LA to San Francisco – Part 3:

Dave’s First Bicycle Touring Trip

“Only those who will risk going too far
can possibly find out how far one can go”

  • Start Point: Plaskett Creek Campground
  • End Point: Pebble Beach
  • Approximate Total Miles: 75
    Check out the rest of the trip here!

Day 3 was a big day. Big mountains, big puppies, and big challenges. I woke up and had another chat with Alex. We discussed the challenges ahead since we were traveling in opposite directions. With his gift of jade in hand, I said farewell and headed north. After coasting out of the campground, the very first pedal stroke was agony. Whatever was going on with my knee the day before was much worse. Stretching and self massage didn’t seem to make any difference. For 3.5 hours I could barely move up the mountains. I only covered about 18 miles and was legitimately concerned that I would not be able to make the 75 miles I had planned for the day. Then, as suddenly as it appeared, the pain was gone. Other than an occasional twinge, my knee felt fine. I rocked and rolled through the mountains enjoying the beautiful sights. I even rode a bit extra to the Sur House to eat lunch with a spectacular view.

On the way to Pebble Beach I stopped at Point Lobos. When I was a child, my parents took our family there to see the tide pools and animals. I have very fond memories and was excited to see it again! I threw on my trail shoes and ran around the reserve seeing sea lions, otters, seals, urchins, and other amazing critters! The nostalgia gave me a huge burst of energy to finish the day strong. I was able to stay in a real house, with a real bed, and a REAL SHOWER. Special thanks to Sherri and Micah for letting me stay at their house while they were away, and to my aunt Carol and uncle David for arranging it!

After settling down in pebble beach, I road my bike into town for dinner. Julia’s Vegetarian restaurant was an absolute highlight of the trip! Anthony the chef made an incredible meal of yellow curry, homemade pink lemonade, and an incredible vegan cake with soy vanilla ice cream for dessert. To top it off, Anthony gave me the recipe for the cake! After a big day on the bike it hit the spot. Two other patrons, Denny and Carol, brought their two Pyrenees puppies into the restaurant! After my meal, I hung around and talked to everyone past closing time. Denny and Carol insisted on giving me their phone number and told me that if I’m ever near Yosemite, I should give them a call. I’m sad to say I still have never been there, but one day Denny and Carol!

I’m turning into a broken record, but the people you meet on tour are the best part. Going into the trip, I was worried that I would be lonely. I had never done any solo travel. Every day I met new wonderful people who offered to help me, made great conversation, and made the trip very special. I think it might be of the spectacle of a man riding his bike, belongings strapped on the sides, that piques everyone’s interest. Everyone wanted to know who I was, what I was doing, and why in the world someone would want to ride there bike for 10 hours a day. Instead of feeling lonely, I had someone to talk to at almost every stop. I wrote in my travel journal at the end of this day; “When you approach the world with love and an open heart, it is amazing what kind of people walk in.”

One more thing. You may have noticed that this blog is called “Chafed.” If you aren’t a cyclist or runner, you may wonder why. Well. I did not have the right saddle for this trip. By the end of day 3 I had reached what I call ‘peak pain’ in my behind. It’s the point where your butt just hurts, all the time, but the hurt doesn’t get any worse. Maybe TMI, but I had chafed…badly. There may have been blood when I got to camp. Sometimes you have to endure suffering to reach new heights; endure pain to see new sights; visit the darkness to truly see the light. To me that is what adventure traveling is about. It isn’t vacation, it is something different. You gain emotional and sometimes spiritual insights from pushing yourself to endure things that are beyond what you imagined you could. I know it has made me stronger and given me confidence that I can achieve anything that I put my mind to.

Published by Dave and Meredith

Two endurance junkies turned adventure travelers. Come on a trip with us!

6 thoughts on “LA to San Francisco – Part 3:

  1. Hi Dave! This is Caroline Madden, Mike’s daughter. My dad just read some bits of your blog to me and I am so excited to read more about your adventures!


  2. Hi Dave, really enjoyed reading your post. Nice mental break for me especially in this time of Covid. Reminds me of whatever the circumstance we choose to chart our own course navigating the current, not simply drifting. Thanks again and looking forward to your updates!


  3. hey man, I really like this post. The ups and downs of the trip are what make it so special. I’m glad your knee sorted its self out. Hopefully, it doesn’t become a recurring thing.


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