25/10/2013 PEDAL ALL DAY, DAY 4 Morro Bay to Solvang, CA

rapha usa

With spectacular views and the most incredible weather, it was hard to take any of this trip for granted. Id already accomplished over half my trip in 4 days, and the fact that 800km was conceivably achievable in 6 felt a reality this day. My ride for Macular Disease through the Californian Coast was passing me by with every kilometre and I struggled to think how Id cope after completing this challenge. We planned a week ‘rest’ upon our eventual arrival in Los Angeles so we could continue our cycling. There would be no standstill. I also had a charity ride, the Rapha Gentlemans’ Race, and  Rapha Cyclocross Event to complete after my arrival back in Sydney. But they played no part in my thoughts as I prepared myself for my fourth 150km cycle here.

I was pretty tired when I pulled in behind the van parked at Morro Bay the day before. My butt sank into the footpath where I freed my feet of shoes and socks. In my barefooted lycra state I blissfully sat before a lovely manicured garden. Eventually summoning strength dave drove to the RV site. He had researched the options and found a great spot to dry park in front of a spectacular water frontage. The most peculiar rock (Morro Bay National Park) stuck out of that water like a boiled egg.

morro bay

In the morning I woke feeling really good. I took my coffee back to that bench to relax and take a moment. Another spectacular sunrise spread before me, until it was time to bid farewell to Morro and roll to Solvang.

Dave gave a push to start me off. He followed a few miles before veering away to take care of food, and petrol. I was alone again, enjoying the long road and following the white lines.

california road

california farm

banana food for cycling

california road bike

I bypassed Cabrillo Highway and opted for a country town road that meandered through hills. We had planned all along to cut back to Solvang, that quaint Northern European Wunderland of America. The thought of a dark beer and pretzel was never far from my thoughts.

The detour that our route took us was considerably more hilly than we had anticipated. Once again Dave drove on so, when reaching the destination point, he could pull his bike out and meet me for the last kilometers of the ride. I had done the main work and pedaled up the many hills that led to our glossy image of European magic. The last hill was just shy of 170m.

solvang ca

By the time Dave met me we were close and the imaginary scent of cooking pretzels livened my anticipation. The afternoon was stunning and, the second day in a row, I peeled off my footwear and sat in the sun behind the van. I didn’t move from that spot for about 20 minutes soaking in a pleasure that 150km in the saddle without major mishap brings.

solvang magicsolvang clock tower

The evening was spent wandering around this bizarre town with its quaint buildings and decorations. Finding a Dutch Restaurant managed by a mexican was an interesting experience. The building interiors as well as the menu’s give the game of their true origin away.

We had set our van between two buildings at a vacant lot, and I slept like a rock that night. The next morning we would realise that our van had picked up a decent sized nail in the front tyre. I think it may have originated from the dirt of that free vacant lot. It doesn’t explain my first flat of the journey which was to happen on the 5th day..

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