I mention the number of miles I rode each day, but I don’t know why. It’s only one of the many variables that go into describing how a cycling day on The Road was.

For example, the ride to Carpinteria, short though it would be in miles, started off meh and got worse from there. In spite of good sleep and a lively breakfast with my college friends, I never built up much of a head of steam. Even the sight of the Santa Barbara Pier and the streams of young families enjoying the long weekend failed to stoke the boiler.

The ride was oppressive, even without a headwind. The route abounded in ups and downs – take it, give it back, take it, give it back – unnecessary map instructions, and even more unnecessary turns. I pedaled through Montecito wondering whether Harry and Meghan really – really – had days as tough as the one I was having.

This was another Hike and Bike camping night, which meant that I could not reserve. That, of course, is one of the inconveniences baked into being on The Road, most unwelcome in the middle of a holiday weekend. It took me back to an ancient insecurity from my globetrotting days, when I always worried that the youth hostel would be full by the time I’d arrived. Firming up lodging for the coming night became my highest priority when traveling.

As with 96 percent of worries, however, this one was baseless. Although the regular campsites and RV slots at Carpinteria State Beach were throbbing with families, the Hike and Bike was empty.

I was joined there by only one other fellow cyclist a few hours after I arrived.

Neither of us complained about the view.

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