Monday, October 11, 2010

October 5, 2010. Manchester to Bodega Bay, CA. 68 miles.

On the way out of the campground this morning I had the opportunity to talk with some cyclists who are riding self-contained. Theirs is another Adventure Cycling trip, and it covers the entire US Pacific Ocean coastline! They left Bellingham, WA a month ago and will finish in San Diego, CA in about a month. Look at the amount of stuff they carry! And they are riding the same route as us--same hills, same trucks.... This is Michelle and Tom, from the self contained group, in the first 2 photos.
Our entire ride was along the coast today. And what long bike trip would be complete without some road construction? By the time we were stopped for the road work I had passed a few of the self contained group and caught up with John, first in line on his bike (below).

Dianne had left ahead of me, sure that I would catch up to her, but I never saw her all day. And I was riding hard! It was a beautiful ride, and I rode solo for most of the day. The coast line was subtly changing as we rode southward. There were fewer rocks, and as we passed into Sonoma County there were a lot of large homes and ranches overlooking the ocean.

I stopped along the road within the boundaries of Salt Point State Park and ate the sandwich I'd packed earlier. If it had not been a foolproof route (leave campground, turn right onto southbound US-1, ride 68 miles and turn into new campground) I may have thought I was off route since I did not see another rider for many hours.
Again today there were many miles of road without guardrails. I have this narrow-road riding down to a science now. If a large truck or RV is coming at me I look in the rear view mirror. If there is another large RV or truck behind me I get off the road. It may seem wimpy, but I plan to come home alive.

As scary as the roads were, it was a beautiful ride. I have never been so awed while riding my bike. Sometimes I just had to stop and look at it--the vista spread out before me. But I always made sure to make my scenery stops in a safe place and at the top of a hill!

The crazy hairpin turns continued. Again there were a lot of motorcycles on the road. Maybe I'll do that ride one day--they sure looked like they were having fun, and they were considerate of the non-motorized cyclists too!

Near the end of my ride I met three young men who are riding self supported to Argentina! You can see them below--Joost, Ryan, and Michael (left to right). Ryan rode his bike from Connecticut to meet up with Michael who rode his bike from Prudhoe Bay Alaska! They met as planned and are riding the entire North and South American Pacific coast. I did not get to find out where Joost hails from, but I am so impressed. I told Bill later that they passed me on an uphill grade, fully loaded while I was on my 17-pound bike with just enough gear to see me through the day. I decided not to feel bad since I'm old and they are young....

It is so much fun meeting others who enjoy cycling. There are so many stories out there and I like hearing them! I met up with Liz near the end of the ride and we stopped for an ice cream bar in Jenner. And we were the first riders to arrive at camp! That was a surprise, since we are firm midlle-of-the-pack riders. It rurned out that Greg, who is always first in, was not sure where we were camping and he rode some extra miles trying to figure it out.

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