Santa Barbara to Santa Monica
Distance: 93.4 miles Elevation: 1,948 feet
We started day 5 off with a quick bike maintenance session as everyone got their bikes cleaned up from the mess which was day 4. I say quick, but what was meant to be a 15/20 minutes job turned into a full hour of getting our bikes not just spick and span, but also mechanically sound. The grit, and dirt from the rain the previous day had made its way into the rear derailleurs, chains and gears of all our bikes! Nobody had any patience for rubbing chains for the next 8 hours!
We set off as a group through Santa Barbara and out onto the freeway; we followed the road alongside the seafront and the views were absolutely amazing. It seems all week, the weather has been a little foggy in the mornings, and day 5 was no exception, but it did clear to sunshine soon after! Steve (CEO of Cry in the Dark) and a few others saw some dolphins jumping out of the water alongside the beach which is pretty insane!
Whilst day 5 was flat, it was still tough; legs began to tire, wind began to pick up, and we were all lacking at least a bit of sleep! One of the things that has kept all 21 of the cyclists going throughout the week has been the support team. We have had 2 cars and a van carrying not only our clothes, but also providing directions, food, water and gummy bears! Those in them (Beth, Kay, Phil, Holly & Elaine) have all been hugely supportive on every day of the ride and it literally is a matter of ‘ask and ye shall deliver’. I have a huge amount of respect for these guys & the job they’ve done all week without question!
The whole of day 5 was pretty flat as you can see from the gradient map at the top of this page; we could blitz along in our not-so-pro-peleton and stayed at pretty steady pace throughout the day. As the sun went down we had the most beautiful views over LA as we rode into Santa Monica. It was pretty funny because we saw a digital sign saying ‘3 hours until Sunset’; so we stopped at the side of the road to watch the sun go down and to take some photos, later realising that it was referring to the time until ‘Sunset Boulevard’ the road, and not the earth’s rotation around the sun!
Day 5 was a nice gentle 94 miles; still a long way to cycle in a day, but compared to day 3, and the awful rain & punctures on day 4 it was heaven!
Here are a few more photos of day 5: