After yesterday’s long ascent up to Big Bear, I was looking forward to descent the darn thing. Todays ride would be 240 kilometers with about 2000 meters of ascent, so a long descent to ‘warm up’ would be amazing. The joy of a long descent of Big Bear was short lived though, I was continuously going up and down. I couldn’t be bothered though, the views were amazing! Funny enough the scenery reminded me a lot of the French Rivera, except the pavement here is a lot better, the roads have shoulders to ride on and last but not least, motorists pay attention and don’t pass you with centimeters to spare. Cycling in the States dangerous? Yes, but not as dangerous as parts of France and Italy to be fair.
Sixty kilometers into the ride I rode past Silverwood Lake, which I had totally forgotten about. What a nice surprise! I wouldn’t mind to stay there for a couple of days, big fat hint for anyone looking for a holiday location! It unfortunately also marked the end of ‘general descending’, from here it’d be rolling hills for a long time. Not much later I entered Hesperia / Victorville. I planned my lunch stop here. Cycling through these big towns takes ages though, so many stop signs and traffic lights. So much traffic. Ugh.
Before I left Victorville I bought some fluids for the endlessly straight and long (130 km) ride up north. I met some guys at the general store who just couldn’t believe I came from Big Bear in the first place. When I told them I was headed for New York they were amazed. They had never cycled themselves yet, but I hope they will soon. I mean, how hard can it be?
Leaving Victorville there was a lot of construction work on the road. This meant there was sometimes little or no shoulder to ride on. I also had to ride in the rubble most of the time. I guess you know where this is going: another puncture. Fortunately I carried another spare tube (my final one) and you can’t practise changing tubes enough for that one time it really matters, right?
The rest of the ride was pretty straight(forward), just endless straightforward and headwinds, allowing me to enjoy the ride even longer. I noticed a lot of military facilities on the map, I even saw a huge ‘parking’ for aircraft. As the sun set I turned on my lights. Todays new trick was to attach my red rear light to the back of my helmet to be even more visible. Judging from how cars would pass me after this I think it worked really well. I’m looking forward to discovering more of these hacks along the way!
As I approached Ridgecrest (in the dark) I suddenly noticed bright light descending really quick and disappearing again (landing / crashing / impacting I guess). As the object was unidentified for me I’m save to call it an UFO, although I think a shooting star would’ve been most likely. Later I learned the military does target practise in the area. Fortunately bicycles are hard to see on radar. I hope.
As todays ride took longer than I hoped (headwinds for over 150 km) I arrived at my hotel late. After check-in I wanted to go for dinner a couple of kilometers away, but guess what. Another flat. I had dinner around the corner in a classic diner (thank you flat, the place was amazing) and went to bed. I was so tired!