Just a short update. I just got back into town a few hours ago and I'm tired and sick (again!). I had a pretty good time, all things considered.
I rolled into San Diego a little before 11am on Sunday. When I was at Union Station I saw two other tourists. We sat next to each other on the train and they told me of their trip thus far. Tony and Clarence had just ridden from Florida to El Paso. They hitched a ride to LA because the winds were killing them. They were great company and full of entertaining stories.
After some talk, I convinced them to join me to the hand made bike show in San Diego. At the show, I met Simon Firth and Bina from Bilenky. A historic meeting! I also talked a bit to Chuck and Gretchen from Pacific Coast Cycles. I did some audio interviews with Speedplay regarding this cool display they had of antique pedals, Calfee and some bamboo bikes and Mark from Rene Herse.
Those should be ready in a day or two.
When I got back to the hotel from the show I felt like crap. Fever, chills, sore throat, coughing the whole bit. My trip wasn't looking good. Somehow I managed to sleep and when I got up I felt a little better so I rode out to San Elijo campground and spent the night there. Not before having breakfast with Tony and hearing about some great bike adventures he had in Egypt (for example, accidentally riding through a live mine field in the desert!).
On my way up and over Torrey Pines (it's not as bad as everyone makes it out to be, btw), I ran into Chris Kostman from XO-1.org and AdventureCorps. What a small world. I was pulled over the side of the road drinking some water when I see a van veer into the shoulder and start backing up towards me. Out he jumps and from his AdventureCorps shirt I put one and one together pretty quickly.
At San Elijo were two other tourists, an uncle and nephew pair on their first outing, Craig and Lucas. Craig was great fun to talk to. He was heavily involved with the Boy Scouts and knew a lot about camping. I tested out my Wetterlings Axe and Mora knife. I used both to split wood with good success. I'm surprised all the things the Mora can do for a $15 knife!
The next day, I decided to ride to San Clemente for the night. I stopped at Pacific Coast Cycles in Oceanside and chatted with Gretchen and Chuck some more. They're great people and I highly recommend their shop. Chuck worked with Masi and knows as much about bikes and has as many opinions as even The Great GP.
Across the street was an Adventure 16 shop where I picked up an Esbit stove. I ran out of fuel for my Trangia and decided an Esbit and 6 tablets was about the same price and quite a bit easier to carry than a tin of denatured alcohol.
I rode into Pendleton and got lost! I figured I rode about 30 extra miles around the base. By the time I got out of the base I was starting to bonk pretty bad. Being sick all weekend and not having enough food and water with me, plus riding around with the Bilenky and TOO much gear. It was not looking good.
When I got into camp, Craig and Lucas were there. I felt like on the verge of blacking out. I quickly boiled some water with the Esbit and ate two dehydrated Mountain House meals in quick succession. That brought me into near consciousness, but I felt pretty tired the rest of the night. I went to bed early but had a tough time sleeping because I was coughing all the time.
Today, I soft-pedaled to San Juan Capistrano and picked up an Amtrak back to Los Angeles and I took the metro home. Whew. I'm tired, my throat hurts and I feel a little bit delirious.
I think it was a fun trip. It was certainly a social trip. I had never met such interesting people before while I was on the road. I just wish I wasn't sick again. Enough for now.
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