Leaving Lompoc led me up a gradual incline for 16km in sunny pastures before flattening out and heading back out to the overcast weather of the coast I'd become used to. As the sun finally came back out, I took the opportunity to grab lunch in Goleta and let the hottest part of the day pass by before covering the last 30km to Carpenteria. Riding through Santa Barbara gave me my first real experience of the southern California weather I've been looking forward to - sunny and hot, with the ocean breeze pushing me along.
I found a fugitive
Carpenteria to Santa Monica was the perfect ride. 127km over flat terrain along the sun-soaked coast. I spent a comfortable amount of time riding along beach paths, but fortunately not too much time. Navigating pedestrians gets exhausting.
Getting off the beach path proved the most interesting part of the day. Google decided the best way to cross over the freeway was to lug my bike up a couple hundred steps (think the Baldwin Steps at Casa Loma). My bike is 75lb fully loaded, which was bad enough to deal with, but I was stuck behind another cyclist who kept stopping in front of me, killing any momentum I tried to maintain, forcing me put down and pick my bike back up several times throughout the climb which added unnecessary effort. When I finally got to the top I had to listen to him bitch to everyone within earshot about how exhausted he was after carrying his [feather-light racing] bike up the steps. When he saw me behind him with all my gear and a look of murder in my eyes, he shut up and got the hell out of there.
Carrying my packed bike up that bridge and these steps was not fun.
Finding state campsites with hiker/biker sites south of San Francisco is proving to be more of a chore than I care to deal with today so I'm staying at a motel tonight. The plan for tomorrow is to hit San Clemente State Park, take the following day off before heading into San Diego!