Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Rainstorm and the River are My Brothers

The first day of the bike trip began in San Diego under overcast skies on Friday the 13th.  Considering the conditions, I think we surpassed expectations.  We biked approximately seventy miles total.  Yaaaaheaaahass.  And, after about six hours of biking, we had a total displacement of thirty miles north.  Shoot.  I’ll explain.

We ran our errands and said our good byes and ate our last few cupcakes before we bounced.  So we were running a little late.  We had a beautiful ride for about thirty miles—passed a park full of families reenacting the final scene from Mary Poppins, saw a bunch of elephant-sized pelicans, biked alongside Professor Dan from San Diego State, saw Torre Pines golf course (what a hell hole), and sighted Santa Claus.

We stopped in Carlsbad for a sit down and got our tires inflated at a bike shop there called Carbon Connection.  The owner, Robert, pumped them up for us.  He was a native Michigander, grew up in Flint.    He said, "Well, all I can say is 'good luck.'"  We chatted for about fifteen minutes.

In Oceanside, we stopped again—ate “America’s Finest” rum cake and saw the longest wooden pier on the west coast.  Also, the beach house from Top Gun is there.  It’s run down.  Makes me sad.  But I think that I’m going to call Stuie “Goose” all day tomorrow.

Things went downhill as soon as we entered Camp Pendleton, a huge Marine training area base thing that we had to drive through, instead of around, because it covers about fifty square miles.  We rode up to the gate, showed the guy our ID, and, after a little small talk, he waved us through.  He was from Indiana.

We cruised for about three miles, then the bike path pointed left while the main rode continued straight.  Down the road, we saw a bicycler with a crew cut, and we asked him for directions.  Dude was real confident:

“Oh yeah.  You just go down the road there, take your first left after the airport there, and that should take you through.”

We did that.  About twenty uphill miles and two hours later, we got pulled over by the Military Police.

“You guys know you’re not supposed to be on this road, right?” he said.'

“Yeah, dude.  We were just trying to see how far we could get.  This is about four miles further than last time.  Tomorrow, we’re gonna try to make it across the firing range,” we should have said.

“We’re lost.  How do you get to the north exit?” we said.

“Well, you are going to have to turn around.  Take a right on Fencrest and take another right on Philbert, and that will take you out,” he said.

Philbert was the road that we did not take earlier, by the advice from the bicycler bastard with the crew cut.  That’s probably a euphemism for how my bicycling companion felt about the man.  Stuie was a little upset, already, because of the size of the hill we were climbing and the amount of hunger that he had, so the Crew Cut Bicycler’s failure in direction-giving rattled him to vexation.  I believe Stu said, “We should have gotten his number so that we could have prank called him every day for the rest of his life.”  

What a good lesson to learn from this experience, though: remember to sing with all the voices of the mountain.

By then, it was too late in the day to try to make it through Camp Pendleton.  So we rode back out of camp towards Oceanside.  We stopped at the grocery store.  Stuie ran in, bought chips and cheese, a V8, and a box of South Beach Diet Bars.  He came outside, ripped open a diet bar, ate it, and sprawled out on the pavement in meal replacement ecstasy.

Luckily, Stuie knew these guys, Joel and Jarrod, who live in Oceanside (just thirty miles from San Diego).  They are unbelievably, super nice guys, and they let us stay with them.  Also, they have a grill built into their countertop.  !   We ate some pizza and drank some beer and everything is lovely.


We’re taking The Game guesses until Monday.  Anticipate more road kill sightings than expected. Shooting for LA tomorrow.


  1. Glad we could help! Hope today goes better. I'll watch the news in case you get arrested and imprisoned at Camp Pendleton. :-)

  2. Were you riding through the mountains on CP?! haha! Them hills are dangerous!