I’ve reached the coast – not quite the 1,000+ mile cycle it should have been to get here but never mind!
Two major incidents of note on the way: being chased by a chihuahua and witnessing a car crash of sorts.
It’s common to have dogs bark at you as you cycle past so when a chihuahua came running out its driveway not barking, I slowed down to engage in what I thought would be a friendly greeting but no, the baby-faced assassin was out to get me, running alongside, growling and snapping at my heels. I expected to easily out-pace it but blimey, these things can SHIFT! A frantic turn of pace saw Reggie hit double figures and all I could hear was the whirring of wheels but when I looked down, I saw the Mexican was still on me.
The cold dead eyes of a killer…
It was getting to the stage where I thought physical encouragement might be needed to get him to retreat but when on a bike it’s hard to control a kick and how much force there’ll be on contact. Get the execution wrong with a chihuahua and what’s meant as a gentle warning nudge could easily end up as “I’m terribly sorry, I’ve just killed Pepe”.
Stamina eventually won the day and we parted ways with my ankle still intact.
The incident with the car was odd. I’d pulled over to the side of the road in Triangle Lake, a tiny lakeside town that’s an excellent example of why inbreeding is not a good idea. Shortly after, there’s a squeal of brakes and pieces of wood fly up in the air followed by a cloud of dust. My fellow kerb dwellers and I ran/pedalled round the corner to see if anyone was hurt and a blatantly bra-less woman, overweight and under-supported, parents quite possibly cousins, was running around arms flailing with a car now parked in her garden. It had driven straight through the wooden fence and was just sitting there with 2 guys slowly climbing out of it trying to avoid the splintered planks that littered the place. No one was hurt in what turned out to be a local dispute, a carefully planned yard raid rather than an accident. The car would have had to do a sharp 90 degree turn to get from the road to its resting place.
The dunes are amazing and go on for miles inland so it’s quite a trek to reach the sea which is maybe why many people seem not to bother so it’s just you, gulls and plovers on miles of otherwise empty beach.
There are loads of cyclists on the coast going down highway 101 which is mixed blessings: lots of people to hang out with but, conversely, locals aren’t that interested in talking as you’re not the exotic species deviated from its normal migratory path that people elsewhere treat you as. Here I am just a pigeon.
Plus I think a lot of the cars and RVs are tired of having to shift over to give cyclists some room so I don’t feel particularly welcome on this section of highway (although I’ve only done 20 miles of it) and am looking forward to returning inland via quieter roads and my more natural habitat.