation where in the middle of the desert it is rainy and cloudy for a week. The vision of lonely driving through the desert, which assumed, for example, a section of a 240-kilometer drive with one falling apart motel on the road (in which only a cafe was left) and one gas station, on virtually unoccupied roads seemed average. In addition, I read on the net that it is better to go from north to south than as I planned, because first of all you go closer to the water (makes sense), and secondly: the wind blows so much (I take my word for it).

I thought I had some plans in my life and I didn't take out life insurance, so it would be unwise to leave Panda in this way, so I modified the plan.

 

Here comes the story of the Hurricane

 

 


And how was it?

 

I fly to Las Vegas via Los Angeles, where I change to Alaska Airlines. The plan falls for the first time at the airport in LA, where after lifting the visas, I find a queue of people to the horizon. Now ~ 20 windows in which visas are checked are practically empty, and these 2 booths for people from ESTA they are occupied by a 1.5-hour queue. I had 2.5 hours to change, so the flight to Vegas leaves without me (flights were on separate tickets). Maybe my sprint through the bicycle suitcase terminals was too slow.

 

 

At the Alaska Airlines booth, it turns out that internal flights in the states are a bit like buses. I tell a nice lady that it was me and I did not make it, and she said that there are no more seats in the next flight, but she will find something in the later ones. So I'm flying by plane 2 hours later.

 

On the first day in Vegas I make a loop through Red Rock Canyon and I realize that summer shoes with protectors and a winter hat are not enough here. I spend the next days throwing myself into the vortex of computers, internet and people in checkered shirts and hoodies. I will describe these conferences someday, because apart from the hermetic part, the main events are: competitions in eating wings on time, tournaments: ping-pong, clubbing, broomball, concerts with DJs in style Skrillex and mass collection of giveaway.

 

 

After the conference, I'm flying to San Francisco, getting a bike there, doing a loop around the city and throwing it downpour and storms south through the epic Pacific Road Highway. Halfway through Big Sur (i.e. this uncivilized section), it turns out that the road is closed. I catch my foot with German Turks and in the rhythm of Deutsch-disco I come back to circle the mountains with the other side. In LA, instead of turning into the desert, I push further south. Due to military maneuvers (helicopters with supply of ships fly from the old Pacific Road Highway) I turn back again and instead of the old, pleasant road with a 4-lane road towards one of the most crowded border crossings in the world. I reach the border with Mexico. I go back to San Diego, I rent a car, I go to Vegas. In Vegas, I discover that the contract says that I give the car in San Diego. I am returning by LOT via Chicago to Warsaw, during which I discover that UNITED Airlines have the most expensive bicycle tickets in the world, thanks to which I repeat our mistake from Taiwan (200$ bicycle and empty checked baggage), in Chicago I check in with an hour delay, so on the plane I make my home in the last second and find out in Okęcie that I may have arrived, but my bike is not there.

 

It reminds me why nobody wanted to fly with me on this holiday.
(I informed on Instagram, thanks to which I found out what dozens of people have plans for the near future and why they can't).

 

 


Costs?

 

I would rather leave this point silent: they were without a doubt most expensive holidays ever on a daily basis.

 

Flight to Vegas + return should be max PLN 3000. Last year, we paid PLN 2200 for flights to LA with bicycles. I buy in some terrible period, from Saturday to Sunday, so the price is around 4500 PLN.

 

A flight from Vegas to San Francisco costs 45$-100$ depending on the day and time (I'm flying for 45$) + 30$ fixed bike fee at Alaska Airlines, from today my favorite airline.

 

Renting a car for two days in San Diego is 80$ (I take the SUV so that the bike fits without spinning, small cars cost less). Gasoline for ~ 650km is around 40$.

 

The average hotel price per night is 65-100$ per night. I go alone so I pay the same price as if I had booked for 2 or sometimes 4 people. In addition to weekly overnight stays in Vegas, each one I book & #8222; day by day & #8221 ;. It should be remembered that in the US the price is not included in the price, so when booking accommodation often looks like this: price: 50$ + 50$ in small letters (in Vegas, additionally Resort Fee in the amount of ~ 40$ per day). During the conference prices go up quite strongly, and when I come back a week later the Rodeo finals are taking place, so it's expensive again.

 

When it comes to prices in California, this can be summarized in the cyclist version with two words: horny expensive.

 

The internet month is 20$ for a card (I get a discount for an unknown reason) and 25$ for 3GB.

