Saturday, May 23, 2015

Til The Next Time

Monday, May 18th

Our last day of vacation.  The BF decided we should try Figueroa Mountain from the other side despite the road closure sign he encountered the day before.  He figured he'd go as far as he could.  I figured I go as far as I could, you know, get out of bed, have a cup of coffee, and return to bed. Exhausting life I lead.  But no, The Taskmaster made me go out the front door, all suited up for one last ride.   Listen Mister, I said, I better not encounter any aliens.

Before we got to the start of the climb, we met some male cyclists from Canada!  They come to California fairly regularly for cycling trips.  Later in the day, we saw them again. 

There goes The Boyfriend.  Funny how photos don't always capture the steepness of a climb.  Believe me, this was not flat.  The mountain is a favorite for locals, for pros, and for hikers. 

Last time we did it, I made to the fire station, but this time, I turned back early.  I lost my nerve from the gusting wind and sheer drops in some places.  The BF made it to the summit.  He's a stud. 

We stopped for lunch at Panino in Los Olivos.  Good food, good coffee.  It's one of our favorite places.  Cyclists, tourists, locals also like it.   We had only done 28 miles at this point.  The BF suggested we continue on before heading back to the hotel for dinner reservations at the lovely romantic restaurant in Los Olivos.  He guessed it was another 20 miles of riding.  I was like, okay, as long as we don't encounter any aliens. 

Well, here's what happened.  That 20 miles turned into 37 miles, thus, making our ride today 65 miles.  We didn't realize this while we sauntered on.  Classic boyfriend moment - underestimates the mileage.  Classic me moment - health meltdown in which I bike 5 mph.  We'd be lucky to get back to the hotel by midnight .... We reached Los Almos, and yay, for smart phones because The BF changed our reservations.  While he was busy doing that, I shot off like a rocket into the canyon and flew as though I had wings.  One moment, I'm pretty much lame ass and the next, I'm soaring.  It took quite some time for The BF to catch up to me.  He was blown away by my sudden burst of energy.  Both of us blasted back with plenty of time for our romantic dinner.  Good bye for now Solvang, a favorite of ours for biking.  And whew, the aliens didn't get me this time....

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Games We Play

Sunday, May 17th

For today's outing, The Boyfriend planned to do Figueroa Mountain in Los Padres National Forest while I went towards Santa Barbara on Hwy 246 to Armour Ranch Road (pictured above) which becomes Happy Canyon and onwards to Figueroa Mountain, with the intent of meeting him somewhere, unless of course the Aliens got me first.  

Armour Ranch Road has got to be one of my favorite roads in the whole wide world.  I mean, look at it!  Like a rollercoaster.  Last time I was out this way, I got a rear tire flat and The BF had to rescue me.  So, I was ever excited to get to do it this time.

Along the way, I met other cyclists.  And then poof, The BF appeared.  He discovered that the route he chose was closed so he backtracked and caught up to me, quite easily since I was chugging along at some pathetic speed.  I should have taken photos of the horse farms and vineyards that dot the landscape of Happy Canyon Road, but, I was too busy taking care that the kamikaze squirrels didn't thwart my ride, and well, plus, the possibility of an alien attack also kept me on alert.

The start of the climb up Figueroa Mountain, the easier side, above.  Somewhat similar to Mt. Diablo.  Beautiful.

And more of it.   I only climbed some of the mountain and then we sauntered on going to Hwy 154 into Los Olivos and doing a stretch on Ballard Canyon.  I managed 43.85 miles in 4 hr. 25 min.  And luckily, not attacked by any aliens or kamikaze squirrels.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Later that Evening

Ah romance .... having survived the possible attack from the aliens, we had a lovely dinner in Los Olivos.  Here I am, wearing my mom's pearls, in the restaurant that was featured in the film Sideways, drinking wine from a vineyard we passed earlier on one of our bike rides.
The vineyards in the area are simply breathtaking.  I think they are more spectacular than those in the Napa/Sonoma region.  We'd like to visit Santa Barbara on another trip and I imagine that we'll be in for a treat there, too, provided there aren't any aliens lurking about.....