Friday, November 4, 2011

Mission San Luis Rey and a 60th Birthday

Yesterday was The Male's 60th birthday.  And, in a completely not-to-character decision, he actually took the entire day off work.  Incredible!  He decided that he'd like to go for a ride down to the next mission on our list, San Luis Rey, in Oceanside.  And, he wanted me to go, too! 
Which, if you understand him at all, is a huge decision.  He is ever fearful that I'll get my self killed on his watch.  Which is, frankly, a reasonable concern.  Our ride involved 70 miles one-way, of mostly freeway riding.  And, he wasn't at all sure that I could keep up freeway speeds, and thereby not get run over by a semi, so you can see what a sacrifice he made...
We mapped out our route, got geared up, and headed out.  It was a gorgeous day to be out and about, with a clear blue sky and perfect temperature.  We got gas first, then on to the 405.  We stayed in the right-hand lane as much as possible, going a respectable 60MPH.  Respectable for me, at least.
It was wonderful to not have to stop at stop lights over and over, to just sit and ride.  Of course, I stayed vigilant, and have the sore neck today to show for it.  But, it was so much more pleasant than city streets.
We made it to the mission in a little over an hour, got gas, and had lunch before we began our visit.

The ride back was a little more tense.  The traffic started to bunch up about 20 miles from home.  And, as I get more tired, my stops tend to get sloppy.  I was dreading stop-and-go traffic for 20 miles, and I could easily see myself dropping the bike.  But, all my slow-speed training came in quite handy, as I only had to come to a complete feet-down stop twice.  One of those stops, I stalled the bike.  But, it was easy to get going again, and the traffic wasn't moving much, so I didn't cause a scene. 
One of the little joys of riding is catching scents that you wouldn't get in a car:  sizzling french fries, eucalyptus trees, the ocean...  But, there are others out there, like skunks and pot.  Yep, amazingly enough, not once, but twice, we passed drivers, windows down, smoking a joint!  On the freeway!  Be careful out there, friends...