Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.
69 miles (111 km) – Total so far: 1,987 miles (3,198km)
“Bonking” (official definition) – a cyclist reaches a point of exhaustion that makes him unable to go farther. More on this in a bit. I left Lompoc CA pre-dawn so that we could make up the 20 miles lost yesterday. On the way out of town, I stopped at a small grocery store to pick up some supplies and food, but unfortunately nothing looked overly appetizing, so I walked out not having bought anything. Big mistake! I didn’t realize that the next town, which coincidentally was on the other side of the last significant climb of this tour, was over 40 miles away, and I started the day with absolutely nothing in my stomach.
I ended up spending over seven hours on the bike today, with no nutrition on the road save a single protein bar and some shot bloks. As I pulled into Santa Barbara, as a result of the lack of nutrition, I was shaking like a leaf, and was feeling quite dizzy. I had earlier recognized the signs of bonking, but I was sorta stuck since there was such a distance between food stops. I made a made a mad dash for the first convenience store I saw as I pulled into town. I ended up almost falling off my bike as I sprinted in to the store. After buying a banana, some trail mix, and a Gatorade, I literally gorged them while standing at the store counter. I don’t even remember paying the attendant, but after 10 or 15 minutes I quickly started feeling human again.
I rode through the towns of Goleta, Santa Barbara, and Carpinteria today. Of particular note was the ride through the campus of UC Santa Barbara. We navigated through a well-groomed bike path interconnected through the campus and through the urban areas of Santa Barbara. I must say that while other states and cities talk about investing in fitness and cycling, the State of California walks the talk. Up to this point, the cycling infrastructure has been unparalleled. These folks do it right, plain and simple!
I finished the almost 70 mile day at Carpintera State Beach in a nice hiker/biker campground very near the beach. I’ll sleep well tonight dreaming of the upcoming trek into SoCal.
It’s All Good.