Reflections on My Cycling Adventures So Far, Part IV

San Luis Obispo to Paso Robles and back, March 11-14, 2021. I had been meaning to find a reason to visit Paso Robles and one of my closest friends. I got on RWGPS and designed a roundtrip route from SLO to Paso. I would drive to SLO, stay at a hotel where I could leave my car, pedal to Paso, spend the night with my friends, and ride back to SLO the next day.

I utilized a RWGPS feature where I could see if anyone had already developed a similar route, and sure enough, found one that I repurposed as my own. The original route had good notes, but I overlooked one key part of the route.

My route would head northwest from San Luis Obispo towards Morro Bay and then inland heading East on Old Creek Road from Cayucos. The original route, the one I copied, exited Old Creek Road at Santa Rita Creek Road, and I missed this bit and it cost me dearly. I’m still riding my 2005 Diamondback Edgewood, weighing in at 30 pounds before baggage and rider. I suddenly flashed back to the climbs and switchbacks I dealt with on Old Stagecoach Road. Once again, I had to mix riding and hike-a-bike in order to reach the top.

Once I summitted, I began a nice downhill ride and connected with Highway 46 heading East into Paso Robles. I made it to my friend’s house where I was greeted with a cold beer, well-deserved.

March weather had been fairly kind to me Saturday as I headed West on Highway 46 back to Highway 1. I had added a Garmin Edge 130 to my tech and installed an additional application from the Garmin app store called Windfield by Scott Beam. This is a terrific app and lets the rider see windspeed and direction. Wind, as everyone who rides a bike knows, is the bane of cyclists.

As I’m climbing Highway 46 out of Paso, I’m glancing at my Garmin, and the Windfield app is showing 19 MPH winds from the West. I’m getting a break from these high winds on the climb to the Highway 46 summit, but once I start heading downhill, I’m riding straight into the teeth of the almost 20 MPH headwind. A headwind so strong I’m still having to pedal on what is one of the longest, fastest downhills in the area.

Highway 46 Summit heading West towards Highway 1

I reach Highway 1 and turn south and suddenly the wind is at my back — a tailwind! Nirvana! I cruise into Cayucos and make the obligatory stop at Brown Butter Cookie Company and buy a bag of originals. I had downloaded a reverse route on my Garmin, but I had pivoted to Highway 46 after experiencing Old Creek Road the day before. I used turn-by-turn on my iPhone, stayed on Highway 1 until the turnoff into San Luis Obispo and cruised to my hotel. I made a mental note to revise my SLO to Paso out-and-back route for another future ride.

Finally, this turns out to be my last ride on the trusty and dependable Diamondback Edgewood. Time to upgrade.

Author: brianbartleyberlin

Adventure cyclist. No spandex, carbon fiber or cleats. My ride is a 2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker, made of steel, built to last.

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