One of my absolute favorite things about getting out of town has always been having a new place to explore on runs. And this weekend, I got to tack an addendum on that favorite things list! …having a new place to explore on runs and by bicycle. Ken and I got Tetris with our truck-loading style, and loaded the bikes in the bed along with our luggage, fancypants wedding clothes, and my trusty helmet.
Before I go on, let me say that being active has its downside when it comes to travel: the shoes. For a one and a half day trip up the coast, Ken and I packed six pairs of shoes between us. We had a conglamorate of shoes for the wedding, shoes for the bikes, shoes for running, and sandals, all of which required a separate bag just for them. Be warned.
We awoke in Santa Barbara on a deflating air mattress, and immediately sprang out of bed. Okay, that isn’t quite true. I sprang. Ken looked at me blearily with eyes that pleaded for bacon. Breakfast was in order — I tried not to object, since as we’ve been told, it is supposed to be important to eat prior to exercise. One order of oatmeal (me) and one order of biscuits and gravy (him) later, and we were ready to ride.
Only it was raining. Yes, in California. Yes, in August. This only made me more gung-ho about the whole adventure. I am a rainchild. I wear rainpants — not the actual ones, just the figurative ones that are emboldened with the words “Precipitation Ho!” on them. Ken, on the other hand, looked a bit skeptical at the idea, but willingly agreed to accompany me through the drizzle.
Our ride was through Goleta, the small town just north of Santa Barbara. We followed the Coastal Route through the UCSB Campus, got a bit waylaid in Isla Vista while watching the locals breakfast and walk barefoot through town, and then quickly peddled through a few busy intersections in order to find ourselves on Cathedral Oakes, which joins up with another bike route, the Fairview Route. The ride was uneventful, and cars were remarkably perceptive of our existence, cultivating what I know to be a misleading feeling of safety, but it’s a nice feeling all the same.
We slowed only to get a better look at some garage sales, and eventually had to stop in order to get out Gypsy (our GPS) since we had managed to get a little lost on our way home. Other than that, the ride was continuous, and the company was entertaining. With gray skies and lots of sprinkles (mmm, sprinkles…frosting…wedding cake…) to tickle my face, I was a happy camper. Minus the camping, though. So I was simply happy. And I saw some very nice orchards in Goleta that I did not know existed. I love new things!
In other bikely news, apparently blackberry thorns are deadly to a bike’s tires. Ken rolled over one at the very end of our ride, and his tire started leaking like a Ghostbusters captive. This bizarre green goo just sprayed everywhere. Apparently, this is supposed to act as a sealing agent for when you puncture a tire, but the thorn was so large, all the goo did was slime the sidewalk. Hilariously, the agent really is called slime. Check it out: http://www.slime.com/. Perhaps it would work for a smaller leak.
Luckily, our hotel front desk pointed Ken across the street to a local bike shop for the tire to be repaired. Santa Barbara, while notoriously bad for traffic, does have quite friendly tourism employees.