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TRIP 2003

Update #16 - April 03rd
Santa Maria, California - 2421 miles (3874 KM)



The bus trip across the desert and mountains between Las Cruces, New Mexico and Santa Maria, California went okay. The bus was about fifteen minutes late getting into Las Cruces. As I was waiting for the bus, a cycle tourist rode passed me going into the downtown area. Seeing him, I did have a twinge of a thought that I should have tried to ride the rest of the way but it soon passed away quickly since I know what all the obstacles there would have been. I had made the right decision for me this time. There is still a lot of miles for me to cycle.

About ten miles out of Las Cruces, the bus get held up at customs for about twenty minutes. The bus took pretty well the same route to Phoenix as I would have ridden going through Deming and Lordsburg, New Mexico and Willcox, Benson, and Tuscon, Arizona. This ride took just five hours for the bus but it would have been at least seven days for me on bike.

I had about a fifty minute layover in Phoenix. We left Phoenix around 2 a.m. Tuesday morning. It was really neat getting into California about two hours later and I gained an hour since getting into Pacific Standard Time. The bus made short stops at Blythe, Indio, San Bernardino, Riverside, Claremont. Near Palm Springs, I was amazed to see all of the wind turbine generators at the wind farm. There must have been a thousand turbines of various shapes. The bus arrived in Los Angeles around 9:30 a.m.

It was around fifty minutes behind schedule. Instead of an eighty minute layover, I had around a half hour layover and switching of buses. It was great seeing that the bike was loaded right below my seat on the bus. Between Los Angeles and Santa Maria, the bus traveled along CA 1 and U.S. 101. I had cycled this section of highways many times going both North and South. The most recent time was four years ago on my way north to Seattle.

The bus arrived in Santa Maria about ten minutes early. I'll be in Santa Maria until the first or mid-part of next week and then I'll start the great ride going north along the California coast towards Oregon and eventually Washington State. I've still got close to 1000 miles to ride in California.

I've known the family that I'm staying with for the past two years through the internet and email. Their oldest daughter had to have a heart transplant. It is really neat to see how she is doing.

Yesterday afternoon, I had the thrill of visiting the factory where my recumbent was built. Lightning Cycle Dynamics is based out of Lompoc about thirty miles south of Santa Maria. It was neat getting a tour. The company is small with around a dozen employees. They only sell under a thousand bikes a year but each bike is hand-made and customed designed for each rider.

I'm really looking forward to riding up the California coast. I like CA 1 between San Luis Obispo and San Francisco especially through the Big Sur Area. I do have a short stop in San Louis Obispo visiting with some new and old friends.

My only concern is how good the recumbent will handle on all of the tight turns and hills. I'll try to post an update as often as I can if there are any changes in my plans.




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