I love hanging out in SoCal! I really like it here, despite the traffic. Actually, I’ve been in the San Jose and honestly, traffic isn’t as bad as in LA.
A software engineering conference brought me out here. I submitted a presentation to the conference and was accepted, so this got me a discount on the registration for the gig. Sweet! The conference was slightly dull, but I got to meet a lot of interesting people. The nice thing about software conferences, is that they draw a very global audience. You can sit at a table for lunch and hear 4-5 different languages!
The best part about my CA trips is that I usually bring my bike for a fun ride. This time I had debated on a few options: climb Mt. Hamilton, bike Santa Cruz to Half Moon Bay on the PCH, or bike Carmel to Big Sur. After looking at the options, I finally chose the last, and holy cow, what a ride! It was beautiful, although I did have a few white-knuckled experiences along the way. There wasn’t a great shoulder in lots of places. With curvy roads, cars like going fast. Luckily, there weren’t *too* many cars, although the big-assed tour bus made me almost soil my shorts.
So I’m thinking…if I die and have to come back as a cow? I want to be one of these cows. Talk about a nice life…well, short-lived, unless you’re a dairy cow, but….
The water was so blue and the sound of the surf is always a neat to hear as you are climbing up a hill on your bike. I had the iPod with me, but didn’t listen to it a lot at first. I wanted to hear the waves!
Once I got up to Big Sur, the trees were amazing too. No photos of those, no way I was getting off my bike then…just hold on and keep going. Get off the bike and the legs might decide to get a little tired too!
This was a nice out and back. At the end of the ride, I cooled off my feet in the ocean. The waves came in a little harder than I anticipated, so I got a nice cold shot. Luckily I had the camera strap on my wrist, otherwise I might have dropped the camera in the water from the shock! Well, only a short bit back to the car, so I didn’t have to ride long in damp shorts.
Overall? 68 mile, 5001 foot of elevation climbing! I parked at the Crossroads Shopping Center, which is an outdoor mall of sorts. Parked right in front of the Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Company. The shopping center is very nice and has rest rooms available near the coffee shop. This was a perfect setup because I was able to change in the rest room rather than the car.