Thursday, September 25, 2008

Day 19 - Paso Robles to Santa Maria

Daily Statistics:
Rode 84.6 miles and burned 4690 calories.
Left the motel at 7:36 and arrived at 2:11.

Some days are just made to be on a bike, and today was one of them. We left the motel in perfect conditions, and made our way on some rural roads for about 12 miles to get on California highway 41 to Morro Bay. We had a steady, but not too demanding, uphill climb until about 20 miles, when we were treated to one of the nicest downhills ever. There was very smooth pavement, broad, sweeping curves, and little traffic. We sailed along this way for about 8 miles, and then made our way to the first SAG in Morro Bay. While at the SAG, I took this photo of the famous Morro Rock. A number of folks also treated themselves at a lovely little bakery in the lot.
From the SAG, we made our way through Morro Bay State Park, and along Turri Road and Los Osos Valley Road to San Luis Obispo. Nothing major to see, just the standard brown California hills. We left SLO by the airport, eventually getting back to the ocean at Pismo Beach by way of Price Canyon Road. The second SAG was in Pismo at a nice little park. Mike Chaney, who you may remember from the cross country ride last year, joined Ron and me for about 15 miles, into Guadalupe. This was mostly on California highway 1, with a notable detour on Halcyon Road, so we could be humbled by the steep climb shown here (about 16% grade for 0.3 miles). You see Ron Doornink finishing in style.
From there, it was about 10 miles on into Guadalupe, a town I remember well from my days years ago stationed at Vandenberg AFB. We used to eat at the Far Western, which apparently is still as good as ever. We stopped for lunch in town, and took a picture of Mike Chaney and me before he headed back.

The last 10 miles into Santa Maria were flat and blessed with a nice tailwind. We flew in to the motel, and Barbara was in with the luggage promptly after we arrived. All in all, a great day.

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