Leaving Los Angeles :: Meeting Friends Old & New

Kai & JP cycling to breakfast in Hermosa Beach.

After spending a couple of days exploring Los Angeles we were ready to move on, but not before visiting with friend JP over breakfast in Hermosa Beach.

JP had moved from Vermont to Los Angeles for his job as a web developer and we hadn’t seen him for over a year so we were excited to find out how he was acclimating to the move.  Although he was sad he had to leave behind playing bass for the New England based Indie/West-African Psychedelic Funk band Barika (pronounced body-kah), he was loving the change of place, especially the weather it brought with it.  And we were glad to hear that after having a few months to settle into his new life he was refocusing his attention on his photography, having just arranged his first show in L.A.!

JP, Hermosa Beach, CA

JP

Some examples of JP’s photography (check out more of his fantastic photos on his website):

School (Burma) by JP Candelier

Bethal, VT by JP Candelier

After exchanging goodbye hugs and before taking an inland shortcut through Torrence and Carson to our host’s home in Long Beach, we decided to just stop and sit for a bit, in the sun, near the beach, and just do nothing but watch the surfers ride the waves.  [Click here to see our photos on Flickr if you can’t see the slideshow below.]

Surfers at Redondo Beach, CA

Surfers at Redondo Beach, CA

Surfers at Redondo Beach, CA

Surfers at Redondo Beach, CA

Surfers at Redondo Beach, CA

Surfers at Redondo Beach, CA

Surfers at Redondo Beach, CA

Surfers at Redondo Beach, CA

Surfers at Redondo Beach, CA

Surfers at Redondo Beach, CA

Surfers at Redondo Beach, CA

Surfers at Redondo Beach, CA

Surfers at Redondo Beach, CA

Surfers at Redondo Beach, CA

Surfers at Redondo Beach, CA

Surfers at Redondo Beach, CA

We lazily made our way to Long Beach where we spent the evening with lovely warmshowers.org hosts Karen and Gary.  The next morning we rode through an on-and-off-again light rain down the coast for a quick overnight with our hosts Dennis and Diane in Corona del Mar.  Due to the drizzly weather, we had the beaches to ourselves.  It was a bit eerie, miles of deserted sand beaches and boardwalks before us, our only company that of the oil rigs just offshore.

Bike path along Los Angeles River

Bike path along Los Angeles River, riding to Long Beach

Huntington Beach

Deserted Beaches

Sheila, Huntington Beach

Sheila, Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach, CA
Tidal Pool
Rain Day, Cycling through Huntington Beach

We made some new friends cycling from Corona del Mar through Laguna Beach.  Mike, a local cyclist riding a beautiful, classic, Bridgestone, caught up with us as we were cycling into Laguna Beach and slowed his pace to chat with us.   He led us off the busy Pacific Coast Highway and onto quieter side roads to a beautiful lunch spot. (Thanks Mike!)  Further down the road we ran into Marilyn, a local journalist, who stopped us to ask a plethora of questions which ended with a video interview.  Who knows?  We may show up in the Little Laguna News someday!

Kai & Mike, Cycling through Laguna Beach

Mike & Kai cycling toward Laguna Beach

Kai, Laguna Beach

Our lunch spot in Laguna Beach

Tesla, Laguna Beach

Spotted this Tesla dealership next to a Ferrari dealership in Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach

Marilyn, from Little Laguna Beach News, with Kai

It’s meeting people like JP, Mike, Marilyn and all our hosts along the way that help counter the more frustrating parts of bicycle touring.  Without our interactions with Mike and Marilyn the rest of our day would have consisted only of one unfortunate event after another:  my losing a pair of cycling gloves early in their life, some unfortunate conversations with a local whose joy in life seemed to be spewing out hateful racist commentaries, having to very defensively navigate our way through Laguna Beach’s antagonistic traffic (which included a lack of bicycle lanes or shoulders, people’s inability to share the road, and a very close call with a guy in a van who literally stared me down as he tried to run me over!), and, by far, our worse hike/bike state park experience yet (see our video of the flooded and noisy hike/bike area of Doheney State Park here).

But, such is life.  You take the bad with the good, understanding that both are necessary to gaining a wider personal perspective of our world and ourselves.  And you offer a little prayer of thanks to all the kind souls out there, inhale deeply, exhale slowly, and move on.

We left Doheney State Park unrested and feeling downtrodden so we decided to make a short run down the coast to San Onofre State Park, but when we got there, we found it closed.

San Onofre State Park

San Onofre State Park

Unfortunately we had taken our time cycling there, thinking we were going to call it an early day so it was already late in the afternoon.  As if sensing our intention to find a secluded and hidden place in the completely deserted six miles of the state park to set up camp for the night, rangers driving through pulled up beside us in their pick up truck and, in short order, indicated that we needed to move on.  They waited and watched to make sure we left the park, knowing full well that we were not only going to have to race 30 miles to the next campsite, but that we would also have to be cleared through security to be able to ride through a Marine Corp base to do so.  With little light left in the day, and no alternative, we dug deep into that place of focus and furiously rode toward Camp Pendleton’s southern gate entrance, only hoping that they would be allowing civilian cycling traffic through the base at this time of the day.  Thankfully, after checking our identification, we were waved through without incident.  Not wanting to take photos of a military base, nor having any desire to linger near one, we didn’t get many photos of this part of our route.  However, the roadside memorial for a cyclist that was struck and killed warranted a pause and a silent acknowledgement of how fleeting life is.

On Bike route through Camp Pendleton

Roadside memorial for cyclist, on Camp Pendleton Base

By the time we exited Camp Pendleton we were both exhuasted and evening was upon us.  Instead of trying to battle the traffic-laden roads in the dark we decided to stop and collapse at a cheap hotel in Oceanside, where we were met with a congratulatory view of the sunset.

Oceanside Sunset

View of from hotel in Oceanside, CA

:::::

Next Stop : Southern California to Tecate border crossing

2 comments to Leaving Los Angeles :: Meeting Friends Old & New

  • Elliott

    Hi! I’ve been following yr blog, and am inspired by your bike adventure as well as your deliberate actions to live more deliberately and to get off the keep-up-with-the-jonese treadmill. To get back in touch with what’s important – getting to know ourselves, others, what is really meaningful in life. I’m reading a book called “Affluenza” about the virus infecting us and others around the world to buy more, spend more, that things are the key to happiness. no way. no, no way. Check it out, think you’d enjoy it.

    These sentences in your latest entry really hit me:

    “But, such is life. You take the bad with the good, understanding that both are necessary to gaining a wider personal perspective of our world and ourselves. And you offer a little prayer of thanks to all the kind souls out there, inhale deeply, exhale slowly, and move on.”

    So well said. And your point about giving thanks for the kind people out there, not dwelling on the bad ones, the ones who flip you off or are trying to hurt you or discredit you. But don’t give them any thought. Don’t give them a second of your time or a millimeter of your mind. But to see the good in life, what is beautiful in our world. and there is lots and lots and lots that is so beautiful in our world and in the people we meet, if we slow down and open our eyes wide and reach out our hands to others. like you suggested, this moment has passed. give thanks for kindness, take a deep breath, and move ahead to the next moment. amen to that. amen to that. keep sharing your thoughts. you give many of us inspiration and example of a different kind of life from the rat race. another life that is possible. thanks for showing us that, and showing by example what you believe.

    • Elliott: Wow! Thanks for the kind words and encouragement. You have no idea how much it means to us – it helps us keep our chins up when the going gets rough. We’ll take a look at that book, thanks for the tip. Keep up the good fight! 🙂

Leave a Reply