Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Goleta CA to Ventura CA December 2

                         41.9 in 3:22.December 2......Note to self: come back to Santa Barbara and Ventura and check it out a little more closely.  I traveled in the RV with Pam from Santa Maria to Goleta to get the day started, because I rode last week to Goleta, and Pam came down and picked me up. I actually got on the bike a little before noon, at the spot where I stopped, and Pam was on her way down US101, the El Camino Real, to Ventura, where we will spend one more night together, before our great Los Angeles adventure.
Goleta is a suburb of Santa Barbara, and it wasn't long before I was on a bicycle path that passed right through the middle of the University of California at Santa Barbara campus. They are making the national news right now because of a meningitis outbreak. What I saw was a beautiful campus with bike trails all through it. Everyone rides a bike to class, and I saw bike parking areas the size of a football field at several places near the path. As you would imagine, bike traffic was pretty heavy, with bikes of all speeds negotiating the trail. There were no pedestrians on the trail, probably because they are not allowed, or they know how dangerous it would be. Intersecting trails had traffic circles, just like some motor car intersections out here. I've never seen anything like it. As I got through the campus, the trail wound through some residential areas, which were very well kept, but middle class, until I was finally spit out onto some roads with bike lanes. This is the first that I have noticed tons of Palm trees,  flowered bushes and trees, including many varieties that I have never seen before, not even in Florida. I have noticed some palms and cacti in other towns, including Santa Maria, further north, but today 'Southern California' really kicked in. The roads ALL had bike lanes, and I negotiated a busy shopping area with no problems at all. That road ended on the Santa Barbara Beach, Pier, Marina, and oceanfront area. It was gorgeous as I rode along on a bike path, looking at about two dozen sand volleyball nets in one area, a pick up soccer game in a grass area, and a lot of activity for a Monday afternoon. It reminded me of some beach areas in Waikiki and Key West, without the commercialization. It was just really nice and laid back, just like they say California is supposed to be. There are still plenty of underprivileged or homeless apparent in the area, just like every place else on the west coast.
After leaving the beachfront, I passed through the high end section of shops in Monticito, and then more bike trails and residential roads that led south through Summerland and Carpinteria. Nice homes in walled off housing plans, flowery trees, and tree lined streets were the rule. I paralleled US 101 for a while, until the shoreline necessitated that I ride on 101 for about 4-5 miles. I had my own bike lane on the freeway-like 101, but the cars and trucks were flying. There was sea wall  construction going on almost the entire time I was on 101, and you could see where the ocean surf had claimed some of the road, and they rerouted it 100-200 ft to the east, and put up a sea wall. The beaches were all sandy with intermittent rocks, but the days of the sea stacks are past, I believe. There were surfers and surfing beaches dotted along the way. After 4.5 miles of intense traffic and speed, I got off on Rt. 1, the Pacific Coast Highway, that had disappeared for quite a distance. I guess it was built into 101 since north of Santa Barbara. Rt. 1 was calmer and much less traveled. It was very close to the beach, with sea walls and big boulders holding the road in place. It was all beachfront, with parking along the road for anyone who wanted to access the beach. There was even a stretch with 127 RV parking spaces marked off, and self pay stations along the way, for 28 bucks a night for beach side, dry camping. About one third of the spaces were full, even on a Monday in December. I bet those spots are much sought after in the summer. After eight miles on Rt 1, I came to a bike trail that very quickly took me right to the entrance of Ventura Beach RV Park, where Pam had set up shop.  We spent some time and rode around Ventura in the Jeep, and then lounged in the hot tub before supper.

UCSB bicycle parking lot

Bike lane only traffic circle

Bike lane

Santa Barbara Pier

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