32.6 mi / 12.8 mph / 366 ft. climbing
Home: Quality Inn Temecula Valley Wine Country
We knew the morning wouldn’t be cold or wet, we knew we wanted to see more of the park we were staying in, and we knew we had a motel we wouldn’t be able to check into until 3pm, so we decided to wake up in time to make coffee and walk down to the lake and watch the sunrise. As we were walking back to camp, a couple guys showed up in the enormous empty parking lot to put in their boats, but otherwise we had the place peacefully to ourselves.
I did finally break out my jacket for the pre-dawn walk down to the lake (c’mon, it is still early February!) but by the time we finished breakfast and Rett went to do her stretching/exercise routine in the tent, it had become too hot for that, so she had to switch to outside on her sleeping mat under the shade of the tree (um, is it still February?!)
We lazily rolled out around 10am, and it took nearly 10 minutes to pay, because, as I’d expected, they aren’t used to anyone using the hiker/biker site (the guy said he’d been working there six months and we were the first he’d seen), so he didn’t know where to click on the computer to charge us correctly! He charged us $4 total, a new record-low, even though I told him there were two of us and it was probably supposed to be $4 per person (and I surely know more about California State Park hiker/biker sites than he did!) Even $4/person would have been super-low, and it was the same price I saw in a 2013 blog post where I’d found one of the only references online to a biker staying at Lake Perris. I was sure the price would have gone up since then ($10/person isn’t abnormal in CA state parks), but my guess is that the site is so unused, the topic of updating the price has simply never even made it onto the agenda of the park’s meetings. Anyway, I wrote all of that rambling detail in the hopes that in 2031, the next touring cyclist searching for info about the hiker/biker site at Lake Perris State Recreation Area campground will find this post (definitely stay there, future-tourer, it’s a great park!)
The riding was a mix of commerical suburban arterials and more semi-rural roads, but fueled by the continuing Santa Ana winds (thankfully on our backside most of the time), the riding was easy (if further than the 25-mile or less goals we’re trying to stick to for the time-being), and we got not only our first 12mph average speed since we started, we nearly hit 13mph!
We got lunch and cold sodas at a Taco Bell where Rett spied a perfect small patch of grass shaded by a tree behind the building where we could set up our chairs out of the beating sun and relax for a bit. After some time a manager came out the back door to clear out her loiterers, but when she saw our bikes she was immediately understanding and had no problem with us staying. Unexpectedly good management likely also explains why the food was so good!
Our motel had us on the 3rd floor for our first non-ground floor motel room of the trip, but taking them up one at a time in the elevator wasn’t a big deal.
Then it was time for a swim! Partly so we could say we went for a swim in February, partly so Rett could try out her new swimsuit, and partly because it was genuinely hot outside! Well, not hot enough to have warmed up the unheated regular pool, but it was still fun to jump in it for a few seconds in between rounds in the hot tub!