 

Average set in fast food (it's hard to eat something else there): 10$, breakfast set in power cable to with pancakes: 20$. Sandwich in 7-Eleven: 5$, small Cola: 2.5$, candy bar: 2.5$. It is a bit embarrassing in the case of daily combustion at the level of min. 7000kcal. With a bit of luck, for 12$ you can eat a big dinner in a Mexican kennel, in which, just in case, good morning you say that you have no kidneys left and other organs are damaged by life in Poland.

 

Why such prices? Well, America is cheap if you are American. This means that you are not buying 0.5L Cola in 7-Eleven, only a pack of ten 2.5 liter bottles at Walmart. Shopping is based on promotions and wholesale. A cyclist with a small bag (in the sense of a bicycle bag) has a serious problem. Or an example: a small can of Starbucks coffee in a grocery costs almost 3$, a 1.4l bottle of the same coffee costs 5$.

 

Price hint #Cebulaka.

If you want to bounce a bit, I recommend a visit to Las Vegas Premium Outlets (both North and South) & #8211; are powerful shopping centers with expensive stores: both the premium ones and regular brands such as Levis, Adidas, Nike, Under Armor, North Face etc. (no cycling). What is going on? It's easy & #8211; there are promotions in normal stores: the shirt costs 100$, then overstates it at 80$, then at 65$, then goes to these outlets and costs 50% of the lowest price. For example, all Levis jeans (when buying 3 pairs) cost 30$. With unusual sizes (i.e. typical for us), Wranglers can be purchased at a price of 8-20$. Even adding the tax, which is constantly forgotten, prices are about half the best discounts in our country while maintaining full availability. I come back with three pairs of new shoes (e.g. two pairs of Timberland, which in our promotion cost a total of PLN 1,400, I buy for 115$, because one is in the 60% promotion, and the purchase of a second pair is 70% discount & #8230; from this discounted value).

 

List of hotels with prices (according to the strategy: the cheapest, but decently and along the way):

Motel 6 Las Vegas Tropicana: 1669 PLN / 6 nights.
Travelodge by Wyndham San Francisco Airport North: 255 PLN / night
Bayside Inn: 204 PLN / night
Soledad Motel 8: 364 PLN / night
Morro Bay Sandpiper Inn: 194 PLN / night
Motel 6 Santa Barbara & #8211; Carpinteria South: 307 PLN / night
Motel 6 Newport Beach: 279 PLN / night
Good Nite Inn San Diego Airport / SeaWorld: 192 PLN / night
Super 8 by Wyndham Las Vegas Nellis AFB Area: PLN 417/2 nights

 

 


 

Equipment

 

 

Bike: Factor Vista with Goodyear County 35mm tubeless tires flooded with milk

Bags:
on the back: Apidura Backcountry Saddle Pack 11l
front: Apidura Racing Handlebar Pack 5l
under the frame: Apidura Backcountry Compact Frame Pack 4.5l

Stuff:
2 cycling shorts, 2 jerseys, one cycling sweatshirt, patches, inner tubes, multitool, pump with manometer, civil shorts with detachable legs, civil blouse, winter hat, warm and waterproof gloves, finger covers (better full shoe covers), cap summer, 3 pairs of socks, a small towel (not needed), map, 3/4 legs, long legs, sleeves, ultralight, 3 civilian shirts.

To change:
 It was better to take podsiodłówkę 14l and leave room than push to 11l & #8211; the difference in capacity is big and bothering the same. A civil blouse is not necessary since poverty, just like two different pairs of legs (I only used 3/4 which made me dream more, but they are much more comfortable). T-shirts made of wool are much better on such trips. It is worth learning how they work tubelessy before one dives into the deep with them. 35mm tires work probably the same as 40mm and 30mm, but mentally the comfort would be 30mm or 32mm.

 

 


Roads and bikes all over America

 

 

The most important information is:

Web page Adventure Cycling, where you will find routes, descriptions and photos of the most important bicycle routes through the USA. This is the weightlifting and world championship, because maybe navigation files are paid, but they are constantly updated. And of course the trails are in the American style, i.e. after several thousand kilometers (but fortunately broken into parts): https://www.adventurecycling.org/routes-and-maps/adventure-cycling-route-network/interactive-network-map/

The vast majority of large and small cities in the western part of the United States have bicycle lanes marked so luxurious. The street usually has two lanes, then a piece of separation lane, then a wide bicycle lane, then a lane separating from the parking lane. In addition to cities, most roads, in turn, have a wide shoulder, which you can safely drive.

