Monday, June 6, 2011

I thought I was ready but...

Thumbs Up 
THE WORST FIRST DAY EVER!!!  In my mind this trip seemed like a romantic casual sun filled journey with the wind at my back and sandals on my feet... In reality it was a gloomy, rainy, cold awful, wet and all around miserable ride.  My dad and I left from Santa Monica with our spirits moderately high.  We were able to start there because Mom was kind enough give us a little boost by driving us to the Santa Monica Pier.  Although there were looming clouds off the coast there was no real worry in my mind.  It's SoCal right?  It doesn't rain in June.  WRONG.  It does rain in June.  It rains a lot my friends.  About 25 miles in was about when the rain started, which really wasn't more than a light drizzle, but for an over romanticized cyclist it may have well been a sweeping torrent.  We pushed through Malibu, Ventura then Oxnard then finally stopped 60 miles later at McGrath State Park where the fee for Hike/Bike is now 10$.  (Seven more than what it was just months before, thanks California economy. RRR)  It got better though... not.  At about four in the morning it started raining, which drenched our stuff and forced us into the camp's restroom where I slept for a few solid, dry hours.

     Honestly it was an absolutely terrible start.  I was completely unprepared for the rainy weather.  It really tested my resolve and desire for this entire trip.  But hey, that's what it's all about right?  I can't say that I want to detach myself from society for three months and expect things to be hunky dory all the time.  Just when I thought things couldn't have been more terrible we arrived at the state park we met a fellow cyclist named Ed.  Ed turned out to be an amazing individual.  Since 1997 he's put over 80,000 miles on his bike.  He told me that he simply just picked up and went one day and hasn't looked back.  He had a lot of emotional baggage from his days in the navy which lead to a depressed alcoholic lifestyle.  He was at his lowest when a couple of European touring riders stayed at his house a few days and introduced him to cycling and the Christian faith.  He said that a short time later he bought a bike and he just started riding.  Riding and his faith are what keeps him sane.  When we met him he was traveling north on the end of a seven month ride from Costa Rica... just gnarly.  Not only did he tell an amazing story about his life he pointed out some obvious flaws with the set up of my bike, fixed my bike, gave me a lock and sold me his tent.  I should mention that I started the trip with just a bivvy sack... Big mistake.  The interesting thing is, is that when we met Ed he had experienced some severe bike issues and the repairs left him nearly broke.  I being a dangerously inexperienced traveler needed a good water proof tent.  So we made the tent/cash swap.  Which worked out splendidly for the both of us.  I now have a dry place to sleep and he has enough money to last him till   he gets his government pay check for the month.  It seemed like our meeting was intentionally designed.

    Anyway we said our goodbyes to Ed and this second day has been amazing.  The sun has been shining and I'm fortunate to write this from a great little cafe in Carpinteria called LumaCafe.  The have a great in house bakery and some decent coffee.  My americano wasn't amazing but it's not terrible either.  Good job guys.  As we let our things dry in the sun it's good to get a well made meal inside of us.  Oh yea.  It's also my dad's birthday.  It's great to spend the day riding with him.  Time to get a few more miles in.


  1. Americano? Well chosen. My mom says dont get rolled.

  2. If you decide you don't want to be gone ALL summer. . Just call . . I would love to pick you up!! The drive yesterday was really really nice!!!

  3. Beau..when you read this you will have probably conquered the dreaded Lompac hill, and are now resting for the next challenge. I really had a great two days with you; from the rain soaked first night, to the awesome fruitstand, to the birthday lunch. I am now totally confident that you can make it physically, and I think the first day gloom has strengthened you mentally as well. Please don't dismiss the advice of the travelers you come across, for example the multi-color movie star that gave you advice about Seattle. God has placed them in your path for a reason....and be wise and discerning…..not everyone's intentions are in line with yours. Have fun and keep peddling...I love you, Beau......Dad

  4. "But God doesn't call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn't come through" (Francis Chan)

    I don't know where that is quoted from, but a facebook friend just posted it, and I thought it would be appropriate for you. I'm going to put up a request to my Seattle friends see if anyone can offer a couch for when you get there. I'm jealous and proud of you (not in a condescending way, of course) taking a real step of faith. Have fun my friend. And don't worry about the rain. It'll only get more likely to recur as you get further north. :P