2019 – Ride the West – Day 21 – Big Sur to San Simeon, CA

Day 21 Big Sur to San Simeon

Today was going to be a big day, a reasonably long mileage and over 5,000 of climbing to be completed along the Big Sur coastline.

Immediately out of the campground we hit the first climb of the day.  It was not an easy one and with the legs still relatively cold it hurt quite a bit.  Nevertheless I made it to the top and
got my first glimpse of the Big Sur coastline which appeared to go on for ever.

The road meandered up and down with several long and hard climbs and with the day warming up it got quite tough in places. Nevertheless, the coastline scenery eased some of the pain and I made a deliberate point of stopping on several occasions to take photos and to enjoy the scenery. The road got quite close to the edge on a number of occasions with very little between me and the beach several hundred feet below.

At mile 25.8 we reached Lucia, very little there other than a small convenience store at the side of the road where we stopped for liquid refreshments. I didn’t stay long because there were loads of nasty little flies bugging us so I grabbed what I needed and headed on up the hill! The road continued to climb and then plunge to sea level and whilst you could enjoy the descents you knew that just around the corner there was going to be another steep climb.  It was now very warm and the hills kept on coming but the scenery was amazing and eased the pain somewhat. I knew that if I could make it to mile 50 then the hills will be behind and the remaining miles would level out to the finish in San Simeon.  Sure enough, after climbing what seemed like a monster of a hill the GPS showed just over 48 miles and I knew that the hills were over. I descended into Ragged Point and found most of the riders sat in a cafe at the side of the road. I grabbed a cool drink and an ice cream and rested for a little while before heading out to complete the remaining few miles.

The road now was rolling but with only a few gentle inclines. The surrounding area had opened up and the hills were behind and in the distance. It was pleasantly warm and the ocean was just a few hundred yards away. We passed beaches with seals and there were lots of Pelicans both flying and sitting on the rocks. The only downside to the final ride in was that Roy had a flat with about 10 miles to go.

We rolled into San Simeon just after 15:00. It had been a long hard day but enjoyable nevertheless. My legs had held out and although I felt a little tired I was pleased to have ridden the Big Sur coastline.  It’s hard to describe the experience but it is one that I shall remember for a long time and it would be nice to come back and experience it from the seat of a car at some point in the future!