We left on Saturday morning and, two days of car travel later, we are in San Diego. The travel by car was loooong. Day one was the toughest. It felt like we would never get out of Texas. We made it to Las Cruces in New Mexico, ate a fast food dinner and were asleep once our bodies hit the beds.
Day two began with us re-figuring out how to pack the car. It took us an hour, but when all was said and done we think we actually found a better way to pack. More room for us, Ladybird and our stuff. We figure we will get faster at packing the car….or at least that’s the hope.
For some reason day two traveling felt faster. Not sure if hitting Arizona so quickly after getting started gave us a sense of faster movement. Did we mention getting out of Texas took a really long time? One of the cool things about this leg of the trip was the drastic changes in terrain. From desert to lush farmlands to sand dunes to mountains to ocean. It really was a feast for the eyes.
Driving I-10 is not an exact duplicate of the route I will rise during the tour. However, it does give me a sense of the terrain I will encounter. I have never paid more attention to road shoulders as I did over the last two days. Some roads had fabulous wide shoulders relatively free from debris. Others were rough, gravelly situations full of debris. I am curious how my skinny tires will handle those particular roads.
When we got to the mountains in California before we hit San Diego, I finally got a chance to feel what those elevations have up until now only been lines on a map. Oh boy, what a way to start a tour. I’m not sure if I’m more wary of the going up or going down the mountains. Going down there were times when we would hit 75-80mph without me hitting the gas. I know the weight of the fully loaded car is drastically different than the weight of my and my bike, but it certainly gives me pause.
Today is rest day. And by rest, I mean we will not be sitting in the car. In reality, I have much to do in order to be ready for Tuesday mornings official start of the bike tour. Bonus today was finally meeting Roger and Susan who are also riding the Southern Tier. We have been corresponding online over the last few months after connecting via the Crazy Guy On A Bike site.
As for the team, Jonathan, Jordan and Ladybird have been a wonderful support. Jonathan taught me more about RPM’s and manually shifting my car than I have known my entire life. If it wasn’t for his thorough and detailed instruction I do not think our entire load would have made it up and down and up and down from sea level to 4,100 feet. I was able to experience his patient and thorough teaching and educational style first hand. Now I know why he was a customer and client favorite in his career. `
At the end of the day, Jonathan took me to Mission Bay Park to give my Trek 1.2 bike around for a final test ride. It felt great to get back in the saddle even if it was just for 10-15 minutes. As I looked out across the water, I finally felt like I was in California. I could feel this was truly the beginning of an epic adventure.