Thursday, August 1, and Friday, August 2, 2019
The wife and I had a few days off at the beginning of August so we headed to where we usually go on days off: to the sea. We went to Monterey this time and of course alerted other Cycle 365 regulars of our plans. Luckily Jack and Janet were available for a little coffee and a little ride. They rode from home to Asilomar, near where we were staying. I rode most of the way back with them, then went back to Asilomar.
Jack had peeled off earlier near the wharves to monitor the tourists, but on the way back I decided to see if he was still around. I did manage to find him and surprise him. We said good-bye again but it became a rather awkward hug because we were both wearing our Da Brims and man don’t do that.
Riding with locals is always a good idea. I know the bike path through Pacific Grove and Monterey really well but Jack and Janet showed me a couple of new wrinkles. On the way back I decided to ride along Mermaid Avenue in Pacific Grove again. It’s really a one-way lane with delightful cottages. I had a great conversation with someone there. I was taking a photo of the house that was the most dilapidated of them all, weather-beaten and unkempt. While I was doing that, a gent of a certain age and with a certain rugged look about him was going in and out of a window to the roof. He looked down and said, “Nice bike.” “Thanks. Do you know anything about this house?” “I should. I’m the owner.” We laughed. When I asked how old the house was he said he has a photo of his great-grandparents in front of the house that was taken in the 1930s (other similar houses had plaques that said they were built in the 1920s). They bought it as a vacation home so they could cool off during the hot summers where they (and he) farmed in Los Banos in the Central Valley. Been in the family all that time. They were in the process of fixing it up. He said it’s fine inside but it’s a mess outside. I told him I thought it showed it had a lot of character. I wished him luck and continued on my way.
Next day I decided to ride in Ft. Ord National Monument. I learned a bit about this place from Jack and Janet but really had no idea what I was getting into. I thought it would be all sand dune single-track but they said there are miles of paved roads. Even so preliminary checks of the elevations were not encouraging to a flatlander, but we know that what’s on the computer is not always true in real life. So off we went.
What a great few days we had. Making a visit with friends part of that added to the magic of our stay.