24 February events, published a day late due to no Wifi at the overnight camp.
It was tough leaving the wonderful environment of Jennifer and Ken’s house this morning. They have made our lives so comfortable there, and we feel very pampered. But, the Ride beckons, and I must follow.
I mounted the Trusty Trek in their driveway, after giving it a thorough cleaning from all the road grime accumulated while riding on the bike rack all the way out here. The plan was to ride to Santa Monica Pier, which is designated as the official “End of the Trail for Route 66”. As you can see from the picture, that’s what the sign says!
It was very fortunate that two of my biking/hiking related friends are from this part of California, and they each graciously agreed to meet us there at the Pier. Annie O’Neal directed the documentary film about my friend Phil Volker walking the Camino de Santiago as part of his “recovery” in his cancer battle. The original short documentary was entitled “Phil’s Camino”. We have had the privilege of being invited to several of the screenings of her productions. Jennifer de La Riva has ridden with our Team Talleyrand on several Ragbrai’s and is always a great team member to have along. As an added bonus, her sister, Jeanine, accompanied her today and we added the pleasure of her company to the day’s activities at the Pier. It would have been the perfect ‘trifecta” if Norma Jean Emory could have made it to the gathering as well, but, alas, that was not to be. We missed you, Norma Jean!!
It was just a shade over 25 miles from Jennifer’s driveway to the boardwalk surface of this major SoCal attraction. The distance was a combination of suburban streets and beachfront bikepath, with the majority being backpath. I quit counting when I got to the 500th beach volleyball court, with a majority of them being put to use on this sunny, WARM, pleasant day. (I feel compelled to insert here that the weather reports from home on this day are just short of abysmal, with hurricane force winds and more rain and snow. Ughhh!!)
The kids fully enjoyed the Amusement Park atmosphere on the Pier. The above mentioned friends were quickly adopted by the Grands and accompanied them on the rides, the West Coaster being dubbed the group favorite, with the Pacific Wheel a close second. We all enjoyed a nice lunch right on the Pier. Other than the goes-without-saying-high-costs of everything thing, all was as nice and fun as could be.
As with all good things, this beginning also came to an end as the friends departed and we loaded up my bike on Bridget’s bike rack and headed out of the downtown pandemonium to join the designated bike path route. The day too far advanced to do any more significant riding, the mission became finding a suitable campground for tonight. That was accomplished on the first try at the East Shore RV park. A bit pricey, but right where it needs to be for our needs.
A full day of riding, with some significant climbs is on the docket for tomorrow. And so it really begins. No Fun and Games for this biker on the morrow.
Thanks for your company.
Colin: Today we went to the Pacific Park I got an unlimited ride that was a lot cheaper because I went on a lot of rides there. Each ride was $10 but the band was $30 and I went on about 6 rides. after that we walked all the way over to where grandpa had parked the camper