Part Twelve: San Diego

Have taken a few days in San Diego to absorb the enormity of the achievement to date, eat lashings of $3 pizza slices and explore the plethora of Irish pubs in the downtown area.

A big thank you goes out to all those who have been offering encouragement and sending lovely messages. There does, however, still seem to be some lingering confusion regarding comments that could in anyway be construed (by a reasonable person, or me), as critical or negative.  This needs to be cleared up right here and now.  The previous advice regarding where to post your comments remains in place.  To assist further we’ve set up another feedback portal so please forward all negative, idiotic or just boring comments to the link provided below, www.goblowitoutyourarse.com.  The team will then do its utmost to respond appropriately and as quickly as possible.  As you would no doubt appreciate there is a huge back log of such comments for us to get through so we beg for your understanding in this matter.  For those who have left return mailing addresses, please appreciate that it takes time to individually pack the freshest and moistest of dog turds and post them off to you.  Therefore please remain patient.

San Diego offered the opportunity to attend a football game (Thanks for the ticket Ian).  A great day out was had by all.  The temptation is, of course, to follow in the well-trod hoof prints of any number of critics of American football and rabbit on inanely about the steroid fueled gladiatorial machismo of the game.  That is along side the temptation to dredge the harbour of banality and go on about the undeniable fact that not a great deal of the playing time appears to be spent actually footing a ball.  Yes, of course ‘hand ball’ is more appropriate yet to go down that track would be puerile in the extreme.  It is also very true that only skirt-wearing school girls wear helmets and that amount of padding to play a game but that need not be gone into right now.  Yes, the boofy lads had the opportunity to express themselves by slamming into each other and the girls similarly through high-stepping ad infinitum. All great stuff.

At the Footy

We at buff3ysbicyclingblog feel that it is far more important to celebrate the game and the theatre of it for what it is; a great opportunity to get out into the car park of a large stadium and ‘tail gate’ up some wieners.   The local team is, of course, the San Diego Bustards.  Odd they should name their team after the flightless Bustard yet there it is.  Quickly inducted in the Denver fan hall of fame, we (the away side) taunted the hometown team as the game went into overtime and the mighty Denver Ducks inevitably exerted their authority.  Oddly for a quarterback (the chap charged with the responsibility of throwing the ball), Mr Tebow, the Denver Ducks quarter back is best known for his reluctance and/or inability to throw the ball, preferring to run at the opposition (and sometimes towards his own goal line, much to the chagrin of his team mates).   The very enthusiastic and charmingly attired cheer leaders (The San Diego Scrubbers) high-stepped and shook their pom-poms bravely right up until their defeat was secured.  Admittedly some points were deducted from San Diego, cruelly many maintain, for having a coach called ‘Norv’ (short for ‘Norv’).  To their credit the Bustards fans took the defeat in good humour, the local crowd choosing to take out their justified frustration on Coach Norv through the media at their leisure.

Lads in Gaslamp district

There are more Irish Pubs here in San Diego Gaslamp district per square foot than anywhere else in the world, including Ireland.  The Welsh, Irish and Australian contingent spent the bulk of the short stay here in Gastown, sucking on yet more rounds of IPAs at one of the innumerable Irish Pubs.

The Irish, Welsh, Australian triumvirate of pan-continental cycling dominance dissolves here in this city into the annals of pan-American bicycling and IPA drinking folk law (see photo) and we go our separate ways.  The Irish continent now takes the easy option of crossing the border into Mexico; The Welsh is return home to clamber up trees while the Australian is left to somehow struggle on through the USA and endure the relative hardship of a side trip to Las Vegas.  The good people at San Diego Bike Shop have been kind enough to fit a new set of Continental Travel Contact tires to the beast and look after her for two weeks while I am away.

Off to Vegas.

Part Eleven – LA to San Diego

The comments, cards and letters just keep on flooding in to buff3ysbicycling blog and this blog now runs the serious risk of eclipsing the bulk of those purported ‘adventure’ cycling blogs out there in cyberland.  I fear that the narcissistic pleasure that goes along with my new found notoriety as a hardcore cycling adventurer may get the better of me on occasion but I here declare that I will do all that I can to contain my ever-expanding ego as the miles rack up and my global reputation for cycling daring-do balloons correspondingly.

Its been a busy time on the hardcore adventure cycling road since San Francisco and this posting finds your weary yet satisfied correspondent on the southern border of The US of A and at the end of the Canada/USA road. San Diego at last!  It’s a long way South still to go till this cyclin’s done but it soothes the soul to stop, reassess and savour the moment of a minor victory along the way. It is now four months and 7,400 km since my first tentative pedal out of Deadhorse Alaska in late July yet it is sobering to think that San Diego is about a quarter of the total journey to the bottom of South America.

I have to note here for the record that the good people of the west coast states of the USA have been nothing but kind, helpful, polite and cool. The coastline has been a dramatic and magnificent backdrop to my incredible exploits and feats of daring-do and although it is satisfying to be finished with Alaska, Canada and the lower 48, I will miss this place and no doubt be back before too long. On-on to Mexico [after a brief respite,  including a cultural study trip to Vegas! (by plane this time)].

22nd November (Santa Barbara – North of Zuma Beach) (60 miles)

Managed to get out of bed after the Blue Man Group night and on the road out of Santa Barbara. Met cycling Andy (UK) on the road and we camped just north of Zuma Beach in the state Camp site there. A quick hit of bourbon for breakfast and am on the road again.

23rd November (Zuma – Hermosa) (40 miles)

The boys in the buff3ysbicyclingblog lab have come up with yet another incredible innovation. This time it is the technique for ensuring that you don’t get your bike stolen during the ride through LA. Take the thing into the public toilet with you. So simple yet so very effective! Might raise an eyebrow or two but this is much preferable to having some low-life scamper off with your bike. Zipped through Malibu (which only has septic tanks I’m told!) and Santa Monica (which has very nice plumbing).  Its warmer south of SB so can show off the increasingly sexy cycling legs.

Bike Security
Andy and Buff3y Santa Monica
Venice Services

Venice Beach had all of the mandatory professional freaks. Great beach services where you can stock up on your medical grade pot and get botoxed on the beach in one hit (so to speak).

Hermosa Beach Sunset

There. This is for all those happy snappers frantically clicking away at the Californian coast line. We here at Buff3ysbicyclingblog can give it a bit of silhouette action as well. I spent the night at Hermosa Beach, a bit south of Venice Beach. None of the nightmare scenarios of LA traffic have eventuated, mostly due to the Thanksgiving weekend.

24th November (Hermosa Beach LA – San Clemente (60 miles)

'Navajo Dave'

Hard to know where to start with ‘Navajo Dave’. It would be too easy to fob him off as another cycling space cadet on the road in southern California. He did have a very  passable patter in new age cycling stoned philosophy and an interesting theory that we could somehow travel back in time by pedaling backwards. Fascinating. In his defense he gave me a bottle of water.

25th November (San Clemente – San Diego) (70 miles)

Arrival in San Diego:

San Diego marks the end of the USA ride and in a way the end of the first chunk of the journey. Next will be Mexico, Central America with South American thereafter.

San Diego Arrival with Ian

Just north of SD I met Irish Ian once more and we cycled the last leg into town together. It has to be noted that on arrival in San Diego we did ask a guy to take our photo to record the moment of USA cycling victory for posterity …..and he refused. It was clear that this was because he felt that Ian looked more than a little bit tatty and bum-like and rightly suspected that Ian might be after money. Happily he then focused on your more classically attired humble correspondent, the mistake appreciated and the photo taken.