 

At 1500km at an uncomfortable distance I was missed once, i.e. a statistical error.

On freeway & #8217; ah and interstate & #8217; ah (i.e. the equivalents of our expressways), the roadside is huge, but you can drive them only when there is no alternative and usually there is a sign informing about a prohibition and alternative or the sign is not and can be. It probably differs between states.

Roadside freeways & #8217; these are very different, there are also dramatically curves and sifted. In general, however, it is cool, although there is a lot of shit (plastics, glass, rubber, etc.), so I suggest taking tires that resemble a garden hose.

 

 


 

Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas.

 

 

Contrary to popular belief about Vegas, this is a very good place for cycling. Maybe not necessarily to live in it permanently, but for a few trips the most. We drove around the Death Valley last year in folding gear and it's very good & #8230; but never again on small wheels. A loop on the bike paths to the Hoover Dam, I can recommend with a clear conscience. I will check Mount Charleston one day, when there is no snowstorm, Valley of Fire is quite a long route, so I stayed at Red Rock Canyon.

 

 

This is a classic road bike loop from the area, extended by Scenic Loop Drive, i.e. a one-way road, paying 5$ for cycling. Scenic Drive itself is around 20km and starting from the southern part of the Strip (i.e. the furthest) half the loop I reach after 50km of continuous climb (and climb from ~ 650m to 1450m).

 

 

Loop very pleasant (although sometimes a bit steep), I recommend. In my opinion it is worth starting from the north and you can easily come back the same way. Of course, it is nice when the temperature exceeds 5 ° C or when you are wearing properly. The snow on the hills looks nice, but it's cold. I'm coming back not very optimally, hooking up to two bike shops where they are trying to get a cardboard box (Las Vegas Cyclerywhere I get a large carton and ejectors for 5$ as well Pro Cyclery, where 3 Cipollini bikes welcome me at the exhibition) and Walmart for food supply for the whole week and Wireless Toyz for an internet SIM card.

 

 

I spend the evening under the covers. Electric air conditioners in each of the hotels work great, but strategically I decide to visit Mexican & #8230; I'm so cold If you know what I mean. On jubilee it turns on California Dreaming by The Mamas & the Papaswhich effectively explains to me in two lines what I should do. I have to be in Los Angeles!

 

 

I & #8217; d be safe and warm if I was in LA
California dreamin 'on such a winter & #8217; s day

 

 

I sleep in Motel 6 Las Vegas Tropicana: 1669 PLN / 6 nights.

The hotel is located about a 5-minute walk from the main street, but already in this place, where on a good morning you are greeted by a police patrol, who is hitting some nice Mexican. The main plus is that it is a classic hotel chain stores, with the entrances to the rooms from the outside, not a casino moloch, through which getting through the bicycle would be an equilibrium. Technically speaking, I am closer to the main street than from the large hotels located next to it, where crossing the casino sections takes half a day and creates the risk of getting lost forever (e.g. due to the lack of windows and arrows to exit).

 

 

 


 

Las Vegas & #8211; San Francisco

 

 

I bought cardboard for 5$ but transporting it through Uber throughout the whole city is a bit more challenge. I leave civil items and a bicycle suitcase (what would I do with her in SF?) In the OYO hotel. Here's a tip: if you ask at the reception if someone will store something for you, nobody will agree. Especially when it comes to 9 days and a large bicycle suitcase (although soft, so foldable & #8211; Thule RoundTrip Pro: the best!). What else if you ask the parking lots, i.e. those at the booths with the inscription Valet & #8211; they agreed for 2$ / day.

 

 

A carton with a bicycle is waiting for me in SF at the luggage straps before I get to them. Alaska Airlines is some magic. I fold the bicycle, leave the cardboard to the cleaning lady (here for the first time I discover that in English people get along more quickly in Taiwan than in California, where Mexican-Spanish probably applies).

 

 


San Francisco & #8211; San Francisco

 


In San Francisco I do a classic loop around the city, thanks to which I skip the bigger the best, but I already know things. As usual, leaving the airport alone defeats me, thanks to which I turn around on the main roads. Along the way, I notice that I'm passing by Bernal Heights Park, which not only offers one of the best panoramas of the city, but there are also the steepest streets in the city next to it & #8211; the steepest section, the steepest street is 41%.

