Strawberry Fields Forever

Strawberry fields

The strawberry fields of Southern California. We could smell them before we ever saw them

I’m not sure what the Beatles were singing about but today we rode through so much farmland and the strawberry fields were absolutely fabulous. Today was also our biggest day so far, 75 miles, and we still got in at a reasonable 5pm. We had some flatter terrain to thank for that along with some inspired riding on my part. I was pumped to push the pace a bit as my legs were feeling their strongest since the SF layover. Plus, I was pushing to get to the town of Guadalupe, 48 miles into the ride and our chosen lunch spot, so I could try and catch the second half of the 49ers game.

We got going around 8:15 this morning from Morro Bay State Park and were cruising pretty quickly. I’m still new at this biking thing and still trying to figure out the most efficient and effective ways to ride. I had been using the lower gears for awhile to try and save my legs. This means I was not pushing as hard, but I was pushing faster oftentimes. Today, I went with the bigger gears, pushed a little slower, but also pushed a bit harder. I was no more tired this way today and we were able to get in 48 miles by lunchtime. I was very pleased with the ride and with the new riding strategy.

Today was also a slightly different ride than most days out here on Highway 1 because of the land we were going through. So much of the ride has been on the coast looking out over the ocean (see the many mentions of wanting to sail and be out on that very ocean). But today was different because much of the day was slightly more inland, in dry valleys with lots of farmland. We passed many different types of crops but the best was the strawberries. They are distinct because they are grown in rows of raised dirt covered with plastic. We have seen them growing before while we were riding closer to Santa Cruz but today, the smells were so strong, I had to stop and take pictures and really take it all in because there were so many strawberries and they were so impactful on my senses.

Lastly, the people we were around for our lunchtime in the town of Guadalupe were likely the folks working many of those fields and they were so fun to be around. I walked into a place with mainly Mexican food on the menu and lots of Hispanic people sitting around. I asked if they’d be ok with putting the niners game on TV, and then noticed the young guy working the store had a Raiders hat on. We joked about that and then he found the game. We were getting beat pretty good then, 23-3 by the Eagles but we stayed anyway. And then the niners got back in the game and eventually won. It was fun because many of the old guys sitting around started getting into the game and were all quite pleased with the situation and for me when we came back and won the game.

It was a good day of riding, good town time, and a pleasant change of scenery as we rode through the amazing strawberry fields.

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