May 29, 2016
Redondo Beach to Dana Point (San Juan Capistrano)
63.7 miles, 4:56 in the saddle, 1602 ft of climbing
Total Miles: 1394
After a first breakfast at a nearby Starbucks, I packed up in the motel room and rolled the bike out a little before 8. Robbie was in the parking lot getting his bike ready to go while Dayspring waited to see us off. Robbie has a cool steel, lugged bike with friction bar end shifters and a Brooks saddle, and rides in sandals and toe clips. Impeccable taste.
We headed off right on time into the light Sunday morning traffic. Our route took us east across town for 10 miles or so where we turned south on the bike path along the LA River. We had a thoroughly enjoyable ride, chatting, and making good time through the urban streets.
I had been looking forward to seeing the LA River, the vast concrete flood control channel that it is at this point. And it didn’t disappoint. It actually has a bit of water flowing in it right now.
The LA River trail dropped us into Long Beach, and we were soon winding around marinas, the Catalina Island ferry dock, and views across the bay of the Queen Mary. Then it was onto some more beach trail before veering inland and back on Hwy 1 to Seal Beach, where we found a local cafe for some breakfast.
Fueled up, we headed down Hwy 1 to Sunset Beach where we got on the beach trail for 10 miles or so to Huntington Beach. Boy, they like their beaches down here. Robbie and I continued to chat and enjoy the unhurried pace while still making good time.
After Huntington Beach we were back on Hwy 1 the rest of the ride, spending way too much time in the door zone. Traffic was heavy, but most of the time not moving a lot faster than we were. We took the full lane at times and had a few pesky folks honk at us.
Robbie got a flat in Laguna Beach (I think) which came at a perfect time as I was needing a break. I munched on a Payday while he changed out his tube.
We rolled into Dana Point and decided to get pizza and a beer at a place just a few blocks from Doheny SP, my camp spot for the night. We were finishing up when Dayspring arrived to pick up Robbie. We said our goodbyes and I headed to Doheny. I really enjoyed the ride with Robbie today, and getting to know him.
At the Doheny entrance station, and was informed that they had no sites available, Hiker/Biker or otherwise. I called Logan and found that he was at the “Hiker/Biker” site indicated on the Doheny SB map, and it was just a patch of dirt behind some bathrooms. And no one was there. Logan had cycled into the park off the bike path and hadn’t ridden by the entrance station.
After cycling over to the site and talking with Logan I went back to the entrance station to see if they could do something for us. What they told me is that due to indigents, they no longer had a designated H/B site. They would place H/B’rs in a regular site if they were available, but when full, then they weren’t available. I pulled off to the side and spent 20 minutes or so on my phone trying to get a room with 2 beds that I could share with Logan. I finally booked on Expedia a room at what I thought was a nearby motel. Literally 2 minutes after I made the non-refundable booking the Ranger came over to me and said they could find me spot to camp. I told them I had a room but could my friend camp and they said yes. So Logan was able to camp (legitimately), and apparently even one more biker showed up.
I headed out for my motel, not too disappointed that I wouldn’t have to pitch my tent again, but then realized that my motel was 3.6 miles off route, inland, and of course up hill. Oh well. My Google routing took me up a bike trail along a big flood control channel. The path turned to gravel before I finally got to my motel in San Juan Capistrano. The room was very nice. I microwaved the big can of Dinty Moore Beef Stew that I had bought for dinner in camp. Life is good.
I have really enjoyed the cycling part of this tour. The remote highways and dirt roads, the urban streets and beach trails have all been fun. The camping day after day, and worries of where to camp, eat, get food, etc., have been less enjoyable for me. While I don’t mind camping for few days, I decided I really didn’t want to keep doing it for another month and a half. So, I’m looking forward to finishing my ride in San Diego tomorrow. More to follow!