Wednesday, February 03, 2010

California - Tourist Season

Today I managed to put off getting on the bike until much later in the day. My legs felt fatigued but not sore, so I finally got kitted up and got out on the bike.

Like most days here, I wore shorts, base layer, short sleeve jersey, long sleeve, and a vest. Because I left so late, the sun was already starting to lose its strength. In the chilly air I decided to use a long sleeve base layer and long finger gloves.

Life is so tough.

I didn't ride much - just out to Oceanside and back, just over an hour. But, seeing as it was an rest day, I decided to stop and take pictures.

On the way out to Palomar Airport Road, I looked left and noticed something. Double Peak Park, and the distinctive (water?) tower just below the parking lot. I didn't include it in yesterday's pics because it looks kind of industrial and out of place.

Not very "park like".

When I looked left today, while on the bike, this is what I saw.

It may look like a regular median, but there's more.

I looked a little more carefully, and found what I thought should be out there.

The big green tank thing on the hill.

So that's Double Peak Park. I think. If it's not, sue me. And tell me too because this way I won't point over there and say, "That's Double Peak Park."

Once I turned onto Palomar Airport Road, I got into some traffic. Seeing as it was an easy day, I focused on just turning over the pedals, good form, and relaxing my upper body.

Of course, when a truck tempted me, I couldn't resist. I chased it, caught it, and drafted it, pedaling furiously. I bounced in and out of the draft, moving slightly out of the draft to slow myself down, tucking back in when I slowed enough. I had caught it just as it started up a gradual uphill slope so the effort gave some decent resistance; it didn't feel like the pedals were just dropping away from my fee.t I managed to get to 45 mph and then blew up. I sat up 2/3 of the way up the hill and coasted up to the light.

So much for my easy day.

The rest of the ride I was much better behaved, restrained.


On the way back from Oceanside, I stopped to watch a pair of birds glide by, tried to pull out my camera, and missed them. You know, it takes me a good 5 or 7 seconds to pull the camera out, open the view finder thing (which also turns it on) and another second or so to take the actually picture.

I'd follow them by, literally 10 yards away, drifting against the sea wind, until they disappeared behind me. I had to crane my head to follow them, and then they were gone.

I'd turn around, thinking, "Man, I missed that," and I'd see another pair ride towards me. Err, not ride, glide. I went to grab my camera but I gave up again, the vest pockets deceiving me to thinking they were the jersey pockets underneath (the latter holding the camera). Again, I'd give up.

I watched them go by, head turning as they went by.

Turned back around.

And, lo and behold, another pair.


Finally, I gave up on giving up. I took out the camera to take a picture of the ocean, the shore, the waves, and of course, a pair of birds came towards me.

If you look really, really carefully, you can see two low flying planes just over the grass.

Actually, they're herons. Or whatever bird it is in Finding Nemo that carries Nemo in his mouth. I don't think they spoke with Australian accents, but I imagine that they would if they opened their mouths.

I think they're pelicans. That's what my hostess just told me.

They sailed by, slowly, their big chests making them look way too big to fly. No metaphors here, but figure that there are riders you see that seem too big to go fast.

About 100 yards away, the intersection between the PCH and Palomar Airport Road. In Carlsbad, CA, if you want to Google satellite this spot.

Where the road kind of disappears there's a spot where RC glider pilots meet up and fly their planes. It takes me most of each of my trips to remember that all the weird birds I see right when I turn onto the PCH are not birds, they're planes.

And then the herons throw me a curveball.

I rolled back towards home base, tried to go easy, did a little effort to stay with a semi-lost FedEx truck driving along slowly with his turn signal on.

That was my last not-easy effort for the day.


Oh, and Oceanside. I went out there to check out the sunset. The skies were a bit roiled but the waves looked Pacific-like and the sunset just another West Coast sunset.


Tomorrow will be a little more difficult day. I hope to have some more pictures, taken between my efforts.

We'll see how it goes.

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