Wednesday, September 26, 2012

RTW addendum - Day 25 - Oceanside to Encinitas, CA

46.2 miles, 1083 feet of climb (final totals 1502.77 miles, 78508 feet of climb)

On Monday night, after the official ride had ended, many of the cyclists stayed in Newport Beach, since they were not departing until Tuesday.  It was a final chance to say goodbye to Russ, Howard and Shirley, Don, Leo, the ABB staff of Mike, Barb, Karen and Jim, and several others. Gary, Mark Koltz, Jeff, Susan and Mark Weisbarth, and I had one final dinner together before the night ended. I'll miss all of them. They were great fun to hang out with.

Final dinner at Mimi's Cafe with Susan and Mark Weisbarth, Mark Koltz, Gary and Jeff

On Tuesday morning, I went to the airport to pick up a rental car, then went back to the hotel to pick up my bicycle and luggage, with a final goodbye to Jeff and Mark Koltz. Hopefully, we will soon see each other again for another cycling adventure. They were great roommates on this tour. Then, it was a 50 mile drive south to my friend Scott and Stephanie's house in Oceanside. Scott was a great running and cycling friend of mine for many years, until he moved to California in 2008. (Hard to believe they left Roswell, GA four years ago.)

Oceanside Beach

Tuesday afternoon we had lunch at In and Out Burger, drove to Oceanside Beach, and then I played "fetch" with Chase and Rex in Scott's backyard.

Good dog Chase on the left. Bad dog Rex on the right.

Today, Scott and I cycled down the bike path to the beach, and then went south along the coast to Encinitas where we had lunch before returning home.  There was also an ice cream stop along the way back. (The final ice cream count is only ten, in 25 days. Not too excessive and I seem to have an extra inch of waist room in my jeans today.) It was great to ride with Scott again.

With Scott on the San Luis Rey River Trail to Oceanside Beach

Joe and Scott

Along the Coast Highway near Carlsbad

Lunch at Swami's

The bike shop here would not box up any carbon fiber bikes. But they did give me a bike box for free. That meant I had to figure out how to box up my bike on my own. Scary. So I immediately went to Home Depot and bought about $25 worth of bubble wrap and foam packages, in an effort to mitigate my complete lack of any ability to box up the bike. Then, since we did not have a pedal wrench, Scott came up with the brilliant idea of bringing the bike to another bike shop, first asking them to take the pedals off, attempt to box the bike ourselves outside the store, and then ask the mechanic to review my complete incompetence and ask for help.  It worked!  The mechanic came outside and helped me make some final improvements, and we taped the box up for FedEx to pick up tomorrow at Scott's house.  I am hoping the bike arrives unbroken, since a new bike is not going to be in the cards for me. We'll see what happens when it arrives at home.

I'll attempt one more entry to sum up Ride the West in a few days, after I've had a chance to get home and unwind. Until then, FedEx please be gentle.

Today's ride:

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