Day 1: San Diego to Alpine, California – 42 miles

The first day of the rest of our lives, maybe.  A stalwart group of 37 rider souls and 19 veteran previous cross country grizzled Bubba veterans as staff, waited with baited anticipation of the start of their own vision quest.  The start was slowly coming with a 9 am rear wheel dipping in the Pacific Ocean.

tres_day1-startIt was a really wavy day and this rider went down to the water, after the group picture, and stuck his hand in the water and dripped the water from the Pacific Ocean onto his back wheel. A fellow rider got caught in a wave up to his waist. SO that’s how it can go.

This rider 2 miles into the ride was out the gate early basically coming out of his shoes, too excited for his own good, got to do an extra 5 miles today. It would figure into a monster hilly day. This was one of the toughest days of the trip with another hilly day tomorrow but with less miles. image

Sunset in tent city:

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T minus one and counting

A lovely dinner with my brother Joe, the featured image, on the Queen Mary overlooking downtown Long Beach.imageWe strolled the promenade deck and saw some of the memorabilia that made the Queen Mary famous. imageThis artistic clock was on the mantle of the fireplace in the first class Grand Salon. The elegant wood and Art Deco trimmings and railings were amazing. I am packed and am ready to have Joe take me down to San Diego to meet my new “adopted” family. I am ever so grateful to my family and friends for the incredible generosity and support. My brother lives in this section of cycling and walking heaven. It is tough to go, spoiled I guess. Onward it is.

My roommate is Larry Sharkey from San Diego. He has done cross country solo. He is riding a Surly Long Haul Trucker. I got real fortunate. We had a big meeting with Bubba and staff.image

Downtown Long Beach with bike trails to bike shops

Hard to believe another chamber of commerce weather day. Took off again to Downtown on the LA River bike path and wandered through the downtown where they had begun set up of the Long Beach Grand Prix.

imageI went to a real collector’s bike shop in Belmont called The Bicycle Stand. It had all kinds of  Classic vintage bicycles, Italian Masi, Colnago to die for, Hetchen’s, Bianchi and others. Very nice shop with attentive staff. They were preparing bicycles for an Eroica ride in Paso Robles in April in the middle of the month. Check out the event poster. Very cool. Hard to believe I did not take a picture must have been too engaged. Ventured back downtown to see a hub of mass transit. Hello Hillsborough County.

Strong meets SoCal low rider at the Cog and Crank bike shop in Bixby Knolls. Queen Mary for dinner.

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LA river bike path and Bixby Knolls

Another gorgeous day in LA.  From the featured image above, the bike path is shared with horses especially at the busy roads when an underpass is used. On my ride, I experienced a horse rider waving from his dirt trail below. A 33-mile round trip north on the LA River bike path. A much more industrial corridor, but really a good plan for the freeway corridor.

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Underpasses makes all this work.

imageSome straight outta Compton graffiti.

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The trail just ended and it seemed such a shame.

There was a neat park in Maywood, California that had a cool presence on the bike path.

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Lunch in Bixby Knolls. Sweetness.

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LA and Joe’s place

Arrival at my brother Joe’s house in the Bixby Knolls section of Long Beach. Beautiful day and plenty to do.

Bike Box image image Now that the bike is together it was time for a 25-miler south on the LA river bike trail to downtown Long Beach, Belmont Shores and Naples to ensure a smooth running machine. image image A gorgeous bike trail in a dense urban center. Kayaking done in the more inland protected bodies of water.image

Another section of the LA river path north from my brother’s house today.

Prologue

I was able to ride with 4 close and dear friends a couple of days before I left that I have known for over 30 years. This was what my cycling has come to mean to me. It was an expression of that joy and togetherness.

As the day to go to San Diego fast approaches with all the necessary preparations in place, no small agenda. I will meet my brother in LA put my bike together.  I am struck I am leaving the littlest free wheeler for longer than I wanted.

imageOff I go at O dark thirty to LA to meet my brother and get my bike and mind together.

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I had a 49-lb bike box and a 51-lb rolling duffel checked in. The other stuff hanging off the back pack was the essentials that were pared down to keep the baggage at limit. Onward. Tough scene leaving the littlest free wheeler behind. Onward to LA.