The weeks of planning are over; it was time for a test ride. Barbara and I had been gathering up the wardrobe for this 4th of July, 5-day train/bike trip to San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, so it was easy to stuff it all in the panniers and take a test ride.
Our destination? At first we thought the Back Bay loop; it’s a great outing, mostly following a quiet bike path, but since it was a Monday the peninsula had more appeal. Why Mondays? Because during weekends the boardwalk is way too crowded for a leisurely ride, but a cloudy, cool, late morning ride sounded perfectly suitable for this maiden voyage of sorts. And there’d be someplace fun for lunch.
The bike opens up so many opportunities for exploring; if it’s flat, and the peninsula is all that, then it’s easy to follow whatever alley beckons.
We discovered Sabatino’s on the Lido peninsula some months ago. It’s well off the beaten path, in a boat yard no less, so it feels like locals-only. We stumbled upon it one Sunday for brunch and the chili & sausage omelet Barbara let me taste was the best on planet Earth! As a bonus, you sit outside under the umbrellas and can easily keep an eye on your bike. This time I had the turkey sandwich, and if I have already used too many superlatives let me just say it was sublime. This is the life! The two of us exploring new out-of-the-way places, out in the fresh air, lingering over lunch then burning off the calories on the ride home.
So what’s the verdict of this fully-loaded test ride?
We could definitely feel the weight going up the short hill near home, and lifting the bike off the Balboa Island ferry took two hands, but otherwise, the ride was a breeze. I hardly noticed the extra weight on the bike. It was so comfortable I’m going to throw in a pair of jeans to wear out to dinner in San Luis Obispo Friday night; Barbara thinks Ciopinot will be more formal than my bike shorts will accommodate, so now I will dress for dinner.
Stay tuned for more updates. We depart Thursday morning with a 12mi ride to the Irvine AMTRAK station. However it turns out, it will be memorable. And car-free. Now if I can just get my two teenagers to pack…