Before the more private part of this trip begins — we’re here celebrating our 39th anniversary — I’m squeezing in a few meetings. I’ve got breakfast with Jo Anne Miller who is breathing new vigor into the local entrepreneurship scene, then it’s time for a bike ride with Eric Meyer.
He’s easy to spot in a crowded coffee patio; he’s wearing a SLO Hothouse t-shirt and that’s just where Jo Anne and I departed an hour ago.
How did we meet? Through bike advocacy, of course. Newport Beach Mayor Pro Tem Rush Hill and I met over coffee 6 months ago and when he learned of my interest in entrepreneurship he wanted to introduce me to the Dean of the Cal Poly Business School, Dave Christy.
I made contact with Dave because I had plans to visit, but my schedule kept changing and I waited to reconnect until I was sure of my route and plans for this trip. After all this time elapsed I was surprised to hear that Dave was leaving for a new position as Provost, Baruch College in the City University of New York. That’s a big change, so I was doubly surprised when Dave suggested that when I visit SLO I meet with Eric Meyer,
Who is an entrepreneur, very active in our Hothouse, and an extraordinary advocate for people on two wheels.
I was intrigued.
I had too much coffee already, so we huddled in the shade of an umbrella. We hit it off right away. It was getting late in the morning and I wanted to do a ride; I knew Eric would have a suitable suggestion. After chatting for a few minutes more he asked if he could join us and we were both delighted to get the personal tour.
The route to Avila Beach is short and sweet, but as the morning grew late the heat was rising and so was the wind. As we all know, riding into the wind is like putting money into the bank for later withdrawal. We were heading towards the coast to meet up with the Bob Jones mult-use path that would take us off road and out of the wind.
Eric Meyer with his Dutch-inspired bike on the Harford Pier in Avila Bay.
Now that we’re at what we thought was our destination, Eric’s encouraging us to keep pedaling on to the Harford Pier. He has a friend he’s hoping to connect with. It’s cooler at the shore and Eric’s been right on with everything else this morning, so why not?
There’s a method to his madness. Eric’s friend is the Harford Pier Master; we get that, but the surprise is that Bill’s from Newport Beach until just a few years ago, so we have quite a few stories to share. It’s all a great coincidence, just another aspect of this fabulous day, another new friend.
Everyone’s got an appetite, so we swing through Avila Beach checking out the restaurants. I object to the touristy feel and the crowds. Eric pointed out the little restaurant cafe along the Bob Jones trail — that’s where I want to have lunch. So we hop back on the bikes and make a big U turn through town. That’s when Barbara shouts, “Look, a Pedego store!”
I’m 2 blocks past before it sinks in; we all do a U turn again to check out the Pedego Central Coast store. Sandra Napua is on duty and she explains they’ve only been open 2 weeks.
Eric’s never seen the Pedego, so we linger to tell some stories and comment on the different models. Before we go Sandra’s invited all of us to her open house coming up in just a few weeks.
Eric has a little ESP; he can tell we’re doing more than just vacationing. He’s giving us the Chamber of Commerce speech, but in a unique way,
What other cities are on your short list for a move?
Was it that obvious? I guess it shows.
Boulder, of course, it makes everyone’s short list. Eric’s quite adept at handling these objections, “Many people in SLO also have homes in Boulder,” which sounds like a perfect lifestyle. Then there’s Portland, but it doesn’t take much prodding from Eric before we’re shaking our heads on queue, the rain is discouraging.
All we needed to do next was buy a house in San Luis Obispo, but we haven’t figured that out yet. Eric has. And at just the right moment, as we’re back in the city limits, “Got 5 minutes to drop by the house for a tour?” After we say yes, I start to think, there’s no such thing as a 5 minute visit — and I’m right.
Eric’s wife Cynthia greets us as we arrive. We’re looking parched in the SLO afternoon heat, so it’s popsicles for everyone.
Their house is beautiful; a gorgeous combination of old bungalow charm with all the modern niceties. I love every inch of the place! Indoors and out, they’ve built an amazing home. Yes, I could see myself living quite happily in a house just like it.
Forget 5 minutes, I could stay the night, but soon it’s time to head back to the hotel. I protest when Eric gets up to show us the way, but there’s one more stop on his list: the SLO bIke Kitchen.
The Octagon Barn has been restored, but more is planned. It will eventually become the hub of several off-road trails south of SLO.
The last stop: SLO’s Bike Kitchen to meet Executive Director, Dan Rivoire.