If you want to qualify for Paris-Brest-Paris (1200km ride to complete in less than 90 hours), you need to do a series of "brevet" rides: 200km, 300km, 400km, 600km. This week-end, I went to San Luis Obispo to do the 200km. Contrary to the centuries, brevets are unsupported rides, you have to bring your own food.
The San Luis Obispo brevet was going for a large part along the coast, on the Pacific Coast Highway. The day was very sunny, not too hot, not too cold. Well, a perfect day for being outside and bike. Except that I forgot my sunglasses in my car, and the sun cream at home. Nevertheless, I completed the ride in 8h30min. This sounded incredible to me, I spent so much time taking pictures, looking at everything, talking to people and dealing with an old lady at Hearst castle's tourist information center (I needed to check the route, I could manage to get lost anywhere, even on the pacific coast highway when there is no exit to be missed !)
The best part of the day was by far when I met with two beggar-looking guys, who actually liked biking a lot. The first one, shaking my hand with his hand which had no more fingers, had just crossed America on his bike, in 2 months and 3 days. "Go inside get some food, he tells me, you can get 2 hot-dogs for 1$ !". The second dude, even more beggar-looking than the other, was riding an old rusted fixed gear probably from the 60's. He claimed to have done Los Angeles-Santa Barbara on it, with his sleeping bag tied on the handlebar. He was planning to go to France for biking and visiting the castles along the Loire. I talked a while with these dudes, tried the fancy fixed gear bike, but unfortunately I had to go...