Day 28: Half Moon Bay – New Brighton State Beach

Day 28: Half Moon Bay – New Brighton State Beach

Distance: 60.94 miles.
Time: 5:52.
Average Speed: 10.4 mph.

It was cold and damp when I left the campsite this morning, so I rolled along to the Half Moon Bay Main Street for breakfast. I’d woken feeling hungry, despite wolfing down a McDonald’s at 5 o’clock yesterday, and then, on setting up camp, heading for a ‘super burrito’ at a nearby Mexican restaurant. The burrito was enormous and great value, at $9 including a side of tortilla chips.

Leaving Half Moon Bay, I was delighted to find I was accompanied by a tailwind, which was lucky as there were a couple of stiff climbs during the first portion of the ride.

I passed some nice beaches at San Gregorio and Pescadero, but the overcast conditions weren’t painting them in their best light. After Pescadero I reached Pigeon Point, and took a short side trip to the fine lighthouse there.

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I stopped shortly after, for lunch, the roadside bar being one of the few amenities along this stretch.

Heading back onto the highway, I discovered my back tyre was soft and needed attention. I found glass embedded in the tyre that appeared to be the cause of the puncture. As I changed it, I wondered whether I’d made a mistake yesterday, while waiting for Matt’s wheel, by spending the best part of an hour outside a bike shop without buying any new inner tubes! Luckily, the repaired one I put on seemed up to the job.

Back on the road, I still had the wind on my side, and I was flying along at 18-19 mph for mile after mile. Then, around 5, the sun came out and it was finally the nice day that had been forecast, and with the strong winds there were kite surfers out in force all along the coast.

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Finally, reaching Santa Cruz, I turned onto a bike path, and a young couple turned into my guides, leading me to the path along the coast and explaining the route ahead. The guy had previously toured in Europe, and we spoke of his routes in Corsica.

I passed the boardwalk fairground, and crossed an old railway bridge converted for pedestrians, then as I continued around the coast an older couple stopped to ask if I needed somewhere to stay, as they regularly hosted cyclists. I felt terrible turning them down, but I was in full on ‘I must get to the campsite now and this day has been a complete write- off otherwise’ mode. It was, however, just another example of the generosity and thoughtfulness I’ve come to experience during this trip.

Despite the huge tailwind, I didn’t arrive at the campsite until 20 past 8, it hadn’t been that hard a day, so I’d hoped to arrive earlier. Presumably not starting until after ten had something to do with it. There won’t be the same luxury tomorrow, check-out time for bikers is 9am!

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