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"A turtle travels only when it sticks its neck out" - Korean Proverb
The last thing I needed to do before bed was plot a route out to Rancho Cucamonga. I chose this town because there is a Weight Watchers meeting I can attend on Sunday morning. I wanted to see what the GPS would provide but if I didn't like it I wanted a back up plan. I took my laptop to the couch and plugged the points into Googlemaps. What came up was a 54 mile route. That was ok but somewhere I thought I saw a route that was 45 miles. I went to my aunt's computer to print the cue sheet and her computer gave me the 45 mile route also from Googlemaps. Very interesting. I finished packing and went to sleep feeling very organized and slept well.
In the morning I turned on the GPS and it plotted a 45 mile route that looked very similar to what I printed. I kept the printout just in case. The morning was glorious as I said goodbye to my aunt and pushed off. She was so nervous I had to promise to call throughout the day. There was no wind and the temperature was already in the 70's at 9:30. January in Los Angeles. The route was actually very nice and much better than I expected. I rode through Eagle Rock and South Pasadena skirting upscale San Marino into Alhambra. Here I got my first real look at the snow capped mountains that were my constant companion for the rest of the day. In San Gabriel I rode past the historic mission on the El Camino Real. Then it was on to El Monte which is the 'end of the Santa Fe trail'. I had gone about 18 miles at this point and pulled into a del Taco to use the bathroom and have something to eat. They had tables outside and I unpacked my food bag to make up a pita sandwich with hummus, grilled veggies and lentils. It was very tasty. I also called my aunt to let her know of my progress.
I continued on realizing I had forgotten to set the timer for the GPS when I started out in the morning. So, the first 18 miles are missing from today's data. I got lots of thumbs up, positive comments, a few claps and toot-toots from passing drivers. A couple of times traffic stopped spontaneously to let me cross boulevards. This was so unexpected and makes me suspicious the drivers think I'm handicapped. I gave them all a thumbs up as I crossed. So far, there hadn't been much traffic and I speculated that starting on the Saturday of a 3-day weekend may have been a lucky move.
The temperature was very pleasant and rose to 80 degrees with no wind. Until this point most of the neighborhoods had been primarily Asian and Hispanic. Now it was getting more upscale through San Dimas and La Verne which have really cute western style downtowns. Then it was past the Claremont Colleges of Harvey Mudd, Pomona. Scripps and Claremont McKenna on tree-lined roads. The last 6 miles were tedious and I was ready to be done for the day. Traffic picked up and the noise was bothersome. I think I was also getting cranky from hunger. I found Rancho Cucamonga and went to the Motel 66 which I expected to be the cheapest hotel in town. The manager wasn't in and the place was a dump so I continued on to the New Kansan also on Route 66. It is tired looking but only $55 with wifi, frig, microwave and premium tv channels. I had wanted to try riding Route 66 today but Googlemaps wouldn't let me plot a course. This surprised me because Adventure Cycling recently announced they will be putting out cycling maps for the entire Route 66 highway. Maybe a detour will be made through Los Angeles. The route the GPS gave me worked out great today. 49 miles for a first day and it feels terrific to be back on the road.
Los Angeles to Rancho Cucamonga
On the El Camino Real
San Gabriel mission
Lots of Colleges
Iconic Route 66