At last, a late(r) start! We all had a very leisurely breakfast in the lovely San Simeon Lodge, the team were on a mission to order sensible sized portions. As regular cyclists, cramming as many calories down your face is usually order of the day, here in California however, this is not an issue and finding a dish that doesn’t count for your three-a-day (meals that is) is truly difficult. The day began with a team photo.
Low-lying cloud blanketed the sea but as the morning wore on, the sun began to burn it off. The two main climbs of the day were in the first 13 miles, both slow and gradual but with excellent descents and long flat sections the other side.
At around 16 miles we could just make out the outline of a van parked up in the lay-by, it was Lesley with the van so we pulled over for a short break. The waves nearby were just about visible as the last of the morning cloud dissipated.
We continued along the highway then dropped onto a lovely cycle lane that passed through some sleepy neighbourhoods. We were soon on the outskirts of the town of Morro Bay, famed for a massive volcanic plug that dominates the bay (it’s the big rock in the picture!). We stopped for photos alongside it and looked on as a number of sea kayaks passed by.
After a short diversion (Tom wanted to look at the boats…this is not strictly true), the team rolled into the Bayside Café next to a marina. Finding tables was slightly problematic as it was Columbus Day, a national holiday, so everyone and their dog (more on that later) had decided to descend on this small eatery. We were soon fed and watered however, and ready to get back on the road. Just as we were leaving, an inconspicuous open-topped vehicle arrived with a gorgeous dog dangling out of one side. The dog was wearing “doggles” apparently (we’re still not convinced this was not just Matt winding everyone up), goggles for dogs. Either way, the team swarmed the car to give the lucky canine a stroke.
It was proving difficult to leave this place…
After lunch we headed back onto the highway for a short while before turning off onto a magnificent back road. We saw three or four cars on this stretch and, although we climbed up and it was baking hot, the team were glad of the diversion off the highway.
The landscape was in stark contrast to the morning, with sandy, desert-like hills and arid rocky outcrops dominating the almost lunar-landscape.
Dropping back down to the highway, we were again greeting by Lesley and van. As we refilled water bottles and relaxed in the shade, a professional cycling team whizzed by. Vowing to catch them up, we pressed on for the final few miles.
In the final few miles we climbed up on a small road running parallel with the highway. The road took us back towards the coast, giving a fantastic view of the glossy-blue sea below.
The route took us down into the town and to our motel. After sorting bags and bikes, most of the team made their way down to the beach for a dip. There are some things that really make a day’s cycle, a dip in the waves of the Pacific Ocean truly cannot be beaten.