As much as I dreaded yesterday’s ride, I looked forward to today’s ride on Highway 1 south from Lompoc along El Jaro Creek. The route is a gradual climb to about 1,000 feet above sea level through rolling, cattle-dotted hills, past Rancho San Julián and Sunburst Sanctuary. Then a long, straight drop to Las Cruces.

The next thing you know, the freeway signs confront you with the Ultimate California Decision.


As usual, I opted for the left lane, southbound. The return to normal freeway traffic on Highway 101 wasn’t fun, but at least I still had plenty of downhill to the coast and Gaviota.


Then came the ten up-and-down miles of coastline riding to the campground at Refugio State Beach. On the downhills, you take it; on the uphills, you give it back; then you repeat.

Although California’s state beaches and campgrounds are short on reservable campsites, many of them offer Hike and Bike camping. It’s a first-come-first-served spot of ground for people who are walking or cycling from one spot to the next.

Hike-and-bikers tonight included:

·       a chef from Cleveland, OH, who had ridden first to St. Louis, MO, then to Oregon, then down the Pacific Coast

·       three gents from Seattle, WA, on their way to San Diego

·       a couple from Claremont, CA, getting in shape for a November ride from Bogotá, Colombia, to the southern tip of Chile

Nobody complained about the view.

Share This