Wednesday July 22, 2015, 115 miles (185 km) – Total so far: 9,634 miles (15,504 km)
Two days 115 miles On our second day in Oxnard my sister Tish made us reservations at the Embassy Suites at Mandalay Bay Beach. It was a very large room for the six of us and we spent a few hours sorting through our gear and discarding lots of weight for Andee to take home in the truck. We had a great time visiting, swimming in the ocean, and attending free happy hour at the hotel. Monday morning we said our goodbyes as Andee, Cary, and Nicole drove off in the truck and Tish back to San Diego (about 4 hours south by car). Thank you to Andee for the 6 weeks of driving support and Cary for 2 weeks. Also thanks to Nicole for the 1600 miles of being our cycling companion. For someone that only had 30 miles of previous cycling experience Nicole started the ride with a bang and never slowed down. Jocelyn really enjoyed having a partner that could keep up with her. Once again Jocelyn and I were on our own and had a very windy ride down the Pacific coast. We missed our riding companion Nicole. Several times this day I spotted a white truck riding nearby and thought “There’s Andee…” either on her way to shop for dinner, do laundry, or find our next campsite. She had the hardest job in the last 6 weeks as we just rode our bikes and she did the rest. We will miss her and Cary.
Since I grew up in Oxnard I have been south on the coast countless times by car so seeing everything by bike was a very different experience for me. The wind stopped and the sun came out around Santa Monica and Jocelyn found a 20 mile bike path on the numerous beaches we passed including the very interesting Venice Beach where I let my video run almost the entire time. What a very unique collection of people and activities!
As we neared Los Angeles International Airport on the beach we could hear all the planes departing directly overhead but because of the thick fog rolling in we couldn’t see them. It was all very eerie. We were soon in Redondo Beach at a friend’s house. Nansea and Pete used to live in Cocoa Beach but two years ago moved in with Nansea’s parents’ Esther and John right up from the Redondo Beach. Jocelyn went to school with their daughter Aja. We were very warmly greeted by them all and were served an excellent dinner and much conversation. We were soon exhausted from the long day and sound asleep.
The next morning we had an excellent pancake and fresh fruit breakfast. We discussed different paths to Long Beach to avoid the very busy San Pedro area along with the oil refineries in Torrance and Wilmington. Esther called the local bike shop that suggested taking Pacific Coast Highway to Long Beach then dropping down to the waterfront on a bike path. We followed this route and except for a few busy trucking areas transporting containers off ships it turned out well. We continued along the beach on this excellent bike path to Huntington Beach where we are staying two nights with my brother-in-law Jeff and nephew Perry.