Año Nuevo

For some reason last week I got the great idea to go on a long bike ride.  I went on my first one a few weeks back through the redwoods, and while the hills KILLED by legs, I truly enjoyed every moment of it.

I spent Friday afternoon trying to repair my bike with one of my PhD friends, and while we were able to make the chain switch gears (some of the time) without the chain falling off, I foresee a large investment in a new chain and crank system in the near future (so if you have any recommendations for 21-speed road bike, let me know!).  Regardless, I awoke at 7:30 am on Saturday, ready (yet dreading) to go.

After a banana and some cocoa roasted almonds (if you haven’t tried these before – YOU MUST!), I hopped on my bike to the meeting point of our (gulp) 50 mile bike ride.  This was TWENTY miles further than I have ever ridden in my life! 

It was an out-and-back route that we took straight up California coast on Highway 1.  It reminded me why I love living where I do.

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The ride was done with two of my PhD friends, and we had a great ride through the rolling hills (though it was kind of a friends wait for Elise kind of ride – I’m slow on the bike!)

Eventually we got to our destination – 25 miles out, Año Nuevo!  It’s a beautiful California State Park on the coast, and its free if you arrive on bike!  Two cheers for two-tire transportation!  We stopped here for a snack and to enjoy the views.  Its known as being one of the location where the elephant seals come to mate, and as a good surfing and easy hiking location.  There’s beaches, paths, etc – I am definitely looking forward to coming back!

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And then we headed back south on Highway 1, stopping at Roadhouse in Davenport for a much needed break and brunch (no photos of the food – I didn’t want to weird my cycling companions out Winking smile)!  I had the two eggs meal with goat cheese and avocado – excellent combination.  And the breakfast potatoes were delish!  I would definitely go back for brunch…hopefully sometime soon on another long ride.

Afterwards I tried to nap, and then spent EIGHT, yes eight, hours holed up in a coffee shop, attached the espresso machine studying.  I haven’t drank as much espresso as I did on Saturday in a week’s time in years – and I did it all in one day.  It was intense.  But, I was super productive, and it allowed me to not feel bad about my 2 hour nap turned 14 hour slumber I took last night (whoops!)

Where is your favorite place to hike/cycle?  Why?  I’m loving the California coast, but I’m not sure its my favorite – there’s something about the woods in Northern Minnesota/Canada that make my heart sing, that only Patagonia in Argentina has been able to top.

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5 thoughts on “Año Nuevo

  1. One of the things I love about biking (and hiking) is that you can stop, eat, and then keep going. Not so with running 🙂
    I absolutely love hiking in the foothills and in Tahoe, and also in the dessert in Arizona and Utah (the landscape is amazing), but scrambling through the dunes and wooded dunes along Lake Michigan steals the show for me. I was happy (except for the crowds it will draw) when Sleeping Bear Dunes was recently recognized as one of the most beautiful places. I grew up slogging up the big dune near the parking lot and then sprinting down, and being read the Legend of Sleeping Bear, and going all the way out to the lake is an intense sand workout. Definitely holds a special place in my heart.

  2. Gorgeous scenery! I haven’t done a ton of hiking on the West Coast, but there are some beautiful sites up in Oregon. Out this way, New England and the Blue Ridge hold a special place.

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