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I had to cover over 50 miles today and I made sure to get an early start. It was the first day of daylight savings time and having an extra hour really helped. I was riding down Harbor Blvd by 7:30 on a beautiful day. Harbor Blvd went on for a few miles and right through the Ventura marina that was packed with boats. Although I needed to get on Hwy 1 eventually, bicycles are forbidden at this point. The route takes a frontage road that runs parallel to the freeway and Pt. Mugu Naval station. There were full size aircraft displays and even a missile park which seemed more appropo to an Air Force base than a Naval station. Just past Pt. Mugu, Hwy 1 becomes Pacific Coast Highway and bicycles are now allowed. There wasn't much in the way of services for a good 20 miles. It was Sunday and I saw tons of cyclists out for the day. A couple of them slowed down to talk but most were nothing but a blur as they flew by. The road presented gentle ups and down and shallow rollers. Most cyclists came over the canyon roads which would provide a much greater challenge.
There is a restuarant at Neptune's Net which is popular with Harley Davidson motorcycle riders. I pulled in hoping to charge up my battery. For the first time I was denied an outlet but only because management was worried about the electrical system. They are afraid the outlets will do damage and won't allow anyone to plug anything in. My next opportunity would be 7 miles farther at Trancas Rd in Malibu. I stopped there at a Starbucks and used an outside outlet while I sat at a table to eat lunch. My destination for the day was an old family friend that lives in Pacific Palisades. I let her know of my progress and figured I was more than half way. Many people asked about Myrtle and my travels which made the time go by very quickly. The weather was perfect and I continued traveling along famous Malibu beaches. It got busier and busier as the miles melted by. There was plenty of room and I got lots of honks and thumbs up.
I pulled into my friends house to a warm welcome. Her son was very intrigued with Myrtle and I let them both take a spin. It was great to be with people I've known most of my life. We yakked and yakked and went out for a lovely dinner in Santa Monica. They invited me to stay longer but I was eager to get to my aunt's house. I only have another 22 miles to go.
In the morning I got a bit side tracked. It seems I am always on the look out for new gadgets or technology to buy and I have been actively thinking about getting a new computer. Every day for the last few weeks I take another look online at the new MacBook Airs. I've read all the specs and every review more than once. Today, after looking again, I decided to take the plunge ordering one online. Now that I have a website the screen on my little eee pc is just too small. The website design software I'm using has so many boxes to work with they fill up the small screen. This little computer has been great and very reliable. It has worked for everything until I started doing design work for the web site. Like the eee pc, the new MacBook Airs are built with solid state meaning there is no hard drive or moving parts to come loose. I'm hoping the MacAir will handle the road as well as the eee pc. The biggest decision about buying the MacAir was picking out the size. The eee pc is a mere 9" and the MacBook Airs come in 11" or 13". The 11" is the same weight as the eee pc and the 13" is a few ounces more and also has a sd card reader. Tough decision! I ordered a 2 lb 9 oz 13" MacBook Air with 4 GB of ram and a 256 GB solid state drive. The biggest difference between the eee pc and the MacAir isn't the technical specs, it's the price. The MacAir cost a lot more than the $400 I originally paid for the eee pc. I have been working on the new website long enough now to know I really enjoy doing it and splurging on a MacAir feels like an investment I can justify. I have been thinking about this for so long I was actually relieved to have it done.
I got packed and on the road by noon saying goodbye to my friends. Today's ride was short but potentially treacherous into the hills of the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles. I think I was more nervous about riding in LA than I was riding in Hanoi or Bangkok. I took the beach bike path to Venice Blvd which has a bike lane. I went under the 405 and 10 freeways meandering on roads that were in dreadful shape. Once I left Venice Blvd, the GPS really let me down with the route. The traffic was surprisingly patient as I avoided large cracks and potholes on roads that didn't have a shoulder. The GPS took me to Wilshire Blvd but I found my way to Beverly which is more direct to my aunt's. There were so many lights to stop at and obstacles in the road to avoid my average speed was hurting. The wind was really howling too and there were lots of palm fronds flying about and in the road. This route took me through the heart of LA past Culver City, Little Ethiopia, Oakwood and lovely Hancock Park. Much of the architecture is from the Art Deco era and it was nice to see these buildings close up. I arrived at my aunt's just as she pulled in too. Great timing and it was wonderful to see her. Even though today's ride was only 22 miles it was the final day of my 1500 mile ride down the coast. It felt good to arrive safe and sound.
Now it is time to put my feet up and relax.
Ventura to Los Angeles
Santa Monica beach path