Thursday, January 9, 2014
Santa Clarita to Ventura, California January 2
45.77 in 3:22...Guess what! A beautiful day, temps near 75-80, and a wind out of the east, which made it a great day to fly down Highway 126, which goes right past the RV park, all the way to the coast. I rode 17 miles in my first hour, downhill with a tailwind. It occurred to me that I was following the path of the wall of water that I described when talking about my ride in the San Francisquito Canyon. There were dry, browned out mountains on both sides of me, but the actual canyon is a fertile agricultural zone in this stretch. I saw a lot of fruit trees --- figs, naval oranges, juice oranges, avocados, pistachios and other nuts, lemons, limes, as well as strawberries, artichoke, cabbage, and other things I'm forgetting, all in a thirty mile stretch. The shoulder on the 126 is great, eight feet wide the whole way, but there were a lot of broken bottles. Los Angeles County just banned plastic grocery bags because of litter and other environmental damage on January 1, but I think they ought to ban glass drinking bottles, because these people like to throw beer bottles out the window while they are driving.
There were small farming towns of Fillmore and Piru along the way, but I didn't need water or food. There were fresh fruit stands that I would have loved to stop at, but I had nowhere to put groceries.
About fifteen miles from the coast, Rt. 126 turned to a limited access highway, in the town of Santa Paula. I cruised a little off course to check out Fillmore by choice, but I had to go through Santa Paula to get off of 126 when I became illegal. Santa Paula was still very agricultural, and the road I was following, parallel to 126 was such that I could have reached out and grabbed an orange or lemon as I rode. The winds also switched to a headwind for no apparent reason. By the time I got to the ocean, the wind was calm, proving that the wind is very variable in the California winter. The shoulders were reduced, and a mistake in steering would have put me in an irrigation canal. As I got into Ventura, traffic really picked up, along with traffic signals, and the road became Telegraph road. I kept aiming towards the western sun, until I saw signs that got me to the coastal areas. When I finally saw the ocean, I knew exactly where I was, because I rode through Ventura on my trek from north to south thru LA, and Pam, Buddy and I went over last week , for Buddy to surf.
Just as I was nearing the Ventura Pier, Buddy honked as he went by me in the Jeep. The plan was for him to come pick me up, but he also wanted to run along the shore trail. The timing was perfect. He went for a four mile run, and stretched as the sun set. We walked out onto the Ventura Pier, where we saw dolphins in the Pacific for the first time. We got home at about 6:15, and it was off to the spa as the temps fell into the fifties. I never talk about the nighttime low temps around here, but we have had lows in the high thirties, but mostly in the forties since we've been here. That is also above normal for this area.