Day 18, September 26, 2007

Carmel Valley, CA to Paso Robles, CA
73.9 miles, 13.3 mph, 5h 31m 37s (max speed 31.3 mph)

Up at 5:00, 5:30 very nice breakfast at hotel. scrambled eggs, bacon, fresh fruit, muffins, dry cereal, and juices, 7:00 on the road. We got on the road just as soon as it was light enough. It was a chilly 52F and it warmed up to the mid 80's by mid morning.

We got our route sheets at last night's RAP. When we went to dinner, Tom and I jointly decided to "SAG" to the first SAG stop. We wanted to do as much as possible but and we didn't feel that we would be able to finish today's ride before dark. We wanted to get "in" by or before 4 PM, so we needed to eliminate something. There were others that did the same thing. Point of information - A SAG stop is a rest stop where cyclists stop to replenish their water and eat energy snack food. If you "SAG" it means that you get a ride in one of the support vehicles. (see pic of today's elevation map) We did a SAG to the first SAG stop, which was at the top of the first climb. As one can see, this climb was a 20 mile 2,000 foot climb. There was another significant climb at 60 miles, and 20 miles of "rollers" at the end of the ride. I have stated in a previous journal that this "Ride the West" ride has a total of 75,000 feet of climbing and today was about 10% of that total. So this was a very tough ride today!

After the first long descent, we rode through several vineyards and vegetable growing farms. I continued to be impressed by the neatness and efficiency of the vineyards. The grapes just hang there waiting to be picked. I saw some new vegetable plantings of broccoli, cauliflower and celery. I saw celery and lettuce being harvested and packaged in the fields. It is a simple assembly line process. At about 70 miles, I stopped to take a photo of workers harvesting pumpkins. One of them saw me and did a little posing for camera by holding up 2 pumpkins. Then others got involved. All of a sudden six workers ran out of the field and climbed on their tractor and wanted me to take their picture. So, of course I did! They were having fun and I was too.

When I arrived at SAG 3 (the second pencil on the elevation map), Tom and I decided to ride the 15 miles to the Bee Rock Store and SAG in from there. That 15 miles was dry and very hot. A cyclist had a thermometer and the temperature was 102F on the road going up the second big hill at 60 miles. The last 20 miles was a very difficult series of rollers that just wouldn't quit. We didn't do it and we were both glad to get in by 4:30. Tomorrow is an 83 mile ride to Santa Maria. It isn't supposed to be as much climbing as today.

Scenic view

Scenic view

Scenic view

Scenic view

Scenic view



White grapes





They're everywhere!

Celery harvest

Lettuce harvest

Tough hill to climb, 6 - 10% half mile

Pumpkin harvest

Pumpkin harvest

Pumpkin harvest

Uh oh - they see me!

They posed for this one

A lonely tree

My family vineyard??

Bee Rock Store

I SAGed from here to hotel

Not much out there to eat

Vivian found another friend

Hotel room - nicest yet

Hotel room

Today's elevation map

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