Route: REI San Diego to Sweetwater Summit Campground, Bonita Ca
Route Miles- 25 mi
Total Trip Miles- 25
Today was a long day, starting in Bozeman at 5:00 am and coming to a close at about 9:00 pm in San Diego. But I’m feeling good about the start to the trip! Arriving at the air port, I realized that although I’d looked up some beaches in San Diego, I hadn’t really planned out my day, how to get to REI, and then how to get to my planned camping location. I was hoping to use public transit, and ended up on a bus going into downtown, which completely turned me around. I got off at a train station, called REI and asked which train to take up there. Alas, no trains would get me close. Further, I realized that in my earlier planning, I had mentally switched REI with another bike shop, the other one being on the side of town closer to my route. I didn’t really ponder this error until later.
I found the ocean, enjoyed a waterside snack, and then succumbed to using UBER to get up to my bicycle. And at last! I was reunited with Andromeda. They were still putting her together for me, so I gathered bits of needed gear that I had not been able to fly with (ie. Bear Spray). The folks there graciously let me unpack my suitcases on the floor in a corner by the bike shop. The repacking into panniers was successful excepting the demise of my special mirror 😦 This mirror works well with my butterfly handlebars, and the standard ones at most bike shops do not. That’s okay, I ordered another one from Amazon to meet me in Julian.
The fellow who put my bike back together also very helpfully gave me a San Diego bike map and pointed out the best route to get to my camping. It would take me by the ocean, nice and flat, easy-peasy way to get started. And so it began.
At this point, several things conspired to create a rather stressful ride. First, I found myself riding through an unfamiliar city. And though San Diego has wonderful bike lanes that kept me out of traffic, I was super uncomfortable not really knowing where I was at, even with a map. Second, my bike computer wasn’t working due to sheer laziness on my part, which wouldn’t normally be a problem except that my concept of how far I had to go was completely skewed, thus leaving me feeling lost. Third, I actually had pretty far to go. In my mind before getting on the plane, I thought I’d have a 6 mile ride. But it actually was 25. Oh, and the sun sets at 8 here in SoCal, which limited my time.
Eventually I found my way, with the help of some great people. I saw a huge navy ship on the ocean, found a sweet bike highway with Louis’ help. He was headed home to Tiajuana, Mex. where he bikes to work from every day. Finally, I found my camp ground, and even made it up a steep little climb. Peace and quiet (except for the family watching movies next door. Yes, movies. On a giant tv. Until 2 am. With some in-fighting. But I slept great.)
Day 1 accomplished!