February 23 - Port Hueneme, CA

(This is written by Jim, who has no camera or spellchecker, while I was sick in bed.)

Bike trip log - Sana Ynes to Port Hummenes 

      If there is a word that sums up today's ride, it's "defenestration" - to throw out a window.   

      Let Santa Ynes at about 7:45. Was told not to leave too early, to avoid rush hour motorists going to Santa Barbara.  Looked at the map, saw that Santa Barbara was 25 miles away, and thought that would be a good place for breakfast.  Wrong. 

      Between Santas Ynes and Barbara is the San Marco Pass, elev. 2,225.  Up a 7% grade, for 4 hellish miles, at 4 miles per hour = 1 solid hour of very steep climbing.  Lots of stops along the way, to "take in the scenery."   When I left Santa Ynes, it was 30 degrees, a record low for that date.  By the time I got to the top of the Pass, I'd shed every stitch of warm weather gear.  As I got closer to the top, there was a headwind, to "cool" me off.   

      For most of the climb, there's no shoulder.  Lots of motorist, especially trucks, uncomfortably close.  

      At the crest, there's spectacular, well earned view of the Pacific, and the Santa Barbara area.  Equally steep, payback, downhill.  Drew chose the right direction.  It's 4 miles to the Pass from Santa Yness, and 7 miles of steep descent to Santa Barbara. Glad I didn't forget something in Santa Ynes that I'd have to go back for.   

      Santa Barbara is nothing more than a typical California town.  Lots of traffic. Where are all these people going at 11:30 in the morning?   

      Breakfast, by now lunch, was Quiznos.  Needed a good solid meal, and all the haute cuisine looking places just weren't going to fill that need.  One nice thing about Quiznos, they have SoBe light in the soft drink dispenser. Filled by water bottles with SoBe light. 

      From Santa Barbara to Ventura it's flat, since most of the roadway borders the ocean.  Some great views.  Lots of dedicated bike lanes. For a while, the route is interstate, with a dedicated bike lane.  Still a little shy, with trucks fizzing by you.  Not sure why they bother posting speed limits; maybe it's just a way of making money on speeding fines.  If they ever want to balance the budget here, all they have to do is enforce the speeding laws.   

      Then there's old route 1.  It's fallen into disrepair, making for a rough ride.  One interesting note, they apparently rent the right to park of RV. Saw RV's of every shape and size, parked one right after the other.  There seems to be no right answer to the "vehicle tows the trailer" or the "RV tows the truck," controversy.  Some day, someone is going to invent a way of having a vehicle that is an RV, yet transforms into a car, once you get to where you want to set up base camp.   

      Ventura started out nicely with a bike trail. The trail ended, dumping bikes onto city streets. Sometimes there was a bike lane, other times there was not.  The "not" part was a rough ride.  Between Ventura and Oxnard, there's a very long stretch of road, with a bike lane. There's a bridge that has a bike lane, but you don't see the bike lane until you're on the bridge, and it's too late.  From Oxnard to Port Hemmene, the Adventure Cycling map earned its name - it was an adventure. Roads that appeared to be a few blocks apart, were actually miles apart.  An adventure, to figure out. 

      There are a lot of very affluent areas on the Pacific Coast. Port Hemmene is not one of them. The first motel I came to, called the "Surfside" I mistook for the "Seaside," where Drew had booked the room.  The Surfside is a little rundown. Ok, it's very run down.  Pulling into the lot, there were lots of guys hanging out. Had to dodge the malt liquor bottles, and the truck a bunch of guys were pushing.  They didn't appear to be trying to get it started.   Asked at the office, and was told I had the wrong place.  The Beachside was one block up. 

      The Beachside is upscale. There are people hanging out the parking lot drinking, but they are classier than the Surfside crowd. Also, nobody appears to be living in any of the vehicles in the parking lot.                   

      Diner was a at Anthonio's, a Mexican place. The motel desk clerk recompensed it. Given his accent, he seemed to know his Mexican.  Then he said, if I didn't want Mexican, there was Wendy's.  Now I'm questioning his taste for "good food."  He got it right, though. Anthonio's was great, plus the waiter looked like Cheech Marin - didn't sound like him, though.   

      The next morning, as I was getting dressed, I turned on the TV for the first time, to get the weather report.  As I clicked through the dial, just before the Weather Chanel, I found the motel had complimentary hard core pornography.  Another reason I'll be those folks at the Surfside wish there were at the Beachside.


      Back to defenestration - today I saw an assortment of just how many different things you can throw out of a car window.  Glass was the most common. Not sure why I didn't flat.  But also saw a pair of gloves (usually you only see one), a nightgown, and, yes, a toilet brush.  Never seen a toilet brush by the roadside before - that take effort.  Hats off the whoever when that extra yard.