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TRIP 2007

Update #01 - January 02nd
Santa Cruz, California
42 miles ( 67 KM) since Jan 01st



It is hard to believe that this is another year on the road. I am about a hundred miles from San Francisco. Possibly, this will be a resting place for a while. The last big section between San Simeon State Park and the Monterey Peninsula was by far one of the hardest sections because CA 1 was mostly on cliffs. There were lots of twists and turns and steep climbs that lasted several miles because of all of the switch-backs.

Because of a late start from San Simeon and some road construction, I got caught after dusk between state parks and campgrounds and had to find a place to camp out on a cliff just north of Gordo. I missed a campground by four miles. During the night, I got serenaded by elephant seals and coyotes.

There isn't much to say for the year since it is brand new. Sunday night (Dec. 31st) at midnight, I didn't do any celebrating ushering in the new year. I was camping out in my tent out in the open between Marina and Castroville, California about a half mile away from the Pacific Ocean.

It was around 10 a.m. this morning when I got to the Easy Racers Recumbent Factory. Easy Racers is the oldest recumbent company in the country. Easy Racer is the company that licensed my line of recumbents to Sun Cycles. There wasn't much to look at. The operation was quite small. Of the 10,000 or so Easy Racer recumbents made and sold each year world-wide around 1,000 are built at the factory. At the time, I saw only two workers building recumbents. Most of what they build are the Gold Rush LWB's (Long-Wheel based).

I was kind of disappointed that they had every Easy Racer line but the SWB's (short wheel-bases). It seemed that the SWB's were just an after-thought for a small market. There were quite a few trikes and low-rider trike recumbents. The people there were not really interested in seeing me. This was kind of the opposite that I had gotten through the reply to my email to them stating that I was making a special side trip and stop to meet them. I felt very much that my visit was a hindrance to them since one of the guys mentioned to me that they were quite busy getting production up and running again after the New Year's holiday. Appointments for company visitation didn't have to be arranged. Don't get me wrong. I wasn't expecting them to shower me with a lot of free merchandise or provide me with a sponsorship. I was just expecting a little better welcome. It kind of left me with a bad taste for the product.

I had thought they would want to pick my brain on what kind of problems that I've experienced so that they might have better improvement of their product but this wasn't the case. Some people along the way told me when I had mentioned of my upcoming visit, the Easy Racer people should use me as a test person for their products since I can really give them a work out. How many people can say that they have gotten over 20,500 miles on one of their recumbents in less than two years time?

The two or three guys that I talked to were just mildly amused that I had rerouted the rear brake cable (because the position of the cable caused cinching and didn't allow both brake pads to release properly) and had put on a heavy material on the seat cushion and seat back (because the material on the seat cushion was just too thin for extended wear and tear and the material on the seat back couldn't take the strain without ripping where the seat material rubbed on the tubes). They did replace the part that held the chain tubes in place for free. I am grateful for that. One of the guys kept insisting that I needed to upgrade and they did have an easy payment plan.

I did have the chance to meet Freddy Markham, who holds the speed records for the being the fastest person on a hpv (human powered vehicle) and traveling the most miles cycled in an hour (53.42 miles on a special Gold Rush with full fairing). One of the guys was talking about a 9 pound motor and battery system for electrical assist. It would go about 40 miles on one battery charge. This was something that I wasn't very interested in. Nine pounds could mean to me much needed water or food. I maybe stayed at the factory a half hour before heading out. I'm still grateful that I've gotten such a good ride on the recumbent but I'm not sure whether I'll be writing any testimonials for them after the reception that I've received.

I am spending the night with a Warm Showers member in Santa Cruz. This is a lot better choice than camping out at New Brighton State Beach or staying at the hostel in downtown Santa Cruz. Between Santa Cruz and San Francisco, I'll possibly be staying at one or two of the lighthouses that have been turned into hotels (Point Montara Lighthouse and Pigeon Point Lighthouse) and the state park in Half Moon Bay.

There is nothing much else to write. It looks like I'll be in San Francisco in about three or four days depending on how many miles I travel each day. When I get to San Francisco, I'll have to make some kind of decision on what I'll be doing next (whether I'll be able to take some needed time off the road before heading out on any long distance tour this year or staying on the road without any real breaks and trying to ride more northward up the Pacific Coast). I'd like to take at least eight or nine weeks off the road somehow and get back on the road by the end of March.

I'll try and post an update as often as I can if my plans change. The next update should be posted between January 09th and January 16th.




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