My friend Danny and I completed our condensed version of the Stagecoach 400 yesterday. We ended up cutting it short to make it back to San Diego for a rest day before starting the Baja Divide (tomorrow). Below are some pictures and random musings I wrote down today and while we were out on the ride:
Danny and I arrive at the San Diego airport eight minutes apart. I have come from Anchorage and Danny has come from New Mexico where he was visiting his folks.
Our friend Niki meets us at the airport. She is driving a Chevy Cruz. We have two bikes and all our camping gear. We quickly realize that we aren’t going to be able to get this all in the car, so we make a plan b. Niki grabs most of our heavy gear and takes off in the car, Danny and I will bike to their house from the airport. Off we ride through San Diego.
We have come to San Diego to ride the Stage Coach 400 (and subsequently the Baja Divide). Luckily the stagecoach route passes right by the airport, so we take this new found opportunity to jump on the route. We end up getting in a nice 30 mile ride, with some stellar single track. It is a nice way to start of our trip, and feels better than it may have to not have ridden from the airport.
On day two one thing becomes clear to the both of us, it is hot here. When I left Anchorage there had already been snow on the ground for over a week, and I had grown accustomed to wearing a jacket. We sweat our way through the climbs and try to stay hydrated. It is nice to be back on the bike again. I have lost some fitness over the last month or so sitting in Anchorage, but that will all come back. It is nice to sleep outside and look at the stars. I wish I knew more constellations.
Biking through a lonely arroyo we found Hollywood and Vine.
Since those first couple of days we have gained fitness and figured out how to ride through sand. Oh the sand. I am finding that my 29 inch tires do alright in the sand if I play around with the pressures as the sediment gets loose. I am rolling and 2.6 Nobby Nic in the front and a 2.6 Purgatory as the rear tire. I had hopped to run two specialized 2.6 inch tires, because I am a big fan of their tire patterns and price points, but when I finally got the tires they are not as wide as advertised (2.4 inches, what give spec?). I thusly resorted back to the plan of running and Nobby Nic in the lead.
On Monday we wake up by a picnic table on a fairly busy trail just off I-15. We make our usual coffee and eat hostess powdered doughnuts. Eventually we get packed up and start the roll down the road. The day ends up being short as we end up at the Pacific at about noon and decide that we should swim and hang out rather than pound through the city in the sun. The ocean is colder than anticipated, but it feels nice to finally get the dust and dirt that has been covering out bodies for the last five days off.
Our friend Malcolm arrives in Sand Diego today and will ride to meet us. Tomorrow we will start onto the Baja Divide for the next while. I’ll keep posting here when I find time and wifi and you can see smaller snapshots of our trip on Instagram; @akschmidtshow and @dresherdan.