 

Bernal Heights is a park of people with dogs. San Francisco is one of those cities where the occupation & #8222;wyprowadzacza Dogs & #8221; is extremely popular, so everyone goes with five dogs pulling him. Then China Town, where I try to buy a panda cat with a waving paw, which she missed during a visit to Taiwan. Rapha, where I finally get a hat with the inscription San Francisco (on the previous two visits were not available), then I enter the iconic Hawk Hill (this hill with a view of the bridge and the city) and there I start the adventure with the famous route 1/101, or Pacific Coast Highway. At the same time it starts to rain and the wind blows, which will accompany me for many hours.

 

 

Accommodation in San Francisco is either very expensive or cheap. These cheap are either hostels that do not arrange me very much, because: a bicycle, getting up in the morning, a light sleep, etc. or are located in places where you can step on an infected syringe. Yes, the center of San Francisco, apart from tourist and business places, is quite an unpleasant place: homeless, drug addicts, these matters & #8230; So I sleep in the cheapest sensible and south-facing hotel he finds:

Travelodge by Wyndham San Francisco Airport North: 255 PLN / night

 

Very good place, because the hotel practically shares the building with the best pancakes in the world: IHOP (interesting fact: IHOP website is blocked in Poland).

 

 


 

San Francisco & #8211; Monterey

 


The plus is that it hasn't rained for a large part of the day, minus that it probably just didn't rain. To say that there was a strong wind would be a mistake. That day the wind got hot. Such a stable 40km / h straight to the face. For several hours I was wondering how I would find this man, what he wrote, that if you drive south, it blows in the back. Maybe I'm not a very strong cyclist, maybe the cotton wool is not what I used to be, but if it is a great success to approach the speed of 20km / h on a flat, then something is wrong here. It took me nearly 9 hours to beat 188km, and over 10 with stops. It was dramatically bad.

 

 

I leave the hotel at 5:30 am so as not to see the hills that await me at the beginning. Around 15km I enter the road by the ocean and stay on it practically all day. The traffic is practically negligible, then it increases slightly, but mainly towards San Francisco, and I'm going in the opposite direction.

After over 6 hours of driving, I have 110 kilometers on the meter and report to Santa Cruz. This is the first place where I have emergency accommodation. The forecast says that the bay should blow a little less, and that it is only half the day, I go further. Such a shaft with this smaller wind & #8230;

 

 

Santa Cruz is a city of surfers but in the off season it looks like a cheap horror movie. Few people, when they are also a bit scary. The amusement park by the beach does not work. It has its charm for a while. Later, you drive a little further from the coast, through the endless crop fields visible to the horizon.

 

95% Brussels sprouts are native to California

 

 

All the way I wonder if I would prefer this wind to be replaced, e.g. by rain. Would it be worse then? The next day I get an answer. I spend the night in: Bayside Inn & #8211; 204 PLN / night

 

 

 


Monterey & #8211; Cambria Soledad

 

 

I leave before 7, it was supposed to be a hard day, but also the most epic. Drive through the most expensive parts of the coast and the legendary Big Sur. Well, place names like Carmel-by-the-Sea oblige. These are fabulously green golf courses located directly on the ocean, large beachfront properties and these topics. The only problem is that the nearest free accommodation is located about 160km from me, and there are 2 or 3 stores along the way. Rescue possibilities are few.

 

 

On the plus side: my dilemma was solved a little bit whether the weather the day before was worse. The dramatic wind is still blowing in the face, but now it is accompanied by rain. It's such an unusual rain & #8211; for example, it can pour for 4 minutes, as if someone put a watering can above his head, and then a break for 15 minutes & #8230; or vice versa. To illustrate the situation a bit: after nearly 5.5 hours of driving I am on the 94th kilometer.

 

 

On the way, of course, it is very nice: the coast, cliffs, bridges, mountains, forest and all these topics that we see on car commercials on TV. This is one of the roads where most of such spots are filmed. That day looks a bit different than I remembered her. The fact that there is no car traffic is also extremely puzzling. This is one of the biggest attractions in this part of the United States.

 

It & #8217; s the edge of the world and all of western civilization

 

The day culminates around the already mentioned 94th kilometer. This is the moment when it should be easy and on a flat, pleasant road I should get to my accommodation, where I will watch the sun setting over the ocean. I'm exhausted, but hello to the goose & #8211; I drove the hardest part and now only joy. At the end of the day the wind was to calm down. The essence of happiness.

