19.8 mi / 7.4 mph / 1950 ft. climbing
Home: Artemia and Richard’s AirBNB
My rough 3-day plan for getting us from Hollywood to Palm Springs had a final ~50-mile day taking us from Redlands to Palm Springs. But I had been including an “insurance” day, meaning if everything went to plan, we’d get to Palm Springs a day early. But given the deteriorating state of Rett’s back, today was the time to cash in that insurance policy. We would split the day’s ride from Redlands into two, using the top of the San Gorgonio Pass as the break point.
In addition to making Rett’s back pain survivable, the short riding day meant that we had time in the morning to explore the town of Redlands together, which I had glimpsed some gold in the night before. We did a walk through the neighborhood of grand old houses, turned through the outdoor amphitheater of the Redlands Bowl, passed the National Register of Historic Places public library (which seems to have led the Moorish influences seen throughout the town), read some inscriptions at the unusually-far-west Abraham Lincoln memorial, and bought some persimmons and fancy $2-apiece macarons at the cute downtown-Main Street farmer’s market. Yep, the town certainly lived up to the glimpse I’d seen the night before, and it seemed like it could be a good place to stop again if we decided to return back this way after Palm Springs.
The day’s ride, while short, was not nearly as easy as the mileage suggests, even for someone with a healthy back. It was entirely uphill, and the second half featured more of those unusually localized winds, these weaker than yesterday’s, but straight in our faces. With 99 ft-per-mile of climbing, it had an uphill-density matched on this journey only by our climb over the Santa Cruz mountains out of Silicon Valley. But luckily there was very little steep climbing, since that puts the most strain on Rett’s back. It was just steadily uphill, with very little downhill riding. We had a steady 4-5% climb for 900 feet through the upscale neighborhoods of south Redlands, and then lower grades through the winds coming into Beaumont.
Headwinds plus a slow steady climb plus a sore back was making for a grinding end to the ride, but on cue, a herd of lazy sitting goats roused themselves and all started trotting over to say hello when Rett stopped. As they say, animals are the best medicine (they say that?) and the smile they brought to Rett boosted her life-meter just like collecting a heart in a video game does.
A need to pee and locked park bathrooms sent us to a Subway for late lunch, but confusion and difficulty and hangry miscommunication between Rett and I shifted us one storefront over to Chinese place instead, which I think is the first time I’ve ever eaten inside a Chinese strip-mall restaurant. It was good!
The night’s accommodations were a form of AirBNB we hadn’t tried yet: a room in a house with our hosts living in the main house. Basically like a WarmShowers stay, except we had to pay for it! Artemia and Richard, a retired couple older than us, were even warm and welcoming and chatty like WarmShowers hosts. In all, it seems like a better option than the poorly-reviewed Motel 6 for the same price.