North to Santa Barbara

I couldn’t have chosen a worse time of day to leave Los Angeles due to the ridiculously stressful traffic congestion. I suppose it would be fair to say that in LA there is no good time for avoiding traffic but nonetheless people, the ordeal is horrendous I tell you!

I spent a few hours bouncing from corporate headquarters of various companies I thought would be interested in sponsoring The Pegasus Project. Since 100% of donations go to the American Cancer Society for Cancer research funding, I am in need of a sponsor to actually help with the costs of the project. So I paid a visit to Monster Energy Drink, which didn’t even give me a chance to introduce myself, RedBull which did have a guy meet me on a few minutes and offered no less than a 24-pack, Cycle World magazine which took some pictures and promised to put it on their Facebook page, Shoe Helmets which offered me the chance to come back when the right marketing guy returned from vacation in a month and GoPro which offered nothing at all.

The least painful experience was at the Kawasaki North American headquarters which, at my good fortune, sent two cute girls to hear me out and later offered me extra parts for the bike such as levers and brackets which I was politely reminded that I was certainly going to break somewhere along the way. So it isn’t exactly what I had hoped for but at least they called me back with some good news. So thank you, Kawasaki.

Finally being released from the grips of LA traffic, I headed north following the coastal highway 1. The plan was to spend a day or two with my good friend Amy Silva whom I met while living in Brazil last year. Amy is a super fun girl with a smile that could get her anything she wanted and I was especially looking forward to reconnecting with her.

On the way there I dodged the cold weather from the ocean and some where after Santa Monica I took a road inland that curved higher and higher until I eventually stood right over the coast of Malibu with thick fog on that coastal side, and sunny hills directly behind me. My goal was to ride the infamous Mulholland highway where many a rider failed to keep the rubber down; an evil trait of an easily recognizable curve whose scraped pavement and sideline trees are  symbolically adorned with the plastic fairings and bumpers of those unlucky men who lost their battle. I chose not to push any limits this time.

It was also on this road that I encountered a rather large snake which I don’t believe was poisonous and which proved to be absolutely delicious!.

“Deceiving I know, you wouldn’t expect the evil thing to taste so good but after I cut the head off the little bastard and yanked the slithery skin down the tail it became obvious that the fat-less white meat would be worth the sticky effort”.

Ok, so I admit,  the entire previous paragraph is false; I didn’t kill the little bugger, although the thought was present! But not for any other reason mind you than for the fact that I was rushing to get  to Santa Barbara and also because I wasn’t really hungry at the time. I always wanted to try snake meat though I hear it is rather rubbery. That’s OK, I am sure there will be plenty more along the way.

Now picture this: my home in Santa Barbara was with not one, not two but three lovely girls, living together in an apartment with a single bedroom all three share! I know right! But I must say, that futon in the living room was the most comfortable thing I have yet laid my bones on 🙂

My few days with Amy, her roommates and Todd, another buddy from Brazil was spent in total excess of food and drink. Our main duties for the day consisted of dropping by Trader Joe’s and purchasing the beef, vegetables and smore ingredients that we would take back to the grill conveniently located 5 steps between the apartment door and the pool. We all drank till it made everything possible feel better, then Todd dutifully grilled the food as the girls prepared the vegetables. I naturally stayed out of the way and made myself busy with documenting the feast.

The next morning, fairly sober we visited our other awesome friend Nadia who participated in that day’s, annual Summer solstice parade which was a sight to see. People in all kinds of costumes, swarms of locals on the sidelines enjoying the dancers and the floats, live music and pretty girls everywhere. It was great.

A few day later, (due to the excessive food and drink I do not recall how many days I actually spent in Santa Barbara) I said goodbye to my amazing friends and continued north towards San Francisco. Todd and Amy too went on a little trip of their own.

A huge thanks and an even bigger “beijo” for all my old and new friends in Santa Barbara.

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