I was only wondering a car with two gościamithat I passed an hour earlier. They turned back specifically to explain to me that the road was closed. Lamusy & #8211; I think. The passes after all no el paso this is our specialty. Half an hour earlier, I also saw a woman shouting at construction workers that they had not marked something. However, they are waving to me and say that I can easily go on, someone will let me somewhere. Maybe if I could speak more than Spanish Mojado, I would understand more.

It turns out that the passes no el paso they don't work in America as they do with us.

 

 

I arrive at the posts with the joyful inscription & #8222; Road closed & #8221 ;. I avoid the posts and drive on until I reach a considerable amount of heavy equipment. A guy full of aggression jumps up to me and shouts something with the words 800$, violation, police, unauthorized. I notice that the attention of more and more people is directed at me, which effectively motivates me to act as a fool, On turning and efficient removal from the crime scene.

 

 

One very important point should be added here. There is no telephone range for over 80 kilometers, and one building has passed the last 40km. From this place I have 59 kilometers to sleep on the planned road: flat, windless, pleasant. The closest alternative to getting there is, note, note & #8230; 220km if you drive through the mountains or 270km along normal roads. Chad. To make it funny, the road was closed 4km before Nacimiento-Ferguson Road, or a potential copy of the mountain. A path that can and is on the list & #8222;dangerous roads& #8222;, but since nothing can be seen in the fog, I don't care. Everything better than turning back.

 

 

So I stand happily at the posts and watch when the car drives up every 15 minutes and turns back in surprise. I have two options: take advantage of the now fading but still super strong wind in the back and return to Monterey or catch a foot. I choose the latter, thanks to which I land on a motorhome with Germans speaking Turkish and singing German disco-rap.

 

For 6 million people visiting Big Sur every year (population: 1728), I came across a motorhome with Turkish Germany.

 

 

 

Along the way, the weather improves, the sun comes out, tourists appear, blows in the back, and I'm sitting in the car and wondering when we will fall off the cliff. Two hours later I am in Monterey again. Ingeniously. In the evening I read on Twitter that the road was opened when we were about halfway back. Only how could we know that, since there was neither sign nor internet. To quote the classic:

 

I chose as best I could then.

 

Bad, but based on the information available at the time, it was the most reasonable option. The road was filled with a landslide by storms and downpours.

 

 

I read enough on the internet kołczówto know that you can't stand still, so I find the nearest accommodation within a short driving time & #8211; falls on Soledad at a distance of 80km. The road is dramatically boring & #8211; mainly along flat vineyards and then through some Mexican industrial areas. All subtitles in Spanish, restaurants everywhere casa de pollo. It is difficult that it was different around Gonzales. My navigation is not good and I have either a multi-lane freeway or some fields to choose from. I try to combine it, but it lands several times in the mud field with the bike submerged to the stick in sticky fluid. I spend the evening with the bicycle in the shower.

I sleep in: Soledad Motel 8 & #8211; 364 PLN / night

 


Soledad & #8211; Morro Bay

 

 

Overnight forecasts changed, although I'm not sure & #8211; after all, I did not check how it would be on the other side of the mountains, because why would someone ride these dramatically boring regions instead of the beautiful coast. Well, the surprise & #8211; the wind jumped to the other side & #8211; just to me, and if that wasn't enough, it is super cold and super rainy. It rains when I leave before 7am. Later it calms down a bit & #8230; for a while.

 

Plains, wineries, Mexicans

 

I can divide the route into four sections / stages.

 

A stage of coolness and happiness. The first 35km, which may be a bit cool, but the rising sun, fog and hills native of the Azores crossing pastures and vineyards make it one of the prettiest roads I've ever traveled. There is a bullseye.

 

 

A stage of coldness, hope and boredom. Another 30km I drive on a dramatically boring road along the highway, so classic serwisówką. It's not bad though, because I'm going. It blows but I'm going.

 

Mort Sahl once said that he who never died in California never lived. I've already passed my life.

