Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tuesday, Oct 23, 2012 Lompoc to Ventura, CA 84 miles 2,656 ft of climb

The last day of the WomanTours Pacific Coast Tour.

Lompoc to Ventura route is 84 miles, and we set out with some trepidation that it would be a challenging day.   We had rain the night before, and we were afraid we would be breaking our perfect record of 'no rain' on our last day.

Our fears were not justified, however because after a short morning fog the sun came out, and we had a tail wind of 10-20 mph!  There was a hill in the beginning, but after, that any hills that were on the route were not memorable.  We sailed over SR1, Hwy 101 (freeway!), and Coastal Route bike paths like we had wings!  Vicki said, "That is the first freeway I hated to leave!"  When you are riding 20 mph uphill you KNOW you have a tail wind!  Sit tall and pedal in your highest gears!  Ya-hoo!!

After 40 miles, our ride turned into urban roads and bike paths.  We rode through the middle of the University of California at Santa Barbara on smooth, dedicated bike paths.  The number of bike parking lots made it clear most students rode big-tired bikes to class each day.  Such a beautiful campus!

From that point on, we spent most of our time on bike paths or side roads with bike lanes.  Our last bike path took us right to our hotel.

At that point, the order of the day for many was to get bikes to the bike shop for shipping back home, and our farewell dinner that evening.  (Photos will be posted later.)

It is not over yet, folks!  There are several of us in three small groups that are planning to ride down to the Mexican border.  Ann Smith, Nancy Kelley and I will be one of those groups.  My husband, Dave, has driven out from Minnesota to be our 'sag' driver.  As 'Support And Gear' driver, he will carry our bags, snacks, and us if necessary as we make our way for 200 more miles to the border.  After 1,600 miles, another 200 seems very do-able.

Ode to the Pacific Coast Riders of 2012  
by Sheila Ruckley 

Way up north near the Canadian border
 A cry went out.  It was an order! 
Gather ye here with your bikes
 It's WomanTours with a ride you'll like.

Over cocktails we plotted and schemed 

Of adventures and lots of cycling dreams 
We'd heard of a road called 101 
Which wound and weaved its way to the sun.

Little triangles on our backs 

Tasty goodies in our sacks 
But no beautiful news of Puget Sound 
Fog and a ferry, Port Townsend bound.

Then pedal, pedal, to Bremerton

 O help!  It's hilly.  Don't leave me alone. 
We went to bed in the Hampton Inn 
And I for one had a very large gin.

Pedal, pedal.  Do not weep

 It's only a truck going beep 
It's just a tourist in a big RV 
Driving on the wrong side & drinking tea.

We are cold and tired and very damp 

Thanks Goodness we do not have to camp 
Thank Goodness we do not have to cook 
Or give a darn how we look.

Up and down, up and down

 All those Washington logging towns 
Elma, then Long Beach, Hurrah for the ocean
 All those women.  What a commotion!

Then Astoria bridge.  What a thrill

 Into Oregon without a spill 
To Cannon Beach to have some fun 
A jug of Margarita's just for one!

Pedal on to Pacific City

Then Newport town which is oh, so pretty 
There we had a well earned rest 
Tucked up in bed like chicks in a next.

Up you get!  We're Florence bound 

"The women are coming" gets around
 Bandon, Gold Beach, Crescent City, too
 We're in California!  Thank God!  Whew!

Give me a push.  Give me a tow

 If there's one more hill I don't want to know
  I'm sick of trees..  I'm sick of mist
 I've had enough.  Do you get the Jist? 

Eureka!  We made it!  That's the news 

Everyone's happy in their cycling shoes 
And Gaberville was very hot
 Or was it just the smell of pot?

Give us mercy.  Give us peace 

Some flat road would be a release
 And who's that coming in the sag
 Hang on in there.  Next stop: Fort Bragg

Gualala was heaven by the sea 

A lovely room.  Just let me be 
Put "Do Not Disturb" on the door
 I need some time to sleep and snore.

Oh, no you don't.  Get on those wheels

 Up and down, till you want to squeal 
The Russian River, then Bodega Bay 
Watch out for The Birds, is what I say.

I want a ride.  I want a carry

 I need an engine so I won't tarry 
Pedal, pedal, don't stop now 
Keep it going.  Don't ask how 
Up and down.  Up and down
 All those hills wear us down 
And then the Golden Gate we see 
San Francisco!  Whoopee!  Whoopee!

Off we go to Santa Cruz 

Don't forget to bring the booze 
Then Monterey. The sun doth shine
 Have we left the cold behind?

Big Sur awaits.  It's undulating

 More big hills.  But I ain't complaining
 We're passing Hearst Castle to San Simeon 
Get on that bike.  Come on!  Come on!

Arroyo Grande, CA next stop 

We're looking for palm trees and a martini lemon drop 
Please no more pedaling.  We want to swim
 And surf in the waves...and have another gin

Then Lompoc.  At last - only one day to go 

I just hope to Goodness it doesn't snow 
I want to be a beach bum, I'm finished with the bike
 Next time I'll have a Harley and preferably a trike.

You're in Ventura.  Did you enjoy the ride?You betcha!  

It was easy.  I had friends by my side. 
There were no hills.  The pavement was fine
 It was nice & warm, and the sun did shine.

We made it!  And home now we go

 Don't cry because it's the end of the show 
Remember all the friends we've made 
We've become a strong woman's brigade

Remember the good times and the bad 

Be happy with your memories ~ and a little sad
 That all this is over.  It's been a great ride
Our friendship will endure and ever abide.