We woke up across the street from the beach in San Simeon hopeful that the winds would not be as bad as the day before. Hwy 1 aka the PCH is beautiful but it is along the coast most of the way so the winds are very strong from north to south.
This is a very popular road not just for the four wheeled people movers but for cyclists too. We must have seen 30 cyclists and most of them were loaded up for a tour. We met people riding from Canada and Seattle and who knows where the rest were from. What I do know is that we were the only three cyclists who were going north.
Our doubts about taking this Hwy 1 instead of the easier I-5 route flew off the cliffs as we rounded the bends of Big Sur. The first 18 miles were pretty tough with some head winds but once we got more into the hills of the beautiful Big Sur region we were in complete biker bliss. At the foot of Los Padres National Forest there was a place called the Ragged Point Inn and Resort. We heard that this was the last reasonably priced stopping point for the next 50 miles to the town of Big Sur. We met a few bicycle tourists as we waited for our food and made PB&J sandwiches to go. One man was 70 and retired and just decided to take a 4-day trip on his bicycle, which had a blender attached to the back wheel, to see his daughter in Southern California. Yes he was going south. He was the second person to reference some bicycle touring book that apparently said NOT to ride up the PCH from the south to north against the wind.
They asked if we had the book and we just laughed. We’ve had to make many decisions along the way and most of them have been made without knowing all the facts. Even though we do our best to weigh all of our options and the possible outcomes you can never really know until you actually do it and live a little! I think I can speak for us all when I say that after 3750 miles of riding this PCH highway is the most rewarding way of ending our journey. As we look up from the road below our views of endless ocean are epic and the smell of the trees and nature all around are rejuvenating to the mind, body and soul.
One of our Street Soccer USA skills is “Look Up” and a road treat that Shane found just outside of McKittrick is says it perfectly. On the soccer field you have to look up to see the open space, open teammates, the defense and your boundaries. Off the field it is important to take a step back from the hustle of life, the frustrations it can bring and even the pure joy it can bring, to make an honest assessment of the situation and your current state of mind. When this trip is over I will not stop Looking Up but the important part is what we do next. Just like the flag says, Look Up And Live!
Time to go enjoy a PB&J and coffee by the river at our very fancy suite at The River Inn, which we for got like
a third of the original price. Everything in Big Sur is super expensive so be prepared to camp if you ever come visit. Up next is Santa Cruz which is probably going to be just as pricey so let us know if you have any friends who have couches there!