Day 18 – Ventura to Santa Monica (98.7 Km)

Only short days left in the saddle, but lots of exploring and non cycling activities to do!

Once again I couldn’t sleep in. A Poptart and a banana for breakfast and I was on my way. No sooner had I hit my morning rythm than I bumped in to the Fireman charity riders. As I headed through Oxnard I was shouted at as I passed their fire station starting point. Today was their final day of riding and they had a cavalcade of fire engines supporting them for the first and last sections of the stage. Generously they invited me to join them, epic, I couldn’t turn them down.

I rode with the fire fighters until their first stop, I didn’t want to outstay my welcome, so pushed on. I also wanted to be able to see them finish their journey and congratulate them at the end without being part of it. It just didn’t seem right any other way.

On I went and soon I found myself in Malibu, where it is safe to say, there is some money! The cars parked up and driving through were akin to the ones on show at Carmel a few days ago. The houses were pretty epic too. Well, at least the backs looked good, the good ones all front the beach and the road is behind them!

A brief stop for a coffee and I finished my day cycling before 11. I haven’t provided many pictures of where I have been staying up until this point, but today’s is pretty special.

I quickly showered, changed and ran out of the room, so that I could get to Santa Monica Pier and watch the firefighters finish and so as not to catch anything! My trusty silk liner was clearly needed later on.

Watching the guys and girls finishing and being waved in by their families and friends was amazing, they have raised so much and have such great support, I felt quite honoured to have been a very small part of their journey.

I left them once again to celebrate and went off to explore Venice Beach. What a place. It was sensory overload, a great beach, street basketball, an amazing concrete bowl skate park, balance ropes, Olympic rings and of course, Muscle Beach. Muscle Beach was actually the biggest anticlimax of the whole day. I expected a massive outdoor gym full of Schwarzenegger-esk giants, but it was all a bit tired and normal.

It may have been a disappointment, but it didn’t stop me from buying this:

I currently have no idea how this will fit in my bike for the next three days, but I need it as my new work drinking bottle, idiot.

Anyway, the rest of the day was made up with me cycling up and down the promenade witnessing the weird and the wonderful. I locked my bike up, so I could dip my toes in the ocean, but as I did I was told by three separate people I was crazy to leave my bike, even for a second. The fear and paranoia set in fast, so I called it a day and headed back to the motel.

Feeling itchy, either from the bed or the relatively low level of today’s exercise, I decided I’d go for a run in the sun. It turns out my legs still work for non cycling activities, just.

Another short day tomorrow, almost there.

2 thoughts on “Day 18 – Ventura to Santa Monica (98.7 Km)”

  1. David what an interesting day and fun to team up with the firemen and to be at the finish line for them. Good to see the sights and there are a lot of them too, you may call in and see the Queen Mary at Newport Beach,but not today . I am guessing you may get to.Long Beach or maybe as far as Huntington Beach. Good luck and enjoy nearly there.


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