Thursday, September 20, 2012

RTW - Day 19 - Paso Robles to Santa Maria, CA

85 miles, 3400 feet of climb (cumulative 1227 miles, 68600 feet of climb)

Today was the warmest day we have had so far. No windbreaker this morning. Only a vest and arm warmers at the start, which were quickly shed after the first climb of the day. We took small rural roads out of Paso Robles and eventually got on Highway 41W for 13 miles into Morro Bay. The road featured an 800 foot climb that topped out at 1500 feet, followed by a seven mile descent into town and the day's first SAG.

Thank you Mark and Susan for this delicious strawberry croissant

The bay at the town of Morro Bay features a huge rock, nicknamed "The Gibraltar of the Pacific", reaching 576 feet in elevation. This apparently is one of nine extinct volcano peaks running for a stretch of 12 miles between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay. Our SAG stop was right at the base of the rock.

Morro Bay Rock

After the first SAG stop at mile 31, we headed inland again. There was a magnificent stretch we cycled on Turri Road that went through a couple of treeless golden valleys with fantastic views. After the second SAG stop at mile 58, the land became agricultural again. More strawberry fields, broccoli, and other crops I could not identify as we cycled towards Santa Maria.

On Turri Road

Leticia and Susan on Turri Road

Susan and Leticia on Turri Road

I rode by myself to the first SAG stop, and then rode with Mark and Susan Weisbarth, and Leticia Alejandrez for the rest of the day. I think I saw a coyote.  You decide (below).  The 85 miles flew by and just as we were looking to get to the hotel, we had a nice final 7 mile flat stretch with a tailwind. Susan had a major blowout a mile and a half before the hotel. As the flat was just being fixed, Jeff finally caught up to us and he was able to draft behind us to the finish. Another great day on Ride The West.

I saw this guy running across the road near Pismo Beach

The alternate route with a 15% climb at mile 63

Today's ride:

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