The decision to sleep outside of the tent didn't go completely unpunished, as our stuff did get a little wet from the overnight cooling. Nothing major though. However, I think due to the wetness, the camera was not working, and wouldn't for the rest of the day. Too bad.
Lauren had some ambitious riding goals for the next few days, so we weren't sure how much longer we would ride with her since we were in the no-rush Cali mentality. Once we all got up, we packed and headed for the town of Cayucos that was a few miles away. When we got in, we stopped at a grocer. Lauren went to a coffee shop to get some Joe, and we met her over there. We hung around for a while not quite ready to ride and enjoying the conversation we were having with the locals. Something hit me, and I realized I no longer had my second set of shorts. Yikes, not a lot of riding days left, but one pair of shorts could be a bit too aromatic. I remembered laying them on the back of the bike when we left to dry, but I never tied them down. They must be at the path near where we camped.
I enjoy the challenge of catching up sometimes, so I insisted that they head on without me while I backtracked the 2.5 miles to the campsite. I was conducting some hurry up offense as I pedaled viciously back to the site. Sure enough the shorts were sitting all the way down the trail right near where we camped. I picked them up, and tucked them away; now it was time to play catch up.
Lauren had a copy of the route from the book since she was planning on splitting from us at some point, so they knew where to go while I hung on to my copy. I kept on pedaling at a much higher rate than we normally did, and I was loving it. They were no slouches either however, as it took me over 15 miles from our resting place to catch them.
We were about to head into the Los Osos Valley as I pulled ahead of them. The book mentioned that it was a common riding ground for trainers, et al. We rode alongside a guy that Lauren mentioned was likely riding a $10,000 bike. Ha, I was keeping up with him with weight. We got to talking and wouldn't you know it, he used to work in Westport and Darien. Not a surprise after hearing the ticket on the bike.
As we dipped into the valley, the temperature increased by 22 degrees, a change the book noted might happen. There were a few more bikers we saw training from Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo, so the book didn't lie. When we came upon Pismo beach, it was fairly cloudy. We grabbed some food instead of hitting the beach.
We decided before we left that we were going to ride another 44 miles to the town of Lompoc. I popped my 5th flat about a 1/3 of the way to Lompoc. It actually broke up the trip nicely, but I had nearly caught Paul who was still one ahead of me by one. I replaced the tire with the last tube we had and we continued on. In the miles ahead, we conquered the 2nd to last sizable hill of the trip. Again Lauren left Paul in the dust, and I had a good laugh.
We descended the large hill into Lompoc. We had all built up a nice appetite and were in the mood for pizza. We found an Italian place, and posted up for a while. I spoke to Peter Ceglarski, Mark's brother on the phone. His daughter goes to school in Santa Barbara, our destination for the following evening. I hoped that we could meet her.
Since Lauren was willing to ride more, I was able to convince Paul that we should conquer our last major hill that night. With our stomachs full, we made our way out of town, in near complete darkness. Fortunately Lauren had a light, and so did Paul, so we had two for three people. Not bad. The grade of the hill wasn't too bad, and the ride was pretty enjoyable. We got into discussing what the song "Lady In Red" was all about, and eventually determined we probably gave it more thought than Chris De Burgh did when writing it (listening now as I write). It made the time pass quickly however, and before we knew it, we were flying down the other side. We were done with hills for the trip as the southern Californian coast is much flatter! Paul couldn't have been happier.
We ended up pulling into a campground in Gaviota State Park after another 2.5 hours and 25 miles of riding since Lompoc. Well done. It also put us over 100 mile mark, which was nice to do as we forgot to on our 100th day (would have made more sense). Instead of taking a camping spot, we headed out to the beach. The sand was nice, and the waves soothing. We were laughing at how poorly received by the guests that were still awake; no one responded to our hellos, but we didn't care. Jolly as ever we set up our tent content with our effort that day, and looking forward to what lied ahead.
Fairly tired, no one had difficulty falling asleep, however, tonight we decided to sleep in the tent. I had hope for the camera.
Life was good.