Ron Hedrickson was the Captain from San Luis Obispo to Carpinteria, CA. He flew into San Luis the night before with his son David, some bags, and a single bike for David to ride.
Ron, like all the other captains, is a good guy with lots of energy. He has the type of confidence and adventure spirit it takes to show up in the middle of a huge bike trip, 1500 miles from home and just start pedaling…I’ve know Ron a long time now, and our friendship began when I started working for him back when I was just 24 years old. He taught me everything I know about building houses and sprinkled water on a rapidly growing passion for construction. I will forever be grateful for his leadership and follow through.
Our first day we had 75 miles to travel, our destination was Lompac. We made a group decision to get off the 101 and cycle over an obscure desert mountain pass. It wasn’t steep, but it was hot and much longer of a route. Still, it got us off the freeway and made for a better adventure.
Ron is an intense guy and during our pedal up the hill a car brushed us close and honked at us. Ron made sure to flip the bird and shout loud. I remember thinking…”wow we haven’t yelled at anyone all trip.” --- It’s good to have Ron on board.
That night we slept in a campground in Lompoc. I’m pretty sure it was just subsidized housing for meth addicts and I was not going to walk anywhere barefoot. Becca and Madrona showed up that night, which was three days earlier than planned. Our time apart had been over a month and enough was enough, they were showing up. I was so stoked to see them but must apologize to Ron and David because the camping dynamic changed now that the ladies were there. No more good ‘ol boys around the fire, I was hanging with my wife and kid.
The next day we had 27 miles to go and we’d be at Jalama Beach near Pt. Conception. This is one of my favorite places and I knew there would be some surf to ride. We were all in for a treat as the surf was cracking and some of the best waves we got all trip. The swell held for 3 full days, clean, long period, and big. Ron was a great sport, and didn’t complain because we were staying longer than planned and he doesn’t surf. However he was stoked for his son David to paddle out and give it a go on the big Jalama rights. Ron is a cyclist, and an athlete and I know he went stir crazy on the beach for three days with nothing to do but watch…thanks again Ron.
The next day we cycled to Refugio State Beach. It was a mellow pedal and a great campfire that night. The following day we rode through Santa Barbara, enjoyed my favorite taco stand, fresh strawberries from a local farm stand, and ended our ride together in Carpinteria.