“In the abundance of water the fool is thirsty” – Bob Marley, Rat Race
Don’t know about you, but I hate going to work. It’s not so much the work I do (I can’t complain much about that) but the physical act of dragging myself out of bed in the morning is sometimes a struggle. It probably has something to do with the daily fight with traffic that has beat me into submission like the pile driver they’ve been using in the freeway bridge construction area that I furtively stop, then go, then stop, then go through (all the while accompanied by the Bam, Bam, Bam of the machinery) on the way into work as of late. Wow do I dread that sound. So in the interest of keeping what’s left of my sanity, this morning I decided to try a new route on the bike.
I’ve had a plan brewing in the back of my brain to create what could possibly be Southern California’s greatest bike commute. OK, that’s probably a tad optimistic and overly grandiose (it’s just a bike ride), but within my existing workday paradigm it’s going to be one fine ride. Keeping to the dirt as much as possible it will link together a few of the Orange County Park trail systems. The past few months I’ve been exploring a few areas and have it almost mapped out, I just need to get up early enough to pull it off.
This morning I decided to up the ante and add yet another section along the beach at San Onofre State Beach. As if to encourage me to do so, the morning was perfect for riding… and stopping to enjoy the view… and riding… and stopping to inhale and feel the warm salt air fill my lungs… and riding. This is my kind of stop and go traffic.
The trail wound down through the bluffs to the beach, where I was greeted by a perfect surface for riding even with the “compromise” 40mm Clement MSO tires I’ve been using on my Salsa Fargo for dirt/road excursions such as this. They roll well on pavement, yet they float through the sand as well. This morning after a few miles of riding at the water’s edge the beach then narrowed and lapped at the bluffs as I neared the San Onofre Nuclear plant, so if I want to maximize my beach riding I’ll have to check the tide tables and plan this “commute de résistance” accordingly. Either that or bring a packraft, but that might up the level of difficulty a tad too much.
Following this beach section I plan on riding up through the San Clemente Singletracks and loop through some of the San Juan Capistrano open space trails before a bit of road riding until I reach Aliso and Woods Canyon for some more dirt. After crossing over Laguna Canyon I’ll ride more fire roads through designated open space to near where I work in Irvine. Over a fresh bagel and cup of strong coffee, I’ll then no doubt rejoice in the glow of another day’s employment. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
As much as I love traveling and seeing new places, finding a little slice of heaven in the mundane and commonplace is the greatest gift of all. There’s water out there, and this fool will not go thirsty….