Sep 5, 2010

Part III of "Pacific Coast Bike Tour": Santa Monica, CA to US/Mexico Border

Considering I knew this was my last legitimate chance at taking more than 2 days off until the end of the school semester I decided to continue piecing the Pacific Coast of the continental U.S. by bicycle with my girlfriend, Megan. We have already biked Santa Monica to San Francisco north so we wanted to attempt a non-headwind direction: south!
Fixing flat #2 on this trip
We started in Santa Monica, Friday morning, under the overcast layer of fog that has plagued Southern California most of the summer.  We passed through Manhattan, Hermosa, Redondo, and Newport before stopping to wolf down some excellent greek food in Long Beach.  The rest of our day had us going through the surprisingly nice community of Huntington Beach and uppity Laguna Beach to finally arrive at Capistrano Beach ~80 miles later. The entire day felt like a pleasant afternoon bike ride which is a remarkably different situation with 30-40 mph headwinds.  
After spending a night in the terribly reviewed but relatively cheap Seaside Inn, we continued our journey through Encinitas, Del Mar, La Jolla, and Pacific Beach.  We arrived in downtown San Diego in mid-afternoon, ~75 miles later, after a hillier day.  The Gaslamp District turned out to be a pretty charming area and even better we bunked at the International Hostel, which I must say is a gem. 
Southern Terminus
The last day had us taking a ferry to Coronado, coasting the final 17 miles along the thin penninsula (34 mi. round trip).  We thankfully were able to take the earlier Amtrak train back to LA after performing Amazing Race-esque   maneuvering to the station. (Yes, that included us shoving children out of our way).  
Besides not having sunny SoCal weather and dealing with holiday weekend drivers the trip was quiet fun and well worth it.  Another piece of the coast complete. The next section is going to be from Oregon to San Francisco which I believe is going to resemble more the Central Coast than what this past weekend had us negotiating.  

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