Sep 18: Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park to Hearst San Simeon State Park (71.3 miles)

Our campsite neighbors are a bunch of people in the California Conservation Corps that I think are restoring hiking trails in the greater Big Sur area. There is evidence of a fire that burned through this area a few years back.

It was a cold night! Some of my riding buddies were sleeping in every piece of clothing they had.

One of today’s big hills starts right at the very beginning- it’s about a 1,000 foot climb on the first two miles of the journey. I found it overly hyped and was happy to find a place to buy coffee near the top.

Today’s ride was going to be a short one, just 33 miles, but I combined it with tomorrow’s ride to take me some 70 miles with a total of about 6,000 feet elevation gain to San Simeon.

Along the way were tons of great views. Many coves and cliffs are only visible to a biker on the cliff edge of the road

Here are a few more fantastic views

Just before San Simeon I passed a spot where the Elephant Seals are making a comeback. When I did this ride about 30 years ago they were not here but now they have established a rookery that I hope stays for some time

I also passed by Hearst Castle up on top of the hill

Some 30 years ago, or so I did this same ride with my friend Randy, and I recall two things from that ride: first, the guy in the bike shop in Monterey warning us “don’t blow your knees out in Big Sur!” (A good suggestion!), and secondly, coming out of the coastal hills onto the plains and fighting a headwind for 10-15 miles. I remember me constantly wanting to stop and Randy constantly encouraging me to keep going or we’ll never reach camp.

Today, I had a magnificent tailwind- I was booking at 20-24 MPH through those same plains.

I arrived at the campsite early and showered and had dinner. The wind is still blowing and cold, so I’ll be in my tent before dark, but I will be warm!

I caught a great Sunset view!

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