While traveling to California to cheer on our kids in a 1/2 Ironman in Guerneville, we stopped in Monterey and took to the Coastal Biking Trail.
“Winding along the Pacific coast, the Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail (a.k.a. the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail and Monterey Bay Coastal Bike Trail) offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and a great way to tour the city while enjoying the outdoors. This wonderful coastal rail-trail currently extends 18 miles from Pacific Grove to Castroville and is regarded as one of the most scenic long trails in California.
The trail follows the former Southern Pacific Railroad line, which was once used to transfer goods between the historic fishing town of Monterey and the rest of northern California. Beginning in Pacific Grove at the Lovers Point Park (the southern end of the trail), you will want to take a picture of the beautiful rocky shoreline to the west. But don’t put your camera away yet—the beautiful views continue, and there are many photo opportunities along the trail of beach scenes, otters, boats, kayakers and more.”
We parked at the southern end of the trail and cycled the 18 miles to Castroville, the Artichoke Capital of the World, where we stopped for lunch. We returned to Monterey after completing the 36 miles of beautiful trail with gorgeous views of the Pacific.
While visiting with my son in Tucson, we decided to take a trip North to Flagstaff to enjoy some cooler weather with our grandson and hopefully take advantage of Flagstaff’s wonderful urban trail system. Since we all had wide-tire bikes, we took the unpaved trail which was right outside our hotel towards the Fort Tuthill County Park. From there we figured our way over to the Ponderosa Trail (which is paved)and also goes through an open meadow. We made our way back towards the hotel. Flagstaff provides a great map of the Urban Trails and Bikeways, available free at their Visitor Center. On another day we cycled around the Buffalo Park Loop – beautiful meadow on top of McMillan Mesa.
From the suggestion of a “pilgrim” in a bookstore in Williamsburg – “Write this down and check out the El Camino de Santiago, you will want to do that one day…” and so I did. Five years later, I crossed this off my bucketventure list (as my kids refer to my bucket list) and started a whole new life. I was not expecting any life-changing experiences on the Camino, however half-way through I looked at my husband and said, “This is really nice!” His response was, “If you’d retire, we could do this all the time. To which I replied, “Deal”, handing my retirement letter to my superintendent upon my return to work the following week.
For my husband and I this was a beautiful two weeks of letting go of work responsibilities for me and appreciating the experience – being present to one another.
After returning from our 500 mile ride in Spain, I decided I could conquer a century ride. Little did I know that I should have trained more to accomplish this. I figured riding 50 miles a day for two weeks was sufficient training. My husband and I arrived at Chicahominy Park in Williamsburg ready to start the ride at 8:00 AM. By 12:00 PM, I still had not reached the halfway point in Richmond and my husband suggested a stop to buy a Pepsi for some quick energy. It worked and I made it to Richmond by 1:00. Another Pepsi stop at 3:00 and I was ready to make the last 30 miles back; however, a storm delayed our return forcing us to take cover at the Charles City Grill. Since we had not made it back to the Finish Line in time for the “box lunch”, we ate our dinner at the Grill while the storm moved past. My brother had joined us and brought a vehicle with which to transport our bikes back to Williamsburg. Never one to give up, I got back on my bike and finished the last 20 miles. I did not set any speed records, but I did finish. May 25, 2014