Reflection

This trip was an amazing journey and I feel very lucky to have had the chance to do it. Although there were some times that were harder than others, I wouldn’t change a second of it. Having come back from being in Europe for a year I felt the need to travel again and see something new. What I realized is that many people look to travel to other countries to encounter new things and we often take for granted what’s in our own back yard. So, I decided to go on this trip to experience a part of this country that I hadn’t yet seen. Cycling down the coast made me realize how many amazing sites we have and how much of our country I still need to see. With going into this trip I probably should have trained a little more but my schedule didn’t allow it. One thing that I was scared of when I was starting out is whether my legs would actually be able to even carry me the distance. And, I am very happy to say that they did, and they did so with greater ease that I would have expected. That’s not to say that it was an easy ride, because it was definitely challenging with the changes in weather and the never-ending hills while cars were whizzing by me, but I exceeded my own expectations. With reaching the border of Mexico today, it feels like the trip has flown by just as quickly as it began. I know that tomorrow I will be waking up without having to jump on my bike to take me to my next destination. Nevertheless, even with knowing that it hasn’t quite fully registered. I think that it will probably take my body a while to get used to getting out of the old routine.

Doing this trip is something that has interested me for a while. Because I have always enjoyed doing different types of community service it just seemed right to do it to contribute towards a cause. I had chosen to do it to raise money for confidence events in girls and young women because I believe that that is a huge issue that we are faced with today. While I was on my trip I was reassured that this was the right cause to do it for while I was talking to a soon to be father about his niece and the issues she deals with because she is self-conscious, and she is only 7 years old. I believe that in our school systems we need to start addressing these issues more, rather then allowing them to continue being ignored. And that’s where Michelle Rogers and her events come into play. Because she pays for the events out of her own pocket, there are some limitations on what she can do and how many girls she can reach. So, although it may not seem like a lot, I am so happy to say that we were able to raise over $1000 for her to help expand her events. I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me through this journey as well as everyone who has donated to the cause. I also want to give a huge thank you to Mike from Wake and Wheel Bike Shop, who was helping me get things ready from before the trip even started and helping me keep my bike running till the trip finished. Another person I want to say than you too is my aunt Amanda, because I wouldn’t have been able to do this trip without her. She was my safety net and my cheering squad and was there to encourage me to continue on. I am so happy that I was able to do this and I look forward to volunteering at the next confidence event! Thank you for all of your support!

Day 30 – Oceanside to MEXICO!

Today was the final day of the trip! The first part of the trip was a fairly easy to follow route. The second part, however, wasn’t so easy. I ended up getting lost about five times and had another area where I ran into construction on the road I was supposed to take, so I was forced to try and find an alternative route. While looking for one I ended up getting lost again in National City, but some nice people were kind enough to point me in the right direction. Once I got back on track it was a straight shot to the border!

Day 29 – Long Beach to Oceanside, CA

Wednesday was another beautiful sunny Southern California day. The temperatures were a little warmer but being on the coast is great. I have to say that I did get lost in San Clemente for a bit but I was able to find my way and get back on track, thanks to some kind people outside of 7Eleven. After winding through Camp Pendleton I ended my route in Oceanside. For the night, we were able to stay with some friends in their house in Vista and shared a nice meal with them on our last night of the trip.

Day 28 – Ventura to Long Beach, CA

Coming into the county of Los Angeles brought with it a hint of familiarity. Cruising along Venice beach was a reminder of all of the beach trips I’ve made to that same spot. The sun felt amazing and the smell of the beach made me want to jump in the water and go surfing… note to self, next time I decide to bike down the coast I should definitely bring my surfboard along with me. Once I left the coast and hopped back on the Pacific Coast Highway, the ride was a little bit more difficult. With the non-existent bike lane and the heavy traffic rushing by it was definitely a little nerve wrecking. Luckily, starting tomorrow morning I only have about four miles left on the busy highway before jumping back onto the beach bike back at Seal Beach.

Day 25 – Cambria to San Luis Obispo, CA

Today was definitely a late start, not setting out until around 11am. The good thing was that by the time I started riding the coastal fog had moved out and left a gorgeous sunny day. While riding around San Luis Obispo and Pismo beach I realized that the landscape has started to look a little more like the southern California coast that I am used to, with palm trees lining the beaches. As the day’s short trip ended I finally got around to doing some much-needed laundry and then worked on my bike a little, adjusting my breaks and such.