Rod McLaughlin

The girl with faraway eyes (09 nov 12)

...the only Stones song to mention Bakersfield.

They've just come out with a 50th anniversary Greatest Hits compilation. I hope that parody of country music is on it.

Wonderful ride from Tehachapi to Bakersfield. Google maps got it right. Follow Banducci Road, then Comanche Point Road west from Tehachapi. When the ashphalt ends, Jack Springs Road goes right, and Comanche Point Road left. It goes gently uphill, and turns to a dirt (sand) road. I slipped a couple of times. There are several gates, but none of them are locked. Then its mostly downhill, through open range, oaks, cows, and no people or cars for dozens of miles. 

To start with, I was against a strong sou-wester, and actually felt rain in my face. After five days riding across deserts, you might think this was welcome, but it wasn't, because I knew I had to climb before descending into the Central Valley. I thought I might get caught in a storm. But the rain stopped, and I came across some workmen, who told me that Comanche Point Road was open, and it was mostly downhill.

I'm getting fit.

The only scary bit was riding north on CA 184. It got dark at 4:30 because of cloud cover and the tilting of the northern hemisphere away from the sun. I had to ride on a sandy shoulder for ten miles, but by then I knew how to maneuver my bike and trailer on such surfaces. Eventually I got to a Shell station by a freeway, where a girl who is too cute and competent to be working in a gas station told me about a nearby motel, and offered to find the phone number for me. She also sold me six Budweisers, a protein sports candy bar, and a pizza.

Doing my civic duty, correcting Google's bicycling instructions:

"This is a correction to my previous correction. I wrote 'Jacks Hill Rd' where I should have written 'Jack Springs Rd'. They both exist, but the second is the one where Comanche Point Rd forks left and becomes a dirt/sand road."

Then I found there is an Indian restaurant near the motel, which is where I'm off to now.


Portland London