 

The stage of abandoning all hope and sending farewell SMSes. Further on, up to Paso Robles, i.e. the 130th kilometer, is dramatically bad. Paso Robles is reportedly one of America's most important guilty spots and a place of worship of Ignacy Paderewski and the area where James Dean & #8211 died in his Porsche; so many interesting facts. The temperature drops below 10 degrees and there is heavy rain. At some point I stand already 40 minutes under the bridge by the highway and I wonder whether it is better to freeze under it or go in a heavy rain. However, a miracle comes and a small piece of blue clearance appears in the sky. Analyzing Windy, I come to the conclusion that by modifying the route a bit, I should be able to go with him. The situation becomes abstract and magical at the same time: when I drive too fast or too slow, I start to get wet. Keeping stable ~ 25km / h I drive dry and in the sun.

 

Happiness does not last long, because my road unfortunately leads through freeway 101. Not only is it sometimes prohibited to ride a bicycle, the roadside is EPICALLY BAD. It's like riding on the roots in MPK. On average, every meter there is a huge projection across the shoulder, protruding about 10 cm. Of two evil, it's better than getting wet. For free, I get a ride to Bradley, which looks like a car museum and a wet dream for an American automotive fan.

 

We only have two kinds of weather in California, magnificent and unusual.

~ James M. Cain

 

The stage of California ecstasy. The last 40km, after a spontaneous reflection towards the coast in Paso Robles, that's what I came here for. I left my weather window, reconciled with the rain again and entered the hills leading to the ocean. It was damn worth it! I may be riding in the rain, but around me is California at its best. Hills, lakes, rainbows, greenery, beautiful trees, ocean in the distance. I get to my favorite town: Morro Bay. There, as usual, the culmination of beauty. This is one of those moments when you think that it is worth getting wet for 20 hours just to find yourself in the place where you are for a few minutes. Damn!

 



morro bay
morro bay
morro bay

 

I spend the night where we slept with Panda last year, at a nice Indian in: Morro Bay Sandpiper Inn & #8211; 194 PLN / night

 


Morro Bay & #8211; Carpinteria

 

 

In the morning the sun wakes me up and the announcement of beautiful weather. Not literally of course, because when I get up after 4 am it is dark like & #8230; in nose. It does not rain, however, does not blow, in shorts short pants and sleeve. Although not at 5:30 in the morning when I leave, because I start as usual in the winter version. That day I decide to be a rocket. An ultra-man making up for all the arrears. I'm riding in the groom, in San Luis Obispo, I'm standing on a street known for the fact that the walls of the buildings are wrapped with chewing gums, kilometers are flying.

 

There are two problems. First of all, many hours of driving in the cold meant that on average every 20 minutes I have to stand on my pee, and diplomatically say that: I WILL NOT ANYONE LOOKING FOR A SIKU PLACE ON PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY. Almost everything is either private and fenced or touristic.

 

Secondly, at the 55th kilometer I find the sign & #8222; alternate route & #8221; which allows you to shorten a few kilometers by driving through a mega steep driveway, so I bounce back and 3 minutes later there is a penalty. The sealing milk begins to piss from the rear wheel. Pressure more or less like a garden hose turned up to the max. Before I stop, everything but the tire in which the pressure is zero is stuck: the frame, derailleurs, clothes, saddlebags, generally the whole. So I stand on the side of the road and think what to do next. I bury my finger in the hole, I try to somehow doformować sealant residues already leaking and I pray a little. Let it be funny, this is the agricultural section, where the roadside is sticky mud. I wait a moment, pump the wheel and it turns out that the milk spills less and less, but the pressure somehow holds. A big miracle is that the wheel can be sealed by pumping a pocket pump from scratch. I decide to give the wheel a chance and keep going.

 

 

10 kilometers later a shot again, and as it turns out, there was enough milk in the wheel to make everything dirty again. I repeat the previous steps quite senselessly and pump the wheel again & #8211; the pressure holds again. Buying a hand-held pump with a pressure gauge, it was a shot in 10! In my mind, I thank Ant from cycling that he poured so much.

The road is covered with mud terribly and after a few kilometers I see large bubbles of sealant in the front wheel. Chapel. I decide to return to Santa Maria, where Google shows a bicycle service. There, I will remove the tires, put the inner tubes and if something goes wrong, I will have an emergency option in the form of a workshop. Along the way, I meet a nice pair on bicycles, which explains to me that this is the most addictive website in the world and to avoid it & #8211; better to go back 25km to Village Bike Shop in Arroyo Grande. I am completely unfounded that I will not back up or stretch, so I check the tire pressure and say that since it has not moved for a fraction of a bar for 15km, it is good and I keep going. #YOLO.

