[gss-content-box]This summary of the Troop 26 San Francisco to Santa Barbara bike trip was written by Andrew Davis. All photos copyright Andrew Davis. Used with permission.[/gss-content-box]
The Bike trip started one day before the set date. All the scouts and the adults going on the trip packed they duffle bag and their bikes in a budget truck (sag wagon). That only took 1 hour to complete. But the next morning at 5:00 we met at the big 5 parking lot, and spontaneously ran to cars to get moving.
The drive took about 5 hours, and once we got there we all ate and got on our bikes and headed out for the first day of adventure. The first ride was only thirty miles (which would soon feel like nothing to us). The ride was very nice, through the streets of San Francisco. After we were out of San Francisco, we rode along a bike path that was right on the beach.
We went right by Mavericks but were unable to see the ocean below. When we got to camp we set it up and unpacked the cooking gear. Everyone got free time and most of the scouts went down to the beach and played a fairly new game called SPIKEBALL.
After free time we started cooking the hamburgers. The clean up was very fast because we cooked the burgers on the grill. After that we all went to bed and prepared our selves for the next day.
Every day started off the same, overcast, perfect temperature, and no wind. I think I can speak for everyone by saying that we liked having perfect conditions, and that is what made the trip so great.
The next day was our second longest day, just under 75 miles. We rode from half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz, which was very fun because we got to go by some interesting light houses and through the heart of the city. Once we got through Santa Cruz we rode another 20 miles to our camp sight. The second part of that day was very deserted. Until we got to sunset state beach where spent the night. The total ride took about six hours.
The third day started off just like the second day with the perfect temperature of 70 degrees, but the third day was longer by 8 miles. This day I think i could say was my favorite because of the surprise that we found at the campsite (but i will tell you about that later). We left Sunset State beach at about 9:00 am. At about 11:00 am we got into Monterey and about 2 miles in the city we had our first big crash.
Nick Swanson was riding his bike in a pack of other bikes while entering a bike path. At the entrance there were three poles, one on the right, one on the left, and one in the middle. He did not see the third pole and hit it head on. Good thing he has lighting fast reflexes and jumped off his bike while the bike shot forward and he rolled over the pole and landed on his side.
It turned out that he didn’t get hurt and he just sat there laughing. After that we ate lunch at Denis the Menace park. After lunch we rode on 17 mile drive with this terrible head wind. We had a head wind for at least 20 miles which is why we got to Pfeiffer State Beach at about 8:00 pm, Where we got a warm welcome from Josh Acuna and his family.
The two days were only 30 miles, which was very fantastic because we were riding through the beautiful area of Big Sur. Just about 11 miles out of our campsite we stopped at the beautiful waterfall that fell right on to the sand of the beach.
The day went by so fast that we didn’t stop for lunch because we were so close to the campsite. The campsite we stayed at this night was the best, we were camping on very nice green grass were we played SPIKEBALL! Before cooking a few scouts went down to Jade Beach were there were thousands of jade rocks of different sizes.
The fifth day was just as short as the fourth day. We rode for about 10 miles and then we had the second biggest crash of the trip, James Taylor was riding down a very steep hill and noticed that there was a car tailgating him so he moved over so the person could pass, but when he moved over landed on gravel and lost traction and fell. He slid for at least 20 feet before stopping. His left leg was very scraped up along with his left arm. His bike was ridable, so after we got all the blood wiped off of him we continued to the elephant seal beach. That beach was the intended place to eat lunch but no one was hungry and there was a very strong tail wind that we wanted to keep with us. So we continued 10 miles to San Simeon State Park, were we stayed the night.
The sixth day was very easy but long. We went about 60 miles to Pismo Beach. On the way we went through Morro Bay and stopped at the pier and got some ice cream that was very refreshing considering that it was 75 degrees.
We then ate lunch at a history museum, that only took about 30 minutes. That day was very easy because there was only a few flat tires, and only one crash.
Once we got to Pismo we went directly to our campsite to set up camp so we had time to go play SPIKEBALL before we went to dinner. Half of the troop went to the beach to enjoy the fine sand and the wind.
At about 7:00 we went to Fatties pizza to get dinner. There was no seating at the pizza parlor so we went to Von’s across the street where they had seating for all of us. We then went back to camp and found that our neighbors had challenged us to a game of kick ball. The battle was tough with a score of 4-5……. we lost. That was a good way to finish off our trip.
Last but definitely not the least, the seventh day. The morning of our seventh day was hot, very hot considering the past few mornings. We all knew that we would have to face the 16 mile beast in hot weather.
Once Mr. Swider showed us the elevation map we all said in our heads “Oh Crap”. We had 3 huge hills in one very long 84 miles ride. We wanted to get out of camp very early so that we could meet the parents at the beach at 6:00pm. So we woke up at 6:00am and cooked a very fast breakfast.
We got out of camp about 8:00am and started off at a good pace. After we went over two of the big hills we dropped down in Lompoc and had lunch at La Purisima Mission.
That was the biggest lunch of the whole trip because we ate all the left overs, and every one was happy that we had fresh watermelon. After lunch we headed off for the final stretch. It was about 3 miles out when we started feeling the grade of the 16 mile hill.
Some of the scout felt like they were going to die and some of the scouts felt like they could do this all day. We had a minor problem with Max. We think that he got heat exhaustion, so we put him in the sag wagon and it took him to the top of the hill. Once everyone got to the top of the hill we filled water bottles and headed onward.
The next 5 miles it was just straight down hill, every scout loved that we were going about 40 mph, it was a nice feeling with the wind in your face after that very long, hot hill.
Then we had the worst wipeout of the trip.
Max was going about 30 mph and hit something and fell of his bike on to the asphalt. Will B. and I stopped to make sure he was alright and performed first aid on him taking care of his wounds with Jarrison’s first aid kit.
Once we were done we left Max with Mr. Johnson and Mr. Baird so that we could catch up to the group. Max was sadly unable to finish the ride. Mr. Swider was told to regroup before the skinny bridge that we had to cross so that we could all go over it together and with the sag wagon behind us. Luckily, no one got hurt while crossing the bridge and most of us made it to the BBQ on time. The BBQ was a very nice way to complete the ride.
Thank you to all the parents that helped with the BBQ.