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California is a place of contrast, even at its periphery along the coast. The transition from what’s colloquially known as Southern California to the great lost innards of the Central Coast is subtle, yet jarring at the same time. Jagged topography populated primarily by rocks and scrub oak gives way to rolling hills, meadows, and trees. The shift isn’t only found in the landscape, though – the mentality of its denizens is a marked shift from the full-gas lifestyle of the Southland. A rural attitude takes over, and life deviates into the tranquil, into the relaxed. Nowhere is this truer than in the host city for the start of our fourth day on the bike: Cambria, California.

Words: Nate King

Image: Embry Rucker

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