 

Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Coast Highway

 

I drive stressed for the next 50 kilometers, then it passes by. I take the main roads a little, through the hills, I also include Harris Grade Road, which was supposed to be a heavy and scenic driveway, but it turns out to be neither heavy (3.6km / 5%) nor scenic. At 160.km I return to the main road 101 and stay on it for many days. Sometimes I ride a very main, sometimes only a little main route along the coast. I fly through the center of the University of Santa Barbara, where I am accosted with 5 people asking where and where I am going from.

In general, during mine travel dozens of people asked me about it and interestingly, the answer did not surprise anyone. Santa Barbara is a big deal: once Michael Jackson lived here, today Operah Winfrey. I think that sakwiarze doing hundreds / thousands of kilometers here is standard. The sunset catches me in Carpinteria and I decide to stay there. I find the hotel right next to Walmart, so wings for dinner. 240km is a satisfying distance, especially because for reasons I don't know, I don't feel tired at all. Since the sun came out, all negative emotions have passed.

I spend the night in: Motel 6 Santa Barbara & #8211; Carpinteria South: 307 PLN / night


Carpinteria & #8211; newport

 

 

Time for classics over classics. THE BEST part of the coast. Ventura, Malibu, Venice Beach, promenades in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Long Beach. Places we know from the movies: from Californication, through Beverly Hills 90210, to Sunny Patrol. I do not want to sound like a dobby, but a little boredom & #8211; especially since the weather is gray and gloomy again. Venice is not so nice when the sky is not perfectly blue. It is mainly kitsch and headquarters of the homeless & #8211; while in the high season it has its charm, so in mid-December even surfers do not help him much.

 

Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Coast Highway

 

Malibu, in which most stars supposedly live, is also a slope with large estates, separated from small, coastal houses by a main, crowded road. Tesle and expensive cars change over into pickup trucks every now and then. Because the district is, however, filled mainly with Mexicans cleaning and maintaining / renovating the property than the residents themselves.

 

California knows how to party

 

Although most of Los Angeles can be beaten on sensible paths, I don't want to crush through the city just to see the Hollywood sign and the skyline of the Griffith Observatory. So I hook only to Rapha, 3 blocks away (one of the best-stocked I've ever seen, but without my favorite collection: SALE) to find out that they obviously do not have hats with the words Los Angeles.

 

Pacific Coast Highway

 

The situation looks completely different just south of Los Angeles and around Long Beach (especially Naples), there are smaller houses, but everything is somehow human and encouraging to live. It is kind of luxurious, although it may happen that e.g. next door is not luxurious. The sunset is completely unlike last year, which I still remember today & #8211; red so much that uploading photos did not make sense, because I would still be accused of exaggeration with filters.

 

 

California does not disappoint and I get to this oversaturated west near Huntington Beach. I have an irresistible impression that for the last 100 kilometers you could go almost all the time along a bike path by or across the beach. Not bad for a city of 4 million.

 

 

This route is either a recall of very good memories of movies and an unnecessary ride first along the large streets, and then bathing in the sun on bicycle paths by the beaches, or a very large profession. Nothing in life fails so much as Avenue of Stars. It is worth going to it to find out how big a profession can be in life. I would recommend.

I like riding in the sun and along the coast so much that instead of bouncing towards the desert (where the wind sets again unfavorably and the temperature is lower by about 15 degrees), I decide to continue the route south. I've never been there.

I spend the night in: Motel 6 Newport Beach & #8211; 279 PLN / night

 


Newport & #8211; San Diego

 

 

The route to San Diego was to be a formality: again, a little more main roads (though stress-free), and a little lateral. In addition, a large section of the old Pacific Coast Highway, which runs along the main freeway & #8217; and as it is mainly access to the beaches, it is practically unused in December.

My adventure begins on the 60th kilometer of driving a completely empty road, along the selvedge, when the army stops me and announces that it can not be continued. Well, the road is currently used by the army as a landing pad for helicopters that fly with the goods to ships in the ocean. This means that I have to go back 15 kilometers (i.e. 30), because the nearest exit to the road is quite far away, and by that time I am fenced off quite a serious fence. I understand what the sign means when entering Interstate 5, saying that bicycles are not allowed, but if the road next to it is closed, it is allowed.

