Day 46 (2016-10-11): ~ 45miles from Gaviota State Park to Carpenteria, CA via Santa Barbara. Highway 101/1 & Mixed path/street riding.
Slept terribly last night. The wind howled and woke me up a couple times…the leaves hitting the tent had me thinking it was raining they were so loud. And camping on hard packed ground means no stakes, and no stakes means a floppy tent – imagine sleeping in a tent made entirely of flags flopping in the wind and blowing into your head. Yeah, that was my night. I finally got up, unable to fall back asleep, and went outside to recover a few items that had been blown around. I also scared away a raccoon. Returning to the tent I still could not fall asleep, and tried several times before giving up and reading. This was off-and-on for an hour or two. Great night of sleep after a monster day yesterday…
Anders and I chat while we break down camp in the morning and I hit the road towards Santa Barbara. I am a day early, but my friend Chloe in Carpenteria, a suburb a few miles beyond Santa Barbara, has okay’d me to stay tonight. The ride into Goleta is on a poorly paved shoulder on Highway 101/1 and although I started off strong I am soon lagging. After last night’s dinner fail I should have eaten a good breakfast but I did not really have anything left, so ate peanut butter on bread with honey. And another pack of Annie’s bunny friends cookies. Breakfast of champions.
The ACA route meanders through Goleta and the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) campus. It’s a nice looking campus and loaded with bike paths and tons of bikes parked everywhere. It reminds me of Denmark but unfortunately it is incredibly suburban. The UCSB campus is NOT EVEN IN SANTA BARBARA! It’s in Goleta. Well, kind of. It’s actually separated from that by the airport, so really it is in its own little bubble. Nice bike infrastructure, poor planning.
I continue crawling along, wishing I was eating a scrumptious meal and taking a nap. I stop at a roadside stand to buy some strawberries and chat with the gentleman about Mexico. I’ve been thinking more about Mexico recently – since I am going to be a few weeks behind schedule (and weather near Flagstaff could cause trouble if I go too late) I may go to Mexico instead. For a while? Instead? I don’t really know.
I stop at Savoy Deli & Cafe which is quite busy for the lunch rush and get a vegan wrap with grilled portabello mushrooms and red peppers plus avocado, greens, and dijon on a spinach wrap. It was everything I wanted but not actually that tasty. Dang. Afterwards I check out the 99 cents stores I keep seeing and discover them to be on my list of favorite stores, right alongside Grocery Outlet. Everything is 99 cents or less, unlike some so-called “dollar” stores and there is a pretty good selection. Sure, there is a lot of cheap crap, but I found 70% dark chocolate bars, decent snacks, and other good food items for cheap. Plus they have small quantities of items important to touring cyclists such as medicine, laundry detergent, envelopes, etc. I highly recommend.
Tonight I am staying with Chloe, a friend of mine from my 4K for Cancer Ride, in nearby Carpenteria. I pick the keys up form her at work – unfortunately she works late hours so she will be pretty busy while I am in town. Still, when she returns from work we catch up and watch Valley Uprising, one of her favorite movies about rock climbing in the Yosemite National Park. I’m not a climber, and I think some of these people are bat-shit crazy for the stunts they pull, but I respect them for their dedication and love of climbing. Also, makes me want to go to Yosemite. Real bad.