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10/05/2012: "In the SLO Lane"
Bike lane in San Luis Obispo
Bike lane on California Street, San Luis Obispo

Not many pictures this time, because this was a real vacation, not my usual working vacation. But of course I can't help taking some photos of bicycle infrastructure, wherever I am. And so for this week's little journey....

We got on Amtrak's delightful Coast Starlight last Sunday with a couple of folding bikes and rode it up to San Luis Obispo in the the Central Coast wine country. It's a great eating town, surrounded by farm country and vineyards in rolling oak-studded hills, and only ten miles form the Pacific Ocean. There's a big college there—Cal Poly—and a sweet downtown centered on a creek. Lots of older bungalows and newer copies of older bungalows, and, unfortunately, a number of strip-malls outside the literally brick-and-mortar core.

And plenty of bicycle infrastructure: bike lanes, bike paths, sharrows, bike racks, and even a number of bike corrals. Ditto cyclists—not just college students, though there were plenty of those, but men and women of all ages, some on road bikes, but many more on utility bikes. Our bed & breakfast had bikes for guests to use and a nightly lockup room for those who had brought their own (non-folding) bikes.

We rode everywhere—to shopping, to meals, to and from the train station of course, and one hot but clear day along the main road through the wine country.

This last brought us to the quietest place we'd been in years, where a car passed maybe every eight or ten minutes, and the only sound was of grape leaves rustling in the breeze. We stopped at three tasting rooms to sample wines, and the carry bag, which was mounted on my bike, got heavier as we chose bottles to bring home. Our ride went as far as Pismo Beach, so counting the return trip we rode about twenty-eight miles. My longest ride since the little stroke in August.

Back home now, refreshed and relaxed, and a little fatter. Time to ride more!

Creekside Brewery
Creekside Brewery, in downtown San Luis Obispo, one of our lunch stops

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