 

 

Roadside 3-4 lane road is an interesting experience. The roadside is large, and the US TIRs suck in well, thanks to which even the wind does not bother, but the noise coming from large tires tires your head quite seriously. Somewhere after the hundredth kilometer I go to Oceanside and again I go along the coastal roads: sometimes bigger, sometimes smaller, but the sun and surfers make up for everything.

It is getting bad in San Diego because I am coming across a renovation again, which dumps me from the path and ends up in the city. I mean the paths around the city are on, but first of all I painfully discover that there are a lot of hills in San Diego, and secondly & #8211; much worse & #8211; I also discover that San Diego has the most unfavorable cycling green wave system I've ever seen. I stand at every traffic light. It's not San Francisco, where the signs spoke of a green wave for cyclists riding 13mph. Then it's even worse.

 

 

National City (city known for & #8222; Mile of Cars & #8221;), i.e. 5000 new and used cars standing by the road and waiting to buy) and Chula Vista (beautiful name) is a pathology. Located next to factories and ports from which thousands of Mexicans pour out, returning home, they are not suitable for comfortable cycling, and standing every 200 meters at the traffic lights only plunges me. So I arrive to the border with Mexico, which view effectively deprives me of any plans to cross it & #8211; crowds like on sale in the Xiaomi salon. I turn round on the coast of the wonderful city of San Diego (that's how I imagine Florida) and take the ferry to the airport to the hotel. Not very friendly neighborhood, but cheap ;-) They don't kill me, so it's not bad.

I sleep here: Good Nite Inn San Diego Airport / SeaWorld & #8211; 192 PLN / night

 

 

San Diego is a naval city (the second largest ship base in the US), so if you like ships, aircraft carriers and subjects related to the armed forces, you will find yourself perfectly here. It may turn out that you are moving along with a hundred soldiers just running through it through the pedestrian crossing.

 


San Diego & #8211; Las Vegas

 

The penultimate day, I say that I probably don't want to worry about mapping the route and renting an SUV (Mazda CX-5: 80$ / 2 days with full insurance thanks www.economycarrentals.com) and I return to Las Vegas through the mountains and deserts. The route makes me realize that it is much better to travel this area by car than by bike. I have one whole day to shop at Las Vegas outlets and bouncing off the bottom of the casinos!

 

 

I sleep a bit outside the city, next to the military airport, over which jets fly every now and then: Super 8 by Wyndham Las Vegas Nellis AFB Area & #8211; 417 PLN / 2 nights

 

In Las Vegas, I check again what I signed and it turns out that I have a car return in San Diego. The approach to everything here is similar to the one I met at Alaska Airlines & #8211; So I go to the customer service point, and the nice lady changes my place of returning the car without a word. On the way back, my plane to Chicago is delayed by an hour, thanks to which I miraculously manage to fly to Warsaw, and at Okęcie I discover that maybe I was on time, but my luggage was not necessarily. I find myself only after 1.5 hours during the intervention at the luggage complaint point, which I already know well after Taiwan. End of trip & #8211; I am looking forward to returning to work.

 

 


Is it worth it Probably not.

he he he

 

 

Is the southern section (between San Francisco and the southern border with Mexico) of the Pacific Coast Highway worth the ride? I'm not sure.

If so, I would definitely go for it out of season & #8211; statistically, unless we hit a hurricane or California fires, the weather should be perfect in the fall / spring. The route itself is pleasant for most of the time and with nice views. So why do I have doubts? America is far away, in America everything is quite seriously distant, and driving a car is not only cheap, it does not cause unnecessary stress known from the local yard. The accumulation of great views on the west coast (which shows our last year's entry & #8211; in my opinion the most epic of all) is huge and having a week or three, it would be a shame to devote them to slow cycling. It is much better to drive a car and see more, replacing long bicycle trips with medium-long walks.

I know that this is not a very comfortable statement for a blog about cycling, but I checked both versions and I think that car (and BEST car + folding) is definitely more interesting & #8230; although completely different.

 

However, nothing changes the fact that the Los Angeles triangle & #8211; San Francisco & #8211; Moab is one of the largest shags in the world.

 

 

 

About the Author:
Every day I work in IT: I restart servers, I click on things and I ask if it has already been repaired. I spend my free time with friends on cycling. We visit the best parties, overcome the most spectacular routes, we ride in the toughest races. Blog allows me to develop my passion and describe the best of adventures, so that you do not have to repeat our mistakes. I am trying to stick to the unpopular rule that quality counts not quantity.


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