Oh, California. How I love thee. From the mountains, to the beaches, to hiking trails. There's no end to the natural beauty that this state has to offer. After having the amazing opportunity to live in the beautiful ski town of Mammoth Lakes for three years, my boyfriend and I moved to the Bay Area a little over a year ago. The hills are breathtaking, the city life is stimulating and we are able to do bike trips to beautiful places such as Half Moon Bay.
Half Moon Bay is a coastal city in San Mateo county and super cute with breathtaking views of the ocean and magnificent cliffs. We planned this trip a few of weeks ago and decided it would be fun to take BART (a subway system in the East Bay and San Francisco area) to the end and then bike 20 miles to our hotel.
Twenty miles. Given that I literally could only bike 3 miles in one shot this time last year, this was a huge feat for me. I was prepared for a little bit of a hill midway through and then smooth sailing to the coast after that. We left around 9:30a and planned on checking into the hotel around 2:00p.
Right. After a 45 mile trek, a 5 mile DEATH climb, numb fingers and fighting the urge to physically hurt my boyfriend, we arrived in the quaint town around 5:30pm. Yes, eight loooooong hours later. Why? Because instead of taking our original path, we were persuaded by this biking "guru" guy to take this other route that would only add "30 minutes or so" to our trip. Clearly an emphasis on the "or so".
But, as I was climbing the never-ending 5 mile hill and descending down a chilly shady path where my fingers and toes literally went numb, I took a moment to soak in what was around me. Mostly because my lungs needed a freakin break, but also because the views were spectacular. And the chirping birds were music to my ears. And the rustling leaves were a soothing reminder that sometimes its not always the destination that matters. Its the path that you take to get there that helps you realize what's most important. I realized how strong my body was, how beautiful nature really is and how much I love and appreciate the talent that my man possesses and how safe and secure I feel around him.
As sappy as all that is, it also made me realize that while its great to have goals, its equally important to treasure every step and lesson learned along the way. There was a point during the uphill climb in the blistering sun when I wished for a downhill trek in the shade. And I got it. And you know what, it was equally as tough. Although I was sweating bullets during the climb, the downhill portion was so cold and a crazy treacherous. But, on the flipside, it was a welcomed change to the environment I was in before. All in all, every point of the ride, albeit challenging, offered a gift that was meant to be treasured. While it lasted.
I also grew a deeper appreciation for biking in general. As someone who just got into biking a year ago, up until this point I honestly did not understand why people spent thousands of dollars on a bike. And my boyfriend works for a bike company! During this trip, I was fortunate to ride a Specialized bike, The Ruby, which retails for about $3,000. Crazy, right?! Until you realize how important it is to have a light, fast, rotational mass thingy thing (or whatever you nerdy engineers call it) on a trip like the one we took.
After having a great meal, a couple of cocktails and spending the night in a gorgeous hotel with a much needed hot tub, we took a shorter path home. Which had its own pros and cons. Mostly the cons consisted of semi trucks whizzing past us at 80 miles per hour, BUT it was half the distance. And after doing 45 miles the day before, I could appreciate this short yet dangerous route.
70 miles. 2 days. On a Bike. Lesson Learned: Its not always the destination that matters. Its the Journey getting there.
Fall in Love with Your Journey.™
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